Danielle Young, aka Patti LaDanielle, aka The Root’s social-content producer, works effortlessly behind the scenes. Sure, she is a powerhouse smooth voice, but she is also a beast in the editing room and proof that prison-release programs work! She is the walking embodiment of class and excellence and online college courses. (From the office of Patti LaDanielle: “The only truth here is that Danielle works behind the scenes—it's never effortless, although she is a powerhouse smooth voice and a beast in the editing room. OK, so everything is true, except the prison stuff.”)
But she is also a baby. Her first hip-hop experience was seeing Like Mike, starring Lil Mama, in theaters. (Danielle: “Also not true.”) I, on the other hand, was born into hip-hop.
A hip-hop story:
(Danielle's eyes glaze over.)
I'm from Washington, D.C., meaning that I was raised on go-go music and hip-hop simultaneously. The video below is significant for two reasons. The first is obvious, since the song has a heavy go-go influence. The second is a bit more subtle. This is the first video in which I ever saw Kid from Kid ’n Play jump through his leg. He literally held one foot in one hand and stood on a single leg; then he jumped through the leg he was holding.
My. Mind. Was. Blown.
I spent weeks trying to get this down. Then one day I thought I had it. I ran out into the living room to show my sister, Shawn, who was talking on the phone (which is what people in my family do. If you listen to Unique Views, you get this inside joke).
I almost killed myself.
I literally saw spots and stars. I'm pretty sure I was concussed. My sister kept asking if I was OK, but I was so dazed that I just quietly walked into the kitchen and made soup.
Who would have thought that years later, I would have the opportunity to share the story with the man, the myth, the legend himself, Christopher "Kid" Reid? We talk about everything from Kid ’n Play performances in Vegas with the I Love the 90s Tour to his relationship with Bill Maher, and how Kid got into the weed business.
Do Kid and I share light skin? We sure do! Do we share a birthday? Uh, yeah! What does Ms. Patti Patti have? Her online degrees—and isn't that enough? (Danielle: “I have a degree from a school that was not a URL.”)
Ms. Patti and I also had the chance to catch up with Kid and he's been up to some dope stuff. He's the voice of NFL's "Undrafted," a show that goes inside the lives of the remaining athletes who weren't chosen for the NFL draft, but are still looking for that coveted spot on an NFL team. All eyes are constantly on the star, but this show gives a voice to those who are just as talented facing very limited odds. Kid narrates this Sports Emmy nominated show and tells us exactly how he landed the gig, why it's important and not the saddest stories ever told (like I thought they were.) Make sure you catch the season finale on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 8pm EST.
I don't want to spoil the rest of the show, but Patti LaDanielle and Kid play a game and it's nuts. Let’s just say that it involves Kid doing Michael McDonald and Ja Rule impressions.
Listen to the show below.
Stephen A. Crockett Jr. is a senior editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.