I can remember that thang like yesterday (via Big Boi's voice from Spottieottiedopaliscious) when I first heard Nas's Illmatic booming through my uncle's speakers in his bedroom. His room was reminiscent to Rap City's The Bassment, complete with crates of records, tapes, 8-tracks, discs, and enough hip-hop magazines to feed the curious child's appetite. I WAS IN HIP-HOP HEAVEN. As The World Is Yours is playing in my head in retrospect to the memory, I recall dissecting the lyrics as the were spewed from the speakers. I really wanted to feel what Nas was talking about. Wanting to know what Nas was talking about led to wanting to know what 2Pac, A Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z, Wu-Tang, and all those other cats were talking about. My curiosity soon became a craving for the lyrics, the rhymes, and the infectious beats. Thus began my love affair with Hip-Hop.
While I'm a little too young to say I started rocking it out with Slick-Rick, Dougie Fresh, or the SugarHill Gang, I can say I'm old enough to appreciate the art-form of Hip-Hop that originated in NY in the 70's. To show my appreciation, I would like to highlight 10 songs that introduced me to hip-hop, made me fall in love with hip-hop, and has forever bound my heart to its early message of social-consciousness, despite the attempts to dilute its originality.
Check the list and tell me all about your faves.
Note that these are in no particular order but are the first ones that come to mind.
from the archives: april 2011