I grew up as the youngest of two children in a mid-sized suburb just south of the twin cities. As a kid, my main exposure to music (other than "music class" in elementary school) came in the form of the different radio stations that we would listen to in the car on the way to school. Being the younger kid, I never really had a say in what we listened to- it was up to my mom or my brother. As a result, we often listened to what we referred to as the "oldies" (KQRS). It wasn't until I was close to 10 years old that I got to listen to anything new or from the "Top 100" charts.
My first CD was one of Britney Spears' albums and my second was "C'est La Vie" by the girl bank B*Witched. If you follow the pattern, it's clear that I was never exposed to anything close to hip hop until much later in my life. My taste in music grew from liking girl bands and artists like Britney and Pink to liking mostly hardcore/punk-pop music. Some of my favorite bands were Taking Back Sunday and Hawthorne Heights. This phase lasted through the beginning of my high school career.
It wasn't until my freshman year of high school that I became introduced to any form of hip hop. I was introduced to hip hop through my brother who was introduced to it himself through his teammates on the varsity basketball team. Before each game, the team would play hip hop songs as a way to "pump them up" for the game. My brother would bring this music home and upload it to our computer where I would later find it and listen to it. This is where I became exposed to artists such as Eminem, Petey Pablo, Nelly, DJ Unk, Lil Jon, Jim Jones, MIMS, and DJ Khaled. I continued to listen to the songs that my brother would bring home, but I never really explored these artists on my own or integrated hip hop into my music choice.
As of now, I listen to quite a bit of EDM as well as Country music and some of the "Top 100" music. My music taste still does not include much hip hop other than the songs and artists that show up on the "Top 100" list. I do realize that hip hop is not only a music genre but also a culture- it includes dancing, ways of dress, and an overall attitude. I think it will be interesting to explore the culture of hip hop despite the music not really appealing to my music choice.