A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the selection of songs on this soundtrack doesn't push the envelope in terms of content. There's a bit of "shake it for me, baby" here and there and a few references to fighting, but nothing really scary or explicitly violent. Lyrics do contain a fair amount of product placement -- there's an entire song, "Vans," about sneaker brands. Also, fans of the film may be disappointed because not every song is included on this CD.
What's the story?
The STOMP THE YARD soundtrack has been criticized on fan Web sites for containing songs other than those heard in the movie. But if you want a well-produced, varied selection of hip-hop and R&B songs that also happen to be fairly family-friendly, Stomp the Yard is an excellent choice. In 14 strong, expressive songs, it collects the talents of such diverse artists as Public Enemy, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Chris Brown, The Roots, and Ne-Yo. For the most part, the lyrics are clean, and the sexy stuff stays firmly in innuendo-land.
Is it any good?
This album's content is so much tamer than most hip-hop offerings. There's a little bit of leering "shake it for me, baby" sentiment that will cause PC parents to sigh and roll their eyes. But the artists and tracks are so varied, that you and your kids could do a lot worse. Energetic and raucous, each and every track sparkles; producers see to it that there isn't a tedious moment. When all is said and sung, the message of Stomp the Yard is that dancing is a good thing, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why movie soundtracks often include a different selection of songs than those heard in the film itself. Why do you think producers choose to do this, and how do you feel about it? Do you think the Vans brand pays for its product placement here or just got some lucky free advertising? Do you think this kind of marketing in a song is more effective at selling products than a TV commercial?