If you ask me to describe my taste in music I’ll be the first to tell you it's…ripened. I love anything old school, whether R&B, funk, rap or even hip-hop; if it has some soul to it, I’m all ears. Most people judge me when they ask who my favorite musical artists are and I reply, “Donny Hathaway and Anita Baker.” Or when they ask what my go-to turn-up song is and I answer, "Flash Light" by Parliament, which was produced by the great George Clinton. However, the question that always follows is, "How old are you, again?"
Well, for all those who are wondering, I’m 25 years old. I know, I know, your next question probably is, "What on earth do you know about Parliament when you weren’t even born when “Flash Light" was released?” Well, the answer to these questions are simple: My father introduced me to it all.
I was born and raised in the same Brooklyn home where my mother currently resides. Although it’s changed a lot throughout the years, one thing I will always remember is the old stereo that sat on the right side of the living room next to the maple wood credenza. From the floor-to-ceiling diamond-shaped mirrors that covered the entire right side of the wall to the ethnic paintings that hung, our living room was beautiful. However, the stereo was the one thing that always stood out. It lived in a cabinet with a glass front and included a radio, a cassette tape deck, a CD player and several speakers that my father would always have the greatest artists playing from.
Everything from The Stylistics' “Betcha By Golly Wow,” to hits from The Temptations like “Just My Imagination,” “Beauty’s Only Skin Deep" and “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” I heard for the first time through those stereo speakers. One of the many things my father has taught me has been the appreciation for good music, and it didn’t end with that vintage stereo.
Whether my dad was dropping me off to school, driving me to math tutoring lessons, or simply taking me to see my grandparents, we spent a lot of time in his car, and boy did he love to blast his music. When he drove me to school, if we weren’t listening to "Doug Banks in the Morning" on 107.5 WBLS, he was blasting his favorite song of all time, “Flash Light.” I think it’s safe to say I’ve heard that song over 1 million times in my lifetime.
Although I love it now, I hated it back then. Not only would he play the song to the highest volume level, but this man would actually have the nerve to get out of the car and dance at stoplights. While I can double over in laughter thinking about it now, at the time the only questions I had were, “What kind of father does this to his child?” and “Why Lord?” I would sink so far down into the passenger seat and bury my face into my hands while I waited for him to stop, get back in the car and proceed to drive to our destination, like a regular dad would do. But my dad isn’t regular, and I came to terms with that several times while sitting at stoplights throughout New York City.
Besides these embarrassing but priceless moments, another musical memory that I will never forget was the night my father asked me to pass him a cassette tape out of the glove compartment. He told me to look for a tape that read Kid N’ Play. I found it and passed it to him while rolling my eyes. I didn’t know who they were at the time, but I knew I was not in the mood to hear any of my father’s “old people music.” My father slipped in the tape, and I went into a state of shock — I was actually enjoying it! "Rollin’ With Kid N’ Play" thundered from his Toyota Camry, and after it was over I asked him to play it again. He played it so much that I knew the words by the time we got out of the car. Kid N’ Play gained a fan that night.
Overall, my father is the coolest man I know. Every Father’s Day I tell him how strong he is, how great he is, how thankful I am for all he’s done and continues to do for me and how much I love him, but never have I told him how much I appreciate his taste in good music and the impact it’s had on me. So, daddy, now you know. And it wouldn’t be a turnt-up Father’s Day if I didn’t drop this below, now would it?
The fathers of REVOLT celebrated in a big way, check out the video below of them doting on their dads and what it means for them to follow in some big footsteps: