Saturday, December 29, 2007

Kids Rap Radio, Vols. 1-2

Kids Rap Radio, Vols. 1-2
Kids Rap Radio, the brainchild of Beyoncé's dad, may sound like a concept tailor-made to drive the big folks mad, but it has as much in common with the sometimes-criticized Kidz Bop series as Bow Wow does with Barry Manilow. Yes, the hip-hop hits are scrubbed clean, same as the pop and rock numbers on the better-known series. But no, the originals aren't mangled entirely. Instead of spiraling down the drain with the rinsed-off raunch, the spirit of these songs--from the "dirty south" slinkiness of Chingy's "Right Thur" to the urban 'tude of Busta Rhymes "Touch It"--remains. Case in point is "Lil' Bit," the R-rated 50 Cent original: "At dinnertime I try to get my eat on," spits one of the project's two hyper-talented 8-year-old emcees. "But I can't have dessert till my peas gone." It's cleaned-up. It's clever. And best of all, it has a sense of humor. Any hip-hop-loving parent would do well to get up off that thing and grab themselves a copy. --Tammy La Gorce

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