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This Is Not a Test
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's a lot of sexy stuff here -- including a track all about sex toys and some references to oral sex. The adult language and concepts definitely make this for a more mature listener. But the singer's fairly feminist perspective does provide a positive counterpoint to other hip-hop artists whose tracks are often drenched in misogyny.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Missy Elliot's got a sleeker look, and the album's packaging has a tough militant look, but from the first single \"Pass That Dutch\" to retro sounding \"Let it Bump,\" THIS IS NOT A TEST is full of fun and clever lyrics and loops. Elliot's ballads are a little less interesting, having a similar tone that grows a little tired by album 's end. But all in all, there's plenty here to groove to, laugh at -- and even be inspired by. Get ready for some serious sex talk; references include oral sex and sex toys, plus a graphic appearance from R. Kelly. But the album's messages are overwhelmingly positive. From the anti-materialistic \"Wake Up\" (\"if you ain't got a cellular phone, it's all right) to \"Pump it Up\", which praises big girls (\"Love my gut, so f*** a tummy tuck\"). Even silly \"Toys\" is about women satisfying their own sexual needs (\"I don't need no help in pleasing me\").
Is it any good?
Elliot proves she's well-versed in music history, and in league with current hip-hop stars; she makes references to Prince and LL Cool J and does a super sexy take on the Salt "N Pepa classic "Push It" -- plus listeners are treated to appearances from everyone from Nelly, Mary J. Blige, and Jay-Z. Ultimately, this is a mature album in lots of ways: adult in language and in themes. Best of all, though, it's still fun.