Hip Hop

When I first started freelance reporting in the Bay Area, this photog I worked with every Saturday was stunned when I turned the dial to Wild 94.9. He was all, "Who is this Asian chick chair dancing up in my Ford Explorer like she from 'da hood???"

And I guess that might be something unexpected about me. Maybe I look more like a Celine Dion fan or a connoisseur of classical music. Or perhaps you see me and think, "That girl loves her some Mariah Carey."

(You would be right, but I only started loving Mimoo after her emancipation. Before that, and sorry Toan, but she was a little too much in the dog whistle ranger for my liking. Final lee eeeeeeeeee!)

But the music that makes up the majority of what's on my playlist is squarely in the hip hop category. I used to think it was because I love any music that makes you want to move and hip hop beats are so dance-riffic. But after thinking more in depth about my love of all things hip and hop, I realize it's so much deeper than that y'all.

Ready? Hip hop speaks to me because it's all about the struggle, and making it, and then talking about the 23 inch rims on your car after you've made it. I'm not saying I was shot 9 times and survived. But I think we all have struggles in life. Early on, midway through, later on. And we can all relate to the idea of coming up out of whatever ruts we were born in or fell into, and dreaming a dream.

There's a swagger, an unabashed "this is my life and I did it and let's shake some Cristal all over my cash money" that is so refreshingly unholstered. No shame in the game. Sure it can get a little much, but for the most part people overcame such odds to do whatever they're doing that it's totally OK that they are swinging gold chains with sapphire spinner medallions and grillz made of diamonds.

This post is turning all ABC after school special but seriously, hip hop totally captures all those feelings. It's empowering music actually. And even though I'm a 31 year old Vietnamese working mom, I can SO relate to the lyrics and that fierce desire to be the best and to talk about how it wasn't all silver spoons and suburbia. Plus the killer beats really help drown out the references to hos and beyatches.

So now that one photog calls me Hip Hop. Which is not a bad nickname as far as nicknames go. Much better than Fatty McGee, which is what a sportscaster back in the day used to call me. I know. I've come a long way. Word to your mother.