A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that RATED R is Rihanna's emotional response to her violent attack by former boyfriend Chris Brown, containing a lot of extremely serious songs about suicide, broken relationships, getting even, and more mature topics. There's occasional profanity, a description of rough sex, and violent imagery. Due to the adult themes and explicit language, the CD carries a parental advisory warning, although an edited version is also available. Parents who let their teens buy even the edited version of this CD will want to be sure to discuss its mature subject matter with their kids.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
R&B artist Rihanna is back with a new full-length album called RATED R -- her first release following her violent assault by Chris Brown, her old boyfriend and an R&B singer as well. From its intensely serious lyrics to its ominous music, the record is a very personal reflection of the dark times Rihanna has endured. Songs like the album's first single, "Russian Roulette," describe a girl contemplating suicide, while tracks such as "Stupid in Love" chronicle Rihanna's brief (and unsuccessful) attempt to reconcile with Brown: "Don't understand it, blood on your hands / And still you insist on repeatedly trying to tell me lies / And I just don't know why."
Is it any good?
After experiencing such a terrible act of violence by someone she loved, it's hard to imagine Rihanna releasing a record that was anything other than somber. That said, the consistent bleakness that dominates the record is overwhelming at times. The deep, pulsing beats in tracks like "Wait Your Turn" tend to drag songs down rather than give them more intrigue, and even the more up-tempo songs such as "Photographs" are bogged down by their depressing subject matter.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violent incident with Chris Brown. While Rihanna initially remained mum about the attack, she then began to talk about it through her music and the media. Are these public forums appropriate places to discuss the attack? Why or why not?
What could Chris Brown do to atone for something as terrible as this incident?