Thursday, February 3, 2011
When Did U Start Taking Hip-Hop Serious?
Thats right.....read the question again. When did u start taking hip-hop serious? When did it start becoming a way of life for u? This is a more reflective topic for me since im a couple months away from being 30. I know everyone has that moment when they realize that hip-hop is the way to go for them, u just become fully immersed in it and it becomes a way of life. I remember when it happened for me, it has many layers but u wanna hear it? Here it go.....
Lets go to like '90-'91 which is 3rd-4th grade for me. We used to go to my grandma's house all the time back in those days making vacation trips. And at that time my uncle who was my age now at that time was fully into hip-hop at that time. Myself i was a newbie, i was still interested in other things like cartoons, WWF wrestling and etc. So when we used to go over there i always dibble and dabble over the many VCR tapes my grandmother owned and it was alot. So while i was looking through some tapes, i ran across a tape that had a movie on it that i wanted to watch. But when i popped in the tape it was a full of videos and episodes of Yo! MTV Raps from '88-'89. I was like ok let me go ahead and check these out, and the more i looked the more i became interested. But when LL Cool J's "Im That Type Of Guy" vid came on i was locked in. Not only was the vid dope but the beat and topic he was rhymin about just mesmerized me. That right there was a little mini-moment but it wasnt nothing too drastic.
So we still in '90 and then another mini-moment happened...MC Hammer! Now i dont give a damn what yall think, but if u go back 20 years ago when Hammer 1st came out, it was huge. "Turn This Mutha Out" & "Cant Touch This" made u wanna dance, it made u lose yourself into the music and just go wild. Even if u couldnt dance at all, u was doin somethin groovy. My mother bought that LP and me and brother was rockin the hell out that tape for a long time. Matter of fact, lookin back in those times was great man cause the way we viewed music as kids is totally different now. So that was another moment, but im still building at that point.
Its '91 now and 2 songs played a crucial role in me turning the page for me and hip-hop. 1st was when i was flippin through the channels and i came across MTV and the vid that was playin was Cypress Hill's "If I Can Just Kill A Man". This track was very graphic for me but the message hit home as well. The beat to this track just hypnotized me, i was thinkin to myself what they was talkin was crazy but the beat is awesome. 2nd was when i was over my dad's friend house and i was chillin with his son outside in his car. At that time he was older than i was and he was jammin some music in his car, and i was like what u listenin to? He said "U ever heard of Tribe Called Quest?" i was like naw. He was like "what?" Then he forwarded the tape to let me hear "Butter"!! I was blown away in what i was hearing!! Now i wasnt paying attention to nothing Phife was saying, i was just focused on that beat and that saxaphone!! That still is one of my all-time fav. Tribe tracks. These 2 songs started the motor running for me and hip-hop but we aint movin yet.
1992 was the year things started to get kinda real. The 1st big movement was Kris Kross. Once again, i was in the 5th grade and if u didnt like Kris Kross somethin was wrong with u!! This was the 1st LP i bugged my mother to get me!! And when she got it for me i couldnt be any happier!! "Jump" as we all know was that track that made little youngsters like me lose our minds!! Now i didnt wear my clothers backwards but i did get sagging from them. And at times i did go overboard with it, but thats hip-hop, if its kool and new u gonna do it! I was jammin my Kris Kross tape day and night every damn day of the year '92 almost. It was that ill. But then a song came along that wasnt all dancy. It wasnt happy either. It was a song of sorrow and remorse but it made u feel gratitude for ur loved ones and how much u would miss them if they were gone. The track "T.R.O.Y" by Pete Rock & CL had a deep feeling to it. I never heard a beat like that, that could make u have a out of body experience. Why dont u all go back to '92 and remember the 1st time u heard "T.R.O.Y"!!!!??? How did it make u feel? My point exactly. '92 was a good year by all fronts and those 2 moments played a huge role for me in my love for hip-hop. Now the motor is running and we getting somewhere.
