Westcoast Bee-yotch.

Crap.
The movie Straight Out a Compton, is number 1 , for the second week.
Now I’m concerned.
I lived in L.A  till I was 18. I was proudly bumping  Westcoast rap,  along with all my friends. So it makes me smile knowing that NWA is being recognized for the innovators they were.
But (and this is really a sad but), what’s to come because of it is not good.
Next season on every TV, cable or Internet channel will be portraying gangsters, gangsters, gangsters and more gangsters.
Gangster comedies,  gangster love stories, even gangster dramas.
We are so screwed.
Shows like Blood in,  Blood out,  the early years,  American Me and my pappi.
OK, I’m being dramatic.  But you know it’s coming.
Every season the number of original shows dwindle. More British remakes are reproduced and shows based on trends are manufactured.
So if this movie stays on top we will be flooded with crap.
Guess I’ll start stacking up on dickie pants and Nike Cortez’s for the next fashion trend.

Hip Hop Seminar

A few weeks ago I had a moment with my daughter about music. Hip hop music actually.
She’s a fan of Pop. Not my cup of tea but that’s cool. We have a rule in my car; play what you want when it’s your turn to control the iPod.
Her choice comes on and it sounds like the standard Pop-ish track we just heard. Except that my daughter says that “she likes the hip hop beat of this song”. I was confused because I heard nothing that I would associate with Hip Hop.
Then it hit me. My daughter has never really heard Hip Hop.
The amount of guilt I felt for letting my daughter down was enormous. The shame for my lack of proper parenting was apparent on my face.
But I realized it’s not too late. There’s still time!
So I started to think of my childhood and what I used to listen to.
RUN-DMC, Black sheep, KidnPlay along with Ice Tee, King Tee and so many others. I was flooded with choices.
What should I choose? Biggie? Beastie Boys? What should I play for her?
This was a big moment. The moment that I introduced my 10 year old pre teen daughter to the world of the B-boys and B-girls.
I had YouTube up on my phone and I had no idea what to play.
So I hastily picked DAS EFX because I was quickly losing her attention and interest. I could tell she had already moved on and was wanting the discussion to end so she could get on to her next song of choice.
“Mija, this is Hip Hop”, I stated to her proudly.
Within 25 seconds she was covering her ears. “It sounds like rap and I don’t like rap!” she yelled.
And the moment passed.
I decided not to peruse it because I wanted to really think about what artist I wanted to introduce to her.
So that’s ok mija. Listen to your pop music. I’ll leave it alone. For now.
As a kid growing up in Los Angeles, music as huge for me.
Oldies Rancheras, Hip Hop, Metal, KROQ and New Wave. Disco was alive and well in the late 80’s-early 90’s. Not to mention Punk, Ska, Techno and House. My choices were endless and I loved it all.
Now a days it’s different. Our choices are huge, even more so. But it’s almost overwhelming at times. Along with our attention span, we’re spread everywhere.
So where do I start in introducing my daughter to this genre of music that influenced me the most as a kid?
I think what we’re going to need to do is take a little shopping trip out for a pair of kid sized Adidas, shell toed of course. And during the ride I’m going to go in to story mode about graffiti, dee-jaying and the culture that arose from beats, break, beat-boxing and breakdancing. Because for me, wearing a pair of old school, shell toed Adidas isn’t just for style or comfort. It paying respect to all those who came before me, laying down the Hip Hop foundation. Then maybe sometime down the line I’ll take her out to the rail yards one Saturday afternoon and we can witness some real street art.
Yeah, it’s not too late.

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