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 strong language, violent imagery, and super-consistent sexism might make this sometimes interesting album uncomfortable for them. It's really not a good choice for kids, and we don't recommend it for anyone under 17. Also, note that the edited version had to be SO edited that is sounds like nonsense -- it's not worth buying.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Remove the sleeve of the deluxe edition of 50 Cent's THE MASSACRE, and you'll see a photo of the artist aiming a gun at the camera, surrounded by a display of firearms of all kinds. The booklet in the edited version instead includes a photo of the artist pouring water into the cleavage of a scantily clad woman. No surprise, then, when you hear the album, which begins with a girl's voice sighing over a valentine, followed by blasts of gunfire. With an intensity so overdone that it would seem like self-parody if his lyrics weren't so deadly serious, 50 Cent weakens the power of his talent by indulging in this fierce and fatal machismo throughout the CD.
Is it any good?
Strong language and constant references to guns, violence, drugs, and explicit sex with objectified women combined with monotonous backing tracks and monotone delivery make The Massacre a hard album for any parent to love. It's too bad, because 50 Cent is a good songwriter. The instrumental tracks are beautifully produced and sometimes even mesmerizing; the lyrics are the work of an obviously intelligent, hard-working man. But they are also unrelentingly nasty, especially if you're female, and the lyrics send a loud-and-clear message that problems are best solved with violence. There isn't a young person in the world who really needs to hear this CD.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why they think 50 Cent feels he needs to use violence, sex, and profanity to get his point across, if their teens end up listening anyway. It might be worth having a conversation about what exactly they like about this music, and what is the difference between the man 50 Cent and the myth he is trying to build?