Growing up was hella awkward for me. We moved a lot since my dad was in the coast guard, but I lived in Alaska until I was 8, then we moved to Louisiana. We moved a few other times but that’s for another day. Looking back at my life and comparing my childhood with others, I realized that I was sheltered. It kept me innocent but naive. Several summers were spent staying in Cleveland with my grandma. Most of my cousins were older than me & since they lived in a regular city (because nothing is regular when you come from Alaska to a big city). Summers meant new experiences, a little more exposure & a different level of freedom. Summers meant love.
Summer of 2000 was when I first fell in love. I’m visiting my cousin in Cleveland. My family had recently moved to Louisiana, I’m 10 now so I’m trying to grow up but I’m still a weird kid. My cousin stayed up on all the new music, meanwhile my dad was still holding on to his old MTV Presents Jock Jams CDs. Cash Money had already taken over for the 9 9 and the 2000, they were releasing music left & right and I’m in the epicenter of it all! Well 45 minutes from it, but all my friends at the time were from New Orleans and wasn't suburban enough to miss the feeling. But like I said before, I was sheltered. So I’m in Cleveland hearing Big Tymers 1st album & I'm elated!
Is this rap? Is this hip hop? What have I been missing?! Why have my parents forsaken me?! All summer I pour over my cousin’s music. Project Pat, 3 6 Mafia, UGK… I never felt so good listening to this! The stories were just as good, no better than the pre-teen books I was reading. You want goosebumps? Listen to Jay-Z’s D’evils off Reasonable Doubt. My first love is rap. To this day, I can’t go a day without hearing somebody rhyme. I’d like to believe I have range, from mainstream artists like Cole, Kendrick & Hov to those that don’t get that same mainstream love like Curren$y, Bas, or Mozzy. Listen, I love rap, always will, the beats, the rhymes, the stories. That’s my first love. What’s yours?