I know there's this notion that you're supposed to hate your parents music. No real hip-hop head could follow that model. Our music is built off the world around us--we sample the cartoons we loved as kids, random conversations about Sweet Pea Whitaker, and of course our parents music. My folks had amazing taste--Ko Ko Taylor, BB King, Gil Scott, The Drifters. I forgive my Moms for hating Sade and swearing she can't sing.

When I think of being in the car with my Dad, I think of NPR and Bob Edwards, but that's not really fair. My Dad was a music-head too, and really still is. In my book, I talk about him going into the service, hopped up on soul, (the Otis Redding and Stax stuff) and how the white boys used to tease him about his music. So once, when he was back on leave, he picked up a Bob Dylan record, because he thought it was typical "hillbilly music." His plan was to play the record and get back at that white boys by mocking them with some old, "Well here's what your people listen to." Well they were offended alright--but not in the way Dad planned. The response was basically, "Get that hippie shit out of here!"

You gotta remember where my Dad was coming from--he really didn't know who or what Dylan was. But here's the kicker: He started playing this Dylan record that he'd bought as a joke, and he started to dig it. ("Masters Of War" I think) Not only did he dig it, but Dylan (along with a lot of his reading) started to radicalize him. There's this long tradition of soldiers coming home radicalized (veterans of the French and Indian War fighting in the Revolution) and my Dad fit right into that pattern. Basically, a few years after he discovered Dylan, he was in the Panther Party.

When I was kid, We used to take these long car-trips--to Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Philly, whatever. If there was something going on with books and black people we would find our way there. We used to wear Joan Armatrading out on those trips. I mentioned this last week in that thread about Mike, and got some e-mail about it. Well here she is in all her glory. I think this is a great song for young girls. Young boys too, I guess.


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