I think everyone, at some point in their life, should attempt a career in hip hop. They say we all have one novel inside us…I’d like to take that a few steps further and say you know what? We all have one knock ‘em dead down and dirty rap song inside us. Be it about cars, women or your unarguably dope individual skill as an MC, you must let that song out.
For me, it happened a few years ago.
As a teenager, I bounded through a number of different stages. I was a punk rocker, with safety pins and (because safety pins were inevitably sharp) paper clips stuck through my clothes. Next, I toyed with being emo. And yeah, I actually understand what emo is. I used to wear tight ass jeans and listen to Texas Is The Reason, Ink & Dagger, etc. While I am not proud of these stages of my life, I am at least not ashamed of them.
The same cannot be said for my brief dalliance with hip hop. In this period, I was prone to wearing flat brimmed caps, Nike and Adidas sneakers and streetwear shirts purchased with an exorbitant and frankly disgusting shipping markup from Karmaloop. Yo, @Karmaloop, for the record, the last time I bought a Black Flag shirt online, the shipping wasn’t $50 for one item, losers.
While the fashion side of the affair would have been bad enough, it was unfortunately accompanied by a need to express myself through the ageless medium of “sick beats.” I began rapping. My flow can only be described as reminiscent of Jay-Z if, in fact, he suffered from a slight lisp and had no innate sense of rhythm.
I will not share that music with you. I will not share that music with anyone. Oh, rest assured, it exists.
But I take it to my grave.
The good news is, I outgrew that stage relatively fast. I grew up, encountered existential dread and became a Tom Waits fan. I discovered that cheap wine tasted better when drunk in one’s bedroom alone than it did at crappy nightclubs and I decided that film making was my spirit animal.
My flat brimmed caps now gather dust in my closet, and I totally gave my sneakers to my lil’ bros. It was a good move.
When I hear Lil Wayne nowadays, I look away into the distance with a hint of a tear in my eye, as my mind is cast back to what might have been. When people ask me about the heady days of 2008, I smile to myself and walk away. They think I am antisocial or at least have anxiety.
Maybe I do.