The Allure of Old School Hip Hop

by Sanctified Brother

I don’t listen to hip hop anymore. It’s just not the same artistic outburst that it was in its golden era—a time where shell toe Adidas, suede Bally’s, name chains, and flat tops were all the rage. Today’s hip hop is commercial drivel. It’s not worth the effort to create a playlist for. Old school hip hop mercilessly eats today’s hip hop’s lunch.

It started innocently enough: a few break beats playing on the radio in the taxi stole my attention. A little toe tap here and there while we drove along. I didn’t pay much attention to the music. The sights and sounds outside were more interesting to me.

Then came the all-too-familiar computerized drum beat and cymbals, fading in slowly and steadily. I knew that tune from so many cassette tapes and so many nights listening to 98.7 KISS FM and 107.5 WBLS on an Emerson dual cassette deck portable stereo when I was supposed to be sleeping. Yes.

…Lookin’ at my Gucci, it’s about that time…

Schooly D. Gucci Time. The legendary hip hop song that shifted many parties from dancing and grooving to absolutely-lose-your-mind frenzy. Young brothers everywhere hunched their shoulders, furrowed their brows, held an imaginary microphone, waved one hand in the air, and deepened their voices, trying their best to add bass to their altos and sound like Schooly D. Poor things.

Those were the days. Schooly had his fair share of foolishness on wax, rapping about less-than-desirable subject matter, too. Gucci Time was a bravado song, though. Awesomeness.

Sabbath was already here, so I had no business focussing on hip hop. My mind should have been elsewhere. I managed to focus again, until the scratching and breakbeat started.

Party peoples in the place to be: just for you, it’s the Ultamagnetic MCs!

Seriously, who can sit still through Ultramag’s “Ego Trippin’”? I was instantly taken back to 1987, 1988, 1989 and velour warmup suits, three-finger-rings, and taking the train into Harlem to see the MC battles and buy Africa medallions. Thoughts of Nu-Nile, Crazy Eddie, and acid-washed jeans filled my mind for a while until I reached my transfer point and I started to focus on the sanctity of the Sabbath again…

Music plays a tremendous role in your spirituality, culture, personality, and more. It was interesting flirting with the youthful vigor and angst of old school hip hop. I’ll stay focussed on positive music and always embrace the seminal moments that classics have played in my life.