Bicycles and hip-hop. Sometimes two things you love about a place come together and create a smile as big as the Hennepin Avenue Bridge. I’ve been mentally composing a post about the confluence of the two in the Minneapolis for a while, but since Y.N.RichKids just released their newest video and it’s called “My Bike,” today seems like a good day. More about that in a few paragraphs.
1. First and foremost is Atmosphere’s “Sunshine.” This song is several years old now, and feels like an old friend that I only see in the summer (our radio stations know better than to taunt us in January). This live version won’t let me embed, so you’ll have to click the link. Some lyrics:
“Never really seen exercise as friendly/ but I think something’s telling me to ride that ten speed/ brakes are broken that’s alright* / tire’s got air and the chain seems tight/ hopped on and felt the summertime/ it reminds me of one of those Musab rhymes”
“Riding my bike around these lakes man/ feelin’ like I finally figured out my escape plan”
*It’s really NOT alright if your brakes are broken! Please don’t ride around the lakes without them. Some 3 year-old or puppy will dart in front of you and it won’t be pretty.
2. Another live video, my favorite version of one of my favorite songs, “The Bullpen” by Dessa:
In a brief but brilliant reference, Dessa describes sexism within the hip-hop industry, “They love me/ they love me not/ pulling pedals off my bike.”
3. Another fleeting bike reference in Brother Ali’s song “Star Quality”: “Battling me is like trying to bike in the sand.”
4. Doomtree’s video for Drumsticks features the Midtown Greenway and Stone Arch Bridge as well as the whole Doomtree crew.
I think Dessa is a genius, but it would be cooler if she were riding her own bike in this video.
5. Last but certainly not least, Y.N.RichKids (of Hot Cheetos and Takis fame) completely showed up Doomtree with their own bike-themed video, this time accompanying a bike-themed song.
Reasons why this is a better video:
a. The girls get their own bikes
b. They talked someone into letting them ride inside the Mall of America
c. T.C. Bear (the Minnesota Twins’ mascot) and Brother Ali make cameos
So now you know: Minneapolis is a good place to catch a hip-hop show and a good place to ride your bike. I’m sure there are a lot more examples I missed – leave a note in the comments!