I hereby proclaim myself King of the Colorless -- sovereign over all those with Casper-quality complexions -- for I am the whitest of all. White as a winter wonderland. So white as to incite rumors that I glow in the dark. Rumor is never wholly groundless, so I must therefore admit the probability that I am the palest of the pasty persons this side of Dublin.

I must also confess that, no matter my appearance, I love hip hop. It's the one thing I'll talk about when I don't feel like talking, and it's the one thing that speaks to me, one way or another, when my friends are passed out. In short, it's my single passion.

Any appraisal of the albums I own provides proof of this, but my clothing is confusing. I dress like a player on the indie rock team, my uniform being more preppy than pimp, more boho than bling. With such khaki colored camouflage, strangers seeing me on the street would never suppose that my taste in music is hip hop inclined.

I hardly ever wear jeans, let alone baggy ones, and I never wear jewelry. This is because I suspect it would make me look far more feminine than fashionable, and I fear to venture any further afoot in that direction, thanks to the fact that my relationship history has already left me teetering near the outer edge of masculinity.

An ex-girlfriend and I used to share bottles of exfoliator, and, every so often, beat back our blackheads with Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips. Given the intensity of our skin care regiment, it was difficult distinguishing who was who, when the radio played that Biggie song, "Me & My Bitch."

So gentlemanly (minus the "-manly') in nature and as scrawny as a stray cat, I have never been in a fight. Lucky for me, since whoever you are that is reading this could probably beat me up, regardless of your age or gender. Boiled eggs are just about the only things that are hardcore in my world.

Sure, I went to high school in the Bronx, but it was expensive, and I drove a Benz to its campus. None of my classmates ended up in jail. Actually, most of them are at Wesleyan. The people who were really "screwed up' took a year off and now they too are in college, just one year behind.

Growing up so securely sheltered, I have had it relatively easy, so the majority of rap lyrics are as foreign to me as the text in travel brochures. Yet, if I could meet anybody on the planet, I would choose Jay-Z, an artist who broke through with "Hard Knock Life."

Whoever said you had to relate to music? After all, it's just that -- music.

So, even if it's what you least expected, I'm a rap fan. This is my manifesto.


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