Looking Back: Most Memorable Moments Involving Hip Hop in my Life
Ever since I started writing for KillerHipHop I’ve come to notice quite a few things about our readers. All positive qualities that makes doing this job so fun. For one, all the comments I receive or any of us receive on our posts are very passionate. Shows that not only do we have a strong fan base, but a caring one also. Also, points that are made are usually backed up with their point of view and shows how knowledgeable they are. Finally, I’m a huge fan of the debates you all have between each other. It’s awesome to read, and to see that I’m not the only person who loves to argue and debate for entertainment.
With that being said, I started to think back to when my first time was that I was comfortable enough to argue my points. What got me into hip hop, and what was it that took it to the next level that hip hop became a passion of mine? With that being said I came up with a Top Ten list of my most memorable moments involving hip hop in my life. Everyone has their own, here is mine.
10. Watching 8 Mile
At this point, I was already a pretty big hip-hop fan. Eminem was (and still is) my favorite rapper and I was extremely curious to see how he would perform on the big screen. It became more than that. We come to learn how Rabbit’s writing comes to form and how erratic his thoughts are. Which, we are told, is extremely accurate in comparison to how Marshall’s actual song writing goes. I also fell in love with the art of battle rapping and started doing more research on Eminem’s previous freestyles as well as others.
Back before I was an avid hip-hop fan, I’m talking my early elementary days, we all were aware of the East Coast – West Coast beef. That was, of course, unless you lived under a rock. I was too young at the time to invest anything into it though, so of course I didn’t pay much attention. By the time “Takeover” came about, I was fully aware, and fully invested. Then came “Ether” and “Superugly”….blah blah blah. We all know the story. Mix that with some 50-Cent vs. Ja Rule, Eminem’s disses on Ja, Benzino, Everlast, ICP, Fred Durst, etc.
The countless beefs that there have been in rap music have kept us all interested. That’s why we salivate when we see the slightest subliminal jab in any song today. Blowing up things like “baby money” into countless blogs, ariticles, discussions, and threats. I put this on my list, because beef has been a vital piece of hip-hop not only to the art itself, but me as well.
8. Mr. Kanye West
Kanye West opened up my mind to a lot of shit. When he came in the game and literally spit through the wire, I knew instantly I was going to love this dude. His soulful samples, passionate music, and ability to connect to his fan base is phenomenal. I’ll never forget hearing College Dropout for the first time. He made it okay to go outside of the “norm” of hip hop and mix raunchy, explicit lyricism with soulful, sample heavy music. I loved 808’s and Heartbreaks. Auto-tune or not, that music was deep, and it was REAL feelings. MBDTF is a top 5 produced album of all time in my opinion. He doesn’t cheat you on quality, or rush anything to come out. Kanye has to be on my list.
7. Tupac Resurrection
No, this documentary didn’t introduce me to 2pac’s music. It introduced me to Tupac Amaru Shakur. There’s a big part of hip-hop that doesn’t include music at all. It’s the influence you have on the market you’re geared towards. To this point, I was focused strictly on the music and wasn’t interested too much on what goes on behind the scenes. Tupac was without a doubt a humanitarian. You can hear it in his music and in his interviews. When you see who the person really is, and how they truly present themselves outside of their hip-hop personas, it makes their music make more sense.
6. Heart of the City Tour
Believe it or not, this was my first hip-hop concert I ever went to. I was never a big concert guy. Yeah, this concert changed everything. Picture this: The arena goes black. A spotlight shines on a big projector screen on stage. A video of Jigga and Mary getting interviewed is shown for about one minute. It goes black again. A silhouette of Mary flashes on the screen. Goes to black. A silhouette of Jay flashes on the screen. It goes to black. A silhouette of them both with their backs against each other shows. It goes black. Lights come on and the bassist plays the first few strums of “Can’t Knock the Hustle” as we see them back to back at the top of a long staircase ready to kill it. The rest is history.
5. The Chronics
I did this one backwards though. Given that the original “Chronic” was before my time, I first listened to “Chronic 2001.” When I envision myself first listening to this album, not one bad memory comes up. It changed the way I looked at music and when I truly started to realize the art of production and west coast stylistics. After hearing this, I went back and listened to the original Chronic and was introduced to the beginning of numerous things. West coast rap, Snoop and Nate Dogg, the Eazy E and Dr Dre beef, and the phrase “Bitches ain’t shit, but hoes and tricks.” Alright so maybe that last part wasn’t as important, but still part of history no doubt.
If you don’t know all of the lyrics to “Juicy” then I believe you have some learning to do. Believe it or not I’ve heard some people call this song overrated. Absurd. This is the anthem to my late nights. This comes on during a ride home late at night, at a party, in school, anywhere for that matter, everyone stops what they’re doing and raps. We yell, we chant, we sing, we rap, whatever you want to call it. The first time I heard this song I fell in love. As soon as you hear “F**k all you hoes, get a grip Mothaf**ka,” you know shit’s about to go down. You get the “Ohhhhhhhh!” from everyone in unison. Thinking about the song right now makes me happy. Had to throw this song on this list cause not only is it in my top 5 songs of all time, but it’s been a part of my top 5 nights of all time.
3. Purchasing the Marshall Mathers LP
I use the word “purchasing” because of the task it was buying the damn thing. I was in 4th grade when the album came out. This made convincing my mom that the album was okay for a 9 year old to listen to very hard. Especially since “The Slim Shady LP” had a short lived stay in my household. So after weeks of arguing and begging, my mom agreed to buy me the “edited” version. If you want to call it that. Finally, I got my hands on the album and I never looked back. Listening to the edited album at home, and then the unedited version at my cousins house, I got the best of both worlds. My first REAL exposure to explicit, suggestive, controversial, raunchy, and whatever else you want to throw in there content. “Guess there’s a Slim Shady in all of us..” couldn’t have been more true in that time period.
2. Yankee Stadium: September 14, 2010
That’s a date and location I’ll never forget. A day after my birthday I was sitting in the new home of my hated Yankees to witness my two favorite rappers put on a show of a lifetime. This would be my 5th time seeing Jay-Z but only my first seeing Em. I was excited to say the least. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine a show going so perfectly. Being in New York, in Yankee Stadium, as Jay-Z performs “Empire State of Mind” is an experience you’d never forget. The way the crowd exploded when Dr Dre arose from the center of the stage in a midst of smoke while the beat from “The Next Episode” was playing the background. The night was simply perfect. All the guest appearances. The sold out crowd. The stage was perfect. Yeah, I can say that was the best night of my life.
1. Watching the “My Name Is” video for the first time
Seems a little farfetched, but it’s always been what I said got me into hip-hop. I’ll never forget being in my godparent’s house, walking into the living room, the TV already being on, and seeing a “scrawny looking white boy” rapping these catchy lyrics. I was 8 years old, the crazy shenanigans he was pulling on the TV was going to get me hooked. But, after witnessing that video, I couldn’t get enough. I wanted to know everything about the guy. I started listening to more and more hip-hop. It even got to the point where I asked my mom if I could bleach my hair blonde. This video and song singlehandedly converted me into the hip-hop head that I am today. So for that, I thank you Marshall.
Those are my top 10 memories that made me the hip-hop head I am today. I, like mostly everyone, is still expanding today as we continue to get new music and keep this art alive.
Everyone has a story, or a memory that they remember when they hear a song or album. We’d love to hear what you guys have to share in the comments or on Twitter.
Follow me on Twitter @TheMikeDaSilva