Rappers in Suburbia Paradise

By August 30, 2019 September 2nd, 2019 Food for thought

Today marks a transitional day in the Oh Hey Heather house. Our oldest son has decided at 15.5 years, we should take the hardly used basement family room to convert into his bedroom. His friends use it most, anyway, for playing video games. He’s right. His younger brother is excited to claim his vacated room, too. So the family project commences.

I left work early this afternoon to surprise him and get started. I’m self motivated, too, because when it’s all said and done, I claim the final smallest bedroom as a seven-year in the making dedicated guest room (Haven’t had one since we moved to OH) and while I’m at it, make it my writing, podcast and whatever I want to paint room.

I started with the details that change the room-feel most, and is lightest to do alone, change out the wall decor. Basement of framed art projects and family photo collages will be in the guest room, and the basement will now be framed artist my son enjoys to listen to. Typical teenage decor. I grew up in phases from Michael Jackson to Hairbands to Metallica. Tiger Beat was never my thing.

That’s a lot of work ahead of us. And they have got the motivation and it’s cool to see. This was the perfect weekend for it.

Anyway my point is I’m hanging up his rapper guys. At least that’s what the average person might refer to them as. He really likes that style of music, and as I wipe these down and re-hang them, I reflect on the fact that if this is the kind of music he’s going to like, I’m proud that the ones he chose are authentic from what I can tell. Let’s all be authentic here. You know you can’t say that about the majority of rappers making songs right now. People are buying it, too.

I hope the upgrade to a bigger basement space allows the art on his walls to continue to add artists like these in the market because we all need more of that authentic vibe right now.

I approve of them not only because their music is memorable and contagious, but also in how it motivates me to jog faster. Oops. I’m telling a story about being Authentic. I can’t jog, so I mean, the beats get me wogging instead of walking.

They’re songs touch on real issues rather it be personally, locally or in ways that represent unbiased perspective. Sure, like their shared industry counterparts, it may instill anger at times, but it’s a different projection for outcome of exhaling it. Rather than killing or cheating because you have justified anger, this is an anger of agreement that spurs a drive to get involved in making problems better versus contributing further to the dysfunction cycle.

So as I was hanging these pictures. I really thought about what I’m trying to explain. If I was ignorant, I could possibly see all genres as one genre. Which is wrong. Even country music has two types of mainstream, it’s just pop versus authentic. They be fake but at least it’s not inciting unethical behavior.

These pictures had hung upstairs for more than two years and required cleaning I felt guilty not noticing before. As I carried them to the kitchen first, I thought it ironic that those same ignorant people either mock me or judge me for supporting my young, impressionable teen’s display of respect to these rappers. That’s our of my stereotypical demographic. I’m supposed to be that typical suburban, middle class, white-collar, Caucasian, 3.13 kids, conservative are hanging up in their house.

Or so you think.

The above testimony of the rappers was mine. He didn’t put those words into this story, I did. We talked about this when we made the framed artwork together. My son hangs those pictures because he likes their music and their individuality, and real world views. He also doesn’t see race. He hasn’t had any reason to. He’s never been in a situation where he feared any other races due to scary or sterotypical psycho demographics that make you scared that have nothing to do with race either. I want to keep it this way. I don’t think these artists would reject him for liking them as the angry subgroup would.

If anything, my projection of judgement stems from stereotypes, not race. If crimes happen around here, in larger suburbia, it’s scary but it’s not a specific race that causes you to fear people. It’s appearance. And around these parts, statistically it’s a healthy mix of race classifications. Similarly, the appearance is almost always amateur tattoos, especially above the neck, pants hanging off their butts, poor hygiene odor, hate/desperation in their eyes. Like a mugshot waiting to happen.

That’s not a skin color thing. It’s not a cultural heritage thing. Let’s be honest. It’s usually a drug thing. Fear is fear and that kind of behavior makes any rational, God-fearing person scared because of the connection between that appearance and the unknown violence their unpredictable behavior brings. If you haven’t seen Dave Chappelle’s take on this as an Ohioan, you should. He understands what I’m trying to explain. Wherever you live, it’s usually appearance that triggers the fear. It’s the energy that people bring to the room, by either the feared or the fearee.

Take Sons of Anarchy for example. Or Queen of the South. Take me in suburbia with everyone from Asia to South America to Europe to Middle East and our fellow African American peeps in my neighborhood. We all ended up in this demographic from the one we were in previously.

Kids dream about getting married, career, being an adult. Adults dream about retirement, dream jobs and explore new hobbies. I have lost track of each chapter of my life, I mean my past demographics.

Afterall, isn’t life just a constant pursuit of a new demographic anyway?

Aren’t any of you just as ready as me to use this connected technology era of our lives as an opportunity to make my own garshed darn demographic that is so niche the best, biggest data warehouse still can’t crack it?

I suppose as long as I keep getting served cookware, Wayfair and silver hair ads, I’m keeping them confused. I research a lot of stuff on behalf of businesses I have to learn so I am sure even Google thinks this middle-aged mother with some disposible income needs some pharma in her life.

So back to his favorite singers. Another motivator for my son to display their album covers was that we built and framed them on Walmart.com and still spent a mint. They would’ve cost much more had we not pieced together the prints ourselves. Regardless, he didn’t want posters because he wanted them to be nice like art. He wanted the artists to be more art. Made sense.

I approve his choices and reasoning for them.

I’ve yet to hear anything in their personal lives that would make me question these artists hanging in my home. Sure maybe some odd or questionable self things you read about but not really. There’s so much worse out there. I can’t imagine the pressure of having all this fame and fortune yet constant, unpredictable recognition anywhere you go.

