What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is rap for kids, performed by a young teen and with positive messages.
What's the story?
Some teenagers have after-school jobs in the family hardware store or the family restaurant. Some teenagers have jobs rapping on dad's record label. Fifteen-year-old Lil' Romeo has just released his third CD -- a huge accomplishment despite the fact that his father, Master P., owns the store.
Is it any good?
Lil' Romeo obviously has some talent, and ROMEOLAND is lovingly produced and carefully kid-safe. It's also more than a little tedious, with heavy use of sampled music tracks and the main attraction's nasal, monotone vocal performances. But the album's heart is in the right place with songs like "They Can't Stop Us" and "If I Try," in which kids are instructed to avoid drugs, stay in school, and respect their parents. There's also more love stuff than on past albums, all in appropriate language for young listeners.
The CD package is filled with reminders of other opportunities to consume Lil' Romeo products: the Nickelodeon TV show, a clothing line, educational books, sing-along videos, and P. Miller fashions. It would be interesting to see how this young artist would grow and develop on his own, without the "benefit" of a full-tilt marketing empire. Unfortunately, it's doubtful we'll ever get the chance.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the heavy use of music samples here and whether more real songwriting would make it a better album.