I bomb atomically, Socrates’ philosophies and hypotheses
Can’t define how I be dropping these mockeries
Lyrically perform armed robbery
- "Triumph (feat. Cappadonna)" by Wu-Tang Clan, 1997
I am a rap fan. Specifically, I am a fan of the Golden Age of Hip Hop (mid-1980s to the mid/late 1990s).
During this era we had iconic artists and groups such as A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, Queen Latifah, Public Enemy, Eric B. & Rakim, Salt-N-Pepa, Kid ‘n Play, Nas, De La Soul, Snoop Dogg, Notorious B.I.G. and TuPac Shakur, to name a few.
Perhaps it’s because those were my formative years, where most teenagers spend copious amounts of time listening to music, that these artists and songs released during this time resonate with me so deeply. No matter what I’m doing, if I hear a song from this time period, I automatically feel a little happier.
Ayo, Bo knows this (What?), And Bo knows that (What?),
But Bo don’t know jack, ‘cause Bo can’t rap
- "Scenario" by A Tribe Called Quest, 1992
I recall in my youth, often debating the merits and artistic value of rap to the generations above me. Likening rap to other forms of poetry, explaining how many other music genres contain curse words, and pleading if they just sit down and listen to a full song they will see the beauty and lyrical awesomeness. Today, no one needs to validate rap music. Rap music is mainstream, and for at least the last 20 years, hip hop and rap artists have consistently been in the Top 20 Billboard charts.
If you are a fan of the Golden Age of Hip Hop or just want to watch intriguing documentaries about music and hip hop culture, spend the weekend on Kanopy with your library card!
Fresh Dressed (2015)
A documentary that chronicles fashion in hip hop and urban culture.
So while you imitating Al Capone,
I’ll be Nina Simone and defecating on your microphone
- "Ready or Not" by Fugees, 1996
Even though I now feel like an "old head" and a little out of touch with new artists, I’m always happy when I learn about mega-stars from Philadelphia, such as Lil Uzi Vert and Meek Mill.
Are there new hip hop artists you recommend, especially from Philly? Please leave a comment and let me know!