A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this single by four of rap's hottest -- and sometimes most explicit -- performers celebrates the thrill of being rich, stylish, and a great rapper, but contains only a few expletives, violent images, and misogynistic references.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Jay-Z and T.I. have joined forces with Lil' Wayne and Kanye West for SWAGGA LIKE US, a single that also includes a sampling of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes." The single appears on both T.I.'s "Paper Trail" and Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3." Each rapper gets a turn at the mike interspersed with M.I.A.'s sampled chorus, "No one on the corner has swagga like us.".
Is it any good?
This is a somewhat rare opportunity for four of the best rappers in the business to interact and play off each other. But because the artists never rap together, the single feels like four separate pieces instead of one outstanding whole. That said, it's still a solid release that shows these rappers can really rap without an exorbitant amount of profanity. M.I.A.'s samples are the perfect complement to the rap flow and this single proves that these four artists really can back-up the bravado.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why bragging is such a part of hip hop and rap culture. Research the origins of the genre and learn about rap battles and improv rapping to find out about the competitive nature of this musical form. Why do you think it's important in hip hop and rap culture to be the best? Does it have anything to do with the backgrounds and upbringing of these artists? How do these rappers define success?