Cool Christmas Gifts for 10-year-olds
November 16, 2004 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Christmas is coming up and I want to be a cool parent to my 10 year old. She wants to listen to, what I can best describe, hip-hop. Not really rap, but stuff that has a beat (she liked Black Eyed Peas "let's get it started in here"). Her current problem is I am uncool. I didn't let her watch Mean Girls—all the other kids got to. I don't let her listen to the local "cool" radio station—mainly because of the language and DJs. So any suggestions on what could keep a kid cool but let me feel like she's getting music of some quality? I don't have to like the music, but I don't want anything with questionable lyrics. Answers that accuse me of censorship will be ignored. When she wants to save her own money up and buy a CD she can, but I'm buying these.
posted by nramsey to Shopping (52 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wal-Mart only sells "censored" versions of pop CDs. It may be worth buying only from them for a while.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:56 PM on November 16, 2004

She might like Fugees, and OutKast (Hey Ya), and Morcheeba. (all clean)
posted by amberglow at 3:03 PM on November 16, 2004

Tough situation. I'm a strong opponent of treating children like children until a magic day when they're An Adult(tm) (hence my involvement with Peacefire), but what you're looking to do is altogether reasonable and, I dare say, responsible. She is, after all, only 10, and you're understandably looking to ease her into the world.

Does she have any relatives that she regards as hip? An uncle or older cousin? You might be able to get her something like Jurassic 5, De La Soul or Blue Back & Asheru, none of which her friends are likely to be familiar with, but all of which are truly excellent hip-hop. If she just gets something like that out of the blue, she may not understand it. But if she has somebody to explain to her why it's really very cool, then she'll not only have music that you both approve of, but she'll develop great taste. :)
posted by waldo at 3:07 PM on November 16, 2004

It should be noted that when amberglow says "OutKast (Hey Ya)," that's probably one of the few OutKast songs you'd want your daughter to listen to.
posted by punishinglemur at 3:15 PM on November 16, 2004

morcheeba, definitely. and i'd suggest supreme beings of leisure. it's more trip-hop than hip-hop and i don't know if the kids would think they were hip, but it's got a beat and as far as i can recall, i've never had to hit the "oops next track" button with the kid in the car. it's an old album, but luscious jackson's fever in fever out has a definite groove and although you might consider "naked eye" a little risque, we didn't.

you might pick up the pink panther's penthouse party disc. it's various artists, some in that genre (as well as a couple verve remixes) and it's clean as a whistle.

i've found this hard to do, myself, without buying the desired record first and listening to it before approving it for the playlist.
posted by crush-onastick at 3:17 PM on November 16, 2004

I'd second the Jurassic 5 recommendation. They're really excellent (although of course you'd have to be sure to get the clean versions), and generally upbeat (one exception being the track "One of Them" off "Power in Numbers").
posted by neckro23 at 3:19 PM on November 16, 2004

I am not a 10 year old girl. Sometimes I like to dress up as one but that's for another thread. What I would recommend, as I think I have before: The Roots as far as I know do not have questionable lyrics. It's no Dr. Dre's Chronic or any of Snoop Dogg's albums... right now I'm listening to "Do You Want More?!?!?" and everything is generally very clean. I can't pick out anything foul, except for one instance of "shit" being used. You may want to do a lyric search to make sure, as I sometimes miss bad references unless they're overt (as I'm sure a 10 year old girl would). I think the worst you're going to hear with The Roots is the occasional cuss word.

Actually I'm going through my collection, Jurrasic 5 might be your next best bet -- if not better then The Roots. The Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty doesn't have anything bad on it at all if my recollection is perfect. Their latest album is too political and one song is even titled "Hey Fuck You", but Hello Nasty was when they tried to be all Buddhist so it's more, uh harmonious with nature.

Of course all this jazzy, heavy mellow hip-hop -- don't blame me if she's begging you for $100 because "some good chronic is coming in."
posted by geoff. at 3:20 PM on November 16, 2004

I like waldo's approach.

