I’ve never met a rapper that wasn’t a mama’s boy. In fact, pretty much every dude I know in hip-hop worships his mother.(a) Almost to a person, these guys grew up with single moms. As did I.(b) I can tell you from experience that watching a woman struggle on her own to handle her family’s biz is an amazing thing.(c) So it’s no surprise that single mothers tend to inspire fierce devotion. And it’s no surprise that there’s truckloads of hip-hop tracks out there dedicated to moms.(d)
I was thinking about all this yesterday, and I started to wonder about something. It’s obvious that hip-hop shows mothers a lot of love. But how do mothers feel about hip-hop?
Now, I’m not talking about suburban soccer moms, Tipper Gore wannabes, or Republican church hens. I have an idea how they feel about hip-hop and it’s not something I care to give any airtime to. (Who said musical taste isn’t tied to world view? Who?)
I’m not talking about rappers’ Baby Moms either, cause that’s a whole other ball of wax.
What I am talking about is the women who birthed and raised the folks currently in hip-hop. I’m talking about the mommas of rappers, DJs, producers, promoters, b-boys, graff writers, label peeps and even reporters.
Aside from a few high-profile moms—Ms. Wallace and Ms. Shakur (much respect to both)—you don’t really hear from hip-hop mothers a lot.(e)
I wanna know: What do they think of hip-hop? Are they with Oprah? Or are they proud of their baby’s form of expression? Do they encourage their offspring to go to school and get a conventional job—but support them anyway when they do the opposite (ala Ms. West)? How do they feel about the sexism? Do they worry about the violence that dogs hip-hop? What do hip-hop’s mamas make of it all?
(a) Except Marshall, but I’ve never interviewed him.
(b) Shout out to my Mom. I love you.
(c) I’m with Saigon on this one: “They could never give enough cheddar to me/To talk about the lady that made me negatively.”
(d) A couple years ago, Room Service put out a DJ Emskee and DJ Imperial mixtape for Mother’s Day called Turn This Mother Out. There’s loads of blog lists of Top Mama Songs out there, too, although I like this one best.
(e) Respect to Dilla’s mom Ms. Yancey as well, who is working to raise awareness on Lupus.