I thought I’d never breach the continental divide between my 16 year old nephew’s taste in rap (aka 2 Chainz) and my own (mostly Golden Age and some newer stuff), until I posted a photo of Slick Rick performing at the Middle East on Thursday. My nephew asked who Slick Rick was, which prompted an unforgettable conversation. I threw some Rick The Ruler at ’em and quietly and respectfully held my tongue while awaiting his response. “A little too old school for me,” he said. “Dre’s The Chronic is about as old school as I go.”
Now understand that the only rapper we’ve ever agreed on thus far has been Jay-Z. I subtly explained to him that the Golden Age paved the way for the new and that even if he doesn’t dig it, he has to respect it.
He agreed and said “sames goes for the new” and had me on a list of rappers that I actually DO dig: The Odd Future collective, Danny Brown, Mellowhype, Mac Miller. So I asked him: “What’s your definition of rap? and here was his response:
“When it comes from the heart. People who made it out of the hood or even the white boys who come from the suburbs like me, but still have meaning to their music and hard, consistent rhymes.
Who can argue with that?
And so it was, Thursday night watching Rick the Ruler pull from his arsenal of classics, reminding the audience to keep it real, but keep it meaningful. Backed by the formidable DJ Kaos on the tables, paying tribute to the old school (including Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side), I was reminded that whether we like it or not, music from the heart, whether old school or new school, cannot be messed with.
From the mouths of babes, people. From the mouths of babes.
Shouts to my nephew, The Ruler, Leedz Edutainment and the Middle East Club.