I have to tell you, at first, I didn't get it. Sure there were some tunes that were kind of catchy, but I just didn't get it. I listened to The Sugar Hill Gang, Kurtis Blow and Heavy D, for awhile back in "The Day", but I thought it mostly faddish. It would go away, I thought. But it didn't. So while I ignored it, and went about my desire to stay planted in the seventies as far as my musical preferences were concerned, the world went on. And Rap caught on. In a big way.
So it was with a heavy heart when I found his first CD that he had purchased, with his birthday money. He bought it at WalMart so it had been censored. Thank God for some things, right. But it wasn't long before he graduated to the more heavy stuff, with the uncensored lyrics. So as I found them, and threw them out, he just kept replacing them with others. He even persuaded his younger brother and sister to listen to this stuff. And they did. And they liked it. As a matter of fact, as the years began to roll by, I began to notice that when we were in the car together, the old stations that I had programmed on the radio were replaced. And they were all listening to the new stuff, including their mom. It was a conspiracy against me. But I let it go.
But then he began to write his own lyrics and rap himself. And soon the word got out and all the aspiring rap artists in Garland, Texas began to come over our house to rap themselves. They all had a Z in their name and they all made a lot of noise. Sometimes I thought it could not get any louder in our house. I was sure the neighbors were on the verge of revolt. I knew it wouldn't be long before a petition was circulated complaining about the noise. But it never happened. And not thinking it could get louder, of course, it did. Because at one point he began to make his own money and buy his own equipment - specially designed noise making equipment. The kind of stuff you see on stage at concerts. And I had a front row seat. And the aspiring artists continued to come and rap and, as they called it, collaborate. And make a lot of noise.
I confess, I didn't get it. When it got too loud I would pull out my IPOD, loaded with my oldies but goodies and drift away, listening to the sounds of Al Green, the Gap Band and an occasional Marvin Gaye. I was stuck. There was no hope for me.
We finally moved. Leaving Texas behind. And I was sure that was where it would stay - the rap, in Texas. But it came with us. And soon, just as in Texas, we had aspiring rap and Hip Hop artists coming to our house, collaborating, and making all kinds of noise. And as I did when in Texas, I blocked it out with tunes of my own and conceded that this was his passion. This is what he was meant to do. And while it wasn't what I would listen to regularly, others did, and were inspired by it. He had an audience. And they liked his music.
As I have known all along, but never admitted out loud, he, Brandon, has talent. He's oozing with it. But, while his talent was maturing, and growing, I, like an idiot, blocked it out and chose to listen to my oldies but goodies, when I should have been acknowledging his talent. And now I listen. Yeah, some of his songs are not my cup of tea - a little too loud, a little too edgy. But every now and then, he'll drop one on my desk and I'll listen to it and before long, find myself bobbing my head and tapping my toes. Because it's pretty darn good stuff. And when I do, I find myself grinning because I know my son has talent. That's something I will never miss again. Here's his latest song, "The Getaway." He's the second rapper. You can start the player, below.