Stop, Collaborate and Listen

You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but I’m kind of like the skinny white Polish girl version of Snoop Dogg.


This is where I add the mandatory disclaimer or “Hugs, not drugs.”

No, I don’t have dreads, a criminal record or say “shizzle my nizzle”that often, anyway—and my skills leaned more towards piano than profanity-laced rap when I was younger, but straight up yo.  I’m kind of hardcore.

Okay, not “hardcore” exactly. But for what it’s worth, I’m not one of those people that thinks the word “rap” is missing a silent “c” at the beginning.

True to my commitment issues, there’s no one kind of music I like enough to claim as the best. There’s good country and then there’s “poke your eyes out with a pitchfork” country. There’s good alternative, and then there’s “poke someone else in the eye with a guitar pick” alternative. Each genre has ups and it’s downs—including rap.

But this girl loves her Eminem, so much so that she would put aside her spinsterhood for him and engage in a long distance relationship that involved a weekly phone call and mandatory date night that did not involve sleeping over.


I still need my space.

I also like Kid Rock, so as you can tell I’m a Michigan girl who lived in Detroit for a bit at heart. However, I have no interest in creating a lukewarm distant semi-romantic relationship with Kid Rock.

I would rather date an actual rock.

But unfortunately, other than a menacing looking gnome in my garden, that’s about where my street cred ends.

I have no idea what Drake “sings”—for lack of a better term—but if some old school LL Cool J comes on, I can bust out with every word and be instantly transported back to middle/high school.

Then once the horror-filled memories of middle school seep from my brain, I can put on a thugtastic version of Salt-n-Pepa’s “Shoop,” “ Push It” or “Whatta Man.” And even though I can’t remember why I put my keys in the fridge, I can rap every word to Arrested Development’s “Mr. Wendal” from 1992, the song from which our ghetto rescue cat Wendell (spelling change) was named, may her one-toothed, crooked crotched furry little body RIP.

But you have to understand where I’m coming from.


Nice eyebrows, Homeboy.

I grew up with a white boy from Dallas telling me to, “Stop, collaborate and listen”—all three at the same time?—and a black dude named Stanley wearing Hammer pants reminding me I was, “Too Legit to Quit.” There was hardly any profanity and instead of their pants hanging off of their asses, they pretty much just wore them backwards a la Kris Kross.

Now they have “99 Problems” and one of mine is the fact that I can’t understand a damn word that most of them say.  Another one is the fact that when flipping around on the radio recently, both “Baby Got Back” and “Bust a Move” were playing ON THE OLDIES STATION. 


Shizzle my nizzle, indeed.

Like the blog-izzle? Buy the book, yo.

43 responses to “Stop, Collaborate and Listen

  1. No Digital Underground” Humpty Dance? I know you’d never get busy in a burger king bathroom, but that’s a classic. Where you Biggie and Puffy talking Mo Money Mo Problems?

    being a michigan gal I assumed you’d be all about Marshall.

    I’m ATL…we do it with OutKast, Goodie Mob (C Lo), Ludakris. Holla atcha boy…aight

  2. Hahhaha, I was a BIG BIG white girl fan of eminem growing up. SIIIGH.

  3. I adore 90s rap and continue to impress myself every time I hear an Eminem/Coolio/Blackstreet/Jay-Z/LL Cool J song and I can rap along to all the lyrics. I went through two different phases in high school: For a part of it, I was all about rap, and for the other part I thought I was Asian (true story). But every time I took out my lunch and stared down at my cabbage roll, I was reminded that I, too, am just a Polish white girl 🙂

  4. I’m a little older than you, so I REALLY remember when rap on my white girl radio was clean. I.E. Curtis Blow and “Basketball” – Basketball is my favorite sport… I like the way the dribble up and down the court…”

  5. Loved this post but oh, dear heavens above, my nizzle must be SO shizzled because I have no idea what or who you and Lance are talking about. Not quite true – I have heard about Eminem and now I’ve seen a picture of him I can understand why you would give up singledom if he is the prize. Very yum, indeed.

    Dropping out of all things music with words (it hurt my ears) 20 years ago has left me totally ignorant of all things rap. Maybe I should give it a try and get me some hardcore street cred. Any recommendations?

  6. Wait… what? The oldies station? Wait… huh?

    PS My burlesque company just did a ’90s show… it was amazing.

  7. I’m so old, I wouldn’t recognize any of the above mentioned performers if I ran smack dab into them!

  8. This summer I have been OBSESSED with 90s music. I listen to it on my tv, on Pandora, YouTube–anywhere that I can get it! And it makes me sooo happy that you are referrencing all of the songs that are my jams! Salt n Pepa? Don’t even get me started, girl. I will rap every last lyric! And Bust a Move? That is my go-to song at karaoke 🙂 ha.
    P.S. I so would have a long distance relationship with Eminem too. I would even sleep over…

  9. “I would rather date an actual rock…” Okay, that one got me giggling. I feel the same way.