On the general topic of appropriate things for children, I always love following For Better or For Worse -- the series that starts here and continuing here points out how parental ideas of appropriateness are often not a bad thing if they're enforced with good reason As funny as it sounds, my upbringing closely paralelled the upbringing that Lynn Johnson gave her charachters ... and my sister and I turned out OK. ;)

I wasn't allowed to listen to Michael Jackson and other popular stuff at home until I was old enough to understand what I was listening to. It might be worth talking to your daughter, nramsey, about what the lyrics to the songs of the CDs she wants actually mean...

I can't reccomend any hiphop because I loathe what I've heard of the genere, but I can speak in general terms -- and I think that parents have a responsibility to bring their kids up in an environment that has a variety of music.
posted by SpecialK at 3:23 PM on November 16, 2004

I recommend the Greasy Kid Stuff records. Cool indie-rock hipsters writing for families. Very nice stuff.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:23 PM on November 16, 2004

I concure with the above: what worked for my young sister is to introduce her to really good pop music. My parents don't have to worry about having hard-core rap or Britney in the house - and she's gotten her friends hooked on the Shins.
posted by kickingtheground at 3:23 PM on November 16, 2004

This might be the toughest music related question yet.

Censored cd's only censor the "swear words", and will leave the content intact.

Secondly, I am not familiar to the content of the lyrics to every song on every album to know if it would be something you approve of or not.

Third, by its very elemental definition, most hip hop is very much for what you are trying to shield her from, and thus for you this might be a no win situation.

My first guess for a 10 year old girl who likes music in a similar vein as the Black Eyed Peas would be to get her one of the NOW! compilation (I believe they are up to #17 now), which feature clean versions of poppy hip hop stuff.

Other than that, the pre-teen pop of Jo-Jo or Hillary Duff would do you well.

However, if you truly want to be cool (in her eyes), buy her the new Gwen Stefani album when it comes out next tuesday. I have heard the lead single, and it is simply fantastic. Though I don't listen to her band (No Doubt), most of her songs that I have heard tend to be about things like female empowerment and having fun.

Other than that, Waldo's suggestion is a good one; Jurassic 5, De La Soul definitely.

That being said, I have a six year old son, and I disagree totally in not letting him hear certain music. He has been a Ramones fan since he was old enough to sing, loves the Beastie Boys, and listens to the Beatles and Brian Wilson's Smile every day. When he likes something, I expose it to him, and explain the content, and what to do when he hears a swear word in a song. He knows that it is not acceptable to say certain words, but that those words are always going to be around.

Admittedly, this approach is a direct result of having to hide my copy of "Appetite for Destruction" under my mattress as a kid, and being told I wasn't aloud to listen to certain things (like Rap). Needless to say, the things I was told I wasn't aloud to hear were the first things I tried to hear.
posted by Quartermass at 3:31 PM on November 16, 2004

[S]he liked Black Eyed Peas "let's get it started in here" ... I don't want anything with questionable lyrics

Just a note that it's actually Let's Get Retarded. No, really. The NBA and everyone else plays the family friendly Let's Get it Started.

I'd put a vote in for if it's socially conscious and it's got a couple f-bombs here and there it's probably better than the toned down misogynistic rhymes available in the clean versions of most albums. She's hearing it on the playground already, why not let the words use their power for good?

Just because they can play Ludacris' Stand Up ("The more drinks in your system the harder to fight!") on the radio doesn't make it any more palatable than NWA's "Fuck Da Police".

I'd encourage anything by Jurassic 5, Common, The Fugees, Mos Def, Talib Kweli's older stuff, The Roots, most anything off of Quannum, and Lauryn Hill's Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as starting points. For older stuff Digable Planets, De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys (I remember buying a bootleg copy of Licensed to Ill on casette at the age of 10 out of the back of some dude's car at the Escondido Swap Meet...).

Independently owned record stores that are still in business should have someone on staff that's understanding of your point of view, who will have more recommendations, and who will let you preview the CDs beforehand.

