"I want to hear rap music."
That's what my 8 year old daughter told me yesterday as we were driving back home from the stores.
I didn't have my Tribe Called Quest CD with me or anything else of worth, so if I was to play rap music for her it would have to come from the radio. As a dad, I wasn't all too sure about the content the latest "hit" song would spew into her brains. It's not just the expletives or the massacre of the English language, but everything else that hip-hop today seems to represent (womanizing, materialism... you know what I mean).
Because she is so young, I was curious as to how she would describe rap music. So, I just asked her, "What is rap music?"
This was her response: "You know... when there's a guy singing, kind of; and he has a silver tooth and a gold tooth..."
Does anyone else think that is hilarious and sad at the same time?
Is anyone else turned off by the prevalent images in hip-hop culture?
To keep in step with other fellow bloggers making lists of their favorite hip-hop artists (click the link above), here is a short list of my favorite hip-hop artists. These aren't "the greatest", but rather artists who are or have been innovators in hip-hop. These are artists that I wouldn't mind listening to some day on a road trip with my daughter. Because of these groups, I love hip-hop.
1) Public Enemy - still my favorite. They head-lined the only major hip-hop concert I ever attended. I still have the red T-shirt with the guy in the cross-hairs.
2) Eric B. and Rakim - First hip-hop crew to implement Hebraic/Middle-Eastern pop music by sampling Ofra Haza.
3) De La Soul - The Flower Children of hip-hop. "Say No Go" still one of my favorite all time tunes.
4) Tribe Called Quest - Jazz influence phenomenal. Smartest lyrics I've ever heard.
5) Jurassic 5 - One of the few LA groups I can actually listen to. The only reason these guys aren't mainstream successes is their obvious lack of "bling". Grassroots hip-hop at it's best.
There are more artists I could add to the list (i.e. Brainwash Projects, Pharcyde, Run DMC- goes without saying, the Beasties, Nas, The Roots, etc...) but the point, as clearly illustrated by my daughter, is that today image supercedes art. This is true in everything, but especially in hip-hop.