It's Halftime! Sombody Sing!

College football is my favorite sport. Our favorite sport. In this house, we default to college football regardless of who’s playing. That our favorite team was in the national championship game was huge.

We were glued to the TV for the night.

Entertainment at halftime had been announced: Kendrick Lama.


Now, the sum total of my knowledge of Kendrick Lamar is that I have read he is Taylor Swift’s favorite rapper. While that little nugget didn’t make me inclined to rush out and buy his music, she seems to have pop culture figured out pretty well.  I’m thinking Mr. Lamar must have something going for him.

Was I ready to rap at halftime? Ehhh… we’d see.

For all the years I spent on the radio, playing country music, then pop music, I was never exposed to much rap music, and from what little I heard of the genre, it didn’t appeal to me.

I understand. I’m an older white male, and as we would say in radio: you are not the intended audience, sir.

But I was interested in seeing and hearing what Kendrick Lamar was all about. I certainly wasn’t turning off the game off, so it really didn’t matter who the halftime entertainment was, I would hear it.

Who knows? Perhaps I’d like it.

To say that I didn’t care for Kendrick Lamar’s performance isn’t really fair.  I didn’t give it much of a chance. For whatever opportunity I wanted to give myself to be exposed to something new, there are words associated with Kendrick’s music (and as an older white dude, I’d say words associated with rap music in general) that I’m simply not going to relate to.

Like ‘pimp’. And ‘gangsta.’

Yes, I know what they mean in a literal sense, but when I see Kendrick’s album, To Pimp A Butterfly, I doubt is has anything to do with him sending out a butterfly to sit on a flower, then bring him some money.

Still, it doesn’t really matter what the context is, those words are simply unrelatable for me.

That halftime show did bring me some enjoyment, but it came from all the buzz on my social media feed about Kendrick’s performance. Keeping in mind that people you are ‘friends’ with on social media are likely to be your peers, the halftime show was not at all a popular choice.

“Who decided we needed rap music at halftime?”

“Who chose this guy?”

“Is it a requirement that to sing rap music you have to grab your crotch?”

Hey, I can answer that last question by asking a question a young black person might have about country music. “Is it a requirement that popular country songs mention trucks?”

The cultural divide is wide. Sometimes miles wide. It can be amusing.

I spent my professional career in pop culture, hearing the music, watching entertainers, seeing the ebb and flow of trends. I can tell you I don’t get the crotch-grab just like I don’t get me and Lou Ellen driving my truck into the cornfield and dancing to the radio until dawn.

Given the choice, though, you know I’d be shuckin’ corn with Lou Ellen.

Trucks, gangstas, beers, Moscato… we all have our relatables.

As I read comments on Kendrick Lamar’s performance and factored in my own thoughts, it occurred to me I had become my grandpa. So had a lot of other people.

“They need to cut their hair. And those loud guitars…  That’s just not real music.”

My grandfather never quite got The Beatles.

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