  10. Rap on the oldies station is so strange to me. Oldies to me are still “Johnny B. Goode” and “It’s My Party” – basically when all teenage boys were named Johnny. I guess those are now oldy-oldies?

  11. There is very little modern day hip hop I listen to. But when you mentioned Arrested Development I immediately said, “Tennessee.” I saw them in high school and they were so awesome. I also have a deep and honest love for all things De La Soul.

  12. It is super stange to me that music I grew up listening to is played on classic and oldies stations now. Also, that sitcoms I watched are on Nick At Nite and TVLand. However, I am a fan of modern rap. I think Kanye West is a douche, but he is a great rapper and he isn’t just saying shit about all his bitches and cars and labels.

  13. I went to an Arrested Development concert 3 years ago and saw Bone Thugs in March! They both will always have a place in my iTunes. I love old school rap, but I have a hard time finding anything today that has a good beat or isn’t insanely offensive-And I’m not even easily offended! Maybe I’m just getting old…

  14. I went to see Arrested Development in high school. Loved them! “Take me to another place, take me to another land….” I also have a huge spot in my heart for De La Soul. There is very little current hip hop I like except for local bands who sing about stuff that matters that are local. I still listen to old gangsta rap like NWA also. I’m hecka hard don’t you know?

  15. I just wanted to say local one more time for good measure.

  16. I too can still rap the entire Mr. Wendell song. THIS is why we were meant to be friends ❤

  17. This sums up how I feel about Drake

  18. I couldn’t finish your post until I got “… a game of Horseshoes!” to stop repeating inside my head. You’re lucky Youtube quickly found another Arrested Development gem.

    And I really hope you’re familiar with these homeboys’ work:

  19. I love this post so much. That is all.

  20. I do have to admit that this is surprising. I’ve never been a fan of rap music, but hey if that’s what gets you going, more power to you.

  21. Oh man. You just took a trip right down the memory lane of my teenaged years. Mr. Wendel?? Oh snap. Indeed, every single word.

    Is it wrong that I got so excited when Baby Got Back came on the radio last week (not oldies, just a mix station) and I remembered all the words and was super impressed with myself? That’s totally normal, right? Fo shizzle.

    Oh, and I have no idea who Drake or Pitbull even are, nor would I be able to pick any of their songs out of a line-up. Like you, I’m old skool hip hop, I guess. I’m at piece with that.

    • Oh, and you forgot a classic . . . the Humpty Dance. Really, Abby. I’m surprised at you for leaving out such a worthy example of hip hop dance party brilliance. For shame.

  22. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    I’ve seen Kid Rock in concert and it was the best show I’ve ever seen. Totally unexpected. I mean, just outrageously amazing in every possible way that live music can be. They were opening for Aerosmith and completely stole the show.

  23. I unfortunately know who both Drake and Pitbull are (him growling in Spanish is hard to resist), and have an unexplainable crush on Lil Wayne. Please save me.

  24. The fact that you love Eminem is another reason why I adore you and we are such good friends.

    I think I shall start sending emails to you, just full of Eminem lyrics.

  25. Let’s just say that I’m not a fan of rap. But, I do have a soft spot in my heart for “Bust a Move.” This was our anthem senior year of college. I think there’s a comedy sketch in there about Ivy League white kids mouthing the words to Bust a Move while taking themselves far too seriously.

  26. I left my garden gnome at the old house, couldn’t bear to split him from the acreage he loves so.

    Eminem will always be a favorite, and not just because his music is excellent workout noise!

  27. Did anyone else proceed with the “Ice, Ice Baby” lyrics upon reading the title of this post? Maybe even out loud?

    I “heart” this post. I think we could be friends – musically, at the very least.

  28. Oh Anny I do so love reading your posts!! I also grew up with Mr. Ice (the original ~ not one of the many that followed) and enjoy a wide range of music from classical to some country to rock to rap. Thanks for a fun post, I hope you are having a great weekend! I stopped over from the We’re not Mommies Blog and am looking forward to making my blogging rounds again. 🙂

  29. That made me laugh. Particularly the part about preferring to date an actual rock. And hey, I’m a Michigan girl too!

  30. Ha, I never would have pegged you as an Eminem fan, but you do surprise me often. I’m not a rap fan myself, as I too feel like they speak another language. The only rap I feel like I can understand are the ones sung in GLEE. Maybe that’s why people don’t like GLEE’s rap attempts.

  31. Oldies station? When the hell did that happen?
    I’m still singing ice ice baby.

  32. That old school stuff makes for EXCELLENT workout music! How sad is that? I definitely like a little Eminem with my M&Ms and sometimes I hear myself say STOP and then my little voice says HAMMER TIME. And was there ever a better track than the backbet for Ice, Ice Baby? This crap today? Not what it was in MY day. Ugh. Sigh.

  33. I find a lot of rap really entertaining. And ha-ha, you are old!!! Oh wait, I’m older than you, what does that make me?!?

  34. Gettin’ funky on the mic, like an ol’ batch of collard greens

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