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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spotlight On: Black History Month (Rap Music at the Grammys)

It almost the end of award season...the Golden Globes, American Music Awards, the Grammys, and now the Oscars, which air on Sunday. Did you watch this year's Grammy Awards? Did you have a favorite performance? We actually recorded the event at the Yusko household (thank God for TiVo) because all those commercials make me a little nuts.

Though the Grammys have aired on television since 1959, it was not until 1989 that Rap Music rated it's own genre/category for awards. On this day in 1989, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (aka Jeff Townes and Will Smith) won the first ever Rap Grammy for "Parents Just Don't Understand."

I admit to being a FAN of everything Will Smith, as well as a closet 1980's Rap fan. However, I can relate today's "this day in history..." tidbit to books, I promise! In honor of Smith's historic Grammy win, I recommend his picture book, "Just the Two of Us" (based on his rap version/poem of the song by Grover Washington, Jr). And while Smith's rap is a wonderful tribute from a father to his son, and should be on everyone's "new dad" gift list, it is Kadir Nelson's illustrations which bring life and love to this book.

Truly amazing!

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