“Can you get me up like I’m late for my first class…so I can give it to you rough like a first draft?”
This line from Snoop Dogg’s “Wet” gives new meaning to the term ‘double entendre’. I wanted to post a link to the video here, but then I’d probably have to raise the ‘G’ rating I gave my blog to AT LEAST ‘XX’ if not ‘XXX’. (That and the fact that I still don’t know how to post videos.)
I shouldn’t like this song. These days, I shouldn’t like ANY rap music for obvious reasons that I don’t have to mention but will (e.g. most of it demeans women, disrespects the institution of marriage, and devalues human life). But I do. And I always have. More than any other genre of music, except for a few years during the 90’s when R&B was still half-way decent.
And while I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with Hip-Hop (and yes, I realize that many make a distinction between rap and Hip-Hop, I just wanted to say it cuz that’s what they said in Brown Sugar and I thought it was cute), I have an idea. When I was a little girl, my parents, being the good Christian parents they were/are, tried SO HARD to keep me from it. So naturally, that just piqued my curiosity. There is nothing like telling someone that they can’t do something to make them want to do it even more. I can recall going in stores and picking up tapes (not CDs, not the iTunes download cards…tapes) that had the ‘Parental Advisory: Explicit Content’ sticker on them and being absolutely fascinated about what could possibly be so bad that they have to warn my parents! Boy. Did I find out.…
Fast forward a couple of decades to 2010. For my own special version of Lent, I called myself giving up rap music. That worked well on the first day. And the next couple of days. By the time I got to Saturday, I thought, “This is waaay too easy. What am I missing here?” That morning, I grabbed my MP3 player and headed to the gym. And that’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. Almost EVERY song in my workout mix was rap. I tried to make it through that workout without listening to my usual mix, but it was hard. Actually, it was impossible. The elliptical became unbearable. So just like that, Lent was over for me.
A couple of months later in the summer of 2010, I found myself in Columbia, Maryland, outside in ~200 degree heat for 11 straight hours at the Rock the Bells Festival. The main reason I went was to see Lauryn Hill, but since Snoop Dogg was closing the show, of course, I had to stay and see his full performance as well. He performed the majority of his debut album, “Doggystyle”. And I knew almost every word to every song. Which is more disturbing than you might think, since this album came out when I was just 13 years old. I didn’t hyperlink to it here, but the title of the album alone should be enough for you to correctly assume its general contents….
But anyway, I’m 30 now. And as I stare 31 in the face, I feel like I should be growing up, and growing away from rap music….but I’m not. I guess I should mention what, beyond rebellion, attracts me to rap music. As a pretend writer myself, I’m constantly amazed at how someone can take their thoughts and emotions and articulate them in a nice, 3-5 minute musical package and make me laugh, think, move, and, in some cases, relate. The beat is very important, but the lyrics are usually what get me. And these days, it can be something as simple as “…this beat was bubble gum…so I had to chew it…” Or even “…rain, rain go away, that’s what all my haters say…” While not terribly deep, the stuff is still arguably clever. And definitely entertaining.
So I’m interested in learning more about rap music that’s not derogatory, vulgar, or violent. While still being well-written and REAL. And as I just said, clever and entertaining. Does anything fit ALL these categories? Do you have any suggestions for new music that I can add to my repertoire?
And I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit where credit was due (Common) for the title of this post. See I Used to Love H.E.R.