Emma M – How my mother ended up buying a ticket to Chance The Rapper
“Rap is crap.” – Karla MacDonald circa 2011
Somehow, in some mysterious way, my mum went from wanting nothing to do with rap music to buying herself a one way ticket to Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book tour show date in Vancouver. Intrigued in how this came to be? Read further.
1) Chilling in the cave with her mom friends
For a long time my mum hated rap music with the same amount of passion that I have for loving rap music (a lot). Proclaiming that all rap music is about drugs, gang life, violence, excessive use of profanities, and sexism, my mum would never allow for the ~devil’s music~ to be played where she was. This is the first stage of Plato’s cave, where Karla is chained down in the cave and is only being shown what rap music is perceived to be by certain people. These ideas of rap music are all she has ever known, because she has only seen the shadow of rap.
2) Ice Cube pulling her out of the cave and into Straight Outta Compton
I owe most of this phase of the cave allegory to N.W.A.
About a month after the movie Straight Outta Compton was released, and a final nudge by a family friend, Karla went and saw it. To much surprise by me, she loved it. Wanting to be a part of the conversation about the Black Lives Matter movement, and why POC are so frustrated with the police forces in America, this movie was the gateway to it all. To add, the entire movie showcased west coast hip hop in a way where she understood the lyrics, and the artistry that goes into the producing of each track. Essentially, Straight Outta Compton was the key that unlocked her shackles and showed her that her previous allegations against rap music were false, and were only what she had perceived rap was.
3) Seeing the rap world in full colour (the enlightenment)
As a fan of Chance The Rapper, when Coloring Book dropped, I had it on repeat for a solid three days. This album boasts a hit list of collaborations (Justin Bieber? Lil Wayne? Two Chainz? and Yeezus himself?) and mixes Gospel, Spoken Word Poetry, and Rap all in one album. Eventually, I played my mum and few songs off the album that were less rap, more gospel, including Blessings (including the remix) and Finish Line/Drown. Next thing I know, she’s blasting the album in the backyard while gardening, playing it in the car, and reading the lyrics to each and every song. My mum became enthralled with the album, and it’s safe to say that it was the album of the summer for her. She even went to the point of practicing the lyrics so she could rap along with Chance, and frequently enjoys yelling “Igh Igh Igh” in his songs.
My biggest “proud child moment” is when I played her songs off The Life of Pablo album. It’s safe to say that she hated Kanye West before this, but the moment I played her Ultralight Beam, my own mother was brought to tears. So far, Chance is her favourite rapper, however she is broadening her horizons and is dipping into the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, J-Cole, Drake, and has discovered a local rapper on her own that goes by the name of SHAD.
This point in time is her leaving the cave, and experiencing the 3D world in colour on her own, and by her own means. My mum finally realizes that the rap world is a good place to be.
4) Scaring the other moms with rap music
Finally, after her journey of enlightenment, she goes back into the cave to share her truth about rap music.
Sadly, it doesn’t go as well as planned. Many occasions my mum tried to persuade and get her friends into Chance, and they really did not enjoy it as much as she did. Although she was not ridiculed as said by Plato, some friends did think it was a bit odd that she would enjoy this music.
However, as discussed in class, there comes a point in time where you become the person who frees prisoners in the cave. Although questioned by a few, my mum has also enlightened a number of her friends into enjoying rap music.
What happens now? I’m showing her Acid Rap, and trying to get her into Frank Ocean. Baby steps right?
TL;DR: Before she only had an impression of rap. The shadow. Then she discerned the truth, and gained immediate knowledge of rap rather than being swayed by false images of it. Now, she’s enlightened, and is sharing her knowledge with others despite (some) ridicule.
And that, is how my mother ended up buying a ticket to her first ever rap concert.