Hip hop made for kids generally falls into two categories: bad and boring. These can and do overlap. The issue is mainly one of effort and integrity—we think kids’ music should be simple and easy, and so not much work is put into it. Hip hop with a younger audience in mind is also often an afterthought, a market worth enough to have a product, but not worth having a good product. Children deserve much better, and fortunately, there is better out there: a hip hop group called ‘The Dino 5’.
The Dino 5 are A-list emcees and producers from familiar and reputable circles, with De La Soul, Jurassic 5, Digable Planets and the Roots represented: Prince Paul, Chali 2na, Wordsworth, Lady Bug Mecca and Scratch, play out a story of acceptance on the playground, with segues narrated by poet Ursula Rucker. It’s targeted at younger kids, four to seven-years old, but adults will enjoy it, too, because it’s actually good.
E.B. White wrote that ‘anyone who writes down to children is wasting his time. You have to write up, not down.' The same applies to music, and the Dino 5 have set a standard for children’s hip hop.