I can't swear to it, but I'm pretty sure I first heard rap music when I was about eight years old. It wasn't gangsta rap or the pop auto-tune bullshit we get these days. It was an entirely different kind of pop bullshit, kinda like this. Don't believe that counts as rap? Check out the 2:13 mark. You know who that is?
That's Ice-T, bitches, you better reckanize.
That's a clip from the movie Breakin', which is more than likely where I got my first taste of hip hop music. Shortly after that, I was given a tape for Christmas called Street Rap. It had songs like The Freaks Come Out At Night and Sidewalk Talk. I would link to it, but it's incredibly obscure, and most of the references I find are only footnotes, talking about compilations.
The point is, I heard music that wasn't soft rock or the country and western crap I had been forced to listen to growing up. This wasn't people whining about love or making impossible promises about forever. This was upbeat, fast. It was motion music, practically forcing me to move. Of course, I was young and impressionable (read: stupid), so the motion I chose was break dancing. I spun around on the floor in my plastic blue windbreaker, and I popped and locked as best as my Bible-belt, white-boy body would allow. Which wasn't very good. I remember I could do "the worm" fairly well, but as soon as I learned that the penis had other uses aside from being crushed repeatedly into the ground, I stopped.
I grew up some, and rap music grew, as well. I continued to buy whatever I could find, which really wasn't much at all (small town in the Bible-belt, remember?). And then, something amazing happened. Due to an ordering mistake at the local store, a copy of Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" ended up on the shelf. I watched the elderly lady unload it from the box, and I snatched it up and ran to the counter.
It was the first tape I ever bought that had this wonderful bit of decoration:
I went home and listened to the tape at low volume (I had already gotten in trouble because C&C Music Factory said "ass" too many times). Over and over and over.
Sure, I had heard stuff like the Beastie Boys and A Tribe Called Quest, but this was different. This was music that had nothing to do with me but opened my eyes to an entirely different world. I don't mean different culture or different race or anything in the physical sense.
It was something that I had never imagined, but something that felt like it was made for me. The words fit together like puzzle pieces, the beats ran like a fine-tuned motor. And I was amazed.
I could go on and on about all this, but I won't. It isn't that interesting, I realize, even though I got all caught up for a second there. Really, I just wanted to write a little something so that I could embed Jay-Z's video for "On To The Next One."
This song is just now being dropped into the rotation around here, so it hasn't been stupidly over-played yet. The video is balls-weird, which I love, and I dig the fact that Jay-Z talks shit about the auto-tune that's running rampant in hip hop as of late.
There's a time and a place for auto-tune, kids, and it's here:
Auto-tune the news, not your music.
Anyway, that's about all I wanted to say. Actually, it's a little more than I wanted to say, so I should probably get out of here.
But before I do, here's a little something for my dorky white-people friends who are too uptight for Jay-Z:
UPDATE: Hey, if you guys want to see what Trey linked to in the comments section below, you can click here and here and here. Because copying and pasting is such a pain.
Good lord. Maybe it's my band nerd roots or all the vodka running through my veins, but I really dig that last Ok-Go song.
Entered By TreyFrom Cowtown 2010-01-22 05:08:40
Suffer Ray. "Intoxicated Rat":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHwaKdi6Qf8 "Does my ring burn your finger?":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22xbPgKgoKw "Colorado Kool-aid":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fof0FeJgjnY
Entered By RayFrom Austin 2010-01-22 05:28:50
Listening to Johnny Paycheck is like listening to you on any night you've had more than six drinks. But with more beard.
Entered By RayFrom Austin 2010-01-22 05:41:36
Oh, and you like that it because of the vodka AND your band nerd roots...AND the fact that people pop up out of sniper cammo. It's a call to the gun-nut side of your soul.