A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, in terms of violent and sexual content, this isn't the worst of Jay-Z's music. However, its focus on bragging about being the best merely reinforces the infamous and dangerous sense of rivarly that pervades the rap and hip-hop arenas.
What's the story?
The second track off of Jay Z's soon-to-be-released CD titled The Blueprint 3, RUN THIS TOWN features guest vocals from two other artists -- Rihanna and Kanye West -- whose mega-star status is on a par with his own. To that end, the three spend this song asserting their dominance over everyone and everything, posing the question, "Who's gonna run this town tonight?" and then answering it themselves: "We are, yeah I said it, we are / You can call me Caesar / Please follow the leader." This single also marks Rihanna's first release since her recent troubles with boyfriend and fellow singer Chris Brown.
Is it any good?
This song reels you in right off the bat, with strong intro lines from Rihanna that she proceeds to repeat throughout the song, as well as a dually infectious and ominous guitar hook that's a good fit for the track's competitive message. Both Jay Z and Kanye demonstrate why they're masters of their trade, each delivering their rhymes with timing and flow that make the song stick in your mind long after it's over.
Talk to your kids about ...
Do people brag because they really believe they're better than others -- or are they actually trying to cover up their true feelings of insecurity and inadequacy?
Check out our article "What Messages Are Your Kids Getting From Chris Brown and Rihanna?" to find out more about influential artists from the rap and hip-hop worlds are to kids.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.