2nd Childhood

Ok…

Hip Hop has been around for what, 30 some odd years now? It can be considered grown-up, numerically speaking. Its old enough to have Honors awards shows and hand out Legends trophies at other award shows. Its old enough for some of us to say “back in MY day” and others to say “back in THE day.” We’ve gone from buying vinyl to cassettes to CDs to MP3. Boomboxes to IPods…you get my point.

So, contrary to what a few label A&R’s, select rappers and some of these young Thundercats say, Hip Hop ain’t necessarily a young man’s game. And it shouldn’t be. There’s nothing wrong with not being an 80′s Baby. I think everybody has their time and place in Hip Hop. As much as older cats deserve their 25 and over sets at the club, the young cats deserve to Superman a couple hoes (i suppose). But like I said, time and place my nigga, time and place.

Say what you will. But I don’t think anyone over the age of 21 should be bumping Superman Dat Hoe or “A Bay Bay” like that.

I ain’t saying don’t dance to it when it comes on at a club, party or sporting event. I’m saying it looks kinda crazy to see older cats bumping that kind of music like its their Earth, Wind & Fire or Maze.

For instance, I caught the train downtown today. There was this older cat sitting across from me. It looked like he’s seen some shit in his years. He was one of them older cats who look like he always wears shades, smoke Newports back-to-back-to-back and has one of those worn-out Stoney Jackson-like perm-curls. Ya’ll know what I’m talking about.

Anyways, he was playing his music loud as hell through his headphones. Seeing that he had a CD Walkman and not an Ipod, I kinda figured that he was “old school” in a sense. When my ears adjusted to hearing what he was listening to, all I heard was “A BAY BAY A BAY BAY!” Now, I don’t have a big problem with that song or Hurricane Chris. Granted, I’m not big fan of the song, but Chris is aight with me. But to see a 50-plus year old brotha blasting that shit was kinda awkward. Like, nothing about that shit struck me as cool.

You know, I used to think some of my friend’s parents were cool because they might have listened to some pre-Makaveli era 2Pac, maybe a little LL. You know, I thought it was cool that my moms really dug Scarface’s “Never Seen A Man Cry.” Hell, my pops listened to Doug E. Fresh and Kool Moe Dee and pretty much helped expose me to Hip Hop. But, a 50 year old bumping “A Bay Bay” like that…nah, that shit ain’t look too cool.

At that point, he was only mumbling the words. But then, after that went off, “Spiderman Dat Hoe” came on. No, not “Superman Dat Hoe,”…”Spiderman Dat Hoe!” Which means his old ass is either hanging with little kids or actually on YouTube staying up on this shit. I was afraid that he was gonna crank the “Shootout” next.

Now, once again. Ain’t nothing wrong with knowing what’s current. You know, if you are someone like Michael Eric Dyson or Cornel West who seeks to have some discourse with people of the Hip Hop generation, then yeah, that’s cool. After all, if you want to school cats and build with them, you gotta understand where they at. You can’t just take the Al Sharpton/Bill Cosby approach to everything all the time.

But, to just be an old ass dude bumping “Spiderman Dat Hoe” like that…nah, man, that shit ain’t cool. You know, if you an older person, that is some shit that I think you can get along fine without knowing. What’s crazier is that dude knew every single word to that shit. I tried holding in my laugh, but I couldn’t. As soon as I started laughing everyone else on the train started laughing too. Then, just like a child would do, the old head started rapping the words louder and putting on a show. Then, finally when his little mix CD landed on “Superman Dat Hoe,” he did the dance in his seat and rapped the words.

Seeing this behavior reminded me of them 40-year old women who dress like they are 21 and dance like they are 17. That shit is crazy as hell. The fountain of youth’s water ain’t always clean shawty.

So I ask, when are you too old for Hip Hop, or better yet, certain kinds of Hip Hop? I remember going to an event where Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was speaking. At the time, everyone wanted to label him the “Hip Hop Mayor” because of how young he was. He half-way welcomed the title, but made sure that people knew that he came up on shit like LL, Rakim and KRS-One. Not the “gangsta shit” or the buffonery music (note: I said “or”, making an obvious distinction). In saying that, he was letting people know that he was a grown ass man and wasn’t gonna be caught throwing up DipSet or screaming G-G-G-Uniiiiiit!

So again I ask, how do you know when you are too old? I want to be able to prevent other old heads from embarrassing themselves if I can. Its bad enough some of them are still rocking Fubu.

I don’t want to have conversations with old heads about Lil Wayne’s The Drought 3. I want them to school me on the shit that came out before my time. Like, I kinda enjoy being able to break down [dope] lyrics for my elders so they can see that some cats actually be saying something. I don’t want to get to the point that they, and not my little cousin, are teaching me how to “Crank Dat.” That shit is backwards as hell.

