Friday, October 12, 2007
I am Hip-Hop
I know I'm a few days late on this, but dang. Tracy Morgan was grillin' fools on the 2007 VH-1 Hip-Hop Honors. Heh. I may not have been raised in the Marcy projects like Jay Z. I may not have a baby daddy. I may not have beef with 50 Cent. And I may not have been shot in front of Hot 97. But I do know about gov'ment cheese and shelltop Adidas and b-boys and graffiti writers and all that scratchin' is makin' me itch.
When I heard who was going to be honored at this year's show, I was really excited. Just getting the chance to see all these really great artists in one place, under the context of honoring them and their contributions, it's really cool. Whodini! Flashback to a chubby little girl with a handheld recorder and cassette listening to "Five Minutes of Funk" over and over so she could write down all the lyrics. I still remember them to this day!
A Tribe Called Quest. They were the first hip-hop group to sample jazz in their beats. They were all about elevated cultural consciousness--they were the opposite of N.W.A even though I liked them both. They will always be close to my heart because Michael was the one who turned me on to them. Bonita Applebum, you gotta put me on. It was good to see Busta Rhymes come out and do his thang on "Scenario". He said, "My adrenalin level is at about five trillion!" He wasn't kidding.
Snoop Dogg. I was confused as to why they would honor him before Dr. Dre, but I wasn't complainin'. Being from the West Coast, gangsta rap was just something you listened to. I was into Ice-T all the way back when he was a pimp. But when Snoop dropped DoggyStyle, it was on. I know that album backwards and forwards. Deez nuts... and I won't say any more than that.
New Jack Swing. Daaaaang! I was all about the New Jack Swing back in the day--Guy, Today, Heavy D, Blackstreet. The Gumby fades, the baggy MC Hammer pants and all those crazy dances, they bring back fond memories. Growing up in a pretty much all-white neighborhood (most of the latinos I knew milked cows at the local diary--they didn't look at all like me) made it pretty scandalous to date outside of your own race. It was around this time that I had my first African-American boyfriend...Brandon was his name. Ain't nuthin' wrong with the chocolate.
I have to give props to Missy Elliot. She has the sickest beats around. You can't help but feel like dancing to her music. Work It will always be one of her most memorable songs because of that dope Run D.M.C sample. It never fails to make me want to shake my ba-dunka donk donk!
And lastly, what about Wild Style? That was the movie that pioneered the lifestyle of hip-hop and influenced a generation of kids, just like my husband, to channel their creativity into the four elements of hip-hop: MCing, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti. It was good to see the film get the recognition it deserved. Is it just me or does that cat Fab Five Freddy never age? He is a little thicker but basically the same. I guess it's true that black don't crack! On that same note, Michael was bummed that Kool Moe Dee was an old fat dude. I mean, he sounded pretty much the same but you could hardly recognize him. The only fine specimen that looked even better than he did when he was younger was none other than LL Cool J. In my next life I would like to come back as LL Cool J's warm-up suit and Kangol. I need love.
The best part of Hip-Hop Honors is they seat all the honorees up in this balcony so you can see them enjoying the show. They really look like they are getting their groove on, having a good time, dancing and smiling. And they know the lyrics to everyone's music. That's really cool.
I can't wait to find out who are next year's honorees. It's high time for KRS-One, Run D.M.C and Cypress Hill to be nominated. Who would be your choices?