6th grade? 7th grade? Warren G playing on my stereo. My dad sticks his head in my room and says “don’t let your mom hear you listening to this stuff”. He smirks and closes my door. Goodie Two Shoes. Those words could describe me. Yet, gangsta rap was my thing. Sadly I can not recall if Warren G was my first rap cd. Bone Thugs n Harmony maybe? 2 Pac posters lined my bedroom walls in high school. Many hours were spent at Musicland, the music store at the mall. Cd singles were bought and if I couldn’t afford the cd I would buy the cassette tape. This was during a time that kids were not “carded” for cd’s that had a Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics label on it. The Source and XXL magazines provided me with more “posters” to tape to my walls. I was devistated when 2 Pac died.
Thanks to the podcast, Sorta Awesome with Meg Tietz, episode 203, I was introduced to the writing of Kennedy Ryan. Meg and Anna Hithersay discussed Kennedy’s trilogy Flow, Grip and Still (free on amazon Kindle). An interracial love story between Grip and Bristol. Grip is a brilliantly smart African American rapper who grew up in Compton and Bristol is the over privileged and hard working white girl from NYC. She fights the electric pull she has with him, not because of his race, but because he is her brother’s best friend. Eventually love wins and they can not deny their affection any longer. The story ebbs and flows through their intoxicating connection and the heart wrenching doubts that come from their loved ones and fans. The third book brings deeper levels of emotion as they prepare to grow their family with the addition of children.
Long gone are the days southern Cali was the place for me. The daydreams floated away decades ago where 2 Pac from Poetic Justice was meant for me, not Janet Jackson. This book brought smiles to my face. Just a white girl surrounded by her posters of 1990’s rap moguls. To quote Lin-Manuel Miranda, “love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside”.
Grip Flow and Still soundtrack
Fallin’ Alicia Keys
California Love, 2 Pac
Juicy- The Notorious B.I.G.
U.N.I.T.Y.- Queen Latifah
Nobody- Keith Sweat
I Belong To You- Lenny Kravitz
Live Your Life- T.I. & Rihanna
You Don’t Own Me- Grace & G Eazy
Love on the Brain- Rihanna
So in Love- Jill Scott & Anthony Hamilton
At My Best- Machine Gun Kelly
Until the End of Time- 2 Pac
Tell me What We’re Gonna Do Now- Joss Stone & Common
Pretty Bird- Jhene Akko, Common
Give Me Love- Ed Sheehan
Thug Luv- Bone Thugs N Harmony & 2 Pac
Into You- Fabolous & Tamia
Dear Mama- 2 Pac
SupaStar- Floetry & Common
Runnin’- Naughty Boy & Beyoncé
Feeling Good- Nina Simone
You Are the Best Thing- Ray LaMontagne
Let’s Hurt Tonight- OneRepublic
My Block- 2 Pac
*you can find on my Spotify