The Day I fell madly in love with her..
For the Love of Hip Hop
No, this isn’t a love letter to Peter Gunz and Chrissy, this is love letter to the culture, to the vibe and the sound that has forever changed and influenced the world. As my older sisters and those of that generation would be the product of Hip Hop's birth, I - we would soon follow as the generation of Hip Hop's impact. We are the wave of kids who made it last... Gave it the stamp of coolness that traveled through urban cities, rural towns and suburbs across the country. Now spanding much further and finding it's way in odd places like a Soul Cycle studio or on a Paw Patrol episode. Weird, and awesome at the same time.
Yea, we are the impact of the greatest underdog genre of American Music that somehow made this Country little more swaggy. Hell, let's face it, we elected the first Black President. Those young adults that gave birth to and those that prove it's impact did that. Hip Hop to the rescue!
Funny thing though, one of my very first memories of the feel you get when listening to Hip Hop (The good stuff) was that of Mr.Gunz and his “Up-town Baby” smasher. Take a few moments and jam with me right quick! Press Play.
A Bronx bomber, born and breed – I am very proud of that, do not argue with me – and the 6th of 8 siblings I had NO choice but to listen, love and move to the beat. I grew up on Erika Badu, Lauren Hill, Busta Rhymes, Fab, Q-tip and Jigga (Yes, Jigga man, you know... Hov!… You… Are… Not.. Ready) If you said the last few words in Jay-z’s voice then we are officially best friends, I love you!!!
It was “The Light” by a smooth caramel dude from the South Side of Chicago named Common, I remember just feeling love when the song came on. I honestly didn’t understand a word he was saying – I was like 11 – I couldn’t relate to any of it, but girlll! The beat and the verse to that song made my soul happy. And it didn't hurt that he was fyneeee. After that, anything that made me feel like that was a GO! I didn't know then that thats what love feels like - now I know if it doesn't make me feel like I want to bust out into a 112 or Jagged Edged song its NOT FOR ME.
So, a few years later when “All Falls Down” hit the airwaves I knew I was madly in love. Likeee, my friends and family used to call my house and tell me whenever the song was on the radio or when the video was on 106 & Park or TRL (I took you back huh?).
I became Kanye, I lived through his words and became proud of who I am and where I came from because he made every black history lesson, every "let me tell you a story" that the old folks would tell me come to life. I tasted the truth in his words and I loved spitting his lyrics.
When YE's album finally dropped, I was on the longest line at Virgin Megastore to cop it. I eventually had to buy the CD 3 times because I played it so much – I scratched the shhhh out of those things - and my bootleg portable CD player was not helping. I refused to get an ipod - never mind the fact I couldn't afford the damn thing anyway... but yea, I refused..
There was artwork in the making of his CD cover and "The College Graduate" album was and still is my top 5 of all time.
I was going broke replacing the CD's I kept destroying due to my constant need to "run that shh back"! I tried to hang in there as long as I could, so much so that the scratches in the songs started to become apart of it. Singing along to the skips. The beautiful saddness in that.
So I reluctantly bought an MP3 player and illegally downloaded music along with the rest of my generation.
I would like for Ye and Nas, 50 and Nelly to know, I bought your albums before I downloaded your music from LimeWire. Love you, mean it!!
How did you fall in love with Hip Hop? Leave a comment below.