I remember my first explicit CD. The one I bought with my own money, the same purchase I never discussed with my parents. Or at least I don’t remember discussing it with them.
I’d pop it in my discman when they were gone, connect it to speakers, and try to make the floor of my room bounce. It was Naughty by Nature, and I was pretending to be.
I’d answer Treach with a “Yeah, you know me…” and belt an unsolicited duet when I’d hear “Hip hop hooray…ho…”
Those were precious, stolen moments in a home that loved Laura Branigan, Steve Winwood, Fleetwood Mac and the Moody Blues. And Treach turned out being a gateway for me into lifelong musical romances with Biggie, Dre, Snoop, a little Tupac and a fair helping of Jay-Z.
I learned slang and felt beats and practiced rhyming, fast.
And then there was today. When I was lost and had to ask Dominic what a word meant in a song. I had to ask him. Ugh. Age.
“What is Gucci?” I asked. “Like, fancy?”
Um, no. More like, okay.
“Like, we good,” he said. “We’re cool.”
Totally fine. I can get down with Gucci. I can also get down with “slap,” but only if I’m joking. It apparently means a song is, like, bumping, according to a former co-worker. That it’s just everything. It slaps.
That song slaps.
But as long as we’re bringing words in, I have to retire a few. Like you do with clothes. We need a language purge. Zero tolerance for keeping these letters strung together. They can’t be here anymore.
Bye “bling.” And “slay.” You’ve outlived your lifespan. And need to go. Now.
Gucci is moving in.