A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that if your kids insist on listening to rap or hip-hop, this might be a decent compromise. There's minimal profanity (one use of the word "bulls--t" and the "N" word comes up a few times). Sexual innuendo is barely a flutter with phrases like "we use to kiss" or "wanna get up in it." There are some references to drugs in the tracks "Colors" and "Change," but in the sense of what needs to be changed about the "the hood."
What's the story?
Sean Kingston's self-titled debut album SEAN KINGSTON is a mediocre, but well-intentioned mix of reggae and rap with a little doo-wop thrown in to keep things interesting. Born in Miami, but raised both in Jamaica and the U.S., Kingston does manage to bring his own flavor with a fun blend of sounds, lyrics, and Jamaican dialect.
Is it any good?
This 17-year-old has such a baby face that you can't help but give him the benefit of the doubt. His hit single "Beautiful Girls" is on the album, and is definitely the best track. Kingston is due some credit for his fresh attempt on reggae/hip-hop with simple, young lyrics and a little doo-wop thrown in the mix. The album also has the usual lineup of remixes ("Colors"), some faux gangsta rap, and a little R&B, but Kingston's fans might be better served if he just sticks to what he's good at; clean reggae-influenced style that's great for radio play -- worthy of those cute pinchable cheeks.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way that many singers "cover" other singers' songs or incorporate them into their music, the way Kingston does on many of his, such as "I Can Feel It" (Phil Collins) and "Beautiful Girls" (Stand By Me). Does this make the original singers/songs more popular? Does it make the new song more interesting or marketable? Do you feel like it's cheating or banking on someone else's creativity when an artist does this?