Rap Theme for 21 Birthday Party
Your dad has given you an early Christmas present. He said if you get good grades, he will throw you a birthday party. He said cost is no problem. Just tell me when and where son, his very words.
You want your party to have a rap theme because this is what you are listening to right now. Your mobile phone radio is permanently hooked up to an urban station that specializes in rap and hip hop.
There is one problem. Your dad does not like this music because of all the negative stories about rappers and their lifestyles. He also doesn’t like the N, F and B words that are common in rap and hip hop.
Educate Your Dad
We combine rap and hip hop because that is how the industry groups it for marketing purposes. Basically though the music has two listeners.
People in the crib who live, love and laugh rap and hip hop.
People outside the window looking into the crib trying to figure out what these people are all about.
You are an outsider but love the music. Educate your father so that he can buy the theme for your birthday party. Tell him about storytelling.
Way back when before tapes and the radio, African Americans talked to each other on street corners. They later passed around the microphone to tell stories. They went to dance halls with crates full of LP’s and scratched them to produce certain sounds.
It is a long story. Just cut to the chase for your dad. Find a movie called Brown Sugar starring Taye Diggs and Sanaa Latham to learn about hip hop in Brooklyn.
Enter video and MTV. There is a story in every video. Tupac’s I Ain’t Mad At Cha for example raps about the pain of losing a brother. In another video, Tupac appreciates his mother who raised him without a father.
Convince your father that rap and hip hop is here and now. It is what some people between 13 and 34 are listening to all over the world. There are now German, Korean, Swedish rap architects.
Your dad might enjoy Jay Chou, a Chinese rapper and the video Checkmate in particular. He is obviously proud of his culture and it is interesting how he merges traditional China with rap and hip hop.
In some parts of the video Jay Chou is wearing a big baseball cap, a hood wrap, XXL baggy pants, long t-shirt, street gear that is common in rap and hip hop videos.
The music store
Take your dad to the music store or online. Show him recording artists. He might recognize some from television, Common, Drake, Iyaz, T.I. Urban Legend, Lil Wayne and some U.K or Asian musicians. Salt n Pepa, Queen Latifah and other girl videos might also be part of the education.
The aim of the exercise is to see how rap architects use the microphone, body language and instruments to tell a story.
You are not a rap expert so your dad will not know everything overnight. In fact you will never be, because the music is the product of a people, time and place.
Rap and hip hop is like waves. It can be a monster wave that brings a smile to a surfer or soft like petals when it kisses the beach.
It is important to involve your dad in the logistics. This is all part of his education of being 21 years old in 2015. You can hire a community hall or an old warehouse with good electrical wiring because you need a big monitor for music videos.
Another option is hiring out a club for your birthday party. How much do clubs make on Mondays? Not much. The problem might be school the following day. There is no law that says you must have a birthday party on the 19th of February if you were born on that day.
President Obama’s daughter Malia is lucky. She chose the 4th of July to enter this world, so she parties with the whole U.S. of A.
The advantage of hiring a small club is that everything is under one roof: table chairs coat stands washrooms and all the electronics you need. Caterers will bring the food.
Rap is storytelling, so you need a list of friends who will take the microphone and rap about you, the birthday boy. It is like the best man at a wedding, but you will have more than one for your party. Keep your fingers crossed that it is not an awful best man like in the British movie Four Weddings and a Funeral.
It is important to have people on the list, because you want your theme party to be effective. Your friends that will have the microphone that day must think seriously about what they are going to say. Rap is like poetry. It rhymes. That is why rap architects call lyrics, rhymes.
They will rap about the way you walk, talk, dress and the things you do, your kindness, your toughness and your respect for other people. Your girlfriend will definitely have the best rap in the house.
Hire an MC
Can you imagine Shawn Carter (Jay Z) of the Magna Carta fame being the MC at your party? Right!
This is going to be the hardest because rap architects are business men and women. Their managers and record labels will not allow them to perform in teen birthday parties. But you can get a local rapper who will provide the music and double up as the coordinator for the birthday rap.
An MC is the master of ceremonies or mike controller. I prefer master of ceremonies. He will limit your friends’ rap to three minutes or less. He will know what filler music to use in between the acts. He will also decide what videos to flight on the big screen monitor.
A new rapper in the game might find your birthday party a good investment. Your friends will remember him and buy his music when he gets a record deal.
What to wear
This will be difficult because rap architects do not have a uniform. It depends on the story being told. Tupac was in a white suit in the video I Ain’t Mad At Cha because he was in heaven, talking to his brother who was still alive.
Some wear three piece suits and dangle long white scarves around their necks. Others wear street gear, oversize shorts, long T-shirts, not-my-size sneakers, head wraps and baseball caps turned backwards. In others, the tattoo is the dress code.
Make the party a masquerade. Turn up wearing something from your favourite star. Get somebody to do your hair in nice braids. Lecca, the rap architect from Japan likes braids.
Capture it on video and give it to your dad as a birthday present. What’s up dad?