Monday, 24 June 2013

The Shaming Of A TV News Cameraman To A Funky Funky Beat.

As is usual for a TV News Cameraman, I'm sitting quietly in a car park just outside of Aldershot waiting for a phone call. Nothing important, but I need to wait for another filming job. As an ordinary kind of bloke, I begin to pick at my ear hair and think its about time for another go with the gentleman's electrical ear hair remover thingy, the one that I believe will do me some serious damage one day, when a slow booming rumble behind me alerts my attention to something unusual. Boom, boom, boom.

The latest in Hip Hop car stereos...

What the actual f...

A blue VW Golf pulls up about three spaces away from where I am sat. However, I now appear to be the one and only audience member of an open air hip hop concert and the speakers have just arrived, fitted to a small hatchback. Boom, boom, boom.

The two sports capped lads in the car appear not to have noticed I am there and ignore the obvious horror on my face. They are big lads, young, tattooed and slack jawed, so I decide against intruding on their musical appreciation of the hip hop genre by asking them if they would turn their music down, just a wee bit... Boom, boom, boom. Their heads are bouncing to the bass heavy beat. I, on the other hand am unsure whether I am listening to East or West coast hip hop as my understanding and appreciation of such music is somewhat shaky, if not entirely invalid. Boom, boom, boom.

I can't quite get my head around the quick fire rapid lyrics, something about butts, bitches and an awful lot of dollars, but... My word, he's going to put a cap where..? Surely a cap is for wearing on your head... With the peak facing forward in the proper position.

Boom, boom, boom. If this is West coast American music, then The Beach Boys have certainly changed their portfolio of songs in a close harmony singing style, so I decide that this is East coast, from the 'hood, as they say.

You see, in contrast to the simplistic rhyme pattern utilised by old school surfing dudes, East coast hip hop has been noted for its emphasis on lyrical dexterity. It has also been characterised by multi-syllabic rhymes, complex wordplay, a continuous free-flowing delivery and intricate metaphors... one would imagine.

I wind my window up and put on the radio. I decide that Woman's Hour on Radio Four is no competition to the nearby funky beat what with its complete lack of heavy bass lines, so I go for the more youthful tunes on Radio Two... I'll show 'em. I turn the volume all the way to 7... No, hang on... 6, that'll do, I don't want to overdo it.

After another three or four minutes the mobile hip hop show leaves and the boom, boom, boom recedes into the distance leaving me and the surrounding car park listening to a louder than usual rendition of The Love Cats by The Cure. I give myself a celebratory 'Yeah..!' as an elderly gentleman with his equally elderly wife walk past. They both look at me. I can tell by his face that he holds my youthful exuberance in utter contempt for having my music on too loud and he slowly shakes his head at the youth of today... I can almost hear his tutting from here.

'But didn't you hear the horrible loud hip hop..?' I think to myself. 'It wasn't me, I was just... I'm a BBC News Cameraman y'know..' I plead to his better nature, but to no avail.

Oh, what's the use. I hang my head in shame at being an overly loud anti-social berk with a worrying penchant for early 80's gothic rock music, and no consideration for those in my current surroundings. I sit in silence and wait for my phone call.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.