A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Eminem is an excellent rapper and a horrible role model. He's extremely vulgar and offensive, broaching every explicit topic from drugs to venereal disease to rape, torture, murder, and suicide.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE SLIM SHADY LP, Eminem's debut album, came out in 1999 and instantly vaulted him to superstar status. Most of the album constitutes the most offensive and sarcastic material out there, but there are a few traces of conscience and somber reality. Underneath the offensive surface, Eminem is intelligent, introspective, and self-aware, weaving sarcasm and angst into creative and skillful word play. Songs like \"My Name Is\" and \"Role Model\" show Eminem's sick sense of humor at its best, while \"Rock Bottom\" and \"If I Had\" are dark and introspective. Forget a grain of salt, take the whole shaker and appreciate this album for its strengths.
Is it any good?
Eminem has extraordinary lyrical dexterity and undeniable talent. Dr. Dre and the Bass Brothers add superior production value, creating catchy, danceable songs that fit well together. Eminem's popularity is inescapable and he knows how to appeal to kids, so it might be wise to prepare to work with Eminem rather than against him. And if teens can accurately judge how morally reprehensible most of this material is, it may even help them to cement their own values.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how shock value is used to get attention and sell products. If they can handle this material maturely, they can handle anything. Note: The edited version is very difficult to get a hold of these days, and Eminem's swearing is the tamest part of his content anyway.