Erykah Badu ft. Common "Love of My Life"
I know I’m only 19 born in the year of 1995 but no one can say I don’t know you. The core of you, your story, memories, and your heart wrenching break up with reality.
I grew up around the music interests of my father and mother which derived from 70 Disco and Soul Music all the way to the era of the New Jack Swing. Dad is an early bird so when he wakes up he sure as hell makes sure the music comes with him. My father has the spirit of William DeVaughn mixed with the funk of Curtis Mayfield and Bootsy Collins topped off with love flowing like the O’Jays. If he was a girl he would probably be a mixture between Mary Davis, Sade, and Anita Baker although he truly never had the vocals to fulfill their standards but Mama she’s everything and more.
Her loves is over powering like an overweight lover, she thinks she’s R. Kelly when reminiscing with her lover. She truly has a gracious style and no problem shelling out pieces of her love. If she was a man she would be smooth like Big Daddy Kane, have a swag like AZ mixed with Ronald Isley and no matter what her love consistently is the same. And it was through my parent’s musical experiences they would express how things changed….
It was something about their stories of late nights at the clubs when dancing was not BUMP- N- GRIND. When The MCees and the DJ’S were the core of having a good time. The fashion, the shows, the people, and I fell in love with the culture later on. When I was younger I had the ability to feel the difference between music in each era.
The mid 70’s early 80’s was the beginning of it all. The B-Boys and Girls, the graffiti, and boom boxes those were the times meaningful to my parents and culture even more meaningful to me. I’m thankful to know what a Cassette Tape is and how to use it in-fact today I still own a few. From the A-Side to the B-Side hell I remember recording music I couldn’t afford to buy off the radio, and breaking my Walkman. I would ask my father to bring me back some blank tapes when he would go to store, then be more than pissed off when the tapes he bought weren’t able to be recorded over!
Overtime this technology would evolve and Hip-Hop culture would consistently change.
The 90’s happens to be my favorite era in Hip-Hop. I pay homage to those who have come before and as long as I know my history I understand that I can have an opinion on what I connect with most. In all honesty I know more of 90’s music than anything era, just check my playlist. YOU CAN PLAY ANY RECORD FROM THE 90’s and KNOW THE ARTIST SOUND AND COMMUNITY THEY DERIVE FROM. Some of my favorite songs in this era are older than me.
Around the way Girl by LL Cool J (1990) was one of the sickest songs I ever heard about a girl from the average hood. Not to mention one of the cleanest records, NO BITCHES and HOES and the opening beat hooks you from the first drop. Around the way Girl has to be one of my favorite single covers of all time, I still wonder if the women on the cover are Lisa, Angela, Pamela, and Renee? In 1992 we were blessed with the artistic sound of Pete Rock and C.L Smooth in They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y) a song dedicated to the life of the late Trouble T Roy. Anybody who has ever lost somebody rocks with this record, it has been my ringtone for years! I could go on and on listing why I love you so strong but you already know in the 90’s you had it going on.
My favorite sub-genre is Conscious Hip-Hop so you know I stay listening to Public Enemy, the Illmatic Nas, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and early Tupac strong. And yes I do know the Message by Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five word for word.
I’m keen on women empowerment too, I love the Queen and the Lyte…..but I must say there’s something different about empowerment now, there’s something different about you as a whole. In your beginnings you didn’t allow rappers to become influenced by marketing tactics purposely overshadowing their message. You never allowed for every rapper to sound the same or the DJ’s role to be diminished. I appreciate that globally you positively affected so many people but somehow your role within the urban community has taken the turn for the worst. You have become a minstrel show displaying the societal wounds of your people. I don’t necessarily blame you but those who raise the so call “MCees” /rappers of tomorrow, and those who allow the mockery to be displayed. Yet, I will always love and defend you to the end even when others degrade you.
On Saturday I stood among a crowd of people to listen to some of the greatest Hip-Hop legends, a one-time opportunity I may never see again in life. Dana Dane, Special Ed, MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, Whodini, EPMD, Slick Rick, Dougie Fresh, Dres from Black Sheep, Biz Markie, Rakim, and legendary DJ’s from Scratch to Red Alert………..
Hip-Hop may never be the same but its moments like this that will stay with me forever, I may have never gotten the opportunity to live within the birth era but I finally reached a window to it. I just hope it’s true talents never stop…………