On preview, I love crush-onastick's suggestions, and I could probably go on forever...
posted by togdon at 3:32 PM on November 16, 2004

Crash, supporting censorship at WalMart is condoning censorship. Besides, WalMart sucks.

Censorship as it relates to kids is a necessity of living. If you don't keep some controls over their stimuli then you really can't complain when they burn the house down because they saw the guys on Jackass doing it.

I think SpecialK's on the right track though, discuss what the lyrics are and what they mean. I can still remember the shock of some ad for "kid's tunes" that included 8 year old girls grinding to Britney's "Baby One More Time". Shocked and a little disgusted.

Any music I'd recommend is too old or just not very cool anymore or a little too adult.
posted by fenriq at 3:33 PM on November 16, 2004

Agreed with the 'good pop music' suggestion. As an aside, "Mean Girls" is awesome! And not really objectionable in any way that I know of.

Anyway, my suggestion is to check out MC Solaar and his awesome album Prose Combat, which has no English swear words because it's all in French and soooo cool. I am not kidding, it is awesome.
posted by josh at 3:38 PM on November 16, 2004

"Crash, supporting censorship at WalMart is condoning censorship. Besides, WalMart sucks."

And neither of those points addresses the question.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:39 PM on November 16, 2004

any suggestions on what could keep a kid cool

Your daughter does not decide what cool is, her peers do. I don't think she likes the music because of the naughty lyrics or the beat - she likes it because her friends like it.

As people above mentioned, WalMart sells bleeped versions of hip-hop and rap. But these are probably the same versions that your kid would hear on the radio, which you've already banned.
posted by falconred at 3:44 PM on November 16, 2004

Ok, we're going to make you really hip. Probably even more hip than your daughter or any of her friends. Go for clean versions of anything by Jurassic 5 , Lyrics Born, or anything else on Quannum. Stuff by Dan The Automator would be good too (he doesn't release stuff under his own name though much...) Gorillaz and Handsome Boy Modeling School would be good places to start.

The The Coup too would make a good option, however I think you'd need to make sure and look for a clean version with them. It isn't that they're particularly dirty or anything like that, I just remember a little swearing...

Oh yeah, and I think Cibo Matto would be a good choice. Nothing new form them out in a while but they're really good. Clean too, nothing to worry about with them.

Now, you'll either need to buy these online or from a locally-owned stores. At this point, you're too hip for Walmart or any CD store in a mall.

Good luck.

posted by pwb503 at 3:51 PM on November 16, 2004

Response by poster: Lots of good suggestions. A lot of older music, which I thought about because I knew it/listened to it, and that is good. I'm just trying to give her something so that she can get through the "my friends do this" stage without me sacrificing being a parent.
posted by nramsey at 4:00 PM on November 16, 2004

"OutKast (Hey Ya)," that's probably one of the few OutKast songs you'd want your daughter to listen to.

Only because the lyrics are somewhat hard to understand.

"Heeyyy... Yaaaaaaa.. (OHH OH, don't want to meet yo' mama OHH OH)
Heeyy Yaaaaaaaa.. (Just wan't to make you cumma OHH OH)"

You might also want to cheat and get her some good hip-hop in a language that isn't English [like Ozomatli or MC Solaar] though I think one Ozomatli song that is in English has the S-word, it's mostly clean, political but clean.
posted by jessamyn at 4:03 PM on November 16, 2004

Blackalicious' latest (?) album "Blazing Arrow" is super rocking and the most positive album I've heard in any genre in years. It has lots of different styles, some amazingly thoughtful lyrics, guests like Ben Harper and Gil Scott Heron. And did I mention the positivity? There may a bad word here or there, but certainly less than most rap and it's not at all gratuitous. I don't actually remember any, but that's probably wrong.

Also really good is Lyrics Born's solo album. I think he does swear a teensy bit, but the lyrics are even more thoughtful and thought-provoking.

And both these drop the fresh beats the kids these days seem to like so much.
posted by freebird at 4:05 PM on November 16, 2004

To add to pwb's post, the "Wear Clean Draws" track on The Coup's "Party Music" cd is a song Boots Riley wrote for his daughter...

