A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that provocative social commentary is presented with very strong language. There's also intelligence and substance -- a lot to sink your teeth into if you're comfortable with visceral and violent images.
What's the story?
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION begins with George W. Bush's State of the Union address with a twist -- with a bit of editing, the president appears to be declaring himself a terrorist; then in a Beatles-like \"A Day in the Life\" crescendo, we move on to visceral commentary on the war in Iraq, street life, drug culture, sex, and violence. This may appeal to you or not, depending on personal politics and personal taste.
Is it any good?
The messages on Weapons of Mass Destruction are humorless and a bit clichéd, though sometimes powerful in their political vision and substance. Xzibit is a thoughtful and intelligent writer and a charismatic performer, if lacking in subtlety. The most intriguing song, "Cold World," describes hard times from three points of view: a young woman, fresh out of rehab and sexually harassed on the job; a ghetto kid with a churchgoing mom and a drug deal gone bad; a religious teenager and his family in Baghdad, caught in the middle of the Iraq war. It's visual, poetic writing that draws the listener into the story. "Scent of A Woman" is a tribute to the strong women in the artist's life, produced with a hard-hitting drum track and interesting ambient violins. Low points are the macho posturing on "Beware of Us," and the misogynistic "Crazy Ho."
The production is excellent throughout, creating a sense of consistency despite wildly varied musical styles and lyrical themes. It's strong and sometimes nasty stuff, but the thoughtful content, performances, and poetry make this album impossible to write off completely for adults (although it's not recommended at all for kids).