Bring it to me Angry, Baby – Cross Warmup Music
Quote from a friend last week, “I am getting so fucking annoyed that everyone who races ‘cross can’t bring themselves to talk about anything besides fucking ‘cross!”
Don’t worry. I cut him off. He’s off the friend list. At least until mid-December when I’ll probably have to grovel my way back into his good graces.
So. Since were resigned to the fact that we’ll be talking ‘cross for the next two months, let’s discuss music.
For the other 10 (boring, ‘cross-less) months of the year, I’m kind of an indie alt-folk girl: all Sparklehorse and Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Dr. Dog, Wilco and Silversun Pickups. You know the deal. Soft-serve. I’m sensitive like that. Sue me.
But then ‘cross season comes. And with it, a deep-seated yearning to hear mindless cursing set to driving beats. And I’m not talking about this soft, half-baked shit that people are calling “hard” these days. Ok, you can take your TI and your 50 Cent and whatever else. It’s good stuff, I’m not going to argue with you. You can have it. Eat it up.
But when I’m pre-race and pissy and trying to tap into whatever primal anger is left inside of me, all I want is the classic shit. NWA mostly. Ice Cube, Ice Tea, and some EZ-E. I’ll dip into a little Dr. Dre for good measure and stumble over into the controversial world of Eminem when I’m really feeling hard up.
The most important criteria has to do with frequency of F-Bombs deployed and number of references to semi-automatic weaponry. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want an A-K, but I definitely want to hear about them when I am getting ready for a ‘cross race.
I like this so-called rap that is coming out today. I mean, it’s garbage really, but I can get on board with it because its sometimes funny and other times just ridiculous. Either way, you’re getting a chuckle. And when Lil Wayne says he’s going to die with his hands on the trigger (ala Sky is the Limit), you kind of have to smile.
I mean. Have you seen him? Cut? Yes. Big? No.
But then an artist like T.I. comes at you with lyrics like:
You got an alligator mouth and a hummingbird ass
Your mouth writing checks that your ass can’t cash
What are you going to do? That’s classic. Hummingbird ass? What does that mean?
So you make room on the playlist for the new kids. The little kids. 50 Cent has bullet holes in his six pack so he’s got an automatic invitation, right? And JayZ is shacked up with Beyonce so I can’t bear to box him out. I mean, c’mon? Beyonce?
But then the playlist winds its way back to “Straight outa Compton” and, well, nothing stands up. After East Coast dominance, NWA brought shit back to the Westside. The history is long, bloody, and un-beautiful.
From a sociological perspectve, I’ve got no business weighing in on the gangsta rap wars of the late 80′s. I’m a mealy white girl on a bike, right? But I grew up in Rainier Beach in Seattle so in 1989 I was going on long-runs and being chased by bored kids outside of the Skyway Park Bowl.
They threw bottles and glass shattered in front of me. And people wonder how I learned to run.
We moved and high-school was soft and suburban but it didn’t change my adolescence. I was a smart, athletic kid navigating a world that had an edge I didn’t fully understand. NWA released “Fuck tha Police” in 1988 and the impact reverberated through the neighborhood.
When I hear it now it reminds me of running through glass. Of running angry. Running scared.
Socio-political implications aside. Violence swept under the rug. Murders and mindlessness disregarded.
It makes me want to ride the bike. Fast.