A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that on "Suit & Tie," two of the world's biggest pop stars continue to endorse a life of partying, excess, and luxury, but it's all in good fun. Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z tap into the seductive power of the dance-floor-tryst fantasy, much like funk and disco bands of the 1970s. By today's standards, the song is relatively mild, more akin to Michael Jackson than Rihanna. That said, there's some profanity, including the "N" word and "s--t," several references to drugs and alcohol, and mentions of many luxury brands.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Justin Timberlake's first single from his forthcoming album The 20/20 Experience -- his first since 2006 -- features a verse from rap mogul Jay-Z. With a retro-sounding, funk-and-soul-inspired beat produced by hip-hop legend Timbaland, JT seems poised to reconquer the world's dance floors, more than six years after the smash hit "Sexyback."
Is it any good?
The track's production is fantastic, reminiscent of the classic funk sound, while also sounding contemporary and fresh. Timberlake is in full Soul Brother mode, his falsetto better than ever. The song is infectious and danceable, sure to be a nightclub favorite. Jay-Z's flow is basically in the luxury rap vein he seems to have adopted over the past several years, but it sounds pretty cool thrown on near the end of the track.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about consumerism in music. Why do so many rappers and singers mention specific brands in their music, and what effect do you think this sort of product placement has on young people?
Justin Timberlake released this single with an open letter he wrote to his fans. How do you feel about the way the Internet has put fans more in touch with artists, and artists more in touch with fans? Is this a positive thing?
Why do you think these two particular artists would want to collaborate? What does each get from the partnership?