I would not have been exposed to hip hop until late high school if it had not been for my mom. She is all over the place when it comes to music, and I have learned over the years that she often picks the artist that will stick out the most in traffic. She loves blasting Tool on her way to work as an elementary school bus driver. When I was in 6th grade she bought a Black Eyed Peas album and I loved it. There was so much energy in every single song, even the melancholy songs. From there she bought an Outkast album and another Black Eyed Peas album and we would blast them in the car, while doing chores, on vacations and wherever else possible. I had never gotten the impulse to just dance, or even bob to music until these artists were on my stereo. Now hip hop is more than just a beat, I love listening to the stories and the puns in the music. And I love that so many people I know now appreciate the same thing in the music, its a testament to the universal value of hip hop.