A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although Ice Cube has starred in some movies that are fine for tweens and teens, his new CD is best for older teens. The album is filled with expletives, the "N" word, and some references to violence and drugs, along with simplistic rhymes and brief expressions of social consciousness.
What's the story?
Ice Cube's RAW FOOTAGE may be a little more descriptive than intended, consisting of 14 energetic, passionate, but repetitive rants about the state of the world from the point of view of a self-absorbed rap star. The potential in lyrics like \"the hood is where I'm from/it's not what I am\" is defused with nonstop self-aggrandizement and some of the most simplistic rhymes we've heard in a while (\"See 'em come up and f--k up the owna/see 'em throw up West side California/N---a I'm as hot as Phoenix, Arizona/I'm Utah and I got multiple bitches/it's new law keep a hold of your riches,\" \"...brush these 32 teeth/will give your ass grief/bite you like a fatburger if you got beef,\" or even \"Don't try to be a hero/you're nothing but a zero\").
Is it any good?
Despite fine performances and some socially-relevant subject matter, the writing just isn't strong enough to overcome Ice Cube's constant bragging or humorless stance. Why should we care what anyone who proclaims "My head is so big they call me Jack-in-the-Box/I was sent to the world by G-O-D" has to say about our collective civic responsibilities in a just society?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about "Thank God," a song in which Ice Cube claims that rap music is blamed for all the world's problems, from world hunger to the war in Iraq. Do you agree with his point of view? Why do you think rap gets, well, a bad rap? Why do some artists rap about violent or mature things?