The Evolution of the Hip-Hop in my life
I was introduced to hip-hop when I was 10 years old.
My parents only listened to rock/metal legends like Guns and Rose's, Ozzie Ozbourne, Aerosmith, Metalica to name a few.
I discovered hip hop early my first album was TLC Fanmail. Second album was Ludacris Word of Mouf.
Tupac and Biggie were also early favorites but the shit they rapped about was above my level of understanding at the time.
I couldn't relate much less begin to comprehend the struggle and experiences they were describing. I was a lower middle class suburban WHITE girl. I didnt know shit about life, the one song I could relate to was, Dear Mama.
I always watched my mother work two jobs, plus hustle Avon on the side while doing her best to hide the pressures of life from my little sister and I.
The song took a whole new meaning in my early 20's...I got pregnant as a teenager and ended up being a single mother to 3 babies from 2 different fathers. I was on welfare and trying to put myself through school.
I thought if I just get a college education I will be able to give my kids a good life. I was wrong. The debt I stacked up taking out loans set me back to this day.
I got a decent job as a result if my education but it didn't pay anything close enough to be able to cover bills and support my 3 kids.
I never recieved child support.
My mother locked my father up for not being able to pay support and I was not going to do that shit to the fathers of my children. You can't get blood from a rock no matter how hard you squeeze.
I quit my job in the medical field after 5 years of struggling to climb the corporate ladder with not much success. They hired young people like myself, paid us half as much as the older people and worked us 3x harder. I felt undervalued and unappreciated. I quit making CENTS more than I made when I started.
Through my 20's I struggled with homelessness and worked every job you could imagine. Hip hop gave me strength
I felt like there were other people in the world who had the same struggles as me. Being a young mother alone with 3 kids with no family support was rough, but I thank god for my kids everyday bc without them I would have given up a long time ago. I live for them. They are my everything.
Chicago raised me from 18+
I made friends from every area -actually i used to run away from the group homes I was in and hide on the south side. I never had a racist bone in my body I've always felt a huge sense of loyalty to the Southside for giving me safety from the adults who constantly condemned me and the placements I ran from.
From ages 17-22 I made CDs filled with songs by 3:6Mafia, Jadakiss, Nas, Diddy (puff daddy at the time) Aaliyah, R.Kelly, Ashanti, Bone thugs, Trina, lil Kim, lil Wayne... so many more. Hip hop accepted me. Hip hop UNDERSTOOD my pain.
When Dr.Dre and Eminem came along I was all ears. It was inspiring to see a poor white kid killin the hip hop game. I think from the very beginning hip hop has been there for people who felt misunderstood and overlooked and those were feelings I could ALWAYS relate to from the beginning of my memory to present day.
Hip hop never judged me.
Hip Hop gave me hope that I could make it to tomorrow. Hope for a better future and strength to keep it pushing through all the bullshit.
When Drake started to grow in popularity I was the first one on the bandwagon.
I was inspired by his unwillingness to conform to the thug image held by most other artists.
"Baby you're my everything you're all I ever wanted" he sang to my heart and filled the voids - loneliness, heartbreak, and abandonment.
He softened my heart when I needed it most. He saved me from myself.
Future, Drake, and Kanye West, Niki Minaj, Rhianna, Beyonce, all my favorites and for a long time all I listened to.
I appreciate the diversity that HipHop has to offer the world.
I appreciate the understanding and compassion hip hop has for the struggle, whatever struggle a person faces individually. Doesn't matter if the world doesn't understand Hip Hop does.
In the last few years my life spun out of control.
I struggled and fucked up and rose again and fell back down over and over. I never gave up.
I remember one time I was so sad I was working as a dinner date companion/ escort and bartender and selling content. Hustling all night then driving hours to visit my ex in prison on no sleep at all.
"Suge" came on the radio. I started gripping DaBaby so hard. The beat..the words they made me forget my tears and smile. made me start dancing in my seat. Da Baby was my only friend for a while during those times.
To this day I turn to music during my most painful and dark shit. Hip hop was my first love and my longest standing relationship.
Some people call me fake. The say I dress white and talk white and that hip hop isn't for me.
Well I think hip hop is for everybody and I'm so grateful for it.