...nope, never mind, just checked the lyrics, he says "shit". Plus, all the talk about violent revolution probably isn't what you want to play for your daughter.

No, what you need to do is go to Theta States (see prev mefi thread), and download clean mixtapes onto your daughter's iPod.
posted by rajbot at 4:21 PM on November 16, 2004

The Roots as far as I know do not have questionable lyrics.

They definitely do. The Roots Come Alive is one of my favorite albums and the track with Common isn't 10 year-old material. The Coup is another great rap group for bumping lyrics, but you have to be kidding. Are people listening to the lyrics at all? MC Paul Barman has bumping beats and is wicked smot, but I wouldn't recommend him either. DeLa Soul is about as close as I can get off the top of my head to "safe" rap, but even then it's not 100% ("I need a chick with big potatoes to mash").

I don't know what to say here; I'm not a parent. I started listening to rap in 3rd grade and it didn't warp me, but you're going to be hard-pressed to find good artists with clean lyrics. I can think of artists that don't talk about sex or don't swear a whole lot, but I can't think of one that falls in both categories.

Deltron 3030 is a sci-fi concept album. No sex, but I'm sure the lyrics are questionable. Fannypack's first (only?) album might actually come close to what you're looking for: it's incredible musically and it's made by 3 young girls, but there some suggestiveness to the lyrics. Ugly Duckling is probably the best match: terrific music and pretty clean (off the top of my head-- they even have a song on Taste the Secret called "Potty Mouth").

Reflecting on it, I think crash has the right idea: Walmart's distasteful (to me) business practice would give you a nice bit of insurance in what you buy. Then again, it will limit your selection terribly. You might also investigate stuff that's not quite rap, artists like Fannypack, Underworld, Groove Armada, Morcheeba, Massive Attack, who use rap and bassy beats but aren't filed under Rap in the music store.

This is a heck of a question. If we were talking about 13-14, I'd say get stuff like Common and Soul Position and The Coup and talk to them about the lyrics. But 10 seems a little young to have a lasting talk about the topics that would come up.
posted by yerfatma at 5:00 PM on November 16, 2004

Since you say "She wants to listen to, what I can best describe, hip-hop. Not really rap, but stuff that has a beat (she liked Black Eyed Peas "let's get it started in here"). Her current problem is I am uncool." I'm going to assume you dont mean rap at all but that she would enjoy trip-hop which is a bit moodier but has a beat and usually has little to no lyrics to be concerned about.

crush-onastick's recommendations above would fall into this category.

If so, check out this thread.
posted by vacapinta at 5:06 PM on November 16, 2004


I'll even second the Blackalicious recommendation. As was said before, there's the occasional four-letter word but it's free of odes to mayhem. J5 are excellent along those lines, too.
posted by jonmc at 5:07 PM on November 16, 2004

I'll third Blackalicious.
posted by kahboom at 5:11 PM on November 16, 2004

Ten year olds that listen to hip-hop aren't looking for Jurassic 5 and Mos Def. They want the popular singles, and they want them now. Until she grows out of it, get her some NOW! compilations. They'll make her feel cool.
posted by waxpancake at 5:19 PM on November 16, 2004

Your daughter does not decide what cool is, her peers do. I don't think she likes the music because of the naughty lyrics or the beat - she likes it because her friends like it.

But if he could make her the tastemaker in her peer group, that would be a coup.

(I have absolutely no suggestions.)
posted by kenko at 5:24 PM on November 16, 2004

She might like Fugees, and OutKast (Hey Ya), and Morcheeba. (all clean)

i love the fugees and all, but i'm not sure they're so clean.

"And even after all my logic and my theory,
I add a muthafuckker so you ignint niggas hear me."

it's an awesome lyric, but, well, she says "muthafucker" even if it is in an ironic genre-critiquing way.

the coup also drops "motherfucker" acapella in the chorus to their song repoman (and really, they're pretty liberal with the f-bomb in general) so they're probably out as well.

