Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!’ turned me into a rock god … in my house

I’ve been stuck in a strange headspace lately, as the decades speed past my windshield and make themselves distant dots in my rear view mirror. As a result, I’m beginning to be less patient as it pertains to reclaiming some pieces of my former (pre-fatherhood) self.

One of those pieces is my former immersion in life as a musician. Hell, it was just 10 years ago that my primary pastime was writing and playing music. And it wasn’t a secret. It was a major part of my identity. Fast-forward ten (10!) years and my kids are barely aware that I own any instruments at all.

Sure, it’s a bummer for me, personally. But, mostly, I’m just sort of sad that I haven’t been able to find space to share this piece of me with my tiny dude crew. It flies in the face of many of the pre-parenthood plans I made for myself.

As such, I’ve been eager to find a way to include them in my reintroduction to life as a guy who does some things with an instrument or two.

Enter my kids’ latest musical obsession: Early 2000s Outkast–specifically, “Hey Ya!” We’d been listening to it religiously on our morning drive to school for weeks, and I knew it wouldn’t be enough to simply bust out my guitar and play it for them. I needed to tell them we were “recording a record for the world to hear.”

And so we did. Sorta.

I had zero intentions of posting this audio anywhere, as it was recorded on my phone via free audio app. They were so fired up to hear themselves, that they made me promise I’d post it while they slept so they could see it in the morning.

So here we are, and here it is:

If you listen, check a couple of neat things:
1. The astute audio drops and percussion moments by my musical and precocious 7 year old and
2. My shy-ish 5 year old knowing precisely where to insert Andre 3000’s “Y’all don’t want to hear me, you just want to dance” at the end.

So, yeah, apparently I’m a big deal in my house again.

How do I know it? Because I have an assignment tonight. As they went to sleep this evening, I was informed that my job was to prepare to play DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s “Parents Just Don’t Understand” first thing in the morning.

This rock and roll lifestyle feels a little different than I remember.

Kyle Belanger

Written by: Kyle Belanger

Proud father to three children (in order: one deceased, one adopted and one biological), Kyle is constantly navigating the worlds between actively grieving and openly gloating. Learn more about Kyle here.

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