Kid-Friendly Rap + Hip Hop. Yes. You Read That Correctly.

I think there’s a misconception that once you have kids you have to listen to lame kid music. Though all bets are off once they reach the tween years, for the most part kids will develop a taste for the music they are presented with. Because of this we don’t play very much “kid music” around here. That’s not to say we don’t listen to plenty of songs they appreciate more than I do (I’m looking at you Trolls Soundtrack and KIDZ BOP), but I try my best to gently guide them toward things we can all appreciate.

See EXHIBIT A: Fern Winter’s Favorites

Yes, you will find Moana and Katy Perry on her favorites list, but you’ll also find Etta James, Cake and Dolly Parton. I can tolerate listening to “Roar” for the 8,000th time if it means “Short Skirt and a Long Jacket” is up next in the queue.

BUT…there is one genre that we love that gets a bit tricky to listen to when there are little ears around. Rap and hip hop. It is Craig’s genre of choice and while he listens to a lot of really great, often socially conscious tunes, a great many of them are explicit – in both language and theme.

The other day I posted a video on my Instagram Story of Fern twirling around to “Fake Love” by Drake (which I was surprised to realize was really clean!) and someone messaged me asking if I’d put together a list of kid-friendly rap and hip hop. So here it is…rap you can actually listen to without making your kids wear ear muffs.

Also as a little bit of a disclaimer, I am not promising that these songs are completely squeaky clean. It is obviously up to you to decide what you find appropriate for your own kids, so you should give anything a pre-listen if you’re concerned. I will say that I did look up and skim the lyrics to be doubly sure these were appropriate. The content is not sexual or suggestive (because no one wants their 5-year-old singing about hooking up with a guy from the club) and a good bit of it is socially conscious. There is little to no swearing. In a few instances I chose edited versions because there was a word or two I didn’t care to have my kids hear (Drake’s “Fake Love” is one example…only one word is edited), so just know that if you make your own playlist elsewhere, some of the songs may not be 100% profanity-free. The few occasions where there is swearing, it is mild and I was willing to overlook it because I really liked the song’s message (“Forrest Whitaker” by Brother Ali is one such song and is one my kids request). Phew! OK. I think that covers everything.

Happy kitchen dancing with your kiddos!




  1. I am a high school English teacher. Students always request hip hop or R&B during work time and I’m always hesitant because I always feel like I don’t really know enough school appropriate songs. Not only are these songs clean and socially conscious, but like a lot of hip hop, the lyrics are artful and filled with rich language usage. Thank you! I don’t have the time or energy to make my students a clean hip hop playlist, but now I don’t have to. This is perfect!

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