Hey, adults, sit down and listen

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2007

Hey, adults, listen. Our music isn't as bad as you think.

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My name is Eyerusalem Tingley. I'm in seventh grade. I go to Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School. I am 12 years old. Me, my little brother and my big sister were all adopted from Ethiopia, Africa. Our new parents are Al Tingley and Barbara Learmonth. My little brother's name is Ashu, and my big sister's name is Mahlet. I play basketball. I made the A team for school.

I want to write about why I love hip-hop and rap so I can change adults' minds.

I love music. I just love the sound of it. I listen to hip-hop and R&B mostly, sometimes country, too. My favorite singers and rappers are 50 Cent, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Ciara, Riannah, Fabulous, Beyonce, Mary J, Little Wayne, Akon, Mario, Omarion, T-pain and Alicia Keys.

A couple of my favorite songs are "Hate That I Love You" by Rihanna, featuring Ne-Yo; "Kiss Kiss" by Chris Brown, featuring T-Pain; and "No One" by Alicia Keys. My favorite old songs are "Let Me Love You" by Mario, "Sorry Blame It On Me" by Akon, "This Letter" by Timbland, "So Sick" by Ne-Yo, and finally "Heaven (911)" by DJ Sammy.

I love music, because it makes me happy and makes me want to dance. Sometimes, sad songs just make me cry. The reason that I cry is because when I'm listening to a sad song, I put myself in the situation the singer is in.

My parents died when I was a little kid. I don't even remember what they really look like. We only have a picture of my dad, not my mom (we couldn't find one).

Sometimes life can be tragic, but you just have to move on and forget and forgive. Song writing is not easy, and the lyrics aren't just made up. They have meanings; they tell stories.

Rapping is like poetry, telling its own stories. Same with hip-hop.

When people write those sad songs, it's telling the stuff they've been through.

Adults think kids' music is bad for kids, but they're just not used to it. When they were younger, they didn't have that kind of music. My mom hated my kind of music, but she listened to some sad songs I mentioned and now she knows what I'm talking about.

If you're telling your kid not to listen to their music, sit down and listen to it yourself first. You might change your mind.

• Eyerusalem Tingley is a seventh-grader in Sarah Brooks' Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School writing workshop. From the Hallways is a monthly column showcasing the thoughts and opinions of students in McKenna's high school journalism class and Brooks' middle school writing workshop.

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