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Insane in the Membrane Day 3

December 31, 2008

Earworm; n A song that is hopelessly stuck in your head.

Today is day 3 of the Cypress Hill earworm. I cannot remove it. I am suffering.

I have been a rap fan since the late eighties when I was introduced to Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys by my dearest Darin. Since that time I have always had a few favorites, I would consider it my 2nd favorite form of music aside from Indigo Girls type stuff. Ha, yes. Odd that. But actually the rap I like is generally not as much about bitches and 40’s as about themes of social justice.  It is vocally and lyrically driven, like all my favorite music.  I hear music as poetry first, a fact which I didn’t really ever understand until I shared a music collection with Jules, who hears the music first.

I said ‘ generally’ about themes of social justice, not always. Humor is another huge qualification for me to like rap. I can take melodrama from girl folk singers, but not from rappers apparently. Among my favorite rappers, Cypress Hill, Notorious BIG, JayZ, Lady Sovereign, Nas, Dre, old school Public Enemy and Salt and Pepa and my split favorites… Eminem and the Beastie Boys. I think every musician now owes a huge debt to the Beasties. I am aware of my own basic musical ignorance. I lack to words to describe what I like and dislike about a song.  I joke my Ipod is constantly in civil war within it’s tiny white box- you can practically feel Tori Amos and the Indigo Girls crossing the street to avoid Jay Z and Sublime, while Lady Sovereign laughs and throws rocks at them.

The worst thing about my Cypress Hill earworm is that is is emphatically NOT a ‘soundtrack to my life’ moment. It is holiday break, I am coloring, reading stories, hanging out at the park with the kids. There is no reason or need for me to be mentally singing, “plug it, unplug it no strain…I love you Mary Jane …” and in fact, I cannot sing any of the album Black Sunday aloud. I can’t think of a single song where I can get through a musical phrase without having to explain it to my kids- not discussions I am eager to have.

 I remember actually organizing a protest against censorship when the concept of the music rating system came out. I was a teenager, carrying signs and yelling about music is for everyone- now as a parent I understand the preservation of innocence. My son is 11, going on 22 and he thinks there is no reason he shouldn’t be allowed to play M rated games. Suddenly what I didn’t understand as a teenager is very clear. There is a reason why children shouldn’t be deadened to the violence and pain in society.  As a parent, I do think bad language is a stupid reason to censor what your children listen to- I am no angel about swearing in general and “bad words” are merely descriptive words. We say they are ‘inappropriate’ or impolite words, because they make others uncomfortable. Not “bad” because frankly there are sometimes when no other word fits the bill.( I am not sure how any mother anywhere gets through the day without the word Dammit!) But on the otherhand, while I comfortable discussing drugs and sex in an educational and age approriate way with my kids, I am NOT comfortable with them listening to Hits From the Bong.

I think I need to find my earphones.

A to muthaf**kin K homeboy, A 2 the mf*g K

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