"Payphone" (CD Single)



Anti-love song is full of profanity; get the edited version.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Adam Levine is postively sick of love songs, apparently. "Payphone" is an anti-love song.

Positive role models

Levine is making a bigger name for himself helping out would-be stars with their long shot at fame on the hit show The Voice. His counterpart on this song, Wiz Khalifa, was arrested for drug possession.

Not applicable
Not applicable

Unedited version says "All those fairy tales are full of s--t" and "One more f--king love song I'll be sick." The edited version replaces those words with "it" and "stupid." Wiz Khalifa's rap part also has "f--k" and "s--t" a few times on unedited version.


Levine debuted this song on the hit show The Voice, on which he is a celebrity judge.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that "Payphone" is a catchy anti-love song about a past relationship and does have some profanity ("f--k" and "s--t") sung by Adam Levine and featured rapper Wiz Khalifa. There's a clean version available.

What's the story?

Maroon 5 and rapper Wiz Khalifa team up to spread the wealth in their single "PAYPHONE," a track about failed relationships and the resentment and loss that follows. The song premiered on the hit show The Voice, on which Adam Levine is a celebrity judge.

Is it any good?


Yes, "Payphone" has its lyrical and melodic moments, much like most of Maroon 5's tunes, but it lacks a depth and purpose. Like "Moves Like Jagger," "Payphone" is fun and singable, but it doesn't go much beyond that. Wiz Khalifa adds a little spice, but not enough to make this single memorable. Like its namesake, "Payphone" may be obsolete in a few years, but for now, it's there if you need it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the fact that profanity is becoming more and more common in mainstream music. Do you think it's OK for radio stations to play songs with the bad language cut even when it's still obvious what bad word is being said?

  • Adam Levine seems to be embracing the bad boy side of music here, in contrast to earlier material. Do you think musicians need to adopt a riskier, sexier image to be successful and relevant?

  • Levine debuted this song on the hit show The Voice, on which he is a celebrity judge. What do you think of that as a marketing strategy?

Music details

Artists:Maroon 5, Wiz Khalifa
Release date:April 24, 2012
Label:A&M Records
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of "Payphone" (CD Single) was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old October 19, 2014

No Point

This is a song you shouldn't bother to listen to. Too much swearing and not many positive messages! Don't bother!!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byTommyhead November 2, 2013

This song is Awsome

i love it. it makes a nice music in my ears. but for kids it's got in it's own clip lots of shooting and the song itself has f words
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 10 years old August 10, 2013

Payphone - Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa

Positive messages: mentions anti-love Language: mentions f*** & s***
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing


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