I was trying to come up with a rap for The Tonight Show’s Twitter hashtag game #SuperBowlRaps. I had to dig deep into my history of rap knowledge and went to where rap feels comfortable for me: The Beastie Boys. In high school, I loved the Beastie Boys. Even still when I say “The sun was beating down on my baseball hat” I enunciate “hat” with all the toughness I can muster.
So I was sitting at my kitchen table after the boys were all in bed and muttering some lyrics when my teenage daughter called out of her room (said in the most typical teenage voice), “What are you doing?”
“I’m just rapping.”
She came out of her room at this point, incredulously and amusingly watching me rap under my breath as I tried out some Super Bowl versions of Sabotage, No Sleep ’Til Brooklyn, and Paul Revere.
She wasn’t that impressed. And it is my duty, as her mother, to impress her of my music and rap knowledge. I had to show her that I was not too unlike her, once upon a time. I played a few Beastie Boys songs for her on youtube, as I rapped and danced along. She thought the music videos of the 1990s were ridiculous. I told her that in the 90’s music videos were as important as the songs. Sometimes more important.
During the next forty minutes I schooled her in some of my favorite songs of the 90’s. She told me that Pearl Jam sounded like country music and I told her that she should never say such things in my presence again. (I may have spit on the ground and turned in a circle a few times so that our home would not be cursed with such heresy.) She didn’t find Blind Melon’s No Rain video as charming as I thought it was. She liked Garbage as we discussed the coolness and vocal abilities of Shirley Manson, and we mused about Courtney Love and if Hole would have been as popular without her connection to Nirvana.
My daughter has chatted with my husband for hours discussing classic rock—of which he is very knowledgable and a fan. This was the first time she and I have discussed “my” music for more than five minutes (she isn’t ready for 80’s synth pop). I told her that I would make her a playlist of 90’s music (do people make playlists and CDs anymore?) and as I was making it, I couldn’t believe how old some of these songs are. It’s weird, because I’m not old, but the music is. Bizarre.
Here is my list:
No Doubt — Sunday Morning
Live — Lightening Crashes
Pearl Jam — Even Flow
Garbage — Only Happy When It Rains
Beastie Boys — Paul Revere
Hole — Celebrity Skin
Blind Melon — No Rain
The Fugees — Killing Me Softly
Weezer — The Sweater Song
Sinead O’Connor — Nothing Compares 2 U
Smashing Pumpkins — Tonight, Tonight
Alanis Morissette — Hand in My Pocket
No Britney, no Spice Girls, no Madonna or N’Sync, no Backstreet Boys, not a lot of pop songs, I know. Their music and songs are all a blur in my mind—I couldn’t tell you much more about them other than they were super popular and I heard them a lot. But the music, bands and artists on my list take me RIGHT BACK to the 1990s. Listening to those songs, I can tell you the shirts I was wearing, the Doc Martens I (wish I still) had, the boys’ names I’d write next to mine all over my folder, the JanSport backpack I wore… on one shoulder. These songs ARE the 90s for me. And the kicker is, I still like them. If my daughter were to like them, too, I’d be stoked if she played them incessantly in our family room. I don’t feel the same way about “Hit Me Baby One More Time.”
As for my #SuperBowlRap, well I started writing this instead. As far as I got in that one was:
“Super Bowl 50 I be, All by myself without nobody
Watching the game in my football hat
The food is supa hot, the tv screen is flat”
It’s so literal it hurts. Back to the music for me.
What would you add to that list? What kind of music did you listen to in high school and college? I started listening to 70’s Super Groups in college and that needs to be saved for an entirely different night talking with my teenager... and another playlist.