A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this satire of the "You Only Live Once" attitude of Millennials is harmless and goofy, at once offering sound advice and mocking precaution. The jokes are funny, the message is positive, and the whole thing is so ridiculous and over the top that even older tweens can appreciate the humor. There's no iffy language or violence, and a reference to a "triple-locked chastity belt" is as racy as it gets.
- Parents say
- Kids say
This is a hilarious song about how to be paranoid. No one will be tempted to take any of this advice seriously.
What's the story?
SNL veterans and comedic rap troupe The Lonely Island (most prominently led by Andy Samberg) get back in the viral video game with this anthemic parody of the "battle cry of a generation," "YOLO" ("You Only Live Once"), instead warning that "You Oughtta Look Out" for a series of dangers from falling pianos to undercooking meat to piranhas in saunas. With the aid of Top 40 giants Adam Levine (of Maroon 5 fame) and Kendrick Lamar, this first single from the forthcoming second album by the group was released alongside an absurd and hilarious music video that quickly caught fire, as many of Samberg's slapstick rap songs have.
Is it any good?
The music on "YOLO" is intentionally cheesy and formulaic, skewering youth-empowerment dance-floor pop in both sound and structure, right down to the overdramatic intro and diva-like note runs of Levine over the chorus. The lyrics are easy to understand and jam-packed with jokes and references that appeal to all ages, while seeming especially poignant to young people trapped in a world and culture that instructs them to be both reckless and safe. Kendrick's verse is easily the silliest part of the song, but it's delivered with such sincerity that the satire is perfectly achieved.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Andy Samberg and his crew have created this parody song for the hip-hop and YouTube generation. What makes the track so clever?
How have The Lonely Island guys changed or stayed true to the formula of the original Saturday Night Live digital shorts -- such as "Lazy Sunday"-- that made them famous?
Why do you think Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar would want to be a part of this collaboration that basically makes fun of the pop music they typically create?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love laughing along to the radio
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.