Side Note/Question: How ya’ll feel about grown-ass DJ’s that be playing and promoting young ass music?

  • og bobby j

    I think it up to the individual…Personally, i dont really fux wit the soulja boy nonsense…but thats me. Having said that, I think it is acceptable to rock to it in the club if it gets the bitches goin. Music is funny tho, i think it serves as a catalyst for its listner. Therefore, if a song from 92 touched you, whose to say a song from 07 cant. There should be no age limit, but rather a substance filter. No grown ass man should ever holler a bay bay…and not too many young cats should be talkin that grown folk music either. As for the Dj’s…its there job, so whatever pays the bills, i cant call it. The Dj has to cater to the audience, so its really not up to them. Like out here in NY, Funk Flex dont really spin that cornball rap, but for the times he has too (Countdowns and shit)

    On a side note, I think the cornball finger snap rap, while entertaining, should slow down. In addition, the “Im no rapper, Im a thug, I sell so much weight its unheard of” rap needs to cool out too. Not every song needs a message, but not every song needs a dance or dope boy reference either. RIP Pun and cop that Nacerima Dream whenever it drops….Papoose Papoose.

  • TMB

    LOL @ your side note question… I awready know how YOU feel about that shawty!

    Hilarious and on point as always MGG

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  • Detroit P

    Nice piece (pause)…I noticed your blogs usually be on point (pause)….This some good shit right here (pause)…But yea its a time and a place..and 2nd childhood was a great title for this post…its too many old people that need to mentally grow up…Im 19 and Im too old to be listening to Ay Bay BAy…I mean listening to it..I’ll dance to SSoulja Boy or whatever..but I mnot gonna sit down and listen to it like theres actually something woth hearing…please blieve that kinda stuff never touches my Ipod…but Im not no type of back pack rapper either…I bump Jeezy to JayZ…ROSS! to Nas..I like good music with good lyrics..but I dont like music with only lyrics..its not fun to listen to..gottta have flow

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  • Blaze

    Honestly i enjoy your blogs but its music… some people think black people listening to rock music is dumb and pointless…the same for white kids and other races with rap…shit listen t what the fuck you want to. U dont know what that songs means to them so who exactly are you to say what they should be listening to. U mite have some shit niggaz would frown upon in your ipod but God forbid that would seemingly make you uncool or out of place because of your preference to music…I guess Im told young being a 26 year old who also listens to bootsy collins, fred taylor, and al green. b4 my time I guess

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  • http://www.cocaineblunts.com/ noz

    That guy actually has the disease Robin Williams had in Jack. This post is insensitive.

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  • http://www.allhiphop.com IllSeed

    Aww man theres man theres nothing wrong with Old Heads having fun from time to time besides agae ain’t nothin but a number…word to Aalliyah

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  • dj ashy fingerz

    this is real talk, there is a whole generation of early rap fans that don’t care for lil wang and “whats hot in the streets”….what are they listening to?

    As for these djs…. if you talk to any of them personally they will swear up and down they hate it but at the same time say “I play what people wanna hear”. Niccas wanna keep they jobs so they gonna be “supermannin’ and “smellin dicks”(pause) all day

  • N.O. 4 life

    you been pretty solid with these posts…good look

  • smog

    one time i was on the train and this dude was rappin rakim and i was like yeah thats that shit, so we got to talkin and then he offered me some crack, but hip hop is and will always be a youth driven movement

  • http://xxlmag.com Kane Corleone

    Good post lil homie a little off on somethings but really a good read.Now with that said 1st thing-HIPHOP is not a young mans game,becuz the inventors were not young.2nd-This music is not limited to age,more like limited to the soul.I remember being 12 going to see LL & DJ JAZZY JEFF & THE FRESH PRINCE.That nigga L came out of a big ass BoomBox thru the tape deck and shit. Tickets were 13.50$$ back then and there was no seats but in the stands thats when niggas was dancin and gettin live on the floor.On the real cuz Rakim,Run,The Juice Crew,Doug E,Just,BDP all them niggas was old with mustaches and beards and shit.The music is basically kept alive threw the youth so until u old and die it’ll be here for you. Its the music of the struggle the music of the have-nots so as long as there is struggle there’ll always be hip-hop.(Word to my niggas who know bout the Blue colored food stamps ) Plus this is something I need to ask I thought that you were an 80′s baby if you grew up in the 80′s not born in them somebody let ya dude know I always wondered bout that one. Oh yea 76′STAND UP

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  • Timbo

    Another great and thought-provoking post. I find that as an older head (28, damn I actually had to think about whether I was 27 or 28 for a moment there) I naturally like the sound of older hip-hop more. And that doesn’t just mean replaying my personal classics from 93-97, but also discovering music from that period today that I missed out on first time around. It’s not that I automatically disregard Soulja Boy’s style, for example, but just that it doesn’t mean anything to me on a personal level, artistically or emotionally.

