More Reasons Why Being Deaf Sucks/Rocks

I love Hip Hop.

I don’t “like” the music. I don’t enjoy the fashion. I love Hip Hop. I love the entity, the community and the culture.

My feelings are a passing fad. My mind hasn’t been swayed by the omnipresent nature of Hip Hop on television. In fact, if anything that omnipresence has almost made my feelings for Hip Hop sour.

But wait, I should probably start at the beginning.

The Beginning

At the end of every year I make a two mixtapes (even though “mixcd” is more accurate it doesn’t have the same ring); one is a Hip Hop mix and one is an “Other” mix. These mixtapes chronicle my favorite songs of the year, those songs that I was really feelin’.

I also happen to work with some of the least Hip Hop literate people in the world, which is ironic because some of them actually fancy themselves as MC’s. I don’t know why I’m so surprised; Las Vegas is devoid of culture, period much less aspects of Hip Hop culture.

Anyway I burned a copy of my Hip Hop mix for one of those coworkers. Needless to say, because of our differing tastes he wasn’t quite feeling it.

The Middle

Last week he asked me; “why do you listen to Hip Hop?”

Now I’m a pretty articulate guy. I’ve got a degree in English and like to think of myself as well spoken. But I was stunned. In fact I was at least speechless and almost flabbergasted.

I had so many thoughts running through my mind. “Did he seriously just say that?” “Who the f$ck is this white boy to question my taste in music?” “Why does anyone like any music?” “Really, did he just ask me that?” “Is my sense of entitlement to Hip Hop justified.”

I managed to muster; “Excuse me?”

He repeated the question and added; “I mean you don’t drink or smoke. You don’t live the street life. How does Hip Hop appeal to you?”

At that point I realized what the problem was. His concept of Hip Hop had been skewed and twisted by what he saw on television and heard on the radio. To him Hip Hop is about criminal activity, as opposed to an art or an expression. He couldn’t conceive how “Work Mathan” would be interested in such a criminal enterprise (which I suppose speaks volumes about my work persona.) Figuring out his rationale actually made me feel worse.

There are those of us who not only associate some Hip Hop songs with good times, but can remember when Hip Hop songs were about good times and not illegal activities. We can remember when lyrical prowess was more important than bullet scars. We can remember when the producer didn’t outshine the MC. I can ever remember a time when I could tell an R&B song from a Hip Hop song.

The End

I’m still irked that my devotion to the culture would be questioned. But I’m more saddened that the definition of the culture has become corrupted and that those who create the music are suck active participants in the corruption.


Here’s the Mixtape and what he thought of each song.

(“Alright” means lukewarm reaction)

Ignorat Sh*t – Jay-Z


You Know My Style – Nas


Buck ’em Down Freestyle – Styles P & Talib Kweli

“Eh, alright”

Coming Home – Kanye West


Breathe – Fabolous


Hold You Down – Alchemist


Lock It Down – Ice City feat Freeway


40 Bars of Terror – Jadakiss


Afterparty – Method Man feat Ghostface

“That sh#t.”

Stay Cool – The Roots


Down and Out – Cam’ron feat Kanye West


Confused Rappers – The Beatnuts

“Not feeling it.”

I See Now Kanye West, Little Brother and Consequence

“Like it.”

One Day – Wordsworth


Reunion – Slum Village


Great Day Today – Madvillain

“Not feeling it”

Give It To Ya – Pete Rock feat Little Brother

Masta Killa – Masta Killa


Radio Freq – dead prez

“Not feeling it.”

Be This Way – Ghostface


The Rape Over – Mos Def

“Pretty Tight”

Church – De La Soul


By now you must be bored. Read these folks;


Shawn discusses Salty, Anger Management (and mentions two of my problems with Hip Hop) and Ryan Adams. I love Ryan Adams”¦in a musical way.

Jeff also covers Anger Management, pokes Diddy in the eye, and has news on Ray Benzino, so you know it’s a good read.

Kyle continues covering Coachella. Darn I ran out alliteration. He’s up to the letter “t”.

Gloomchen gets up close and personal, kind of.

Tom’s logo slays me every time his column comes up. It’s like it’s staring into your soul! He’s also got bad news for Korn fans.

Pretty Tight

Phil is always full of good news. I’m actually interested in every album he covers.

Ian made me giddy with his covering of the White Stripes and Ryan Adams. I mean “giddy as a schoolgirl” giddy.

Rhett Walker not only returns, but doesn’t like the White Stripes!

Five Albums That Have Been Getting Lot’s of Play Recently

1. Tenacious D – Tenacious D
2. Kenna – New Sacred Cow
3. Souls of Mischief – 93 ’til Infinity
4. The Avalanches – Since I Left You
5. Portishead – Dummy