Teens at Home in Chicago, Arguing About Music
ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
Here's a story from Chicago's southwest side, the neighborhood that 18-year-old Yvonne Gutierrez calls home.
YVONNE GUTIERREZ reporting:
So a bunch of us are sitting in front of Jose's house by the corner of 65th and Cowley. The porch has these fans that move side to side, like a parent shaking their head no.
(Soundbite of rappers)
GUTIERREZ: The guys, they have no shirts on and long gym shorts or jerseys from their favorite teams, Green Bay, Bears, Eagles, with braids zigzagging around their heads. Dressing like this lets people know they have that gangster, hip-hop image. Only one is dressed different.
Unidentified Man #1: Yeah, I'm a rocker, I rock on, all right?
Unidentified Man #2: Hey, I'm not quite sure if you know what an emo is.
Unidentified Man #1: What kind of music is that you listen to?
(Soundbite of man rapping)
GUTIERREZ: Gino(ph). He has jeans that actually fit. He has black boots with a black long sleeve shirt. He's the outcast of the group just because he's a rocker. Here they are, free styling, joking around, having a good time.
Unidentified Man #1: What about this rocker man? His hair look like a box of Crayolas.
Unidentified Man #3: Guy has a Mohawk. He looks like a big rooster or something.
Unidentified Man #4: Pop rocker, it look like he slapped himself with a pop tart before he left the house.
Unidentified Man #1: Look at your hair man, it look like you're about to weed whack.
Unidentified Man #2: Well look at your forehead.
GUTIERREZ: The jokes turn into these arguments.
Unidentified Man #1: I don't care all right? Shut up talking to me.
Unidentified Man #2: Do you need a hug or something?
Unidentified Man #1: Do you need a hug, you freak?
Unidentified Man #2: You look you've been beaten. I mean I was just playing. I didn't really mean it.
Unidentified Man #1: All right then shut up.
Unidentified Man #2: Then you don't have to, like, put any curses on me.
Unidentified Man #1: You know what, just say one more word. We're gonna smack you.
GUTIERREZ: Who's better? Hip-hoppers? Or Rockers? I'm trying to stay out of it so I look out into the street. There I see two old ladies stroll past. They look about in their 80s and one has half-moon glasses and the other has pearls. They spot us. The lady on the right clutches her purse to her chest and the lady next to her wraps her hands over her pearls. And there I start to realize Rocker, Hip-hopper, it doesn't matter. To the rest of the world, we're just teenagers and not everyone thinks that's good.
SIEGEL: Yvonne Gutierrez is a member of Curie Youth Radio and will graduate from Curie High School in June. She lives on Chicago's southwest side.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.