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"Young Forever" (CD single)
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 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.
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?