Hip Hop Hooray!

A conversation with one of my oldest friends, whom I love very very much, in the car last week.

Him: “So Chris Rock was being interviewed and was asked to rank his top five rappers.  Do you know who he chose as #1?  Jay Z!  Can you believe that??”

Me: “Sure.  I could see that.”

“What??  Jay Z??”  Incredulity. Shock. Disbelief.

“He’s amazing.  At the top of his game. He’s changed the face of hip hop.”

More incredulity, shock and disbelief. “Are you kidding? Jay Z?”

At this point, I realize he is completely talking out of his ass.  “Who would you put in the top 5?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Not Jay Z. But surely someone from the 80s or something. Like an original.”

I’m setting him up now. “Ok, so name one.  Like whom?” No answer.  “I can see if you’d want some of the originals to be in there, like Big Daddy Kane, Kurtis Blow, DMC…I could even see someone like Slick Rick being a contender.”

I look over and he’s looking at me as if I’ve started speaking Mandarin.  “La Di  Da di, we like to party, we don’t cause trouble and we don’t bother nobody…”

Finally, a spark of faint recognition, “I thought that was Snoop Doggy Dog.”

Sigh. As the exasperated kids are saying these days, I can’t even.  I have ceased being able to even with his dumb ass.

I look up Chris Rock’s top five.  Jay Z, Nas, Scarface, Rakim, Biggie and  LL Cool J.  I have zero problems with this list.  “Wait!  Old school hip hop is all over his top five. Rakim! And Scarface is on this list. He’s old school. From the Geto Boys.  You know, with Bushwick Bill.  The little person with the eye patch? My mind is playing tricks on me?”


I continue, “I’m not sure I’d put Nas on the list, but that’s just me.  I don’t really know his whole catalog, only that song with Lauryn Hill.”

He clearly has no idea who Nas or Rakim are.  I start laughing and start to let him off the hook.

“You’re not a fan of hip hop, so I have no idea why you’d be so outraged over Jay Z being on the top of Chris Rock’s list.”


Then we parked and got out of the car, which leaves me now with no lovely summary to this post, other than the conclusion that my brain retains a LOT of useless information. I have always contended that were I able to use this information storage for good, useful information, rather than pop culture and 80s/90s song lyrics, I could be president.

You’re welcome to sigh.

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