COME ONE COME ALL
I have been chilling for the last week and a half, watching stuff on Discovery Science that is WAY beyond my pay grade but is fascinating nonetheless. Still, it is no different from separating real hip-hop music from the pop rhyming garbage dominating the videos and I-tunes playlists.
When I am riding around town and hear some angry, misogynistic rap bullsh*t coming blasting out of some corn-fed cat, hat pulled low over his eyes, scowl on his face for no good reason, a surge of emotions hit me. Despite my age and progressive social perspective, I still feel a tug whenever I see white cats that fit the black stereotype better than I ever did! It mainly bothers me because the music they listen to is so freakin’ bad!! It is like a homie saying that he likes rock music and he starts pumpin’ Creed or worse, Limp Bizkit!
Anywho, when I was young and I would hear older folks say that ‘all rappers sound the same’ and all they are doing is ‘talking’, I would shake my head and dismiss their comments for the lack of appreciation of the sublime skills of Rakim’s rhymes over a deftly laid beat, as in the classic ‘Eric B. Is President’, which is still the benchmark for any emcee who claims to have flow.
The issue that I have with current pop music is the same argument that I have always had with it… it thrives on the lowest common denominators for success. It is engineer for mass consumption and whenever I catch myself being drawn in with the sheep I have to stop and examine why I am caught in the crowd. It isn’t that I don’t understand how people can identify with cats like Lil’ Wayne (and ‘em), but I have to wonder ‘why’?
Now it isn’t like that old school rap was not completely free and clear from the kind of content-free and nihilistic messages that I am chiding contemporary music. I mean, the stories in some of Slick Rick old songs were just as bad. I guess the difference was the access… stuff can be heard on the morning drive on the way to school that in my youth wasn’t heard until after 10 p.m., sometime not until after midnight!
I try not to sound like an old man always talking smack about how the rappers of today could not hold up against the hip hop of old, but man, when you listen to Public Enemy and realize that THIS was the kind of rap that was popular… anywho, this ain’t no social commentary entry, so I will stop. But I remember rockin’ this on my walkman when I was ETS’ing from Manhattan/Junction City, and how glad I was to be putting Ft. Riley behind me!
…and this is where I segue from ‘then’ and back to ‘now’…
STRETCH OUT AND WAIT
The past 10 days or so have been kind of kick back. I am about to get up and make the first run of the week out to West O for an appointment. No real personal ‘news’… everyone that I know and love are doing well and other than being in a state of constant ‘brokeness’, I can’t complain too much. I am going to have to figure something else out to get certification as a personal trainer, as none of the schools in Nebraska offers a certification program but they do at Iowa Wesleyan across the river. If I had a car (and could drive!) I would go take the course there. But someone hooked me up with an on-line certification program to investigate.
That is that with that… see you later (unless I see you first!)