Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Album Review

Plenty of rappers never make it to 38, victims of career-halting irrelevance … or even life-ending violence. Nas is an exception, a literal and metaphorical survivor in a fickle genre.

Nas burst onto the scene in 1994 with Illmatic, a collection of raps that purists hail as one of the genre's classic efforts. Nine albums and 18 years later, Nas is still spitting out rhymes about growing up in poverty, hustling in the 'hood and taking down rivals, bragging about the fact that he's now one of rap's elite and that he has it all.

In Nas' case, though, having it all is a mixed bag. As he inches toward middle age, Nas' songs praise marijuana and nonstop sexual conquests one minute and voice regrets about his failed marriage and struggle to raise a teenage daughter the next. The result is an odd mash-up of real-world reflection and clichéd rap braggadocio.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

"No Introduction" admits Nas' failings in his marriage: "The tales you hear is the truth, on me/Who wasn't the most faithful husband." "Bye Baby" recalls the happy day Nas and singer Kelis walked down the aisle ("When we walked to the alter, that was an awesome day"), ponders where things went bad ("Why do we mess it up, we was friends, we had it all") and is thankful for a beautiful baby boy who came of the couple's union ("Plus we got our little boy, my little pride and joy").

"Daughters" reveals Nas' fears about raising a teenage girl. He doesn't want to see her with an incarcerated thug ("I saw my daughter send a letter to some boy her age/Who locked up/First I regretted it, then caught my rage, like/How could I not protect her from this awful phase?"). He also says he almost "split his wig" when he found out that his daughter had posted an inappropriate picture online: "Her mother cried when she answered/Said she don't know what got inside this child's mind, she planted/A box of condoms on her dresser, she Instagrammed it." Nas' response? "At this point I realized I ain't the strictest parent/I'm too loose, I'm too cool with her/Shoulda drove on time to school with her." Indeed. It's compelling stuff to hear Nas grappling with how he should parent his daughter, to hear him admit, "It ain't easy to raise a girl as a single man," and voice the (hyperbolic) sentiments of overprotective fathers everywhere: "When she date, we wait behind the door with the sawed-off/'Cause we think no one is good enough for our daughters."

"Accident Murderers" laments the death of an innocent victim in an urban shoot-out. "You Wouldn't Understand" praises determination. "Stay" salutes hard-working fathers who provide for their families and warns them against the temptation of seductive home wreckers ("Watch out for desperate, lonely women, hurt ya happy home").

"The Don" claims Nas doesn't abuse prescription drugs. "World's an Addiction" critiques obsessions with sex, drugs and material things, ending with the admission that Nas struggles with all of the above: "So many vices, habits, mine, of course, bad chicks." He also says, "We all need faith 'cause the world keep changing." Speaking of faith, Nas mentions clinging to Jesus during a séance he attended as a boy: "Watch the con … channel his mom's spirit/Goosebumps cover me, Mother's here, I could feel her/Blood of Christ covers me, our Savior and healer."

Guest Mary J. Blige voices romantic thoughts on "Reach Out." "Cherry Wine" features a collaboration with the late Amy Winehouse as both long for an unconditional soul mate.

Objectionable Content

"No Introduction" recalls falling into a life of drug dealing and crime as a teen ("How could I not succumb?/How could I not partake?/15, got a gun, 16, I robbed a train"), and brags of being a playboy multimillionaire today ("Yeah, worth $200 million now, bicentennial n-gga, flat screens and condominiums/Brazilian women on Xanies, they pullin' off panties/I'm pushing 40, she only 21"). "Loco-Motive" describes the "good life" as a combination of nonstop drug abuse, unlimited bling and unapologetic adultery: "My religion is reefer/ … Blunt big as a dread/ … F‑‑‑ your ice, I rock rubies, amethyst/I f‑‑‑ your wife, 'cause she a groupie, scandalous/This for my bad 'hood b‑‑ches, ghetto fabulous."

Affectionate references to marijuana, often combined with brand-specific shout-outs to alcohol, pop up on "A Queen's Story," "Accident Murderers," "Daughters," "Reach Out," "World's an Addiction" and "Summer on Smash," as do repeated, sometimes graphic references to casual sex. In "Summer on Smash," for instance, Nas brags about having sex with women of many different ethnicities.

Violent moments include recollections of Nas' checkered youth and, it would seem, up-to-the-minute threats against anyone who crosses him. On "A Queen's Story," he quips, "I'm to blame for a few faces reconstructed." We also hear this line: "N-ggas is very hungry for that bank robbery." "World's an Addiction" claims, "I'm never squeamish to blood, we can thug, and get out of hand/What's the options?/Only conclusions is shooting, bullets poppin'." "You Wouldn't Understand" toasts "my real n-ggas, only OGs/Certified who kill n-ggas when put in that seat." And on "Accident Murders," Nas raps, "This .45 in control, God forgives and I don't."

F- and s-words, "n-gga" and "b‑‑ch" can be heard throughout.

Summary Advisory

"Conservatives don't understand slang linguistics," Nas says on "Reach Out." And on "You Wouldn't Understand," he adds, "You wouldn't understand where I been and what I do/No matter how you try, you never can."

It's true that I didn't grow up impoverished in Brooklyn, moving from the projects to hustling to becoming a rap icon. I can't relate to any of that. But when Nas talks about the midlife struggles of parenting, I get that completely. And I appreciate it too.

As for the claim that "slang linguistics" are indecipherable to anyone who didn't grow up in the 'hood, well, it doesn't matter who you are or what brand of English you grew up with, it doesn't take long to understand the gist of Nas' frequent references to puffing on massive blunts, casual sex and waving pistols around. Those lyrics are hardly inscrutable. No, they're the same old obvious vices rap has glorified almost since its inception.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!