A little over a year ago, I experienced several significant losses. A few that I mentioned here were the parting of ways with Huntington Beach, and my beloved surf coach, and the death of my grandmother. When those things happened, it felt like a huge, dark line was drawn in my timeline and everything was now either before or after those experiences. I found it strange, but, among many other things, it was painful to listen to some of the same music I'd been listening to prior to losing those people. It made me think of the "before," the life that included them, and it reminded me that I was now in the "after," the part of my life they would never know.
Around that time for a reason I do not remember, a friend at work gave me a (I almost said "tape") mixed CD of Wu-Tang. I know - he started me on the crack-cocaine of rap music. I liked it, a lot, but my tastes quickly went to the more indie, underground version of the same. I haven't heard almost any of the big names that are out there, and I don't like much of the ones I have heard. Too shallow and flashy for me. I don't get that stuff.
I tend toward a genre called "conscious rap," which is to say the subject matter is less about bitches and ho's and more about racial inequality, gender issues, political activism, gentrification, socioeconomic issues, etc. It's not preachy - at least not to me. The music isn't telling you what to do. It's saying: What is up with this world? What has happened to us? And also a lot of: The shit you are being fed is not what you think it is.
I really love it. I've always had a weak spot for anything slightly subversive, and the music just speaks to me. It's also, for the most part, incredibly intelligent and that appeals to me because I'm a little sponge when it comes to learning. So first I came to rap music, and then I started going to rap shows. This was a natural progression because I love live music and have always enjoyed concerts. I want to post about a few special ones I've attended so I remember them.
I have a friend who, whenever I mention that I've been to a show, says, "Are you still going through your rap phase?" Yep. Still am.