Hip-Hop: Lessons From My Father

“I was your first music, I used to make beats and say Go Ta-ta, Get Busy, Go Ta-ta. I did that for all of my children, everyone got the Get Busy”- Abu
I was born in 1988 Hip-Hop’s golden era. My parents were teenagers, 17 and 18 years old, and just like most kids in the 80’s my Abu was engulfed in everything Hip-Hop. Even right now while writing this he’s texting me a plethora of artists that he listened to. For example, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, Juice Crew, Eric B and Rakim, EPMD and Run DMC all of whom had a great 88′ according to him. He always says, “It was more artists back then and everybody sounded different and DJ’s used to rock the crowd too.”. As far back as I can recall I have been encompassed in Hip-Hop. Even my father associates my birth with Rap album releases. As a result, it was a matter of time before I caught the same bug.
Abu: I was your first music, I used to make beats and say Go Ta-ta, get busy, go Ta-ta…I remember when BBD “Poison” came out, you loved that song I think it was 89′ or 90′ and you were 1-year-old walking around repeating poison, poison.”
Me: Ha-Ha, to this day that is still one of my favorite songs.
Abu: You know Music is in your genes right? You always liked music, it was born in you.
Me: Yea, Umi told me I would walk around with my Playskool microphone and tape recorder, rapping Black Sheep ‘The Choice is Yours’ and when “Engine, Engine Number 9” would come on I would crouch down until the “pick it up, pick it up” part came on.
Abu: Sounds right, Yo, I remember you used to love that Eve song, *sings* “Got a man that I think I’m gonna love forever”, I still have that home video of you rapping that song in Jersey.
Me: Yooo! I love that song too. Yea, I need all of those videos by the way.
In spite of us growing up in different Hip-Hop era’s we always met in the middle with Jay-Z. This particular conversation was no different. We compared our favorite albums, the top five songs, how “Public Service Announcement” resonates with a live crowd, and debating whether American Gangster received its proper just due. Also, we often discuss Jay-Z’s impact on culture. For instance, in Summer 2017 we were in New Jersey visiting family, driving around the city listening to Reasonable Doubt, At that moment I got curious. I wanted to know what the vibe was like when the album hit the streets over 20 years ago.
Me: Abu, what was it like in 96’ when this album dropped? Like what was the energy?
Abu: When Reasonable Doubt first dropped, everyone was like who is this dude? I could relate to him, Hov was talking about the streets, about hustling, everything I was into, he was different, he grew on everyone.”
Ultimately, I got lucky in life. While most kids argued with their parents over the music they listened to, mine embraced every bar. But let my Abu tell it and he’ll say that he was my only spark. I’ll let him have that, he deserves it.
Me: Okay, Abu let me go I have to finish writing this article.
Abu: Okay, just make sure you tell them I was your first music, okay?
Me: Haha oh man, of course. Love You.

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