Some of us are born into families where we are not alone. Having siblings or close family and friends that cultivate a similar relationship can be a benefit in Hip Hop Culture. Growing up as an only child to parents that were older muted me from a lot of classic Rap music. Even growing up in the MTV age and Rap being a regular sound on the radio nobody can teach a youngster about Hip Hop than a peer. Having siblings or others in that role is like having multiple sets of ears. Sometimes you didn’t even have to buy the cassette because your older brother already had it. Your sister was going to all the parties and the DJ liked her so he always gave her tape to bring home to you. Some people were brought into this culture by their siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. They had a set of turntables that you used to practice on without them knowing. They may have brought you that first beat machine or gave you some equipment hand-me-down.
Someone like me with no siblings or close relatives aren’t exposed as much as the latter. I was hooked on MTV back in the day but I didn’t get into Hip Hop until Snoop Dogg hit the scene but I always listened to women emcees. I loved “Nas Is Like” but I hadn’t heard the entire album. Having these relationships can improve your critical thinking because it becomes almost like being on the debate team for the early part of your life. You learn how to breakdown lyrics and the instrumental itself. You have to study the material and prepare yourself to refute or agree with whatever other opinions may come your way. You have to be prepared to give examples and prove why this album or song is good or bad. You study an artist’s entire catalogue just to prove whether or not he’s the greatest of all time or a one-hit wonder.
Whether they are older or younger they can put you on to other point of views and they may convince you to like their favorite Rapper. It goes both ways. Hopefully, you’re putting your siblings on to some good music. In the eighties and nineties it was a little easier because most of the radio artists were pretty good Rappers. In 2015 we have an oversaturated Rap scene and you have to ‘dig in the digital crates’ just to find one good song. As an older sibling I hope that you are allowing your younger relative to be creative but with intelligence. Be the example you want to be. Listen to the music you want to make them a better person. If you get in the car with them try to put them on to another artist that they may not necessarily listen too. Now don’t overwhelm them on the first go round. Sometimes you have to ease people into the water if you’re teaching them to swim.