shattering mainstream experience

“So mainstream, there’s a hip hop song about it.”

That’s how a CBC Radio reporter referred to shatter, the latest “in” drug with a lame nickname, on this, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Not just a song, or even a popular song. It is considered significant that shatter is the subject of a hip hop song.

From which I, as a listener, naturally discerned three things.

First, 36 years after Rapper’s Delight, hip hop is finally considered mainstream. Even in Canada.

Secondly, shatter is the new bath salts. (Remember bath salts, kids? Why, in 2012 you couldn’t walk down the street without being attacked by someone and getting your face bitten off.)

Finally, hip hop = drug culture.

That last bit came as a surprise to me. Here, I’d always thought drug culture to be the domain of rock and roll. Have rockers not been promoting drug use for generations? Did Jimi and Janis and the guy from Blind Melon died for nothing?

Heck, while I won’t name names (partly due to bandwidth-limit concerns), I can tell you I have personally known rockers prone to smoking the dope.

But there you are, the menace to society that is ‘shatter’ was evidently not a mainstream concern until hip hop legitimized it. (Now, those of us with a keen ear for such things had already recognized the music heard in said report as hip hop. But sometimes we need to have these things spelled out for us.) That presumably makes it more of a concern than, say, ecstasy, which was reportedly killing dancers by the score not so many years ago. Glad that’s no longer an issue.

But, again, drugs are for rockers. Mainstream drugs, especially.

So let’s not sell rock and roll short, people. It has taught us so much — even beyond teaching us drugs are the answer.

Things like, uh, um… when in doubt, take a solo. Or it rhymes if you believe it rhymes.

I’m sure there have been other lessons. Irony means different things to different people, for instance. And repetition is never a bad thing. Never.

And remember, men, women will always respond favourably to being addressed as “Girl”, “Baby” or, simply, “Woman.”

See? Rock and roll has given us so much. Not so much lately, y’understand. But hey, we’ll always have the drugs.

Or, at least, I liked to think we’d always have the drugs. And we’re more than willing to share them with music-lovers of all genres.

But just say no to shatter. At least, not until it’s worthy of a rock and roll song.

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