April 14, 2008, Epoch Times
Jurassic beats for tiny feet
Children’s music is one of the fastest growing segments of the music business at a time when the industry overall is in a slump. On April 1, the selection available to the toddler crowd became even more diverse with the release ofBaby Loves Hip Hop Presents The Dino Five.
The company that brought the popular Baby Loves Jazz has this time convened legendary hip-hop producer Prince Paul along with famous MCs Chali Tuna of Jurassic 5, Lady Bug Mecca of Digable Planets, Scratch of The Roots, and Wordsworth of eMC to teach simple life lessons to preschoolers through rap and hip hop music.
The album runs about 40 minutes and features fun-loving tracks framed by a colorful story that will keep the tots interested throughout. Poet Ursula Rucker narrates the tale of The Dino 5—a prehistoric band of friends, each with his or her own qualities. They enter a talent show and learn a thing or two along the way.
For parents interested in exposing their children to the genre of hip hop, this album provides a nice introduction. For those more concerned with the values and lessons instilled in the content, this one may fall short. Overall, there are positive messages about friendship and kindness. The overriding lesson is the ever popular “don’t judge a book by its cover.” On a more subtle level, however, there exist some grammatical errors in the narrative and songs that may not be appropriate for a group in the throes of language development.
A more glaring problem is track 9, That’s Funny.In this song, as a way to break the ice with the newest member of the group, the dinos engage in playful banter in which they one-up each other by mocking different qualities in one another. For example, the lyric “Your tail is so long, in every race your last.” The jokes are not overly offensive and are meant to be in good fun, but they do seem to glorify making fun of others. The target audience is a bit too impressionable for this one.
That said, some of the tracks are very entertaining for kids and adults alike. The Dino Five Theme is great; and track 3, I May Be Big and Scary (But I’m Really Pretty Nice), in which MC T-Rex reveals he’s just a guy who loves his stuffed bunny, is hilarious. Perhaps Baby Loves Hip Hop will appeal most to those parents who just can’t bear to listen to another rendition of The Wheels on The Bus.
To learn more about ‘Baby Loves Hip Hop,’ and the whole Baby Loves Music Series, log on towww.babylovesmusic.com