How A Hip-Hop Album Got My Kid To Like Broccoli
As an enthusiast of Hip-Hop, I’ve found it hard to share this love with my son. Similarly, fellow dad blogger Dada Mike wrote about this struggle as relates to mainstream rap music and his daughters, but even among the artists I consider more conscious with positive messages, there are still too many adult words and themes. This leaves us with the world of “kid-hop”, which I have my struggles with embracing.
Fortunately, there’s album out there that combines the best of both worlds: The Dino-5. Done by authentic artists that I respect for their adult music, the album is the perfect way to get some real yet kid-friendly Hip-Hop in your child(ren)’s ears.
When listened to front to back, the album’s sequence of songs tells the story of oversized Dino T-Rex (played by Chali 2na of Jurassic 5) and his struggle to fit in with the other Dino kids at school. They’re afraid of him because of his size and the fact that he’s a meat eater by nature. But T-Rex, tired of his stuffed bunny being his only companion, isn’t looking to eat anyone. He just wants to have some actual friends. He gets his chance when Billy Brontosaurus (played by Wordsworth of eMC and Lyricist Lounge fame) musters up the courage to approach him. They find out they have some stuff in common, and Billy invites T-Rex to hang out with the rest of the crew, which includes Tracy Triceratops (played by Ladybug Mecca of Digable Planets), beatboxing pterodactyl Teo (played by Scratch of The Roots), and DJ, the stegosaurus turntablist who only communicates via his records (played by Prince Paul).
The others initially object to Billy’s inclusion of T-Rex, but persistent Billy successfully convinces the others that T-Rex is cool and should be included. After finding out they all have a mutual interest in Hip-Hop, they from the supergroup The Dino-5 and enter the school talent show. They lose the contest to a burp-talking dinosaur, but win in life because lasting friendships and music are made.
Standout tracks on the album include the dinosaurs playfully rap-battling each other on That’s Funny, a guest appearance by Posdonous and Dave of De La Soul on Jump, and The Dino-5 Theme Song, which the group performs at the talent show.
Finally, this album really did get my formerly broccoli-hating kid to eat it. On the track Yeah, Me Too, T-Rex and Billy go back and fourth talking about their interests. They find that in general, they have a lot in common, except that T-Rex is a meat eater and Billy is a plant eater. Billy drops a line about liking broccoli, and when T-Rex disagrees, Billy replies “WHAT? How can you not like broccoli? It’s the most nutritious plant, vegetable…it’s SO GOOD!” The line is a favorite for my son and I to repeat together, and after hearing it enough times, he asked me if we could have broccoli with dinner one night. Figuring it was a longshot but worth a try nonetheless, we obliged, and just like that we now have a broccoli-liking kid. Your results may vary as far as broccoli consumption goes, but if given a chance, I can much more confidently predict that the album (and its wholesome message of inclusion) will be a hit in your home and car.