UK baby clothes sizes are marked out by three four-month age ranges: 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 9-12 months. America must do things differently, because otherwise the following would already be a thing. Marlo is currently found in that middle bracket – an age range now called Three-to-6 Mafia. (I’ve done my Googles and Twitter Advanced Search and nobody has ever said this before. How).
I think it’s rather unlikely that I’ll ever go to Memphis, so it’s only right that I dedicate periods of my child’s life to faraway places that shaped me. Tennessee Rap doesn’t get nearly enough credit for its impact on the industry, and so my infants will experience it all from an extra early age. It’s my duty to show them the wave.
Now my eldest son can speak well, and will repeat any unfamiliar words he comes across, I’ve got to be a lot more careful about the music I play around him. However, this little one is going to experience all of the badness I listen to for the foreseeable future. I’ve got at least another year or so to play whatever I want around him, without fear that he might sing the lyrics in uninitiated company.
I’m think going to consciously transition away from Rap in the car, because it’s impossible to avoid words that I don’t want my kids to know yet. But even as I say this, I can’t be sure if avoiding it will be any good. R. Kelly – “12 Play” came out at the end of 1993, meaning that I’ve been listening to it in the back of my dad’s car since I was 2. (Look at the song titles along and you’ll get the gist). By 9, I must have known every word on that album, and I never had any embarrassing incidents of singing “I Like the Crotch on You” at school or anything.
I’m absolutely not going to be pushy parent from a sports perspective, but I’m not allowing my boys to grow up listening to the wrong music. I’m not compromising on that. Your tastes are really based on exposure, and as long as they get a heavy helping of Southern Rap instrumentals from early, we’ll tick that box off. Three 6 Mafia, Playa Fly. 8Ball & MJG, and the rest of the ‘90s Memphis Rap all-stars might not have the most child-friendly lyrics, but they can learn about all of that later in life.
The de facto Three-to-6 Mafia leader in the house is currently being exposed to all the vibes I’ve been on since my teens. He might have a 10-year gap before he’s allowed to hear what they were rapping over them beats, but at least he’ll recognise the greatness from early. Next up on the syllabus: G-Funk.