Today I thought to myself, “I feel like listening to some Ja Rule.” For those of you who don’t know, he was quite a famous rapper/hip-hop artist circa early-2000’s. So, I jumped on my Premium Spotify account (I recently upgraded from the free account, now I can skip as many songs as I want, listen to any song on demand and there are zero commercials. My life has gotten even that much better because of it.)
So, I searched for Ja Rule and hit play on some of his classics. “Always on Time“, “Livin’ It Up” and the hit, “Ain’t It Funny” with Jennifer Lopez. (This song is toned down quite a bit because of J-Lo’s street credit.) As I was listening to these songs, which, by the way, are off the album and clearly not “radio edits” I started to feel real uncomfortable. So much swearing. So much “p*&sy” this and “s*&k my d#$k” that…and I was like:
By the way, I am known in certain circles in my life (and by “certain” I mean “all”) to swear like a dirty, rotten sailor sometimes, so…I don’t know who I think I am complaining about this…but just hear me out.
I started to think, is this one of the early stages of being middle-aged? I mean, I am going to be 40 in 4 months.
You wouldn’t know it to look at me, being an overweight, white woman, but I was once a huge fan of hardcore rap. I am well-versed at the greats, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Snoop, Run DMC, Missy Elliott, Beastie Boys, B.I.G., Tupac, LL, Eminem, Vanilla Ice…many of the great rappers of our time. But all of the sudden, the words are hitting me differently. They feel, kinda…gross. Kinda unnecessary? Even with the newer folks like Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz…it bothers me. The language, the topics about women and sex and violence. It bothers me in a way that I used to overlook, I guess? I’m all for expressing the issues in today’s society through all forms of art…it’s definitely a way for people to connect, relate and maybe understand, but so many song lyrics are just explicit about these topics…in ways that I don’t feel are necessary to make a statement.
Have I evolved into a more peace-loving hippie? Have I lost my street credit? (That makes me laugh so hard, saying “street credit” instead of the “street cred” like the kids say…or actually probably don’t even say anymore, thus making it even more funny.) Have I just gotten to a point in life where I’m not as hip anymore? I don’t know.
Is this 40?
Listen, “Hey Ladies” by the Beastie Boys, “Song Cry” by Jay-Z, “Nuthin’ but a G Thang” by Dr. Dre, “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” by Snoop Dogg….these are some of my favorite songs of all time…and I think because of their sentimental value from the times in my life when I was all up in the rap game (cannot even type that with a straight face) they will always be….but I wonder, am I now too old to appreciate today’s rap world? That makes me kind of sad. But also, maybe kind of proud of myself that I don’t want to expose myself to music that is honestly, kind of negative and hurtful to some people.
I guess it’s radio edits and Will Smith for me from now on. Maybe clean it up a bit, musicians, and you’ll win me back. (They’re all reading this like, “F*#k that B*&ch”…) (Just kidding, they’re not reading this…)
What do you think? I’m totally going to have my “Hip Chick” card revoked… 😦