Parental Guidance

Listening to the year’s hit singles with Mom and Dadyear’s hit singles with Mom and Dad

Mom: You're thinking of Troy Aikman.

Dad: Oh, right.

Missy Elliott
“Work It”

Dad: There was a lot of rhythmic banging that was distracting and not very pleasing to my ear.

Listen up, folks: Eminem gets dissed, OutKast sounds like the Beatles and 50 Cent is "perseverating," but Mom and Dad have a favorite. Bless their hearts.
Listen up, folks: Eminem gets dissed, OutKast sounds like the Beatles and 50 Cent is "perseverating," but Mom and Dad have a favorite. Bless their hearts.

Dallas Observer: Have you heard much rap?

Dad: I probably heard as much rap as I ever have watching 8 Mile. I liked the movie, but I didn't like the rap. It's not something I enjoy.

Mom: I didn't think much of the music at first. It sounded like a spaceship trying to launch. But then I started to like the humor. I picked up on a couple of lyrics toward the end. She's funny.

The Strokes

Mom: This song left me in the dust. I could not hear the words for the music. I couldn't tell what he was saying. It had some interesting instrumentation, but it left me in the dust. I couldn't catch it.

Dad: This, to me, was traditional rock 'n' roll. This could have been from the late '60s or '70s. It was hard to understand, but I enjoyed listening to the music, and I didn't really worry about listening to the words, which is how I typically listened to songs growing up.

“Lose Yourself”

Mom: I wouldn't want to be stuck on the elevator with this, but it was a little better than the other raps. Some rap sounds so angry, and I really do get offended when all I hear is swear words. I noticed that you turned off--what was it called?--"In Da Club" after the second m-f. I don't mind cussing that much, but I don't think you need to be immortalizing it on vinyl, or whatever that material is. That's a little overbearing.

Dad: I'm looking over my overall ratings, and I see that all three rap songs are at the bottom. That may be cultural or generational. It may even be racial. It also probably indicates a lack of exposure on my part. To me, rap is all about lyrics, because the beats are so simplistic, but when I can't even understand what's being said...When I was growing up, the music was really the key, and the lyrics were secondary.

So there you go. Secretly, I had hoped my parents would spark to the complex instrumentation of The White Stripes, or acquiesce to OutKast's irrepressible oomph. But no. Their tastes were more mundane, more vanilla, more parental. They had a hands-down favorite, and his name was Clay Aiken.

"I actually liked it," said my mother. "I mean, I liked it."

"I would listen to that," my father said.

Oh, well. Now, at least, I know what to get my father for Christmas.

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