Voice of the Young People

Music review by
Jessica Dawson, Common Sense Media
Voice of the Young People Music Poster Image
OK hip-pop with a few mature topics.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Lots of talk about life in the hood and misfortune (father in prison, abuse, unplanned pregnancy, poverty), but the heavy topics aren't glorified ("My momma told me find a man to take care of me/And he does buy me things, but he beats on me/I come to her for a little advice/She tilts her head up with a black eye" and "Is my life set up for failure ya'll/I can care less what the people say to ya'll/We break out in rage, ventin' all the hurt inside/Who am I, to tell you what you failed to realize/The voice that you hold within you, the voice that you are, the voice of the young people").

Violence
Sex

Some minor sexual innuendo with a mention of teenage and unplanned pregnancy.

Language

"Ass" (once), "haters," "hoppin' on my grind since butt touch potty." Deluxe version has one has "motherf--ker." Also, the "N" word is mentioned once.

Consumerism

Loreal, MAC, Duncan Hines.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

"My mother she was a crack fiend" and "with a bottle of something good."

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.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Kid, 12 years old May 7, 2010
love her song lip gloss and i usually don't like rap
Teen, 13 years old Written bysara4ever95 February 17, 2009

What's the story?

VOICE OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE is 18-year-old Lil Mama's debut album and it features, like so many albums these days, the added talent of fellow artists Chris Brown and T. Pain, among others. Her MC style and the songs' beats are reminiscent of the '80s rap scene.

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?

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