I Used to Love H.E.R. – Part 1

“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.

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About Magnet for Foolishness

Resident of the DMV…and my incessant thoughts. Always hungry. Comedy craver. Ice cream freak. Reality TV show junkie. Slightly opinionated. Rarely wrong. Part Lisa Simpson. Part Sue Sylvester. Part Meredith Grey. Renowned chef and baker…avid gardener…pet lover…sometimes liar. Effortlessly forgetful. Always hungry. Blindly hopeful. Easily embarrassed (NOT). Eerily observant. Searching for something. Disregarding parallelism. Chronically tardy. Ruthlessly impatient. Surprisingly affectionate. Unnecessarily long-winded.
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13 Responses to I Used to Love H.E.R. – Part 1

  1. Sugarmama says:

    While I don’t have a rap music suggestion, I confess that this 40 year old loves rap too. It’s the absolute best music in the world to get your workout on to. I’ve tried jazz, gospel, and neo-soul. The beat and words just don’t work when you’re trying to run 5 miles or lift weights. You need a little Wacaflocka, Drake, Ric Ross, Lil Wayne etc to keep you motivated and feeling strong (invincible). Any other genre just slows you down and makes you reflect way too much. I tried running to gospel music and I ended up crying and running. That was not a good look for me! So, if growing up means no rap music, then 40 is definitely the new 20!

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  2. Cherlisa Reynolds says:

    I really like Lupe Fiasco I am sure that someone can call me out on a song or two that is borderline, but for the most part he is on some real stuff. And he is deep- to me. I too struggle my May birthfriend with rap… I was about to list my guilty pleasures but I won’t do that at this time. Lol. But check out Lupe in your spare time.

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  3. Sumer says:

    Also try B.O.B. And I know you said before you didn’t see the hype about Drake, but if anything else, listen to the lyrics. It’s not the average shoot em up or “look ma’, no hands” songs.

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  4. jmlindy422 says:

    I am a very white mom, but have a 16 year old son who listens to EVERYTHING. He thinks he wants to be a DJ. So, if I get names wrong, no hating! I’ve heard some Nicki Minaj that was good. I Also like B.O.B and really like Lupe Fiasco. He’s an interesting person, too. Heard him on an NPR show. I work out to a variety of stuff, but mostly alternative rock ’cause it gets me running.

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    • I love that you began this comment with “I am a very white mom…” Hilarious! I have paid more attention to the rappers that you listed above, especially since they have been EVERYWHERE the past year and virtually impossible to avoid. I have something in common with your son because I always wanted to be a DJ! Since he’s 16, maybe he could teach me some nu-skool DJing… 🙂

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  5. I’m not much into mainstream rap but that’s all they seem to play on the radio. Drake seems to be pretty harmless. LOL. I’m also into Common, the Roots, Lupe, B.O.B., Q-Tip, Mos Def, Dead Prez, Blackstar, Talib Kweli, Outkast, Nas etc. But I won’t fake the funk, I love me some Eminem, Hov, Kanye, Lil Wayne, old Snoop and Dr. Dre. LOL.

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  6. Pingback: My Top 11 Favoritest Non-Rap Songs of All Time |

  7. Off The Cuff says:

    Old school all the way! RUN DMC, Grand Master Flash, UTFO, Whodini, Dougie Fresh etc and even Will Smith (who was Fresh Prince way back) now 43 they were my idols. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FFrCZNNCeU
    Sorry nothing new really does it for me.
    Sean

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    • Thanks for the video link. Watching that was fun…brought back memories! I loved the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air TV show and my favorite song from him back in the day was “Summertime”. Actually, I think it still is my fave.

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  8. Pingback: What I gave up for Lent | Magnet for Foolishness®

  9. Pingback: Stop telling girls that they can be anything they want when they grow up. | Magnet for Foolishness®

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