Growing up in Germantown we listened to a bit of everything. I was a product of the 80s, meaning most likely that my folks were banging to disco and 70s rock at the time of my conception, so rightfully, I dig the hell out of some Bee Gee's, Bad Company, and Led Zeppelin. As a young kid those were my jukebox heroes along with the likes of the Moody Blues, Jimi Hendrix, and old comedy albums by Red Fox and Richard Pryor, because these were the vinyl albums that my parents had around the house as parts of their collection.
As I got a bit older and started experiencing the culture of my own time, I then started to come across contemporary music of the times I was living in. Some of my favorite bands were Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Nirvana. It was a great time in music history as these bands were making their strides toward MTV stardom, and the alternative buzz was blowing up hard. It changed the direction that music was going in indefinitely, and topics that had never been discussed were now being put out like a fat kid in dodge ball. Around the same time I was given a dub of the Geto Boys first album, and this was where I first learned to curse...and learned well. That album put my brain on tilt, and introduced me to a world that I had never heard of in my entire life. It was raw, uncut, and said what the hell it wanted...how the hell it wanted. That was just the start, and I was thirsty to hear more like it, so I would hit one of the local malls and explore the rap that was coming out. By the mid-nineties I was deep into that game, and picking up all sorts of random crap, some good, some bad, but either way, it always lead me deeper into the rabbit hole.
Everything that I am, the way that I speak, the words I use and the way my conscious mind speaks inside of my brain have stemmed from the music of my lifetime. When I think back on great times, parties, being stoned and running the streets vandalizing and spray-painting neighbor's property, I also think back on the soundtrack that playing during those days. It was Tupac when I needed some reality in my life, Spice 1 when we were gearing up for a fight at a local church picnic, or Dr. Dre when we needed a gangster theme to vibe and ride high to. It was Master P when slanging a dope sac, Three 6 Mafia when picking my girlfriend up before the wake and bake car ride to high school, or Kingpin Skinny Pimp in the background while we were underage drinking warm tangueray with no chaser. It was She Wants Revenge on my many expressway bound trips to go fishing out in the country, Michael Jackson's Off the Wall when pre-drinking and driving to our bar spot, or Chip tha Ripper when writing my last book. All pieces of the puzzle that I am had a soundtrack to them in their making, and they've contributed to the man that I am, just as I'm very sure all of you have had one playing your entire life.
Photo Courtesy of Damian Gerlach
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