Dr. Dre’s 2001. In grade 7, I remember dragging my mother to HMV with the goal of getting the album. I tirelessly pleaded with her to buy me the CD because it’s cool and I’m cool, and because she’s not cool, she could never know how cool it was. Ah, the logic of a twelve year-old. Finally, she gave in. I like to think it was because I was so persuasive but it was probably more because she secretly knew what table I sat at during lunch. We get to the cash and the nice-nice-oh-so-nice man behind the cash looks from me to my mother and back to me then says, “did you know we have the clean version?” Are you fuckin’ kiddin’ me? My eyes drilled holes into his head as he showed my mother where to find the PG album. I felt so betrayed. What gives, dude? Retail workers don’t get tips. And even if they did, joke’s on you, she tips the same no matter what the service is like. Having since worked at HMV for a 3 year stint, I can say with confidence I never showed the same douchebaggery to underage folk. That is until they came the listening booth with five CDs. This isn’t the buffet of music, all-you-can-listen, get the fuck outta here!
Walking proud with my new CD spinning in my discman, I took my usual seat in the cafeteria only to be interrupted by Christianne: self-proclaimed rebel from the grade 8 class. She asked me what I was listening to and when I replied, she yanked the headphones off my head and hit play. Right off the top things get suspicious when Snoop turns into one of those faceless adults from Peanuts and starts talking gibberish, “Da da da da da, It’s mwa-sner-der-fla D-O-double-G!” If you weren’t paying attention or you were say, in a large cafeteria full of 1200 students, that one may slip by you. It isn’t until the song finishes and the iconic words, “EYAT WYERMS EVERYDAY!” hit your eardrums that you truly know something isn’t quite right. Eyat wyerms? Like eat worms? Oh please no, Dr. Dre, not you too. Or maybe Wyerms is an acronym for some new diet of diets spreading through the Hip-Hop crowd and Dr. Dre is getting paid to advertise? Not having heard the uncensored version, I didn’t dwell on it too long. But Christianne knew the original very well. And nearing the end, at around the two minutes and thirty eight seconds mark when Dre reminds gardeners everywhere that they’ve been doing it wrong, she heard it: “HOLY SHIT! It’s the clean version!” She proceeded to run around the cafeteria and tell everyone about my profanity-challenged CD, which had the added sting of her having to point me out when she was met with “who’s Rebecca?”
It sucked. But isn’t that the way when you’re motivated by vanity? Murphy’s Law. I like to think that the spike in censored album sales thanks to yours truly (or maybe thanks to mommy dearest) gave Missy Elliott her inspiration to “Ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gniht [reh] tup.” It’s all how you look at it. And I’m taking this one as a win. But also, like, fuck you HMV dude.