Public Warning

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Public Warning Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Enchanting, self-revelatory, and explicit.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 12 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

All over the map ... alternately pissy and poignant.


A couple of references -- nothing really explicit.


Some sexy innuendo, stopping just short of explicit.


The words "f--k" and "s--t" are used liberally and gleefully.


Plenty of products mentioned, including Adidas (she's addicted to them), Pernod, Barbies, Safeway, and McDonald's.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Quite a few references to drinking and drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lady Sovereign is one of the most refreshing new voices in popular music today. She's also a voice peppered with expletives, brand-name product placement, and references to drugs and drinking. But this is one case where the writing, performance, and presentation are worth a bit of discomfort and/or discussion.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySerenity Now April 9, 2008
Adult Written bywhovian85 April 9, 2008


Music and lyrics by Fred Fredburger, Yes! F-R-E-D F-R-E-D-B-U-R-G-E-R, FRED FREDBURGER! Yes!
Kid, 9 years old February 18, 2009


she is really awsome i love her but i would suggest the clean lyrics for children under 12
Teen, 13 years old Written bystrawbryblondy April 9, 2008


lady sovereign cracks me up! her lyrics i mean. they are just kinda thrown together and they make perfect sense. i dont know to me its pretty funny how care fre... Continue reading

What's the story?

PUBLIC WARNING makes it clear that nothing about Lady Sovereign (aka Louise Harman) is ordinary. A terrific rapper, she's also tiny, English, clever, and in your face. Calling herself \"the white midget,\" she delivers rapid-fire lyrics with energy -- over marvelous instrumental tracks that veer wildly from minimalist rhythms to elaborate, circus-y themes and back again. \"My England\" is a sideways portrait of London, her home town: \"It ain't about the tea and biscuits/I'm one of the English misfits/I don't drink tea I drink spirits/and I talk a lot of slang in my lyrics,\" she sings, going on to rhyme \"crumpets\" with \"slum pits.\" In \"Those Were the Days,\" the Lady delivers a poignant and gritty picture of her childhood in the projects: \"Those days I'm missin'... back then well I kinda had less/but less was much better coz it saved a lot of stress.\"

Is it any good?

The subject matter varies, but most of the songs are self-revelatory, self-deprecating, self-aware, and -- despite a heavy sprinkling of expletives, bathroom humor, and references to drugs and drinking -- absolutely charming. Throughout Public Warning Lady Sovereign lets us know, with intelligence, wit, and a loud raspberry, that she's here and she's not going away.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes Lady Sovereign different. She's not a voluptuous beauty, and she's outrageous and outspoken; it's obvious that she isn't capable of being anything but herself. What would it be like if more artists expressed their individuality this way? What sets her apart from her fellow hip-hop artists?

Music details

  • Artist: Lady Sovereign
  • Release date: October 31, 2006
  • Label: Def Jam
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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