Thursday, January 13, 2005

Straight Outta Compton

Ok. Not so I'm not quite straight outta Compton. Shit, I can't even claim to be straight outta Coxwell. Nope. I'm straight outta the lily-white, yuppy-infested, politically-correct, pseudo-liberal Beaches.

But I have a secret. I love gangsta rap. Specifically, I have a huge warm spot in my heart for the west-coast 80's bad-ass Compton crew NWA.

You're shocked, right? Hm. Well, that might just be why I like it so much. I've been listening since NWA came on the scene, and admittedly at first it probably had a lot to do with the fact that it was rebellious to be blaring this profanity in my feminist, socialist, non-racist, non-sexist, non-ageist, non-religious home. Yes, I can admit that.

However, rebellious or not, the funky beats from the "Straight Outta Compton" album and the cool, self-assured voices, tinged with teen angst and South Central style, of Eazy-E (RIP), DJ Yella, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube quickly settled into my soul.

Pretty soon this white yuppy-raised sweetheart was a little less girly and a little more gangsta. And guess what? I never grew out of it.

In fact, I think I grew INTO it. With every passing year as I listened, I developed a little more, I had a new outlook on life.

Early on it was definitely defiance. "Yeah, fuck tha police!" I thought.

A little later it was sexual. "Well, what do you want me to do with it? It don't matter, just don't bite it. She swallowed it! It's the worlds biggest dick."

But before long, as I grew and studied and expanded my mind, my understanding of the sociological meaning behind the music grew too. "I'm expressing with my full capabilities, and now I'm living in correctional facilities. 'Cause some don't agree with how I do this. I get straight and meditate like a Buddhist."

And saw the hypocrisy of the industry, "Some professionals cuss at home, too scared to use profanity when upon the microphone. Yeah, they want reality, but you will hear none, they'd rather exaggerate a little fiction. Some say no to drugs and take a stand, but after the show they go lookin' for the Dopeman."

I still remember quite vividly when Eazy-E died of AIDS. I'd known other people to succumb to the disease, but this one hit me in a different way. This was someone who, for reasons I still don't fully understand, I related to. He was from my generation. Hell, he was in my CD player! "I'm Eazy-E the one they're talking about. Ni**a tried to roll the dice and just crapped out." Looks like Eazy's the one who crapped out this time, huh?

One of my earliest, and dare I say strongest, celebrity crushes was on Ice Cube. Other girls I knew bought Teen Beat and pasted pin-ups of River Phoenix and Johnny Depp on thier walls. I searched the hiphop mags for shots of Cube. I watched Rap City religiously just waiting and hoping that they'd play one of his videos, not something that they did very often, mind you, until his solo album hit the charts. I admit it's a crush that lives on today. There's just something about him. He's in my Top 5.

You know, I don't know how to explain my passion for NWA. But I do know that despite the early corruption, I still grew up to be a feminist, socialist, non-racist, non-sexist, non-ageist, non-religious woman. I can listen to the music with a rebellious badass slant, but I can listen with a critical, sociological, intellectual understanding too. Do I agree with every message? Hell no. The point is, I still listen. And I still love it.

Shocking? Maybe. But when I'm dressed for work, grey wool coat and little black heels. Metallic pink iPod tucked dicsreetly into my black leather bag. I can't help but smile to know that on the other end of those earphones, unbeknownst to the subway full of commuters, I've got a head full of the NWA crew.

Hey, what can I say? If it ain't ruff, it ain't me.


Anonymous said...

Hi, are you me? I, too, have a pink iPOD mini in my leather purse playing Straight Outta Compton while I walk to my investment bank job from the subway. I f'n love it. Gin&Juice comes on immediately after.

I don't think I'd live in the beaches though. That's a bit too much. I prefer Deer Park/ForestHill.


La Blogueuse said...

I can totally relate. No one running across me on my way to work could ever imagine that I used to be a Metal Head as a teen, looking like a semi-goth way before Marylin Manson made it cool, walking around with more black makeup than Evanescence chickie. Up to this date, you'll still find Pantera, Metallica, Sepultura et al playing in my car. Then again, because I liked all kinds of music, I actually had 100 Miles and Runnin/NWA and the Posse alternating with my Metal tunes. Man, don't you love knowing that underneath your chic exterior you can still be a badass and surprise people once in a while!

scarbie doll said...

Well it's nice to see that some of my homies are crossing over and reading you now! I personally love that your lily-white, clean-obsessed, Blondie exterior has a bit of bad-ass underneath. That's what makes us the best buds that we are. Perhaps it's because I'm the opposite somewhat. My tough ghetto Scarb secretly listens to Chet Baker and several sappy balladeers ( including... shhhh...harbouring an odd affection for the odd Celine Dion song). Don't get me wrong, you know that I am still Flow 93.5 all the way, but every now and then, a little CHFI turns my crank.

Anonymous said...

GOD LOVE THE OLD SCHOOL RAP! I am with you girls, that shit is in my bones til the day I die! Although much like Mamma Nadders, I too have a crazy sappy edge. I miss CHFI. I love Celine. I love Air Supply. I LOVE CHEESE!!!!!

But, for those who know me, I happen to have a so-called hard edge and it comes out with the rap baby. "Well I'm Eazy E I got bitches galore, you might have alot of bitches but I got much more!!" (OK admittedly, I used to change the words to, Well I'm Emily D I got bitches galore...even though that made no sense because I wasn't a lesbian!)

and then there was always this one:

"Yo mister dope man you think you're slick you sell crack to my sista and now she's sick. And if you happen to die because of your drugs, I'm putting in yo coulo (sp) a thirty-eight slug!"

Ahhh the memories of yesteryear.

Well, I don't have an ipod. Hell I don't have a grey wool coat either, but I got the gansta in me!!

peace from the west, blood.

HAHAHA! Killing myself here...~TransientTales.

Dave Jackson said...
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