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May 26, 2008

Ol' School Toddler

NikiI love music. Love, love, love it. And hip-hop is near and dear to my heart because it's the music that I grew up listening to. Back in the 80s, it was all about Kurtis Blow and Whodini and LL Cool J, Run-DMC, and honey, when Roxanne Shante and Salt-n-Pepa pounced on the scene the ladies [ahem, the pre-teen and teenage girls] finally had a bit of feminine representation on the airwaves. So it's only natural that I would want to share my love of hip-hop with my 2-year-old son, Dutch. Talk about mission impossible. The thing is you can't just turn on the radio (not the radio stations that I normally listen to anyway) and expect it to be all gravy. Oh no, because nowadays you have people like rapper Lil' Wayne who put out ridiculous songs that cut right to the chase. There's no guessing about what he's talking about. For instance, his hot song of the moment is called "Lollipop." And no, the song is not about running to your local 7-11 and snatching up a Blow Pop for a quick, sugary treat. Not at all. The lyrics in the hook are: "She, she licks me like a lollipop."

So my reaction to that is: Whoaaaaaa!! Hold up there, partna! I can't have my toddler son walking around bopping his little head and singing along to that! It's bad enough that he has grown attached to Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body." Thankfully, he doesn't sing along to that one, but there for a while he insisted that I continue to put the song on repeat, but I just couldn't. I mean, I couldn't imagine what type of reaction his daycare provider would have if she heard him singing "Touch my body..." while he was busy playing with a truck or during one of their walks around the neighborhood. Is there a such thing as daycare suspension? Because I'm thinking Dutch might've been up for it.

Anyway, I'm all about turning my son onto good music, you know, real music with real lyrics and that means bringing my new school toddler up ol' school. We've already got him hooked on ol' school TV shows like "Fat Albert," "Super Friends," and "Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp." Oh yeah, you've gotta be real ol' school to remember Lancelot Link (my husband had never heard of the show!!).

But back to the music, it's not all about turning Dutch on to ol' school hip-hop because my family listened to a wide variety of music when I was coming up and I want to expose him to all types of music. My mother was into Janis Joplin, Barbra Streisand, Minnie Ripperton, Angela Bofill and Stevie Wonder. My pop listened to Jimi Hendrix back, back in the day, but he was also a fan of Sam Cooke and the Temptations. My aunt played Rod Stewart and all kinds of country music. My other aunt was into Earth Wind & Fire. My cousins blasted Kiss day and night. And my grandmother, well, she was into bluegrass and played lots of Ralph Stanley and His Clinch Mountain boys.

So while I might not be poppin' in any Ralph Stanley into the player any time soon (even though I have acquired a taste for bluegrass over the years), I do have some ol' school songs that I like to play for Dutch. And just in case you need some suggestions to get your ol' school thang going too, here's a quick list of some of my faves:

1. "Lively Up Yourself" by Bob Marley

2. "Do I Do" by Stevie Wonder

3. "Brickhouse" by Commodores

4. "Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

5. "Double Dutch Bus" by Frankie Smith

6. "You Dropped the Bomb" by Gap Band

7. "My Adidas" by Run DMC

8. "Car Wash" by Rose Royce

9. "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll" by Vaughan Mason & Crew

10. "Forget Me Nots" by Patrice Rushen

11. "Ain't Nobody" by Chaka Khan

12. "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth Wind & Fire

13. "Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground

14. "That Lady" by the Isley Brothers

15. "Boogie on Reggae Woman" by Stevie Wonder

16. "Before I Let Go" by Frankie Beverly and Maze

17. "Jump to It" by Aretha Franklin

18. "Square Biz" by Teena Marie

19. "Basketball" by Kurtis Blow

20, 21, 22. Since I'm a native of the DC area, it just wouldn't be right if I failed to mention the Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers: "Bustin' Loose," "We Need Some Money," and "Day-O"

An original DC Metro Moms post

You can catch niki d. keepin' it ol' school at mama's got moxie.

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