Home > Music > Everything I ever needed to know, I learned from hip hop

Everything I ever needed to know, I learned from hip hop

Sorry to my halves of dozens of fans out there who have been waiting for another blog post.  I’ve been pretty busy lately, and more importantly, my brain has become a non-functioning pool of applesauce.  But, like in previous funks, it took XM radio to break me out of this creative valley.

A few months ago, I re-discovered XM channel 65.  It’s called Backspin, and the station carries nothing but old-school hip hop.  If it was made after 1995 or so, you won’t hear it.  And that’s perfect.  Because after I got out of college in 1995, rap and other hip hop forms lost me.  I became too old, too out of touch, and (let’s face it) too white to really dig a good portion of what was coming out.

XM 65 does a good job of bringing back the music from my youth.  It all just comes back in waves of nostalgia.  And, I realized that the songs really had a lot to say.  I mean, growing up, all Gen X’ers heard was the yapping from Baby Boomers about the music of the late 60s and how meaningful they were.  Yeah, we get it.  Those damn dirty hippies saved the world (and had lots of sex and drugs along the way).  I got ya, Moonbeam.

But, check out these lessons you could apply through the rest of your life… and things I still put into practice today.  So, over the past few weeks, I’ve been compiling what I’ve learned from hip hop during my life.  I’ve added to them my comments on the life lesson – and how to apply that everyday.

On healthcare

  • No… sleep…’til Brooklyn. — I found out in college that sleep deprivation is no joke.  At one point, I thought I was in Brooklyn.  Turned out it was just a shady part of Durham.  Scary, either way.
  • Shake ya ass, but watch yo’self — Thanks to Mystikal, I defy you to find a Gen X’er that has been pick-pocketed while dancing. It hasn’t happened.  This was the “stop, drop and roll” of my generation.

On relationships

  • Never trust a big butt and a smile —  Man, ain’t that the truth?
  • Don’t sweat the technique — This is deep.  Just dive in to a relationship, but don’t worry about the mechanics.  Thanks Eric B. and Rakim.
  • Don’t just stand there, bust a move — Young MC gives out a call to action for everyone suffering from shyness or a social disorder.  No Paxil required.  Well played.
  • [Female dogs] ain’t nothing but [prostitutes, rhymes with Joe’s] and [another word for prostitutes, rhymes with flicks] — Uh, this is pretty much self-explanatory.

On dealing with confrontation

  • Shotgun bullets are bad for ya health — See also Wittington, Harry.
  • When you dis Dre, you dis yourself — I’d love to use this during tense business meetings. This is sage advice from the wise doctor.  And, I wonder what Dr. Dre got his PhD in.  Of course, he could be an MD.
  • If you can’t take the heat, get yo’ ass out the kitchen.  We on a mission — Standard advice, but when Coolio adds “yo’ ass,” it creates a sense of urgency.   Good stuff.

On having fun with your friends

  • It ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none — Snoop Dogg provides a sobering lesson about sharing.
  • No parking on the dance floor — There is also no yielding on the dance floor.  Passing on the dance floor is only permitted in marked areas.
  • Jam on it. Jam on it. Jam-j-j-jam jam on it — I believe that Newcleus was actually alluding to some Kantian philosophies here, but I could be mistaken.

On the workplace

  • It’s tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time — I hear ya.  Used this nugget in many a job interview.  Granted, I never got those jobs, but still…
  • Pimpin’s not easy, but it’s necessary — Something that men and women of great power come to understand.  Obama’s learning that one now.  W?  He never listened to Big Daddy Kane (I’m making an assumption here, but I’m pretty sure I’m right) and suffered greatly.

On general life knowledge

  • I’ve got nothing but love for ya, baby — Ah, Heavy D, you really pulled me through some tough times.
  • Pop goes the weasel ’cause the weasel goes pop — Truer words have never been spoken.  That’s just too high to get over.  Too low to get under.
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Categories: Music
  1. Lil'Bit
    October 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    “I never eat a pig cause a pig is a cop” – House of Pain teaches me the difference between loving bacon and loving cannibalism.

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