"Young Forever" (CD single)

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
"Young Forever" (CD single) Music Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
'80s youth anthem gets a hip-hop reinvention; OK for teens.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 13 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

There are mixed messages here. The negatives include encouraging listeners to drink and smoke pot as well as the live fast/die young mentality: "Let us die young or let us live forever."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jay-Z tells listeners anything is possible: "Showed that a n---- from here, with a little ambition, just what we can become here."


"Ass" and "s--t" are used several times, and the n-word appears a pair of times, as well. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Only one line involves drug and alcohol, but it's a direct statement to use both: "So let's just stay in the moment, smoke some weed, drink some wine."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is fairly clean as far as rap singles go, and the message is a relatively positive one. Look for the edited version, which cuts out the four or five inappropriate words, and even younger kids can listen. There's a reference to marijuana and alcohol. The obsession with youth culture and living life like there's no tomorrow may warrant some discussion, but as a whole the single stays positive rather than violent or depressing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byerinw2 October 21, 2014
Adult Written byxX The.Dino. Xx January 15, 2011

FREE BEER! Now I have you attention, this is a good song.

Love it! Coomon Sense Media sucks... so do the reviews. Anyone who rates this OFF, I will find you and kill you with a forklift.
Teen, 14 years old Written byspeyan727 September 11, 2018
Kid, 12 years old December 21, 2010

What's the story?

"Forever Young" is a classic song played at proms and school dances for decades now. And here, with "YOUNG FOREVER," Jay-Z reinvents it with hip-hop beats and modern Brit-pop vocals, courtesy of Mr. Hudson. The song, which interweaves vocals from the original Alphaville song with rap rhymes about leaving a legacy and living for the moment, is the fifth single to come off of Jay-Z's widely popular The Blueprint 3.

Is it any good?

By starting out with a proven hit, Jay-Z had an easy job of making this song into a radio favorite and introducing lines like "Let us die young or let us live forever" to yet another generation of listeners. But unlike numerous covers before, this re-interpretation moves the song into the world of hip-hop with pounding beats and Jay-Z's trademark rhymes. There's nothing particularly inspiring about Jay's raps, ("Fear not die I'll be alive for a million years, bye byes are not for legends, I'm forever young my name shall survive") but the collision of these two genres makes this song stand out from the pack.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the media's obsession with youth. What is the attraction to youth, and why can it be damaging to self-esteem? If you are young, are you supposed to look and act a certain way? What body image issues does this present?

  • Does it seem like kids are being pushed to grow up too soon in the media? Are tweens and teens sometimes placed into adult situations on TV and in movies? What about role models like Miley Cyrus and other teen stars? Do they act and dress like kids or more like adults?

  • Talk about drug and alcohol references in music. Does it confuse you when you hear an artist talk about smoking marijuana one moment but telling kids to say no to drugs the next? Do you think it makes drug use more acceptable when you hear artists singing about it?

Music details

  • Artist: Jay-Z
  • Release date: May 4, 2010
  • Label: ROC Nation
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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