I'd recommend k-os.
posted by juv3nal at 5:28 PM on November 16, 2004

Isn't there any kiddie hip-hop a la Kriss kross around anymore? That was a good alternative back in the 90's. My kid sister loved it and my mom wasn't offended by the lyrics. If theres nothing like that, I'm surprised some enterprising entrepreneur hasn't filled the niche.
posted by jonmc at 5:34 PM on November 16, 2004

freebird - good call on Blackalicious, and that is their newest album, although Gift of Gab (the rapping half, Chief Xcel being the DJ) recently released a solo album which is really good. Listening to it again now to check for kid-safeness (pretty sure it's good), will post back in an hour.

Lyrics Born, while no Ludacris or Ice Cube, isn't quite kid safe, especially for a ten year old. Check track 12, "Pack Up" if you disagree. He generally does have positive messages, conscious lyrics, etc. but a ten year old only hears "your sissy-ass crew afraid to say the fucking F-word," "talk your lady out her bra," etc.

I'd definitely agree with the recommendations for J-5 - grab both of their full length albums, and if you want to be extra hep pick up their EP too. De La Soul should be pretty safe. The Roots, Common, Beasties, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, Fugees/Lauryn Hill/Wyclef and Talib Kweli are all mostly positive, mostly clean rappers/groups, but I would recommend some filtering. Depending on what exactly offends you, their may be some objectionable content in all of these (e.g. occasional uses of the N-word, occasional s- and f-words, occasional [non-sexist/non-degrading] songs about women, sex, love, etc.).

As general practice, I'd recommend getting your kid an mp3 player of some sort (Xmas is coming...), and then controlling what gets put on it. That way you can buy an album, listen to it yourself, give her the 10 clean tracks and leave off the one that would otherwise prevent her from having the album. Your best bet to be cool really has nothing to do with knowing the difference between Outkast and De La, but with allowing your daughter access to as much music/movies/media as possible without allowing her access to the bad stuff. Of course, that requires mucho extra filtering effort on your part, but the more stuff that you clear as safe for her, the happier she will be.

[on preview: waxy's got a pretty good point]
posted by rorycberger at 5:37 PM on November 16, 2004

A bit on the weird side but possibly sonically interesting to sonically playful kids: Soul Coughing. I don't know if the lyrics could be offensive, because most of the time I can't figure them out. The frontman for the former band seems to say they're chosen more for how they sound than what they mean.
posted by weston at 5:41 PM on November 16, 2004

Joyful Rebellion, by K-Os.

"...he not only creates one of the more enjoyable hip-hop albums of the year, but one of the best albums of the year in any genre."

Actually, all of you should buy this album!
posted by krunk at 5:57 PM on November 16, 2004

Why not get her some old stuff, old enough to be retro and old skool and thus cool once again? How about DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince? "He's the DJ, I'm the rapper" is a seriously fun album, and pretty clean too if I remember fourth grade correctly. (You know you all want to sing along to "Parents Just Don't Understand".)

Or how about the Sugarhill Gang?

Why not put together a mix CD, from iTunes or something, of the best of the old(er) clean(er) stuff?
posted by Asparagirl at 6:06 PM on November 16, 2004

I want to be a cool parent to my 10 year old.

And that's how a whole culture went down the tube...
/derail at the tailend, so as not to have much effect.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:09 PM on November 16, 2004

I don't know how well she'll appreciate all these retro choices I've seen here, but if you're looking for a few current, popular artists she probably already listens to at friiends' houses: JoJo is 13, sings age-appropriate lyrics, and has been topping the Pop/Hiphop-lite charts lately. BowWow (who incidentally accompanies JoJo on "Baby It's You") keeps it age-appropriate as well.
posted by 4easypayments at 6:15 PM on November 16, 2004

Gift of Gab's "Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up" gets my seal of kidfriendly approval, with the exception of the Bonus Track, "Just Because" which features lots of shit's and (at least) one fuck. The rest of the album is squeaky clean, and damn good stuff.

K-os is great, and pretty safe, but I seriously doubt any 10 year old will like it.

