Or that’s what I think it says anyway. Call it hip hop. Call it rap. I love them. I’m not a hard-core fan or anything. Most of what I like is mainstream, so if you’re expecting it to be really in-depth knowledge, it’s not. You may call it pop-hiphop or pop-rap.
Since I was 18, I’ve loved to listen to various songs: like “Shoop” by Salt n Pepa, or “Hypnotized” by Biggie…”California Love” by 2Pac…”No Diggity” by Blackstreet…”Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-lot. Why do I like these songs?
I think it started when I went out dancing. Just before that, I loved the female singer/songwriters and was all about that (I was also learning how to play the guitar and sing, so that probably affected it). Then…then, I started going out to the bars. And dancing. Dancing even though I have two left feet and probably looked ridiculous. I loved it; when those songs came on, I’d run out to the dance floor. “Ghetto Supastar”…”Money Ain’t a Thang”…”Vivrant Thang”…”Put Your Ass Into It”…and my special favourite, “Home Alone” by R. Kelly.
I think it’s the beat. The beat is what gets me the most. Like “Next Episode” by Dr. Dre, “Rosa Parks” by Outkast, or “Still Dre” by Dr. Dre or Grandmaster Flash “The Message”, or “Nothin But a G Thang” by Dre and Snoop, or Jay-Z’s “Dirt off Your Shoulder”. That beat gets into your soul and moves you. I love it.
I was just listening to Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” and some hip hop songs…their lyrics leave something to be desired (Hello “Air Force Ones”…thanks Nelly). Others spin their rhymes brilliantly, but what they are actually saying, usually about violence and sex, I’m not a big fan of that.
There are some songs that I just love singing and dancing to, regardless of the perhaps questionable lyrics at times: Baby Got Back, “Jump Around” by House of Pain, “Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground, “Bust a Move” by Young MC, “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ Easy Rock, “I Wish” by Skee-lo and “Wild Thing” by Tone Loc.
But some, SOME are amazing. Eminem, Lauryn Hill, Notorious B.I.G….present day, I like Macklemore.
Eminem’s Lose Yourself:
“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better”
Lauryn Hill’s Doo Wop (That Thing):
“Don’t think I haven’t been through the same predicament
Let it sit inside your head like a million women in Philly, Penn
It’s silly when girls sell their souls because it’s in
Look at where you be in, hair weaves like Europeans
Fake nails done by Koreans
Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind”:
“City of sin, it’s a pity on a whim
Good girls gone bad, the city’s filled with them
Mommy took a bus trip, now she got her bust out
Everybody ride her, just like a bus route”
There are artists like Missy Elliott that had great beats and some great lyrics too. Then there are my favourite white rapper group: The Beastie Boys.
One thing about hiphop that when I discovered it, I was disappointed…all of the sampling that is done from previous songs, but never overtly credited! I didn’t know that so many songs weren’t the originals…I remember when I first heard the “Bootylicious” lick on the original song…I thought, Oh!!!!! That was a ripoff too?! (It’s Stevie Nicks, “Edge of Seventeen”…such a great song! I’d never noticed the beat really before). Then when recently Nicky Minaj’s “Anaconda” came out, I thought, That’s a ripoff!!!!!!! That’s actually “Baby Got Back”!!! I felt like I needed to educate the youth of today!!! My most embarrassing one was when I’d hear the intro to “Under Pressure” and would think it was “Ice Ice Baby”. Girl needs some education!!!
Notable mentions: Biggie’s “Juicy”…(Mtume’s Juicy Fruit); Eminem’s “My Name is” from Labi Siffre’s “I Got The…”; Kanye’s “Gold Digger” from Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman”-which samples the vocals too; 2Pac’s “California Love” from Joe Cocker’s “Woman to Woman”; Fugees” “Ready or Not” straight up rip from the Delfonics “Ready or Not Here I Come”;
But as the pioneers of hiphop, the Sugarhill Gang say in “Rappers Delight”,
“The beat starts gettin’ into your toes
You start poppin’ your fingers and stompin’ your feet
And movin’ your body while while you’re sitting in your seat”
Love it. xo