January 9th, 2016

Today I figured I’d write about how I first got into rap music. The answer to that question is an odd one: it’s all thanks to the TV show Community.

Huh?

Well, first of all, Community is an awesome show that ended too soon and if you haven’t seen it yet I can’t recommend it highly enough. Seriously, why are you still reading this, go check it out right now. I’ll wait.

Its connection to rap may not be too apparent at first glance, but one of its actors, Donald Glover, who also wrote for 30 Rock (another amazing show, see above re: instructions to see watch it asap), is also a musician under the stage name Childish Gambino and performs, you guessed it, rap.

So at my peak of enjoying Community I gave his album named Camp a shot and I liked it. A lot, actually. It was my first foray into the genre, from an unlikely source, but I’m glad I tried it out.

In one of the songs on Camp (Hold You Down for your information) he sings about “aiming for the the throne / Jay and Ye said to watch that,” which I Googled and found out it was a reference to an album named Watch the Throne album by Jay Z and Kanye West. So I went and checked that out.

That, too, was pretty awesome in my humble opinion. It’s more of what you’d call luxury rap, i.e. rapping / bragging about wealth and material things, etc., but I got a kick out of it.

That in turn lead to me checking out individual albums by both Jay Z and Kanye – where there was also overlap as Kanye got his big break ghost producing on Jay Z’s Blueprint album, I discovered – and then things kinda grew from there.

I remember one time when my wife, who listened to hip hop long before I did, was telling me she had some Jay Z on and I was like “he’s awesome!” to which she said “name one song by him” and I couldn’t. Well, not anymore.

I didn’t always keep an open mind when it came to music, which could (and may!) be a longer post for another time, but I do try to do so nowadays and I’m really glad that I did. I know it’s not for everyone, and certainly not all rap is for me even, but I’m happy with the diversity of my musical interests.

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