Again, I think your best bet is to be a filter/screener/censor rather than a picker of music. Find out what she wants, and then give her the stuff that you approve of.
posted by rorycberger at 6:33 PM on November 16, 2004

If I were 10 years old, I'd probably be spinning the first Tom Tom Club record incessantly. I"m just saying...
posted by .kobayashi. at 6:51 PM on November 16, 2004

What waxpancake said. There are really two issues here. Your daughter wants to listen to the music that all her friends listen to and talk about all the time and she wants to hear some music of a specific genre. I dealt with a similar situation recently.

Blackalicious and J5 are great but only a few songs will resonate much with a 10 year-old. I would suggest checking out Ashanti, and Usher who are both as wholesome as it gets for this era. Tweens tend to identify more with younger performers that can dance.

Your other option is to go with one of the NOW compilations which have a mix of genres and a give her the chance to hear a variety of new music that her friends probably are familiar with. But those you will want to screen first because some may have one or two suggestive songs with age-inappropriate themes.
posted by euphorb at 7:35 PM on November 16, 2004

I'll 5th Blackalicious. Listening to A2G EP right now. It's superb, as is Nia. Haven't heard any others yet, though.

And, if no one's mentioned it yet, DJ Shadow's Endtroducing... CD is fantastic and I don't think anything objectionable is on it as it's all samples from old records.

I'll also second Soul Coughing, but it ain't hip hop, though it's got some fantastic rhymes. Ruby Vroom is their best and you'll probably dig it yourself, too. (Though don't let her see you singing along.)
posted by dobbs at 7:36 PM on November 16, 2004

Another recommendation for K-OS. I'm not much into R & B, but this album is just terrific by any standard. Check it out, if not for your daughter, then for yourself.
posted by Evstar at 9:09 PM on November 16, 2004

I second Deltron 3030. It's PG and delightfully imaginative.
posted by inksyndicate at 9:25 PM on November 16, 2004

Deltron 3030? Blackalicious? Mos Def? The Roots ? DJ Shadow? For a 10 YEAR OLD GIRL?

Did i enter bizzarroFilter today or what?

Ugly Duckling is the most friendly, fun, and contemporary pick of the above bunch - but it's not the hip-pop you are looking for (unless my empathy ability for tweens is totally kaput).
posted by elphTeq at 10:28 PM on November 16, 2004

I run into this a lot at my job, and i usually throw out some of the up-and-coming Christian hip-hop, since it tends to have a positive message and most of it is pretty good. As much as I absolutely adore my upbeat wonderful summer day of an album that is Blackalicious' Blazin' Arrow, it still drops a few questionable moments if you're looking to stay *totally* clean. Pigeon John is supposed to be good, and we still shelve him in rap/hip-hop instead of Christian Contemporary(bleeaaggh). Also, Grits has been one of the top sellers at our store ever since we threw 'em up on a listening post at a staff member's request. They've got a two album Outkast thing going on, and they just released the second half. And Ugly Duckling.

Unfortunately, i find most of the parents who are asking are dragging their 8 year old by the shoulder as he clutches at Eminem and they tend to coat their question in a sugary sweetness that ensures that their rebel-in-the-making never gives a second glance at whatever i suggest. If only we could exchange a wink and a nod, and they (the parentals) would wander off into the nether realms while I guide the fruit of their loins to the appropriate album. Then i'd be sure to throw in Blazin' Arrow since it's got enough of an edge that the kid would think he's getting away with something (A wee bit of the sexual innuendo sprinkled here and there, a nod to the green stuff, but otherwise good.).
posted by redsparkler at 12:58 AM on November 17, 2004


Yeah, I agree that most of the stuff here is good by adult standards and not all that kid-friendly. I offered Deltron because of the subject matter (whereas I don't think delthafunkeehomosapien would work). No way on DJ Shadow-- that's not something a pre-teen is going to dig. Also, while I love Soul Coughing (and Mike Doughty's solo stuff even more), Ruby Vroom has "Screenwriter's Blues" on it, which probably isn't for a 10 year-old either.
posted by yerfatma at 4:25 AM on November 17, 2004

nramsey, I really have to agree that your best bet is to listen to the music before you buy it, make up your own mind and, if necessary, buy individual songs. Though this next tip won't help you out much the au courantest stuff, you could always try to get the CDs from the library to give them a parental listen before committing cash to buying them for your daughter.

