I tape 106 & Park to create my playlists for running or jamming in my car. (When I say jammin, yes I’m the crazy suburban mom, practicing the Dougie at the stop light). While I am unable to watch every single episode, I can not tell a lie, I’m absolutely fascinated with hip hop culture, music and straight-up bootie music. Sadly, I have never been blessed with much of a bootie – as Sir Mix a lot once referred to ” flat butts are the scene” – I think maybe he had my bootie in mind. However, I have worked on increasing the capacity for my bootie to possibly contend with the junior booties showcased in possibly the blurry, smoke-filled background of a hip hop video, due to some running, lunging – and yes, maybe an occasional practice “pop lock and drop it” in the mirror…
Look, right now, my favorite jam is “Headband” by a variety of artists (B.O.B and 2chainz, yes that’s with a z.) who showcase the beauty of a bootie. There is nothing deep or emotionally moving about this song. It won’t “inspire you like the lights of NYC” or make your eyes well up with tears. It just makes me want to get up and practice what I’m genetically inclined to not be able to do..”bootie-poppin in a headstand” . Seriously dawg, if I tried this gymnastically inspired “urbanassticastic” move (yes I made up a word), I would most definitely , end up at the local “doc in the box”for head trauma. Maybe I’m just green with old fashioned jealousy that no one has shown their adoration for the convenience of being able to set a cognac “back der”.
I did not grow up in the city, or next to LL Cool J. Yes my family did a stint in Cleveland Ohio, but that does not count. My formative years were spent on a farm in Maine. My sister did listen to a ton of Run DMC and I wrote out every single word to “Five minutes of Funk” by Whodini for a 2nd grade poetry assignment in which we where charged with the task of writing out the words to our favorite poem. I do not have any musicians in my family. My brother was obsessed with Led Zepplin and most of my friends at school had Bon Jovi posters plastered on every wall of their bedroom. Now, don’t get me wrong, Bon Jovi did make some great hits and I know all about Tommy and Gina and yes, I have been know to howl out “Tommy used to work on the docks …” at many a traffic light as well.
Maybe it comes for my Dad’s indelible love for the Blues. So much in fact, he played the trumpet to a number of tunes by BB King, Louie Armstrong , even Muddy Waters – who I do not believe, even owned a trumpet. These Trumpet paying solos occurred in the driveway, with a old fashioned vinyl record player plugged into an outlet in our barn. Usually at twilight, in the summer, rolling my eyes incessantly begging Spock to tele-transport me to the mall. Fast forward 15 years from these torturous “dadbarrassments” (yes, another made up word), and I’m jamming out with BB King and Lucille…
Sometimes “bootie music/hip hop/ rap gets a bad ‘rap’ (haha) because it can be degrading to women, or it celebrates violence and a lot of hip hop uses the a highly controversial and overuses a derogatory word that Oprah has openly criticized rap music for utilizing way too much. I do not like that part either. I try to download the cleanest versions I can find and do my best to not have it fill my ears. However, that’s not a battle or topic I really want to dig into at this moment, but I did want to touch on it as I’m sure there will people that will be critical of this blog – for that reason, and I respect the criticism ahead of time.
I do not know the ins and outs of all hip hop. I’m by no means an expert on the subject. I do know this. The majority of the songs I listen to have a message (majority, I say!!, no, “Headband” doesn’t necessarily have the strongest of all messages).
If you are a so-called critic of all Hip-Hop/bootie music etc, and you think it’s all degrading and violent. I challenge you to listen to Tupac’s “Changes” or Common’s “Announcement” or Eminem’s “I’m Not Afraid”.
Let’s take Tupac’s Changes for one minute. Every time I Listen to that song, I literally get chills. This man was before his time. Take a look at this verse :
All I see is racist faces.
Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races we under.
I wonder what it takes to make this one better place…
let’s erase the wasted.
And although it seems heaven sent,
we ain’t ready to see a black President, uhh.
It ain’t a secret don’t conceal the fact.
Can’t a brother get a little peace?
There’s war on the streets and the war in the Middle East.
Instead of war on poverty,
they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me.
And I ain’t never did a crime I ain’t have to do.
But now I’m back with the facts givin’ ’em back to you.
I think he words speak for themselves without any translation on my part.
Enough of the deep thoughts by Laurie Jane. For the most part, I like hip hop music because it moves me. If the beat is deep & strong and the lyrics are fun ( or moving) – I want to move. It makes me want to be an active person, it makes me feel soulful, young and alive, and yes, at times it makes me want to tackle the courageous feat of “bootie poppin in a head stand”
This blog is like the ridiculous sweater I bought at Anthropologie a few years ago. It was on sale and the sales lady told me "it looks awesome on you." It's the most bizarre sweater, and whether it looked good on me or not, is highly debatable. Like these blogs, I look at them at say "Yeesh, what was I thinking,," or laugh or bath in their cathartic qualities. The sweater stays for the same reasons.