Like any good teenage metalhead, I hated rap music. In my early youth, I had enjoyed the pop rap antics of MC Hammer, The Fresh Prince and yes even Vanilla Ice, but once metal came along, that rather embarrassing part of my musical evolution was deliberately buried and left for dead. In high school, I found myself hitching rides on occasion with my friend Jon, an eclectic, down-to-earth dude with a taste for rap in addition to rock and metal. I distinctly remember him saying, “I know you don’t like this shit, but we’re gonna listen to it,” and throwing on some random 2Pac (or was it Too $hort?) album. Even in Iowa, rap music was everywhere in the 1990s; on TV, the radio, magazines, my friend’s cars and parties, there was no escaping it. At some point I finally caved, and although my appreciation of rap never grew to the obsessive levels that my appreciation for heavy metal did, I began to appreciate it nonetheless.