Again, I say make her a mix CD. Here's the start of a playlist of post-2000 music that could be built into an appropriate for 10-yr-olds album, which features nothing racier than the fact that some of these are love songs:

Lumidee, Never Leave You (Uh Ohh) (available via iTunes)
Nelly, Over and Over Again (feat. Tim McGraw) (iTunes)
Aesop Rock, No Regrets

Hm, this is tough. I'll keep thinking.
posted by blueshammer at 4:56 AM on November 17, 2004

Usher's latest hit was about his dilemma over his on-the-side girlfriend's unplanned pregnancy and what to do and the rap put into the center of the remix version suggested hitting her in the stomach so that she'd miscarry. The first hit from his latest album was about going home with his girlfriend's best friend after she did a little bumping and grinding on him at the nightclub. There's nothing kid-safe (for a 10 year old) about Usher.

nramsey, in your position (and I am) I'd say go for the Wow compilations. Seriously. Or if there are artists that your daughter can name as interesting to her, borrow their discs from the library and give them a listen and make a decision from that.
posted by Dreama at 7:31 AM on November 17, 2004

I've also got a kid...and having children means controlling what they put into their bodies, in multiple ways.

Having said that, I think you've raised the bar a little high if you won't let her see "Mean Girls".

Good Luck!
posted by taumeson at 10:25 AM on November 17, 2004

I think that all kids want is to feel like they do have limitations and parents who love them enough to do something about it. the content hardly even matters, in my opinion. it's not oppressive to not allow your kids access to something. the fact that their peers are into it doesn't make it a cultural necessity.
posted by glenwood at 1:40 PM on November 17, 2004

and of course just now i didn't answer the question. my opinion is that your daughter may be better off being not-cool. if you can leverage the whole thing in a way where she doesn't resent you the rest of your life. I make mix cds for my 6 year old all the time. i expose him to stuff that i'm ok with him listening to in the car and then he picks stuff he likes and i burn him cds. i'm kind of a music nerd though, and already own most of the stuff that's been mentioned in this thread. de la soul are amazing, as is mos def, jurassic park, aceyalone has tons of clean stuff. but you're going to have to pick and choose songs from each cd. it's uncommon nowadays for a rap cd to not contain any f-bombs.

fugees is another excellent choice. especially for a black eyed peas fan, methinks.

of course, my son is only 6. i'm not dealing with peer pressure yet and i'm sure that's a whole nuther ballgame.
posted by glenwood at 1:47 PM on November 17, 2004

Usher's latest hit was about his dilemma over his on-the-side girlfriend's unplanned pregnancy and what to do and the rap put into the center of the remix version suggested hitting her in the stomach so that she'd miscarry. The first hit from his latest album was about going home with his girlfriend's best friend after she did a little bumping and grinding on him at the nightclub. There's nothing kid-safe (for a 10 year old) about Usher.

Dreama, I don't think you're familiar with what a remix is. Joe Budden remixed the song but Usher had nothing to do with it. And I honestly have no idea what other song you are referring to here. Are you sure you know who sang it?
posted by euphorb at 2:32 PM on November 17, 2004

Okay, I just listened to Deltron 3030 again (aaaah!) and if you don't like the F word or the N word, stear clear. Secretly, though, buy the album for yourself.
posted by kahboom at 7:56 PM on November 17, 2004

I mentioned this thread to my wife (1st grade teacher) and she reminded me that Mase's new album is squeaky clean (and pretty good too). She also mentioned Fresh Prince/Will Smith and the NOW! music things as popular with the kids (even at 6-7) without raising the ire of the parents.

I realize after reading this thread over a few times that my future kids are totally doomed by my taste in music.
posted by togdon at 7:27 AM on November 18, 2004

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