Music review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
Recess Music Poster Image
Dubstep's biggest star drops ear-splitting, explicit record.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 13 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

Most of the lyrics are either intentionally vague or hedonistic and all about partying.

Positive role models & representations

There is a certain positive energy associated with the EDM scene, since it's all about dancing and having fun, but Skrillex is definitely on the edgier end of the spectrum, preferring shock and awe beat drops to pop-friendly lyrics and euphoric melody builds.


Aside from the violent synth stabs and bass drops. there's also an aggressive energy present in many of the vocals, particularly on tracks like "F---k That"; there is also a reference to "mac-10" submachine guns in the dancehall-esque "All Is Fair In Love & Brostep," which features verses from The Ragga Twins that reference war on the streets. 


While much of the album steers clear of sexual content, there are tracks with lewd lyrics, like in "Dirty Vibe" in which the rapper CL references "strip clubs" and boasts "I'm yo girl's lesbian crush," or in "Coast Is Clear," which repeatedly asks the question "Do you wanna f--k?"


There's a fair amount of bad language in these dance tracks, including the words "f--k," "motherf----r," "bitches," and "ass."  


Recess was a surprise releases, available initially through a mysterious free app. As Skrillex's first full-length album, he could have hyped Recess for months but chose to counter the crush of publicity and initial commodification by releasing to zero fanfare and offering first listens for free.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

One reference to "beers," another to being "turnt up" (drunk and/or high), and one lyric that says "I don't pop Molly, I rock microphones," which could actually be interpreted as being anti-drug (Molly is a nickname for MDMA or ecstasy).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Recess, the debut full-length album from EDM superstar Skrillex, is an aggressive and at-times explicit party record filled with speaker-busting compositions intended to get people dancing and going crazy. While it retains some of the positivity of dance/pop music, there is also a rough and grimy energy pulsing through the lyrics and beats. There is some language to watch out for, including a song called "F--k That," two songs have sexual content, and one track references a machine guns and violence on the streets.

User Reviews

Adult Written byScreamingGoat September 4, 2014

Extremely explicit, but worth it.

All Is Fair In Love And Brostep has several screamings, sometimes obscure, of "motherf**ker, but they're ignorable. That's most of the tracks on... Continue reading
Adult Written byn3xith March 22, 2015


Go listen to real Dubstep like Excision.
Teen, 14 years old Written bySuddenImpact April 3, 2014

Skrillex is Junk

Kids should start listening to real music made by people with instruments and real talent. Music nowadays, (especially dubstep), has no quality. Listen to some... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byOpti101 July 31, 2014

Like EDM? You'll love this.

Swearing and Violence referenced. A nice, varied selection of songs. There is a song called 'F--k That' that constantly repeats it's own title.

What's the story?

Initially released via a mysterious downloadable app that let fans stream the tracks one by one a week before the official release,​ RECESS is the debut full-length from L.A.-based DJ/producer Skrillex, one of electronic dance music's brightest stars. After surging to mainstream dominance on the strength of several EPs and singles that redefined the EDM scene and transformed dubstep from a small sub-genre into a full-blown movement in the U.S., Skrillex has crafted a club-ready collection of fierce and propulsive tracks that express his love and mastery of machines and electronic soundscapes.

Is it any good?

When Skrillex first appeared on the radar in the early 2010's, his signature style of heavily-processed and screeching synths and basslines was jarring and revolutionary. A few years later, his influence in mainstream pop music is evident simply by turning on the radio, and as a result, Recess feels less like a revolution and more like a cohesive statement of his vision. Fans of EDM and loud, exciting electronic music will certainly find a lot to enjoy with this record, and even those who previously thought they weren't interested in dubstep or Skrillex may also be able to appreciate the energy and technical ability of this producer who clearly has his finger on the pulse of the scene. There are no profound lyrics or great artistic leaps taken, but this is a fun collection guaranteed to blow out your speaker system if you turn it up loud enough, which is, of course, the goal.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the evolution of dance and pop music. How has EDM changed since the early days of underground raves and mainstream irrelevance? How has the growth of giant electronic festivals affected the musical landscape?

  • Why do you think Skrillex -- one of the most commercially successful EDM artists with mainstream popularity -- chose to release an explicit album that features rappers as prominently as his signature explosive synthesizers and dubstep drops?

  • There's a clear Jamaican dancehall influence present in many of the tracks on this album, similar to collaborator Diplo's Major Lazer project. What is the connection between contemporary EDM and the reggae/dub tradition that developed in the Caribbean? 

Music details

  • Artist: Skrillex
  • Release date: March 14, 2014
  • Type: Album
  • Label: OWSLA
  • Genre: Dance/pop
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: No

For kids who love to dance

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