Hip Hop Grows Up: The Anderson Family

By El Che

The Andersons

Words from El Che Anderson: When Ray Anderson aka DJ Rsenal and his wife Michele met us outside after our concert, the first thing that struck me about both of them, was that it was apparent that they were married. I’ve noticed how some people don’t even have to stand next to each other or show any type of PDA and still their connection is visible to the average eye. They didn’t have the initial nervousness and jitters that some of my hosts seem to express upon first meet. I could tell that the decision to let Rock and I stay was a no brainer for them because of their excitement and mutual love for hip-hop. Out of the married couples that we’ve stayed with thus far, they were the first to be familiar with who I was as an artist and my mission as an activist. From the moment we met, it seemed as though it was nonstop joking, laughing and loud talk. As we walked through the door of their North Carolina two-story home, I felt that maybe I should lower my voice because I knew they had children. But as I toned it down, they ramped it up. Ray, “Why you getting quiet man, our kids are used to loud ass music in this house. It’s always popping at the Anderson crib!” Oh snap! We’ve officially met the Hip Hop parents. You know, those parents we all wish we had that can debate with their children whose doper, Wu Tang Clan or Slaughterhouse? “Ay boy, when Big Daddy Kane made ‘I Get The Job Done’, he really had a Goddamn job! When OJ Da Juiceman talks about work, he’s talking about selling drugs. That ain’t real work!” Michele was from the West Side of Chicago, while Ray was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. Big city girl moves to the small town for her corn-fed husband and they’re both backpackers. This should be interesting.

Words from Mr. Anderson: Had someone told me two weeks ago that I would be walking around Wal-Mart, picking out Spider-Man “skull caps” and looking for Oyster Crackers with Rhymefest, I would have laughed in their face. Had that same person told me that I would be trading music with one of the Midwest’s best DJ’s, DJ Reddy Rock, I would’ve had that person committed. But that’s exactly what happened when I responded to that post on Okayplayer.com. Yeah, we were crazy enough to allow two of those “hip-hop guys” to share our world for a couple of days, but that’s exactly what we did, we shared. We shared thoughts about the music our children listen to, we shared feelings about our families, and “Waffle House Wisdom” at 3 in the morning. Most of all, we all shared what we found we all have in common: a spirit that always wants “More”. Michele and I were brought together by the want to never be satisfied with the way things are, we raise our kids that way, and that’s a trait that the new members of our family (Che and Rock) also possess. The new El Che music/videos that we heard/saw only solidifies that fact. We already knew a lot about Che through his music and performances (we had seen him a few years ago in Atlanta with A Tribe Called Quest), and he seemed like a really genuine person, but what we didn’t know is that he aint shamed to sleep on a floor or crack on you to your face. While Che and I walked around Wal-Mart (after a conversation about the benefits of Wal-Mart in areas with no jobs, and after he got off the phone with his mother) looking for ingredients for the chili that he was about to cook (it was supposed to be a chili cook-off, but Reddy Rock CHICKENED OUT!!) Che said to me “See man….this is what its about. This is wealth…this is what I want to be successful for. Here we are, walking around, buying groceries so I can go back to your house and cook for your family….that’s wealth..that’s making it.”

Words from Mrs. Anderson: They had to go from the tour bus to the stage! No time to shake out any possible awkwardness. But in my “North Ave” heart, I never felt like we’d have that. Now, we figured at best, they’ll be tired, cordial and ready to sleep. We’ll be hospitable and treat ‘em like real people instead of stars. It’s after the show. Who meets us but a warm, humble person. Not quite like the man who just sounded like he could kill and resurrect you in one performance. So, they’ll need a ride?? Aww, snap! With my station wagon – yeah, I said it – trunk of junk, Che’ mentions suitcases. Ray asked…”what size, man?” Rhymefest replies ”suitcase size?” lol.
But over WaffleHouse and jukebox pranks, we learned that “having fun” was going to be the pre-cursor to what became EZ flow topics ranging from black sexuality, prosperity preachers and yes the dreaded question who’s better Michael Jackson vs. Prince. We connected, learned and shared and for that time had nothing but love to feed off from each other. Longing for hometown and extended fam, I was all too spoiled with a little piece of home, IN my home and they FELT AT home. I hate good-bye. I told them that. So in our last few pics, we all posed with the sad face.

Sad Goodbye

Sad Goodbye Fest

Filed in: Uncategorized • Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Comments

awww…that sounds soo sweet…but on the real…thats dynamic…from one house where they don’t even know yo ass .. to a house where they haven’t only heard of you but have actually grown with you (speaking age-wise and the whole matriculation through hip hop culture)…this article makes me realize how young i really am! (no diss) ha haaa…peace.

im catchin up tho! im on my rhymefest daily and i religiously jam reddy rock mixes with unwaivering fervor! 😉

That’s an excellent look at real life. I loved what he said about wealth. Could you include a discography of DJ Rsenal and maybe links to where we could cop his stuff? Thank you for this piece.

another deeply fascinating entry Che, most Americans tend to doubt hip hop has any positive effect on our youth; but your experience with the Andersons shows a socially aware, loving family where both the parents and children understand hip hop as a positive uplifting movement. One Love

By me, myself, and i on December 3rd, 2009 at 9:33 am

ARE YOU AFRAID OF YOUR READERS READING MY BLOG? IS THAT WHY YOU CONTINUE TO ERASE WHAT I POST? SO YOU ARE THE WOLF NOW. SPREADING YOUR LIES AND YOUR MISCONCEPTIONS? ARE YOU EVEN REALLY A MAN OR JUST A COWARD? I ALREAY KNOW THE THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION. WHY DONT YOU ALLOW YOUR READERS TO DECIDE? YOU ONLY WANT TO POST YOU SELF CREATED FALSE TRUTHS. I KNOW YOUR TYPE… YOU’VE READ A COUPLE OF BOOKS AND THINK THAT YOU ARE THE SELF FULLFILLED PROPHET WHO IS SPREADING THE TRUTH. SURROUNDING YOUR SELF WITH PEOPLE WHOVE HEARD YOU USE A VIEW WAORD THAT ARENT IN THEIR VOCABULARY, SO IN RETURN THEY THINK THAT YOU ARE AN INTELLECT. THE TRUTH…..? WHAT TRUTH…? ALL YOU ARE GOING TO DO IS ERASE IT AGIN SO YOUR READERS WILL NOT KNOW THE TRUTH…..

 

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About

Che Smith is a revolutionary artist, writer, and activist. Popularly known as Rhymefest, the South Side Chicago native has been a trailblazer in music, television, and politics.