    Having said that, I love some modern hip-hop. I thought Rick Ross’s ‘Port of Miami’ was amazing (he’s an old-ass man though, right? Looks it). But in terms of modern shit I still go for the grown-up sound (Ill Poetic, Soulstice, that new Stic.man joint).

    • Josh

      LOL – I’m 28 too and sometimes forget my age. I told someone I was 29 the other day.

  • B-MORE

    WoW! Me and some friends were JUST discussing this the other day. I’ve been a fan of hip-hop since 1980(w/o giving up too much of my age!) and I agree there’s a time and place for everything. Seeing someone my age “Superman”ing anything is jive ridiculous! I LOVE the hip hop I grew up on and I LIKE some of the stuff that’s out now. Being older doesn’t mean I don’t like the newer stuff, but for real, a majority of it is hot garbage! I know if I E-V-E-R see some old ass dude doing anything other than a 2-step or a line dance, I’mma slap the sh*t out of him! ONE.

  • hotbox

    Solid post.

    I’m 32, I still listen to hours of hip-hop a day (newer and classic shit) and I can honestly say I still haven’t actually heard the Soulja Boy song yet. I’ve heard OF the song many times, but I’ve managed to avoid actually hearing the song so far.

    • Josh

      You must not listen to urban radio.

      At all.

  • LowEndofDaChi

    “I want to be able to prevent other old heads from embarrassing themselves if I can. Its bad enough some of them are still rocking Fubu.”

    LMAO! Yeah man, these older heads kill me with that shit. Rocking Phat Farm, team jerseys, Girbaud shuttle pants, Mecca, Enyce, Southpole, those dumb ass leather jackets with shit all over ‘em. Enough already, grown men shouldn’t be wearing that garbage.

    Great post BTW, appropriately titled.

    • Digital Popi

      Hey, old heads can wear team jerseys, but if you are over thirty it has to be your favorite team. For an old head rocking team sportswear is an exceptable invitation for a conversation with another old head; stranger or not. Don’t be caught wearing something just because it matches outfit colors. That’s young boy stuff.

      The only thing I get out of young boy hip-hop is a decent gym workout. I prefer to load my mp3 with vintage rap. That’s like the best stuff from now to 12 years back sometimes further. Mostly consious with a street edge (Wu-tang), or at least thinking gangsta (Ice Cube).

      People look at you strange now if you are over 35 and still are into hip-hop, because the first thing they think of is kiddie rap or maybe club rap. If you are over thirty and still play the club strong it’s like, ain’t you bored yet? People don’t think of hip-hop music in terms of social commentary and poetry. This is due to what the media typically exposes.

      You will find that alot of older heads still into hip-hop hate radio hip-hop for the most part.

      Young head have to understand that the mental/spiritual disconnection between generations is a detriment. Old heads have to care.

  • Rockcity

    I guess it all depends on a persons mentality. If you’re a nigga thats full of shit and only talks the talk of being hood or whatever, then more than likely, your music taste will be somewhere around the lil wayne and dipset spectrum, If you’re more of a real dude, that does real shit, pac and big might be you’re thing, If you’re more of a young college type, i guess Nas, Rakim or even mos def might be youre thing. Truth be told, im 21 and im too old and too damn mature for today’s rap music, so like i said it all depends on one’s mentality.

  • Around and Around

    Good drop. These young bucks don’t realize what they’re missing….

    I want to see any old guy rap ‘Superman Dat Ho’

  • http://www.rockthedub.com khal

    50 = def too old to be blasting a bay bay. $20 says he thought doing that could be down.

    my 15 month old son is all about souljah boy. he’s getting into melodies now, and does his lil foot to foot shuffle to songs that catch him. he also likes hearing “ay bay bay”, like if i say it like chris does in the chorus.

    but then again, he nods his head to the “barry bonds” beat, so who knows.

  • bill

    what about when your listening to music to old for your age?

    or is there a line between popular music of an era
    and classic music that can be embraced by everyone?

