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Voice of the Young People
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that every now and then this rapper does throw down some heavy topics about life in the hood that includes teenage pregnancy, abuse, poverty, and foster care, but as pure observation and as a source of positive inspiration for improvement. In a fun, playful way, she also boasts about being the best rapper on the block. The deluxe version of this album features the hit single "Girlfriend" with Avril Lavigne with some explicit lyrics; it also comes with a DVD.
What's the story?
Is it any good?
Lil Mama (aka Niatia Jessica Kirkland) is the self-proclaimed revolutionary for "hip-pop" music, and apparently she's trying to make that statement with this album. There are a few tracks worth your time; hit singles "Lip Gloss" and "G-Slide" are fun and carefree with punchy beats, and "Shawty Get Loose" is best when Chris Brown is singing. "Truly in Love" and "Swim" are the only songs that could even be called "hip-pop," while most of the album is basic hip-hop/rap with lots of strange, meaningless "skits" for fill-in. Lil Mama obviously has a backing -- big artists love to include her on their albums -- but she may need a little more time yet before she can claim to be the voice of the young people.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fact that Lil Mama has been featured on so many other artists' remix singles (Britney Spears' "Gimme More," Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls," Rhianna's "Umbrella," and Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine"). Why do you think artists like to include other singers on their songs? Do you think it can make an album or song more successful or appealing to more listeners?