Hip-hop is universal now. Everyone loves it.
Your wholesome grandmother secretly has an N.W.A playlist on that sixth-generation iPod Nano you got her for Christmas.
Your 55-year-old uncle who’s going through a midlife crisis keeps listening to Drake songs so he can relate to his 19-year-old girlfriend.
Even Tr*mp used to hang out with rappers back in the day, and he’s so unapologetically racist you would think Mel Gibson built him for a science project.
My dad, born Edward Landry, also loves rap music. Granted, he'll be the first person to admit he’s no expert. Whenever I describe my latest article on DJBooth, he’ll look more confused than Floyd Mayweather at a spelling bee. But he does have a short list of favorites; hip-hop songs he's pressed the play button on a quadrillion times and sings at the top of his lungs while making his morning coffee.
The following five songs are among his most favorite. They're all great, too. Amazing, even. But, due to my father’s reckless irresponsibility and extreme whiteness, they have been permanently tainted. These songs are like reruns of The Cosby Show; I used to love them as a child but I can no longer enjoy them in good conscience.
50 CENT — "IN DA CLUB"
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My father loves this song and it’s understandable why. The Dre beat is eargasmic and 50 rides it like a hovercraft. In fact, he blasts this tune so frequently, Mr. Cent himself would probably tell him to calm down with it. Eddie especially loves the hook but doesn’t know any of the words besides “You can find me in the club,” then he just says gibberish for 10 seconds. This is a successful businessman with a college education.
KANYE WEST — "GOLD DIGGER"
Let’s address the elephant in the room: when it's time for the hook, my dad says “broke... broke.” Still, that doesn’t change the fact that one of the catchiest songs in our Lord and savior Yeezus Christ’s discography has been abused at the hands of Eddie’s iPad. I can’t tell you how many times I was woken up for breakfast by Jamie Foxx’s voice crooning “SHE TAKE MY MONEY” in the kitchen. Unbelievable.
EMINEM — "LOSE YOURSELF"
Slim’s iconic motivational anthem slash spaghetti PSA is legendary. But after a while, you can only take so many “If you had one shot...” monologues before you wanna vomit on your own sweater already. On top of that, my father thinks the hook goes “Lose yourself with the music, the movies, and you better never let it snow.” Fucking terrifying.
BIZ MARKIE — "JUST A FRIEND"
Biz Markie, aka the rap game Tracy Morgan (I really hope that catches on), crafted this classic chunk of tasty ear candy in 1989, which, sadly, I can no longer comfortably digest. “YOU. YOU GOT WHAT I NEED.” Those fateful words are branded into my skull like the Inglourious Basterds carving a swastika into my forehead. I hear ghosts whispering it to me in my sleep. When I die, the last image I see will be Biz Markie complaining about the friend zone.
AFROMAN — "BECAUSE I GOT HIGH"
The words “roll another blunt” give me Vietnam flashbacks. My dad plays this song so often that if, God forbid, Afroman was assassinated tomorrow, I would be the prime suspect. This song single-handedly kept me away from drugs my entire childhood. Fuck the D.A.R.E. program; if you don’t want your son to smoke weed just traumatize him with Afromarathons. Traumatic.