"Turn Down for What" (CD Single)

Music review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
"Turn Down for What" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Lil Jon party anthem has beat drops and body shots.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The only message of this song is that you should party all the time.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lil Jon has never been a good role model, given that he is a fierce advocate of getting "crunk" (crazy drunk) and "turning up" (getting intoxicated).


"Body shots" involve sucking booze off someone else's bare skin, usually off a navel, neck, or even cleavage. Although "body shots" aren't necessarily referenced in a sexual way here, they can still come off as pretty suggestive to teens who know what they are -- and kids unfamiliar with the term may ask for details. 


DJ Snake's label Mad Decent released a piece of artwork to accompany the track, which is a cartoon drawing of a guy in a T-shirt holding balloons and with both middle fingers raised -- universally understood to mean "f--k you." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The only decipherable lyrics in the song are repetitions of the phrases "Turn down for what" and "body shots," both of which refer to inebriation. The opposite of "turn down" is "turn up," which means to get drunk, high, or both.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "Turn Down for What (feat. Lil Jon)" is a mostly instrumental electronic track with party-rap savant Lil Jon chiming in with his usual debauchery, in this case rhetorically asking, "Turn down for what?" The opposite of turning down is, of course, in today's vernacular, to "turn up," which means to get drunk, high, or both. DJ Snake's label Mad Decent released a piece of artwork to accompany the track, which is a cartoon drawing of a guy in a T-shirt holding balloons, with both middle fingers raised. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byboychilds mama July 31, 2015


this is good a deserves to be seen by kids it rocks
Parent of a 10-year-old Written bykatw1 January 19, 2015

What Has Happened to our Music and Videos?

I don't feel this is appropriate viewing for anyone, but especially not for impressionable children or kids under 17. It's really horribly suggestive... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySpicyPeanuts33 April 24, 2014
The song itself is pretty good, lots of electronic, great dance music although the music video is not one two watch. From what I've seen there is a lot of... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAvatar145 December 17, 2014

Not the best

It's just someone repeating himself for 3 minutes. The beat is catchy. Do NOT watch the video. It has suggestive dancing and in one scene blood.

What's the story?

TURN DOWN FOR WHAT is a single from French producer and frequent Lady Gaga collaborator DJ Snake, featuring vocals from Atlanta producer and hype man Lil Jon. Similar to other tracks from Diplo's Mad Decent label roster, such as Baauer's smash-hit "Harlem Shake," "Turn Down for What" is built around a series of buildups and massive beat drops.

Is it any good?

2013 was the year that trap -- a hybrid of southern hip-hop, dubstep, and other energetic EDM styles -- ascended to national prominence, and the exciting and speaker-shaking "Turn Down for What" builds on that momentum. Although some listeners might not be able to find meaning in the silly repeated phrases that are the basis for this type of music, at the end of the day it's party music to dance to, and no one gets it started quite like Lil Jon. Parents probably don't want to hear their kids bragging about "turning up" or refusing to "turn down," but it's simply a modern form of "rocking out" or "getting down."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the rise of "trap" music and primarily instrumental electronic pop songs. What about the sparse and searing beats do you think appeals to listeners?

  • Lil Jon has been out of the spotlight for a while but has resurfaced as a sort of cheerleader for the Electronic Dance Music and massive rave scene. What do you think of his role as the unofficial king of party music?

Music details

  • Artists: DJ Snake, Lil Jon
  • Release date: December 18, 2013
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Columbia
  • Genre: Dance/pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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