  • http://www.comeshopwitus.com dj lemonhead

    Why cant a muafucka listen to what they want and just enjoy themselves? Muafuckas always puttin stipulations on shit. Thats the problem with rap. Everybody want to put an age limit or category on shit. I’mma dj. And no matter how old I get my job is to play whats hot and try to break new shit. That is my resposibility. Everybody talk about I want somebody to be original and shit but as soon as a muafucka do somethin different he wack. LOL. You hip hop purist conservative muafuckas kill me. Lil dude came up with his own shit and wasnt biting nobody and everybody went for his throat. To all you muafuckas who like the Little Brothers, the Brother Alis, the Immortal Techniques, the Ghostface Killers, the Keith Murrays and etc. GO BUY THE FUCKIN RECORD! STOP DOWNLOADING THE SHIT FOR FREE! STOP BUYING THE BOOTLEG! Show the record labels that there is a demand for the shit. A record label is a business and they gone promote what sells. Stop bitching and complaining about what one man is doing or listening to and go support your favorite artist with your dollars. Not just your words. Stop blaming the record labels for not promoting. Get off your ass and help your favorite artist. Soulja Boy had a following before his shit was on the radio. Crank That Soulja Boy is old as hell. Dude was doing shows like a muafucka. So aint shit happen overnight. He showed that there was ademand for his product. He sold a lil over 100 his first week that was a success. Yawl love Freeway but he only sold 50000. WTF!? Yawl knew dat shit was gone drop but only 50000 got sold. Yawl mfs kill me! Irv Gotti is right. There is too much beef and hostility over fucking music. Listen to what you want and I’ll listen to what I want. But please dont forget to have fun and support the music you love with your dollars. Holla at me!

  • symonfenix

    well i somewhat agree with that article.BUT me myself am a product of hip-hop.every aspect of it i was involved.im 35 now and although im not feelin alot of the music out now.I AM STILL HIPHOP TO THE CORE!times change just as well as people.and hiphop is a young man/woman game b-cuz ultimately they drive the financial gain in it.always will.30-37 yr olds aynt buyin the cd’s thats coming out.it was a young mans game when i was comin up around it.we hav to realize the music has to change in order for progression.and it has.alot of poor blacks have been able to find success in this form of art and music.true a minority of them are without true artistic talent,but they they still are apart of the overall progression of the culture.NEVER would i have seen so many whites and many non-black americans loving the music and culture WE call hip-hop!BACK IN MY DAYit was unheard of.it was only in our community.but look at the progression.if a 50 yr old man wants to listen to ANY form of rap music thats his biz.let him hav dat.cuz when i was 15 listening to rakim,50 yr old cats was callin our music GARBAGE!Hip-Hop,u have come along way baybay!and u know what?I STILL LUH U!!

  • Gay Back Packers Unite!

    Side Note/Question: How ya’ll feel about grown-ass DJ’s that be playing and promoting young ass music?
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    LOL, you mean like Kay Slay, Flex, Greg Street, etc. etc.

    It’s ridiculous…They come off like retards dressing in Jerseys and ball caps.

    Old ass Niggas chasing that young puss in da club…Fuk’n child molestors!

  • L@@K @ ME!!!

    For The Record – Rap Is A Young Mans GAME:

    There’s nothing sader or more pathetic than a 30 something year old dude at the ‘Industry Showcase’ handing out demos!

    If you ain’t signed by 30, its OVER!

    Go take care of your kids, move out ya’ Mommas house, and go get a real job!

  • Doobie

    Release date and age of the artist has nothing to do with musical merit, so anybody should be able to listen to anything at anytime (but dancing around on the train like an idiot IS pretty retarded if you’re like over the age of 12). I also have a huge problem with people thinking that your race or social circle determines what you can or can’t listen to. Most of the music that I listen to came out before I was born or when I was too young to know what music was. The only issues are skill and talent, and Soulja Boy, Hurricane Chris and all of these crunk and snap, ring tone rappers are sorely lacking in both areas. THAT’S why I think it’s silly for someone over 21 to bump that shit—by that age they should know better. “Crank Dat” is just terribly banal, dim-witted pap. The track sounds like some shit I made in 1st grade on this keyboard that I got from Toys R Us, and the lyrics sound like they were written by one of those kids in the “special” class in the back of the school. It wouldn’t hurt Soulja Boy and the rest of these fools to learn a scale or two. Well really, you can make great Rap music with just a good riff and a good groove, without any other accompaniments or anything. But that requires more thought and attention to their craft than most of these rappers are willing to give. That’s why new millennium Rap is now officially the new hair metal. To be fair, I think music all across the board has generally devolved, and younger people today just don’t seem as interested in music as the last 3 or 4 generations. Way too much of this Rap, R&B, Rock, Pop and everything else now is just totally devoid of passion, thought and creativity.

  • Clint Southwood

    It looks like alot of people are hanging out with Geoffey the oversized walking and talking mascot from ‘Toy R US” . You have to grow up it seems like people are walking round humming “I don’t want to grow up ” but you have too. Let the kids have their fun.

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