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Early music memories

I started getting into rap music at a young age. Maybe 7 or 8. I started off listening to my brother's LPs and CDs. I remember it was a big deal when my brothers first got their record player. I wasn't allowed to touch it. I distinctly remember the Bobby Brown Don't Be Cruel LP and the MC Hammer U Can't Touch This LP. I loved those albums and I remember my brothers and their friends would watch me do an imitation of the Hammer shuffle. I was also huge fan of Another Bad Creation and Kwame and would listen to their CDs nonstop. Kid rap groups were my fave; with their songs about schoolyard puppy love.

As I got older I learned how to operate our tapedeck and I started making my own mix tapes. By this time, my brother Tim introduced me to Run DMC and Kam got me a mix CD with lots of hits. These two CDs really shaped my appreciation of hip-hop. I was able to recite almost the entire 15 minutes worth of the Super Rhymes song. From old school hip hop, I got into gangster rap; listening to my brother's NWA and Ice-Cube CDs. Kam somehow got a bunch of demo tapes and I remember one of them was the first Bone Thugs-N-Harmony EP.

When my mom was driving me around, I would listen to whatever I wanted. Mostly Run DMC and sometimes Bone Thugs. Thinking back about how she put up with the silly gangster rap and incessant rap, makes me really appreciate how awesome my mom was. I was just a barely pre-teen punk kid getting driven around by mom, ejecting her Chinese music and then blasting Bone Thugs and Run DMC in our Volvo 200DL (see picture). I didn't dare listen to NWA around her though; I knew that much.

Mom freaked out when "No Surrender" came on because it started with siren sounds

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