The Best of Both Worlds
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
A line on the title track offers support to single mothers ("I know it’s rough in the ghetto, but let me walk with you"). "The Streets" opens with Jabez’s prayer (1 Chron. 4:10), however . . .
The petition, "Allow me not to cause pain" rings hollow in light of the boast "Head shots pop ’em when I let the [Uzi] go" ("Green Light") and the gun-waving swagger of "Shake Ya Body" ("I move with the piece . . . Move with the Glock 50, got some Tupac with me/Let’s not test my gangsta"). Street violence is only the beginning of this disc’s problems. The rappers esteem Allah, spout obscenities (f-words abound), and numb the senses with Cristal and marijuana ("Partying hard like we just don’t care"). After calling a woman a b--ch on the Top-40 single "Take You Home with Me a.k.a. Body," a man says, "Gotta know you’re verily respected by me." What? Misogyny is surpassed only by R. Kelly and Jay-Z’s libidos. Graphic sexual slang and play-by-play get far too explicit to catalog here. Let it suffice to say that titles include "Naked" and "P---y." The latter brags about a 7-year-old boy losing his virginity with an 11-year-old girl.
How morally obtuse is our culture? Six months ago, Jay-Z got three years probation for stabbing a record producer. Now he’s topping the charts. His partner sang to open the 2002 Olympics despite chronic accusations of statutory rape. What a pair. This landmark collaboration captures both at their worst.