The Music of Grand Theft Auto IV

Music review by
Heidi Kotansky, Common Sense Media
The Music of Grand Theft Auto IV Music Poster Image
Some innocuous songs, some R-rated ones.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

It's a mixed bag here. One song idolizes the gangsta life and all the negative things associated with it, but another song is a sweet song declaring "I'm not the kind to be running games, I'll make it simple and plain…I want you, like trees to sunshine/like bird to the sky." The "N" word is used several times. Women are referred to as "bitches" in one song.

Violence

A few songs have violent references. "Dirty New York" celebrates the gangsta life ("I'm gonna rap a n---a up in a box and send it to his folks") and talks about guns and killing quite a bit. Other hard lyrics on the album: "I'll slice you with my razor," "I came a long way to see you now I wish you were dead/I want to shoot you down now for the things you did," and ""Go and die/Go and quench (destroy)/Put am for reverse/Go and kill/Go and die."

Sex

Sex isn't really the problem here. The title of "No Sex for Ben" is worse than the song.

Language

In the songs that do have swear words, there are a lot of them -- everything from "f--k" to "s--t" to "motherf--ker" to bitch. Some songs don't have any foul language at all.

Consumerism

Car brands, alcoholic beverages are mentioned by name. The idea of making a lot of money is important in one song.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few references to drinking, smoking, and doing drugs (pot and cocaine), but it's mostly in passing and not bragged about: "Get smoked up," "I smoked the finest," and "blow in the drawer."

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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMohawkskull October 4, 2013

gta songs

inappropriate it says the f word
Adult Written byhelper + February 10, 2012

more crap as usual

looks like crap!!!
Teen, 13 years old Written byliekey October 9, 2010
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

This made my ears bleed

Come on people. This soundtrack is no better then the game. You get points for raping people and killing others. And there's no one saying any of this is... Continue reading

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?

Music details

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