PHILADELPHIA (JSC) — I was first truly introduced to hip-hop in 1989, when I was in 4th Grade back home in Detroit. I had been hearing this music that the older kids in the neighborhood would play that was so much different from anything that my dad was playing in his basement and because my parents were so adamantly against me listening to it, it just made me want to hear a lot more of it. It started with early groups and artists like LL Cool J, Run-D.M.C., Salt-N-Pepa, Biz Markie, and Big Daddy Kane and eventually the first crew that caught my ear was Boogie Down Productions. What BDP — particularly KRS-One — did was introduce that love of lyricism that I STILL have today. By 1989, there was this group that I was forbidden from listening to. This crew out of Compton, Calif. named NWA that had this little album you may have heard of called Straight Outta Compton. That, of course, didn’t stop two of my older cousins from listening to the cassette during the summer of ’89 — these fools stuck the tape inside of my younger cousin’s Teddy Ruxpin and let it rip. NWA was like a revelation with their anti-establishment anger and energy. They were as much a movement as they were a rap group. They were like the Four Horsemen of Hip-Hop. By 1991, I was being reintroduced to hip-hop through a different sphere.
In the summer of 1991, at just 12 years old, I heard a track that started “Back in the day on the boulevard of Linden/we used to kick routines and the process was fittin/It was I, the Abstract/And Me, The 5-Footer/I kick the dope styles/so step off the frankfurter“ and had this funky-ass baseline under it, I had to know who they were. It was this group, that I’d heard bits and pieces off that had a really funny name: A Tribe Called Quest. If N.W.A. was the Four Horsemen, Tribe was the Rock-N-Roll Express. Q-Tip and Phife Dawg had the kind of chemistry that comes from being friends for years and knowing each other’s flow and style. They were the greatest Tag Team in hip-hop and shaped both hip-hop and pop culture in ways that no one could’ve imagined. You hear Tribe in everything from news, to sports, to movies. Tribe influenced a generation of Rap duos such as Gang Starr, The Roots, and Outkast.
Phife Dawg, real name Malik Taylor, passed away last week at age 45(!!!) after battling kidney related issues tied to his long battle with Diabetes. His death occurred right after this week’s JSC Radio episode was recorded and I wanted to give Phife his proper due so therefore, what was set to be a 2 show week, will now be a three-episode week.
Coming up on this episode JSC Radio, I talk about:
- My love of hip-hop
- Drop some of my personal favorite verses from Phife
- Explain my love of Tribe in Detail
- Reflect a little on our generation of hip hop.
I want to thank those of you who continue to support JSC Radio and continue to help this show grow day by day. Feel free to support this show by sharing links and telling others as I continue to build this thing.
Until Next Time, That’s The Way It Is. Wednesday, March 30, 2016.
Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B. Σ