No wonder Nashville is the new Malibu. It was a wonderful city. Still is. Just crowded, commercializing and expensive. Sure hope they have strategists in place to keep it authentic and not lose the magic that it still was ten years ago. Let’s figure it out, Ole Red.

I pray these talented gentlemen realize that they have the power to reconnect everyone across all demographics. Kanye started, which is great. Here I am 15 years later with his 2004 music in my regular playlist. He was and is a visionary, whether you like him or not. Thanks for the wog, Kanye. Feeling stronger now. They all create intelligent music.

I’m tired, and I don’t hate anyone. I don’t want anyone to hate me. I’m over hate. It doesn’t win. I think just as we are trapped in this vastly underestimated middle ground between the North and South Poles. I think we’re in the middle where we just want to enjoy this great economy, feel safe, not have anyone take our kids or make us sick with unknown exposure to God only knows what. Or hacking our homes. You know. Like when we were kids in the 80s, Except there really, really isn’t bad things to fear. The 80’s were better, but you still had random fears. Just less of them. I mean, the Johnny Gosch podcast episode from sword and scale explains that.

The more connected we ethical people can be in finding the right middle ground that makes everyone live, love and prosper – the Better. I’m asking for the middle to unite with a commitment to acknowledge stereotypical behavior, not racism, is where many decent Americans live but are sadly grouped into a larger, vast group unfairly by inaccurate media. The only defense we have as individuals is education and experience.

One more point, if I ever thought these men would have my Caucasian daughter removed from their stage and chewed out publicly for singing along to their lyrics because they ain’t allowed to say those words, I would remove them entirely. Or not accept her money to purchase them. But I do not believe they would.

I am sure the parent who bought that kid that expensive ticket, his expensive mercy as well as so-called music about killing people and sex and drugs who then traumatized him for being a paying fan must feel bad.

Education. Experiences. Fame and Fortune fueled by fans open up the recognition that your platform can make a positive change, not a more conflicted segregation. Even if you have a twisted sense of humor, use fowl language for nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives and pronouns – you can use it with your fans to open minds for what’s cool and what’s not cool and yet still edgy.

Take Chappelle or Gary V or even the porn lyric, country music gifted Wheeler Walker, Jr. Let’s look at this for a minute.

His lyrics are so obscene it’s like a graphic cavity poem of a sexually obsessed, objectifying deviant with the confidence of 50 cent on steroids. So why is that ok? Heather, you just ranted about the rappers out there promoting segregation with unethical behavior promotion.

Same reason as the other gentlemen I mentioned above that we like, approach and all. They are authentic in what they are trying to accomplish.

If you listen to Wheeler’s podcasts where he is interviewing a select few country music artists who write and perform their music along the tradition of the genre. You hear him in an every day conversation and realize the X-rated poon talk is for shock disruption in layered ways.

He wants to disrupt the system that dictates exposure today with the accusation that this influence is releasing pop songs with just enough twang to require the pop industry to consider having one of their pop singers recut it with more pop sprinkled in.

By having the talent to actually play amazing, contagious country music, he has the abilities to back up his claims. So, back to the disgusting things he has a sexual appetite for. Why write the stories so graphically?

I think he’s speaking to his fellow country artists out there who are sharing the stations and awards with the pop brethren and he’s out there purposely flipping off the corporate side of country by basically taking what could be another hitmaker of a song and destroying it to ever go mainstream and make them a dime.

His podcast supports my theory. Once again here I am in my neighboorhood yet supporting and laughing to tears at some of his lyrics. It’s like dripping ketchup down your white spring dress. It’s entertaining to hear some of my favorite, true country artists try to have a conversation with Wheeler while in character and out while remembering they still have a whole industry to tolerate respect, you know.

Like a unified employer. You know where all the broken spokes are but can’t share it with the public. You just wanna make good music for a living, after all.

He’s disrupting with sold out shows, millions of views and the ability to qualify with record sales to be guaranteed a ticket to the award show. That he’ll never get nominated in.

Will his fans, fellow artists and curtain tears create the market for more funding of real artists? Could a pure, authentic genre be created? I don’t know about that. There’s a few that should get honorable mention, who write and perform their own music even though it may or may not be a little on the pop side. Sorry not sorry.

Maybe country light?

But I hope his multi-tiered approach of country awareness is being executed in a hilarious, albeit ear muffs way. But I wouldn’t be surprised to find out someday that he’s actually happily married with kids or something and this not only is fully exaggerated but as a specific point that good music is good music even if made by a new Weird Al for X rated. Right, Daniel Tosh?

Long point made short – no one believes he does that stuff. No one believes that stuff is allowed. Most of his Wheeler-approved country artists are happily married and good fathers from all perspectives understood. I’m thankful for the story where we heard his first song right after having some G&R across the street. Another story for another day.

I’ve watched Chappelle’s new stand up twice this weekend, each night after a full day working on the room changes. There’s no doubt George Carlin is proud up there. He shows how silly everything is while maddening when the answers are so obvious. His delivery is geniusly hysterical without increasing barriers. In fact, I hope it does the opposite.

If you really want to increase your base, genre, followers, whatever – it’s only going to last when you are authentic to who you are and what you believe – no matter what some majority says. Most of the time, it’s acceptance of dumb assumptions anyway.

And hold each other accountable for challenging the great divides everywhere. That’s what I want for my family. Wherever they find truths they relate to for a better world.

Thanks for reading.


PS, My daughter was 10 when Degrassi the next generation came out. She loved it and I did too because I recognized the parents as grown-ups. It was a great show and I am glad Drake was a part of that. No regerts.

PSS, I think that explains why you can be attracted to all kinds of music all through your life. If you discover one that connects with you through emotion or expereince they can carry with you throughout the demographic journey called life. We’re all kids still. Just more years to expereince.

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