Normally, I would never want to censor myself. I mean who really would? However, it is necessary for me to do so every time I go home to the Bay Area. This censoring isn’t just because I swear constantly, but rather the music that is usually playing in my car.
Generally, I listen to lots and lots of rap.1 Yeah, I’m one of those white guys who loves the hip hoppy, but unfortunately my mom doesn’t share this same love. This should never be problematic in San Luis Obispo unless I’m driving by one of the millions of churches in town.
But as a Jew, I really don’t have to worry about being too close to these places with my music blasting too loud. But the problem at home is that every now and then my mom will be in the car,2 hear some stuff about “bitches and hoes” and be totally appalled.
“What is this stuff you’re listening to?” she’ll ask. “This is the kind of stuff my students listen too. And what does this stuff mean anyways? Today my students were talking about grills or something.” The conversation would go on, I’d explain what “grills” are,3 how “pimp” isn’t always taken literally, and after teaching her what “ghost ride the whip” means,4 I promised her I would never actually do that. So, as I tried teaching her about rap, I generated my first “guide to life” which I will now share with you.
First step is to come up with your own niche5 and get a catchy name. All rappers have their own thing going for them. Some are more gangsta then others, but you have to come up with something good. Ghostface Killah? Intense. Blackalicious? Clever. Chamillionaire? Genius. Because really, who doesn’t like chameleons or millions of dollars? Yeah, nobody.
As I said before, I’m a Jew, so that will be my game. I’ll use myself for each step so that I can give you examples. I’ll go with MC Meshuganuts. For all you non-Yiddish speakers, which is probably 95 percent of you who pick up the Mustang Daily, the word “meshuganah” means crazy. Notice I added the “nuts” to the end to make you know how freakin’ crazy I really am. Scared? Don’t be. It is merely an example. I’m here to help remember? And that brings me to my next step.
Come up with a good, catchy lyric that explains a way a girl can shake her ass. Outkast made millions from telling girls to “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” D4L made millions by telling girls to “shake that laffy taffy.” The Ying Yang Twins made millions from telling girls to “shake it like a salt shaker.” Starting to see what I’m getting at?
I’ll go with something like “shake it like a nervous kid at his bar mitzvah.”6 Catchy? Not so much. Descriptive? Hell yeah. Score one for team Meshuganuts cause lyrics like that will get any girl moving.
The next step is simple: Throw away your Jack Johnson CDs. I know it might be hard to part with them as a Cal Poly student, but you will get absolutely no street cred with Jack in your CD collection.
Step four is to make sure that your appearance has some kind of noticeable and memorable thing to it. Whether it is long chains, grills, stunna shades, or even vans that look like sneakers, this is an important one.
Why would the bitches and hoes go for someone who doesn’t have the threads? Historically, this has been something that can make or break careers. Remember Criss Cross’ backward pants and MC Hammer’s parachute pants? I’ll stick with a platinum yarmulke, worn on the side of my head rather than on top, and I’m set. I’m sure you can think of something too because I believe in you. We are in this thing together.
And finally, of course, it’s all about the Benjamins. Yep, the cold hard cash. Once you follow these steps, the cash will be flowin’. I’m talkin’ dolla dolla bill ya’ll. I’ll leave you with a few lyrics to illustrate:
Meshuganuts has the money but stereotypically won’t spend it,
If you’re his friend you’d be lucky if he’d lend it.
Instead he’ll make money with it sitting in his bank account,
Cause that’s how he rolls. Meshuganuts out.
Mike Heimowitz is a journalism senior and Mustang Daily columnist who wants to shake it like a Polaroid picture at your next bar mitzvah.
Check him out online at www.mikeheimowitz.com.