Monday, August 20, 2012


One of the top 5 reasons why I love hip hop so much is nostalgia, especially when it comes to the 80s and 90s. Yes, there were some memorable times post-1997, but MOST of the nostalgia comes directly from those two decades I mentioned. When I heard certain songs and listen to certain albums, it instantly takes me back to a moment in time in my life that I'll always cherish and remember as long as I live. For example, when I listen to a classic such as The Notorious B.I.G.'s "One More Chance (Remix)", it instantly takes me back to the summer of 1995 (one of my personal favorite summers) and I recall how big and popular that song was at the time. I can name countless songs and albums I feel this way about, but in the interest of time, I won't do that, lol!

Speaking of memories, allow me to name 3 memories off the top of my head!

Nas' It Was Written & 1996
I talk about this one often, but I remember it was the summer of 1996, and I went to a store with someone (can't recall who, lol). As I was sitting in the car waiting, a car had pulled up, bumping "The Message", then a few moments later, another car pulled in blasting "Live N**** Rap", lol! I was like, "wow, just wow". It Was Written was definitely one of the hottest albums that summer and this right here is one of many reasons why.

Back to Nas again, but you should've known that, considering how biased I am, lol! Me and a long time friend of mine named Kentyl went to Circuit City (remember them, lol) on 12/18/2001, Stillmatic's release date. I had been anticipating this release since it was announced, and I couldn't WAIT to get into the store and grab my copy! It took me LESS than 5 minutes to grab the CD and head to the cashier! The cashier's name was Shamon, ironically he would later start working at the local Pizza Hut I worked at the time. When I handed him the CD, he said, "homie you gon buy this?!" With an ear to ear smile, I said "yep". He just laughed and shook his head, basically saying he didn't like the album himself. After the transaction was completed, he said "good luck with that one man". I kinda laughed at that, however, when I got home and listened to it, I was FULLY satisfied with the album, and it still remains my pick for best album of 2001!

(Now when I think about it, most memories involve me buying albums! It's all good though. They're usually the first things that come to mind.)

Wu-Tang Forever
This one is taken directly from my previous post on this album:

So, on Saturday, June 28, 1997, a few days after my birthday, I was finally able to head to one of my local spots (then known as "Crockett's Records, Tapes, & CDs) to cop this album. I had some birthday money and I knew where it was going! My great aunt Barbara took me the store, and when I went in, the clerk said "what can I get for you today?" I excitedly told him "Wu-Tang Forever" and "the Camp Lo album" (Uptown Saturday Night, which I also still have today). $30.00 WELL spent. I was SO happy when I left the store and when I got back to Barbara's house, I couldn't wait to listen to both albums. After listening to the Camp Lo album, which was also great, I took the plastic off the the "Forever" CD, put disc 1 into the CD player and it was like I was in another world when I was listening to it, it was (and still is) just THAT great to me! I was simply amazed and I treated it like it was the greatest album I ever heard.

The radio
I also recall a time when you didn't hear the SAME things on the radio every single day, and one of the only times you heard the same songs was during a countdown, and in the early-mid 90s, you usually got those once a day during the week. I'm originally from Petersburg, VA, so if you're from that area (or VA in general), then you should know the name "Magic 99". That was THE station back in the day (I still remember Jammin John Holiday!). One of my favorite times listening to the radio was when DJ Drake and the Funk Brothers would do mix shows on Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday nights would be dubbed "Club 99" and I would listen, jam to the music, and most of the time record the shows as they aired. Granted, we still get mix shows today, but they're definitely not as exciting like they used to be.

Rap City, Yo MTV Raps, & Video Soul
I certainly long for the days when there were respectable shows like these on the air. Not only did I anticipate each show I watched (especially the countdown shows and when each show had a special guest), but the shows always provided a variety of different videos, instead of showing the SAME videos EACH and EVERY DAY. I MISS these days.

This strong nostalgia vibe I still get to this day with hip hop is going to live with me forever. You can count on that!

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