This is long and I probably wrote this more for myself than to see how many people would read it and comment but, if you choose to, cool.
I see hip-hop a lot differently that many of you mostly because of my age (40) and I’m white. Hold on, don’t start getting all Psycho on me just yet. I know many of you all are white too and overall it really doesn’t matter in our everyday lives BUT, I’m talking about hip-hop and how it has changed.
I remember very clearly going to see N.W.A., 2LiveCrew and MC Hammer. It seemed like there were 5,000 people there (Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center) and about 10 of them were white kids. When Strange came to Nashville (for the first time) this past summer, I took another OG (similar to me) with me to the show. I told him 1. we will be the oldest cats here (we weren’t) and 2. we might be the only white dudes here (very wrong again). I have no idea how many people the venue holds but, I’m guessing less than 500. It was packed….with white folks. There were maybe 20 brothers there.
I’m curious, you all that still go to a lot of shows (other than Strange Music shows), is the black community going to hip hop shows? First off, I found it odd, from my perspective. Secondly, it made me happy to see how far we have come in terms of race relations in the past 25 years. It is now culturally acceptable for a white, suburbanite to love a black artists music and there is no down side to that.
Lastly, I can remember being ridiculed for loving hip-hop almost as soon as I heard it because I was a white kid from the south. That doesn’t happen anymore and that’s a good thing.
Here is a bit about what was hot when I was a kid though:I saw LL Cool J live when he was 20 years old and he was telling me to “forget Oreos, eat Cool J cookies”. I loved Kool Moe Dee’s Jack the Ripper when he and LL had the beef. I saw the Fat Boys when beat boxing was “new”. I had beer sprayed on me from the penis that rose from the Beastie Boys stage. I saw Roger Troutman and Zapp. I was scared to death when I saw N.W.A. I know that Whodini put on the best live show I’ve ever seen. RUN D.M.C. is still the effing truth. Kurtis Blow was a great story teller. Ya, everyone I listed here, I saw live and in person along with many others.
Part of what got me thinking about this was listening (about 5 times each now) to Ubi and Godemis’ mix tapes. They are so pure and almost stripped down. Beats and rhymes (for the most part). It’s almost like rap has come full circle and I love it now, as an OG Fan, as much as ever. But, without a doubt, independent labels like this one are all that has saved the art form.
Peace and I can’t wait to see Strange in Nashville this July.
I’m only 21 and never have been to a concert (people generally piss me off because of how brainwashed they are) but I don’t see the black community supporting Tech as much as you would think. Not saying that because he’s black he should automatically connect with every black person out there, but I am saying white kids seemed to get hooked. I put my face down in shame when I see high school girls saying “Fuck Food” is their song.