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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 has all the inappropriate material you would expect from a hardcore gangsta rap album. Bragging about using guns, talking casually about drug dealing, references that disrespect women, and a litany of profanities make this album unsuitable for kids and teens. There is some in-your-face social commentary that could encourage some interesting discussions.
What's the story?
Southern rapper Young Jeezy is back with his third studio album which includes some high-profile contributions, including Kanye West on the track "Put On" and Nas on "My President." Jay-Z, Drumma Boy, and Lil Boosie also can be found on the album. Most of the tracks discuss the economic struggles of the working class, but also incorporate more controversial topics such as drug dealing into the financial survey. Young Jeezy does brag about using guns, disrespects women, and likes to swear.
Is it any good?
Investments, credit cards, paying the bills, and the economy are all parts of Young Jeezy's repetoire. With the introductory title tracks, listeners are greeted with a lesson in Young's form of urban economics: "It's a recession … I hope it's acceptable if I don't be respectable." The smooth Southern flow that Young Jeezy is known for is abundant and his style is velvety and articulate (a bit like the anti-Lil' Wayne), but at times this method becomes sluggish and monotonous. The gritty deep rhymes could use slightly more range for them to really grip the listener: "Hustlaz Ambition" almost sounds like Jeezy rapping in his sleep. One of his best attributes is his deliberate raps that provide in-your-face social commentary. Unlike many rappers who rhyme about the fantasy life of cars, jets, and cash, Young Jeezy raps about real life without a lot of over-production. It's just too bad that the negative themes -- bragging about using guns, disrespecting women, and abundance of profanity -- are also there.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how current events are incorporated into rap albums. A major theme of this LP is about economic struggles and how to make money. Do you think this is a constant theme of hardcore rap, or do you think the current economic uncertainty makes this more of a timely topic? Also, do you think using harsh language and situations are necessary for this album to do well? Why, or why not?