The 9-trey was the turning point for me that hip-hop could be the way to go for life. And certain events help cause that but only a few i am gonna talk about. In my 5th grade math class at the end of the semster we was gonna have a party to celebrate us makin good grades in class. The teacher said we gonna have pizza, soda water and the whole nine plus she said u can bring ur walkmans and listen to music!! That right there did it for me, she said we could bring music and get our jam on. One problem tho was that i had nothin to jam to. Thats when the era of makin my own mixtapes came about. But at this time i only wanted one song on a tape and it was biggest song out at that time. Naughty By Nature " Hip-Hop Hooray" was plain and simple the shit at time. I had to have this record on a tape ASAP! So i stole one of my dad's jazz tapes and waited by the radio damn near all day for that track to come on. And when it did i recorded it with the quickness, and actually they played it like 3-4x that night and i recorded everytime. So all i had on this tape was "Hip-Hop Hooray" like 4x but i was good to go!! Now...Run-DMC back in 80's was the premier rap group but comin into the 90's i really didnt know them well. So as i was lookin at MTV one night, i saw the vid premier of their new track "Down Wit The King"!!!......Let me tell yall, i thought at this time that this was the illest rap track of all-time!! At that moment, i said to myself there is nothing that can top this track!! Nothing!! Every time this song came on the radio i jammed it plus recorded it. Everywhere i went with my walkman i was reciting the lyrics word by word. This track at that time was my life blood. At this time, i was almost fully immersed in hip-hop...almost. 2Pac as we all know was controversial figure, but back in '93 i didnt know him well. I just was listening to the music, i wasnt reading Source mags and etc. yet. But yes, when 'Pac came out with "I Get Around" he was my fav. rapper at that time. U couldnt tell me no different. That was the track at that time for me, it was nice, mellow and the lyrics was dope. Now since then 'Pac wasnt in my #1 position but for a brief time he was. '93 was dope man and it really told me that fuck all the rest, hip-hop is the new way to go. And by the next year i was.
1994 was the year that i was all the way in. And it happened early in that year so thats what only im gonna speak about. I remember me and my boys was over at a friends house just chillin and talkin. Then one of them brought up a new group that just came out and he jammin their album. He was saying that they was different from the rest and they was using karate noises and samples in their tracks! We was like for real? Who are they? Whats their name? He said.. Wu-Tang Clan. We was like Wu-Tang? He was like im tellin yall, they are bangin! Coincidentally, later on that night i was watchin a episode of Yo! MTv Raps and Ed lover was set to premier a new vid that night. The vid was "C.R.E.A.M", and this was the beginning of the point that hip-hop is the way of life for me. The beat, the vid and the lyrics just struck a chord wit me!! 1st i realized that yo..living in the east coast as a youth was tough!! 2nd i was like who is this homeless cat singing the hook with a toothbrush in his mouth? I was thinking..man he got it rough then later on we knew him as Method Man. But this track right here bring back alot of memories for me cause that was the anthem for us. Even tho i was in the 7th grade, hey it was all about "CREaM" and we gotta get ours whether it was selling candy or sports cards we all was trying to ours in school at that time. Here we are now at the grand moment that hip-hop became serious for me!!! It happened like this....i came home from school and i was flippin through the channels to see what was on. I went through BET to see what was on and thats when it happened. I was looking at a vid that had a beat i never heard before, it was mind blowing to me that he would take a MJ sample and flip it the way he did. I was knocking my head so hard it almost snapped off. But Nas's "It Aint Hard 2 Tell" did it for me!! It was this song that had me in a frenzy that i never felt before. And after this day, everyday when i came home i turned it to BET to watch Rap City and it became a ritual after that. Now i know what u saying, what about BIG? Hey people, Nas came out before BIG. I was already hooked before BI came out.
Like i said, for me it was a lot layers to get to that point, but thats how it happened for me. So the question im askin u is.... When Did U Start Taking Hip-Hop Serious?