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17 rap songs appropriate for kids

Katie McKay-Phillips is a freelance writer and the creator of Ruffled Feathers, an online wedding and event style brand. She lives in Chicago with her husband, son and two English bulldogs. Katie is a Highland Games competitor and streng...

A complete rap and hip-hop playlist that is totally toddler- and teen-friendly

Can you really let your toddler listen to rap without looking like a terrible parent? Thankfully the answer is yes — if you take a few minutes to vet the lyrics first. Not all rap songs are about sex and violence. In fact, some songs have some pretty positive messages if you listen closely enough. And at this point, almost anything beats the mind-numbing madness that is listening to the Frozen soundtrack on repeat.

So we set out on a quest to find a playlist’s worth of new and old hip-hop and rap so clean you can listen to it with your kids. These aren't radio-censored versions but classics and current jams squeaky enough that they won’t leave you red-faced with embarrassment when your kid repeats the lyrics.

A few of these are arguably some of the best rap and hip-hop songs ever created, but some are simply more recent hits you might’ve forgotten about, resurrected to save your car pool drive. Don't let some of these videos fool you — the songs are kid-friendly.

1. Gym Class Heroes — "Stereo Hearts" featuring Adam Levine

Clean, cute and Adam Levine... the trifecta.

2. Rihanna — "We Found Love" featuring Calvin Harris

Two words: Dance party. Probably the cleanest song ever from one of the baddest divas around, and while the video is not really kid safe, the song definitely is.

More: Drake and Rihanna's on-again relationship status is all but confirmed

3. Flo Rida — "Good Feeling"

The title of this song really should just be #goals.

4. Arrested Development — "Tennessee"

Give it two or three plays and your kids will be singing every word to this awesome throwback. Why is that awesome? Because there will be nothing better for your temperament that watching your kid coloring while singing, "Lord, I've really been real stressed, down and out, losing friends..."

5. B.o.B. — "Magic" featuring Rivers Cuomo

Slip in a little alt-rock on your kids to keep it fresh.

6. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince — "Parents Just Don't Understand"

Most of this duo's songs are kid friendly, as is the majority of Will Smith's music. Can't go wrong with The Fresh Prince theme, either. This is one your kids will definitely relate to.

7. Kris Kross — "Jump"

Have fun explaining this one to your kids, but it is sure to get them out of their chairs.

Next up: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - "Same Love" featuring Mary Lambert

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