A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although Grand Theft Auto IV features more than 200 songs, 16 of them were culled for a special edition CD available only through Amazon's MP3 downloads -- or free if you buy the special edition of the game. The songs are mix of genres and appropriate-level (some repeat multitude swear words and are very violent while others are sweet love songs or instrumental).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Busta Rhymes, Bob Marley, and Fela Kuti, contribute just three of the 200 or so songs in Grand Theft Auto IV, 16 of which make up THE MUSIC OF GRAND THEFT AUTO, available only via download on Amazon. There's a blend hip-hop, reggae, dancehall, southern rock, R&B, Russian rap, and even electro. Some of the songs aren't appropriate for teens' -- even older ones -- ears, but some are fine.
Is it any good?
With music crossing all genres and appropriateness, this collection of songs -- a "soundtrack" of sorts -- wants to appeal to all teens. Unfortunately, as a whole and played in order, it's quite disjointed. It's best to pick the tracks that are OK for your kid and just download those. Some highlights: Fela Kuti's 12-minute "Zombie," with its deep afrobeat percussion -- packs a political punch by dismissing the "zombie"-like nature of the military ("Zombie no go stop, unless you tell am to stop/Zombie no go turn, unless you tell am to turn/Zombie no go think, unless you tell am to think"), and if parents can look past the few "N" words, the for-older-teens, determined, not-gratuitous, well-written "War is Necessary" ("War brings hate/war brings peace/war brings pain, but war is necessary") by Nas.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether the music plays a part in Grand Theft Auto IV. If the video game's content is definitely not for kids, does the music make such a difference? Families can also talk about mixing consumerism with video games. How do you feel about being able to buy an MP3 of a song you hear within the game instantaneously on Amazon?