My Life in 100 Songs: Hard Knock Life by Jay Z

Cydney discovered Jay Z’s version of “Hard Knock Life” and her mind was blown. Whenever she hears a song that she likes she will ask “What’s the name of this?” Sometimes she’ll nod her head to the beatand others she’ll give the stank face like she knows the song is hot. She did both.

It came on the radio and Cydney was doing what she normally does: ask me two thousand and twelve questions as well and her song requests will be scattered through there as well. It was midway through the first verse when I’d turned on the radio. Once the chorus came in something clicked in Cydney’s head. Cydney loved the modern version of Annie; so as soon as she heard “It’s a hard knock life for us,” she started singing along happily.

Shortly after I had to pull it up on the phone and play it a few times for her. I rapped the verses and she sang the hook. Whenever I wouldn’t rap the fairly innappropriate parts she would ask me why did I stop. It was quite humorous and endearing.

That song not only sums up Cydney’s and my personality; but that’s our dynamic. I think children’s music is corny, it bores me to hell, and it’s annoying. My parents didn’t really have me listening to that kind of crap and I turned out okay (Many would disagree but oh well…this is my blog). Cydney may be four years old but she’s hip hop. She’s my little hip hop head because that’s me all the way. She loves a good melody and r&b songs that she can sing along to; but she’s all about that head nod when the beat drops. I love that about my girl.

Our dynamic is very much like this song because when it was released, Jay Z was just known in the hip hop world. He’d heard Mark the 45 King play this track in the club and thought it was bananas. The lyrics in the song are pretty dark. And I guess if you think about it, so are the words to the hook. It’s a bunch of little girls saying that life is hard and we don’t get the love we feel we deserve given our circumstances. But it’s so damn bright and catchy. What makes the song a hit-and the beginning of Jay Z being the man we know today-was the little girl singing “It’s a hard knock life.” That’s Cydney…

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