I was gonna write this post a while ago but I didn’t really know where to go with it. It was basically another post about how I really like hip hop music and a goofy song that makes no sense capturing my imagination. It’s difficult to explain these things to people who have pre conceived notions about your lifestyle. It’s like being gay. I’m not gay, but watching myself freak out and try to convince a girl (although mostly joking) to be straight is preposterous. Try to explain to me that Country music is better than Jay-Z. No. I don’t even want to talk about it. I was listening to some music and I was thinking of some things on this subject to discuss with my dad next time the subject came up. I feel like I have to plan my defenses for my conversations with my dad. It’s like I’m still on the radio even when I’m home. If I’m not on my game, my dad will just rap circles around me. So I’ll brainstorm ideas for where he plans to attack me and think about my responses. Then I thought, Hey, why don’t I just write a blog, that way I don’t have to hear him argue his point, or interrupt me. He’s the one who talked me into trying to write everyday anyway. That was another argument that constantly came up and I eventually ran out of excuses.
First another goofy story about a song that I took out of context. There’s a 2pac song called Homeboyz. Where basically the theme of the song is 2pac has a few “haters” but when he sees them in person they never have anything to say, unless they’re with their group of homeboyz. So 2pac keeps saying “You ain’t shit without your homeboyz.” throughout the song. I had a hard time in high school getting picked on by a couple groups of people but never one at a time. So this was sort of a song I could sing in my head and be like “Yeah! Those guys who beat me up aint shit without their homeboyz.” Which of course, 2pac probably didn’t have me in mind. lol. but in a sense it was true. They’re mostly just showing off for their friends. One time I told my mom one of the kids names because I knew she knew his mother. We showed up to his house (moms idea) she grabbed their trash can and knocked on the front door and was like “You wanna throw him in now? HUH PUNK! LETS GO BITCH!” Ok maybe the last part was exaggeration for the sake of comedy but the rest was a true story. Consequently that didn’t really help me at school. lol. That one particular kid didn’t participate in the beatings, but we didn’t go to any of the other kids’ houses.
Anyway. That stuff has it’s place in my ipod. Songs that sort of represent a feeling or emotion, not necessarily a specific situation that a person relates to, but a feeling.
Another example would be a party song like Jay-z “Roc Boys” where these heavy horns blare and Jay-z raps about the good life as a result of selling drugs (it should be noted that he was doing the song as part of a gangster movie soundtrack, not because he still sells drugs or condones those activities.) “Put your hand out the window, feel the force. Feel a Porsche. Hit the frost. Ice cold! Jewels got no flaws. Drop got no Top. You on the top floor.” – I’m certainly not driving in a Porsche, or living in an apartment in the trump tower. But I did just make over a thousand dollars in a week doing comedy. That’s comma is a milestone. I’m going to Disneyland. Or… paying off my credit card. I’ve had a good couple of weeks, but it could dry up at any time. So I’m not gonna splurge or anything. I mean, I’ll get some 20 inch rims for my corolla obviously. but nothing besides that. lol.
I think that’s the difference in explaining the music culture to some people. What they think the music is and what it actually is. They hear the lyrics or hear the stereotypical rap song and don’t understand it. If you actually dig for it. Jay-Z is one of the most brilliant songwriters of our generation but sadly a majority of his audience won’t get half the stuff and another generation will automatically dismiss it. Jay-Z has even admitted it in many songs: “For those that think Hov’s fingers bling blingin, either haven’t heard the album or they don’t know english. They only know the single and single that out to be the meanin of what he’s about… no dummy that’s the shit I’m sprinklin the album with to keep the registers ringing.” He’ll give a label and the masses what they want and then do the rest of the album his way.
Jay-Z has even addressed the exact same issues my dad has lectured me about as a young kid. Jay-z just uses the word “Nigga” a lot more than my dad. lol. I’ve gotta find a way to say that on stage. I remember one of the things my dad always said was surround yourself with people smarter than you are. My dad was always mentioning to surround myself with good people. “Lay down with dogs, wake up with fleas.” “association breeds similarity.” you get the idea. I remember one specific time that always stood out. There was a football player for the redskins named Sean Taylor who had sort of a shady past but was getting his life turned around. But one day some people decided to rob his house while he was out playing football. They came back a couple weeks later to rob again, but the player was injured and home. They shot him and he died from his injuries. My dad told a story that I forget specific details, but someone he knew found a body in an attic or something. It tied in to the theme. but I forget the specifics. Those kind of things were stored in the brain, but you know. It takes a while to sink in. Once you’re on the ground from being punched in the face and surrounded by your “friends” you realize you’ve made some poor character judgments. It definitely knocks some of that information back into the conscious present.
Jay-z went through some messy business situations where he broke up with former business partners. They went on youtube and radio and called him a liar and a bunch of bad names and blamed him for their lack of success. He’s made several songs about it.
“What do you do when the love turns to hate? Gotta seperate from these fuckin’ fakes. Caesar didn’t see it, so he ceased to exist, cuz the nigga that killed him had keys to his shit.”- Why I Love You
“See Jesus see Judas, See Caesar see Brutus. See success is like suicide. If you succeed, prepare to be crucified… The spirit I’m evokin is kings who’ve been awoken from shots from those that was most close to them.” – Most Kingz
“Just because you got good head, I’m gonna break bread, so you can be livin it up? Shit I, Parts with nothing, ya’ll be frontin, me give my heart to a woman? Not for nothing, never happen, I be forever macking.” – Big Pimpin
Ok so maybe not every song is brilliant life advice, but he’s just trying to say he’s waiting for that special someone before getting married. Sort of. Lol.
Anyway, enough defending the music that should speak for itself. There are many many amazing songs with amazing messages cleverly put together that nobody will ever listen to or get, simply because they can’t get over a stereotype and it’s labeled as rap music.
Since starting comedy, I’ve met plenty of people. Those friendships and relationships have proved invaluable. I surrounded myself with comics who were working and they taught me how to work. They were also positive, drug free influences. I got on this tour because the other comic cancelled and a comic I worked with was best friends with the headliner. He gave him my name, another comic gave my name and after 2 strong recommendations, a good video and a good friend who let me cancel on his gigs for a great opportunity, I was booked on this trip instead.
Now for the big cheezy ending, seriously, if it weren’t for my homeboyz. I wouldn’t be half the man I am today. eh? Or should I go, I ain’t shit without my homeboyz. You get the point. 15 hour drive home tomorrow. but don’t worry, my homeboy jay-z will be riding shotgun in the ipod. We’re gonna do a couple drive by’s. Just for old times sake.