As a kid, my dad would tell me that rap music was like disco, and it would one day go away. I think I ultimately won that argument; it appears hip hop is here to stay.
Today, hip hop music is a bit stale. It’ been that way for a few years (there are exceptions, of course). It’s going through a life cycle, the way rock did. Rock music had its fundamental beginnings in the 1950s, followed a heyday in the 1960s. Then, Rock suffered a gradual decline in the 1970s and ’80s, bottoming out with hair metal buttrock, before it enjoyed a renaissance in the 1990s during the grunge era.
Hip hop’s genesis in the late ’70s and maturation through the ’80s lead to its apex in the ’90s, when it began its own gradual declinine into whatever it is today. Like rock, it cannot be disregarded as a once-great musical genre; it will continue to live and be shaped by the times and the artists that use it as their medium, and will once again be great when it reaches its renaissance.
These are just some thoughts I had while I surfed YouTube for some of my favorite hip songs from back in the day. Below are a few of my favorites that I wanted to share. Enjoy!
“Same Song” – Digital Underground
The musical stylings of Tupac Shakur debuted in this song, which was found on the soundtrack of some piece-of-shit movie called Nothing But Trouble, starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd.
“Regulate” – Warren G. & Nate Dogg
This song was the “Theme From Shaft” of the ’90s. It was just cool. It was featured in the mediocre basketball movie Above The Rim, which featured Tupac. Not a day goes by where the words, “I’m tweaking into a whole new era” don’t pop into my head for some reason.
“Juice (Know Tha Ledge)” – Eric B. & Rakim
Another one with an indirect tie to Tupac. This was the theme song to the movie Juice, which was a pretty cool movie about life in the ghetto… at least that was the perception of this suburban white guy as an naive adolescent.
“Chief Rocka” – Lords of The Underground
Something was totally cool about these cats. The way they dressed, what they rapped about, etc. Reminds me of when my friends and I would jam this out and go play basketball during summer afternoons.
“Passin’ Me By” – The Pharcyde
A non-grunge song about teen angst. A song that about personal hang-ups that lead to depressing outcomes of personal desires.
“Pop Goes The Weasel” – 3rd Bass
Sometimes white guys rappin’ is sort of ridiculous. These guys were so ridiculous, they kind of got a little street cred from it.
“Mind Over Matter” – Ice T
This song is just bad ass. Ice T might be one of the realest MCs out there, and this song is about just that. The beat and music just makes you want to scowl, and move real slow like a bad mutha-shutyomouth!
Hope you enjoyed this little retrospective. Let us know what you think or what I forgot in the comments below.