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 CD is offensive from beginning to end. Everything you wouldn't want to expose your kid to is here in abundant qualities: graphic sex and violence, strong profanity, drugs, sexism, racism, etc.
What's the story?
THE CARTER II manages to be incredibly offensive while also -- amazingly -- reaching a level of tedium that is an awesome accomplishment in itself. Lil' Wayne uses a formula that he feels has worked -- including stunningly sexist, violent, and racist lyrics -- and decided to run with it one more time. Attempts at poetic depth are ridiculous, with lines such as "Eat a catastrophe, swallow the truth, belch reality, how does it taste, how do you face? You a b**ch n***a," as sensitive as Lil' Wayne gets. Instrumental tracks loop the same simplistic themes over and over again, making even the most potty-mouthed lyrics end up sounding boring.
Is it any good?
Featuring monotone vocal performances over mind-numbingly repetitive tracks, this CD maintains the artist's usual level of sexist, racist, and self-centered self-promotion. There's no maturity, no perspective, no sense that this young performer is growing into an interesting, multifaceted young man. Some popular rap CDs are so richly written and produced that they're worth the discomfort of wading through offensive language or even sexist, violent, and racist posturing. Once again, Lil' Wayne has not given the world one of those CDs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the tedious instrumental tracks and what would be needed to make this album more interesting to listen to. Also, why do so many rappers feel the need to shock? Could Lil' Wayne have gotten his message across in a less offensive way? Are there times when such offensive material is necessary? What qualities make a work of art transcend questionable comfort levels?