Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Smart Beats Volume One: Educational Hip Hop Songs for Kids

Smart Beats Volume One: Educational Hip Hop Songs for Kids

Spring 2007 Music
Ages: 5 - 11 yrs.
Producer: Bingo Records
CD Price: $11.99
Review:
Using Rap and Hip Hop influenced beats and rhyming patterns songwriter/lyricist Joshua Nadel has not only made an educational, kid appropriate album, but may have helped to elevate the musical form in and of it's self. Joined by some very good voices and musicians who actually play instruments (rather than sampling snippets from other songs) they mix Rap and Hip Hop with bits of soul, reggae, R&B and even African percussion. At the center, of course, are the entertaining and intelligent lyrics. “Family Tree” encourages children to explore their cultural background and heritage and to ask their parents and grandparents questions about where they “come from.” “Rap-a-Saurus” is a delightful (and very musically memorable) tune identifying and explaining about various dinosaurs, while “Don't Throw it Away” is a dynamite recycling song, and “Shopping for my Honey” gives some good, basic nutritional and food shopping advice. “World” is a lovely and gentle song that encourages children to appreciate our planet, and reminds one of the wonder of just being alive at all. As a children's music CD this is a refreshing reminder of how effective intelligent songwriting and professionally made music can be. As a Hip Hop/Rap album this is a breath of fresh air. Recommended for kids and especially for parents, who like me, may have dismissed rap entirely—and too soon.
Lahri Bond   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.


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