Ah, there is nothing better than the classic sounds of the 80s and 90s hip-hop to kick the weekend off. I was born in 91, but I still prefer the old school hip-hop jams over some of the shallow mainstream material nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, I do listen to some of the hip-hop being played on the radio but it all sounds the same! It seems that the originality is being lost in the airwaves but is still being maintained by those artist who may not reap commercial success. So lean back, get comfortable, and join me on a journey through a musical time machine.
The year is 1984, the streets of the Bronx are littered with cardboard and small kids with kango’s are attempting to perfect their uprock. Brown sugar love is cultivated by the euphoric beats and rhymes that kiss the soul. It was the birth place and the demarcation for the true hip-hop story. The old school hip-hop has that classic essence and original wordplay that tantalizes your ears. The beat was usually simple and well defined, allowing room for the words to hit you with that final KO.
When I think about to old school music, specifically old school hip-hop (don’t even get me started on funk music), I can’t allow myself to be bogged down by such repetitive radio nonsense. There are some artists out there that do have lyrical skills, but they become so mainstream that they forget their roots. That ideology goes beyond hip-hop and music in general. It’s in our human nature to want to be accepted and strive for success, even if it means selling ourselves short and producing material that lacks originality.
As a writer I get faced with those dilemmas a little more often than I’d like. There has been times when I’ve been offered gigs that most people would accept in a heartbeart, but my heart doesn’t pump to the thoughts of society. My heart pumps to the desires of my soul and the waves of logic in my mind. If I’m not down with a certain cause or willing to let my talent be pimped, then I shut it down and keep it moving. My soul isn’t for selling and my writing isn’t for sell, unless it’s a contract that pays my heart and not just feeding my wallet.
The pressure of life and survival can be hard, so I do understand why so many rappers prefer to be repetitive mainstream hits and not a rare one hit wonder that reaches the masses. The music industry is one tough cookie and those who really deserve a chance will often never be heard unless they play into the politics and stereotypes of the game.
So lets get nostalgic. Rock your head and tap your feet. Roll back with me to the 80s and 90s pure sound of the classic, true to it’s roots…hip-hop.
*Will be posting more videos soon, so don’t be shocked if I don’t cover everyone right away!*
One of my favorite songs and videos. They filmed the entire video backwards and then reversed it on the editing floor. Check out the behind the scenes!
Songs I Love
I love every song by Tribe Called Quest, but I’m just going to post this one for now.
Lords of Underground- Chief Rocka
Special Ed- I Got it Made
Souls of Mischief- 93′ Till Infinity
Black Sheep- The Choice is Yours
Camp Lo- Luchini
MC Lyte- Ruff Neck
Queen Latifah- New Jersey
Eric B. & Rakim- Paid in Full
Chubb Rock- Treat em’ Right
Now you know this post wouldn’t be complete without the old school hip hop essential artists!
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth- They Reminisce Over You
Kurtis Blow- The Breaks
Public Enemy- Fight the Power
NWA- Express Yourself
Run DMC- Rock Box