That's right y'all
I'm back y'all
Soul assassin y'all
Comin' to you directly from the Hulles y'all
All rights reserved
Ignore the “Burning Violins” entry. That shit's for pussies.
As perhaps you can tell, I'm listening to different music today. I decided my fragile male ego needed shoring up so I've been playing Cypress Hill's Skull and Bones. Their music, if you're not familiar with it, is described on their web site as “Latino hip-hop/rock fusion.” If that means nothing to you, think rap and you'll be in the ballpark somewhere, especially if the ballpark is in East L. A.
I'm not sure when I first started listening to the Hill, but I think it was right around the time Skull and Bones was released. Back then I was tragically ignorant of the hip-hop scene, but I saw a video of them performing some of their stuff on TV and was struck with the energy and power of their music, so I picked up the double CD. I've never regretted it. Sometimes you need to listen to Cypress, just like sometimes you need to listen to the Cowboy Junkies. Today it's the Hill for Hulles. (The opening lines to this blog entry are slightly modified from the intro to (I believe) Skull.)
I guess I really started learning about the hip-hop genre per se in the last year or so. My friend Ben decided to take me under his wing and teach me, once he figured out I was serious about learning. Ben was born in Mexico and is roughly 22 years old. He's a handsome devil. In fact, I have to be careful not to hang out with him when my friends the Count of Monte Crisco and the African Queen are also present, because they'd be all over him like a cheap suit and there would be nothing left of poor Ben. Ben likes women, or at least (from my point of view) girls, and doesn't have my experience in coping with gentlemen who play for the other team.
Whatever, Ben's been teaching me about hip-hop by talking with me for hours; writing down performers, CDs and song titles on countless BevNaps; and even mixing me a hip-hop sampler CD with the perplexing title “Yacht Club Yodels.” Ben's totally into hip-hop. He even writes songs which he's happy to perform at the drop of a gorro. He tells me that if you perform, you need a hip-hop name. He careful explained to the dumb old white guy that, no, Mos' Def isn't the guy's real name, it's made up. “Want to hear my hip-hop name?” he asked me with an evil grin. “Spictacula!” I almost choked on my beer when he told me that. I can still see his big grin: “It's okay to say racist shit again now if it's your race.” Go Ben.
In return for all this musical edification I try to help Ben out in a couple ways. I do this by giving him tips on how to manage his relationships with women. Actually, there's just one woman right now, but she sucks so if you're interested in Ben let me know. I also give Ben sex advice (“Have it. Have lots of it.”)
Speaking of relationships and hip-hop, Cypress has a really funny (and vicious) song on Skull and Bones called “Stank Ass Hoe.” For some reason, every time I hear this song I think of a recent girlfriend of mine. Not that she was a “hoe,” exactly. I don't think she ever charged anybody. I suppose I shouldn't make fun of her – she was afflicted with a tragic malady she contracted in adolescence called “Trailer Parkinson's Disease1.”
So with all this tutoring from Ben and his pals and with listening to the music they recommend I'm just starting to get develop a taste for the music. Actually, I find hip-hop pretty infectious (unlike Trailer Parkinson's Disease, hopefully). I often catch myself singing tunes like this one from Cypress. I also find myself changing the lyrics slightly:
So you wanna be a blog superstar,
Big house, five cars, a credit charge
Comin' up in the world don' trust nobody
Look over your shoulder constantly....
You might be interested to know that, after carefully thinking over what Ben told me, I have finally decided on my own hip-hop name: Mos' Articulate. Let us count the entendres. I come up with four without even breaking a sweat. Just don't call me Art; caps will pop. I suppose Mos' is okay, though, if there's no one around with a last name of Def to confuse me with.
Being the sensitive guy I am, I feel a little isolated from my peers in enjoying hip-hop. There apparently aren't a lot of middle-aged male Caucasians who find this genre appealing, at least here in the Midwest. Most of my friends still listen to Elton John. So I'm organizing a campaign to change this, and I'm starting with the other creaky old codgers I hang out with. I'm going to make myself a posse, as they say.
We'll invent old white guy gang signs (“East Side Cribbage Club, what I'm sayin'...”) and we'll turn our plaid fedoras jauntily to the side as we slowly creep down the sidewalk listening to Outkast on the iPods clipped to the frames of our walkers. We'll take over the open mike hour on Sunday afternoons at the coffee shop and rap shit about icy cold Fleet Enemas and being disrespected by our nursing homies and getting fucked over by Medicare.
So don't be surprised to hear street language suddenly start flying out of your grandfather's mouth, at least if he hangs around me. Us old white guys will pick up on that manner of speaking in a heartbeat and make it our own. Much like young white guys have done, come to think of it. Just like our grandchildren, we'll be sitting in community recreation rooms everywhere trying to sound blacker than the geezer next to us. It'll be def.
1This is another one that I thought up myself, but which is too good for someone else not to have thought of it before me. With this one also I haven't dared to google it to find out; it would break my heart to see “10326 entries found”.