I’ve always viewed road trips as challenges. The challenge: to make the other members of the vehicle like the same music as me. My car, and therefore my radio, becomes a weapon in the ongoing mission to promote good music. Catch a ride in my vehicle and you’re likely to also catch an earful of music trivia, hear some tracks you’ve never heard, and suffer through a lengthy explanation of why good kid, M.A.A.D. city and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasyare the new benchmarks for quality hip-hop.
In this quest, I am usually victorious. I say "usually" because there is one person whose musical tastes have been notoriously difficult to unlock—those of my Dad. He listens to plenty of hip-young-person-music: Arcade Fire, Phoenix, Frightened Rabbit, Grizzly Bear. It’s not like he’s listening to Phil Collins and the Traveling Wilburys on endless repeat (no shots, Phil Collins is a G). But my attempts to sagely guide my father to the shores of the land we call hip-hop have been strife with turmoil and littered with failure.
What is it about hip-hop that is so hard to digest for so many over the age of 47? Is there some key missing? Some shared generational experience that is lacking in the culture of the elder statesmen of our time? Why else would I find it so hard to get my dad to truly lean and also rock with it? The task of indoctrinating fathers to hip-hop is much more difficult than it seems, but it’s not impossible. Through sheer determination and some Art of War level strategizing, you can help to open your pops' closed mind and at the very least give him a basic appreciation for one of our generations' most exciting artforms.Click to start the list