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“We moved around a lot when I was a little kid. When I was nine, we went back to Georgia, and I would spend a number of miserable, miserable years in Roswell, Georgia, which is a suburb. I got into what was then called the Northside School Of The Arts in Atlanta, and I immediately went from this 98 percent lilywhite, Baptist, middle-class group of kids to an inner-city school where half the kids were black, 40 percent were white, and rest were other ethnicities – Asians, Indians, Latinos. It was a different world.
“Outside of the occasional Roberta Flack or Sly And The Family Stone that I’d heard before, now I was hearing all of this other music that I hadn’t experienced in Roswell. Rapper’s Delight was one of the first songs I remember that everybody would sing. White, black, Asian, Hispanic – everybody just loved it.
“I don’t want to say something corny like, ‘It kind of brought people together,’ but it kind of brought people together. [Laughs] It was huge in my school; it was huge in a lot of places. You’d sing it and try to remember all the words. It was a really big deal.”