Side note: My high school career took place in Michigan circa 2002, so in the above scenario, imagine a bunch of suburban white boys acting like big shots while warming up to censored tracks by 50 Cent, Nelly, Ludacris and Ja Rule. Also, envision a rival team of ACTUAL big shots from Detroit snickering on the away bench. End side note.
In case it wasn’t obvious, I was max-cool in high school, and even though the parents in the crowd were covering their ears, I knew that the beats selected by my team were legit. What I did not appreciate was the lyric censorship; hence the stewing. I was angry. Flat out, Nelly style, It’s-getting-hot-in-herre flaming mad. What about freedom of speech, man!?
Flash forward 13 years and now my husband is the assistant basketball coach for my former high school. Unlike the basketball boys from my heyday, the 2014 team was too stupid to figure out how to download censored songs on ITunes (kids these days). So, imagine my delight last season when the head coach banned the boys from making the warm up soundtrack and gave my husband the job of making a new CD. Or, as censored Ludacris and I would say, “Move B****, get out the way!” Hand over the task fellas, I was born for this job.
I spent an entire week creating the perfect playlist for a high school basketball game, and by Friday night, I had downloaded the censored version of each track and had hand delivered a burned CD to the head coach.
As I sat in the bleachers, the crowd grew dense, and I started sweating bullets in anticipation of my CD’s debut. At precisely 6:30 pm, the team ran out of the locker room and onto the court while my music started to play for the entire arena.
Cue the awkwardness.
I heard a student in the fan section mutter, “What the hell are we listening to?” and every student in attendance looked confused.
I think I could have handled my CD being a miss with the students. What I couldn’t handle was that my CD was an instant hit with the parents.
Particularly, the dads.
As I looked around, I suddenly realized that I was surrounded by a mob of awkwardly dancing dads.
Offbeat head bobbing. Knee slapping. Snapping and clapping.
I heard a dad say, “Finally, some groovy tunes!”
OH MY GOD NO! I wasn’t aiming for dad-groovy, I was aiming for teenage-cool! I panicked, anxiously sat through the whole game, and then made my way courtside to apologize to the coach.
Before I could formulate the proper words for an apology though, the dad-aged coach presented me with a high-five and thanked me for making “a CD with real music instead of that hippity-hoppity, crappy-rappy noise”.
To the dismay of students, athletes, and myself, my CD now plays at every game. On good days, I pretend like I can’t hear it. On bad days, I try to make eye contact with a student in the crowd, point in the air, and mouth “oh my gosh, is this serious?”
Trust me, I really am cool.
Questions: Are you familiar with what the kids are listening to these days? Quick! Without looking it up, list the top 5 songs on the billboard hot 100 list at year end for 2015. Yes, I am judging you.