Thursday, December 8, 2011

What is this "rapping" music all about?

That's a question my uncle asked when I was about 14 years old. It was followed by his own impression of the genre which, if I'm being generous, could be described as hilariously racist.

My own father is a bit more open-minded... In fact, he once asked me to make him a beginner's guide to hip-hop, which I dutifully compiled onto CD with a short two-page essay (NERD!). I've pulled together a Spotify playlist of the album, in case you're interested. It sticks to the more accessible aspects of rap and, since dad's a fan of poetry, there's a bias towards clever wordplay instead of gangsta posturing.

He loved it.

The compilation ends with the Black Eyed Peas' Where Is The Love, which I guess makes it nine or ten years old. With that in mind, I started to wonder what songs I'd add if I was making the CD again today? There'd definitely be some Kanye West; dad would appreciate all the Seinfeld references on WALE's Mixtape About Nothing, and the original compilation definitely suffered from a lack of Jay-Z.

But I don't think 50 Cent would get a look in (too dumb), nor would Lil' Wayne (too crass). The CD could do with a few more female voices, though. Dad already likes Janelle Monae - but I'm not sure a 60-year-old professor of medicine would appreciate Azealia Banks and her potty mouth (is there any need, Azealia? Tsk).

So I set off this morning in search of some new dad-friendly hip-hop and - surprisingly quickly - stumbled across three tracks that might get the Discopop Snr seal of approval. These are they.

Common - The Believer ft. John Legend

Ray Charles by ChiddyBang

B.O.B. - Strange Clouds

Actually, that last one uses the n-word a bit too liberally... but B.O.B's previous single Nothin' On You would fit the bill. Anyone got further suggestions??

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