My Life in 100 Songs: Excursions by A Tribe Called Quest

For all intents and purposes my nephew is my second child. His father isn’t shit and he lives with my mother, Cydney, and me. He turned nine today.

He’s my lil’ dude. He’s right in the middle of that age I can’t stand; but he’s a good kid. When I was working from home I walked and picked him up from school, play basketball, and video games with him. I spoil him and all that. Cydney calls him her brother and although she knows he isn’t, that’s how she sees him.

I’m kind of tough on him. I try to find this balance between being father figure all while still having nuances of being the uncle you get to do things your parents wouldn’t allow. When I’m driving around with him I’ll play uncensored versions of rap songs and he knows not to repeat any lyrics. I’d like to think I’m doing something right, because the songs he tends to like aren’t explicit (with the recent exception of “King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar).

“Excursions” by A Tribe Called Quest is his favorite. While driving he asks to play it all of the time. I think the dynamic that Q-Tip describes between his father and he fits us accurately. Tip and his father are going back and forth about the similarities and differences between the music of their times. “I said daddy, don’t you know that things go in cycles. The way Bobby Brown is ampin like Michael [Jackson].” My nephew and I are different in our own ways; but he reminds me a lot of myself at his age. I guess that in itself makes him a pretty cool kid.

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