Say what you will about the Knowles family, but they certainly are enterprising! Mama Tina paired up with Beyonce to design House of Dereon and is breaking out on her own with Home Shopping Network label Miss Tina. And now Papa Mathew is venturing into the lucrative field of... hip-hop baby toys! Knowles' Baby Jamz line (Lord, what a name) was inspired by his grandson (that's the spawn of Solange, fyi) Juelz, a kid we can't decide we feel badly for because of the way he's unwittingly become the face of such an absurd product line or because of the spelling of his name. Anyway, we visited the newly-launched Baby Jamz site to see what kind clever toys Mathew had dreamt up. Our product reviews —based on a cursory look at the site since the products are sold exclusively at Wal-Mart, a store we do not have in New York — after the jump.
The foundation of the Baby Jamz line is an album of everyone's favorite nursery rhymes performed by Solange Knowles herself, with some backing beats that end up making the songs sound weirdly angry. Maybe it's the way that on "Hush Little Baby" the lyrics "Be quiet / Be be be quiet / Be quiet" are repeated over and over again in trope, topped off with a climatic "Don't say a word" when suddenly some backing male voices enter, turning the word "word" into an odd replacement for "boo-yah!". We are not babies, but we think these tracks would make us howl rather than lull us to sleep.
Over in "Toys" category, the clear stand-out is the "Mix Master Chair," a little red booster seat which claims to help tykes be their best DJ AMs and mix tracks all on her own. And yes, that means the chair is built-in with the aforementioned terrifying Solange-sung anthems mentioned above. There are 3 buttons that can be pushed which change the backing beats and 4 buttons that can be pushed which insert new sounds into the songs. Come to think of it, maybe this is what Samantha Ronson has been using all along!