You have to be careful how you phrase questions to comedian Tracy Morgan. For example, ask him what he is listening to at the moment and the 30 Rock star responds thus: “Right now, I’m laying in my bed, talking to you! What do you mean, ‘What am I listening to now? You woke me up!” Perhaps such literalness is a result of Morgan having recently authored his autobiography, I Am the New Black, in which Morgan recalls, amongst other things, being raised by his father, a musician and former heroin addict.. “My father was in bands all his life, so I grew up around that,” he says. “He was always the leader of the band and that’s where I get my leadership qualities. You know your big toe on your foot? And then there’s the one next to it? That toe is bigger than my big toe. That means I’m a leader.”
So what does Morgan listen to? “Growing up in the ghetto, there’s a radio in every room in the house,” he says. “You grow up with Motown and all that. You learn how to dance in the ghetto when you’re two years old. I listen to a lot of old school r&b classics, because it’s soothing. A lot of the music today is generated, sounds computerized, people aren’t playing instruments. I love hip-hop, where there was a message. It wasn’t just about cars and half-naked women and all that. It was about consciousness. It was PE! It was De La Soul!”
In honor of Mr Morgan’s good taste we’ve embedded the video for Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” below. And in honor of general hilarity, you’ll also find the clip from 30 Rock of his character Tracy Jordan’s novelty hit single “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah.” Hey, Tracy, what do you remember about doing that? “I remember putting some werewolf teeth in my mouth and saying, ‘Werewolf bar mitzvah.’” Alright!
More from EW’s Music Mix:
Coming soon to ‘Glee’: Van Halen, John Lennon
Michael Jackson songwriting mix-up
Kris Allen album snippets hit the Web early: Surprise!
‘New Moon’ soundtrack outsells Tim McGraw on the albums chart
Adam Lambert’s outre-space ‘For Your Entertainment’ cover
Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga reissues: Super awesome bonus fun, or money-grubbing ripoffs?