Me: Your bus was a little late today, huh?
Son: Yeah, we had a bus driver that didn’t know the route.
Me: Oh, that’s not good, especially so close to the end of the school year.
Son: Do you know ASOP (sic) Rocky?
Me: Whaaat? (I was thinking : Esop’s Fables)
Son: He’s a rapper. He’s been our bus driver this year.
(This is not unlike many of the conversations I have with my 14 year-old son.) But for some reason, he was convinced that rapper, ASAP Rocky was his bus driver for most of the school year.
Since I had no idea who he was referring to, (and why would I? I’m a G-A-W), I took to Wikipedia to find out. According to the online encyclopedia:
ASAP Rocky sold drugs while moving around homeless shelters with his mother. By age 15, he had been selling crack cocaine in the Bronx. He was arrested in July 2012 for beating a man in a New York clothing store, and two photographers who had been filming the altercation outside. The confrontation began after Shenick Alcine witnessed ASAP Rocky doing illegal drugs inside the clothing store, sparking the assault. Rocky then attacked two amateur photographers who were recording the incident. ASAP Rocky was eventually charged with assault and robbery for striking the photographers and attempting to take their cameras. In December 2012, Rocky struck a plea deal in the criminal case, pleading guilty to attempted grand larceny, with the assault and robbery charges being dropped.
Yes, I know! It’s impossible to believe that a character like this would be operating a school bus in a suburban Maryland neighborhood. So before I went all “Mom-zilla” and fired off an outraged email to the school’s assistant principal, I considered a couple of things:
1) A (successful) rapper from Harlem probably ISN’T driving a school bus here. And if he were a bus driver, wouldn’t he be taking kids to PS 175 or something like that?
2) The company that hires drivers is supposed to conduct background checks. I imagine (and hope) they frown on ex-drug dealers and felons driving kids around.
3) ASAP Rocky is fairly busy working on his music, touring, and building his clothing brand. Judging by his Facebook page, a number of young women really seem to appreciate it.
But what disturbed me most was the thought that my son (and a number of his friends) might actually think that all black men, under the age of 30, look like rappers.
…including the bus driver.