Tag: old school hip-hop

Throwback: Happy 52nd Birthday, MC Lyte!

JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates MC Lyte’s

Throwback: RIP Prince Markie Dee

As a child of the 80s, I grew up listening to — and of course, admiring — the acts that helped hip-hop achieve mainstream success domestically and internationally. I was a huge Run DMC and LL Cool J fan. (Queens in the building after all, right?) Sadly though, you don’t hear a lot about The Fat Boys. But they were instrumental in hip-hop’s ascendance and global dominance: they were in the preeminent hip-hop movie of its time, Krush Groove 1987’s Crushin’ went Platinum while three others went at least Gold — and they were the first hip-hop act to actually star in their own movie, Disordelies. And they were fun. Watching the videos now, I’m reminded of a New York that I can’t get back.

I actually saw Disorderlies in the movie theater. Admittedly, it’s not a classic of cinema but I’m not sure where hip-hop would be without its release. When I heard the news that Prince Markie Dee died, it was heartbreaking. It’s a sign of aging — and of your own mortality — when your childhood favorites and heroes begin to die.

Thanks for the music Prince Markie Dee. Rest in beats.

Throwback: Black History Month: Run DMC

February 18, 2021 is the 18th day of Black History Month. The month has been rushing by — but throughout this past month, I’ve been featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styes. Hopefully, this may be a bit of a primer on the Black experience and on Black music.

Of course, I hope that these posts will serve as a reminder of these very important facts:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

Run DMC was among a batch of hip hop acts to have crossover/mainstream appeal in the 80s. And as a child of the 80s, who was born and raised in Queens, it was easy to be proud of them: they grew up in Hollis, where my father grew up — and in those brothers, I could see myself, unlike say, Metallica or Tears for Fears.

When I was small, I begged my folks for a pair of Adidas, because my heroes wore them. So my folks went to Modell’s and bought me a pair. Sadly, they fell apart in a few weeks and I was heartbroken.

We have to give love to the pioneers, who helped made hip-hop the global phenomenon it is today.

Throwback: Black History Month: A Tribe Called Quest

Time has been flying by: Today is February 14. It’s Valentine’s Day and the 14th day of Black History Month. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been proudly featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styles with the hopes that these artists can guide you towards further understanding of the Black experience.

As the month goes on, I hope that you’ll be reminded of these urgently important facts:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

There are few acts in hip-hop that are as unique, inventive and beloved as A Tribe Called Quest. If you’re a child of the 80s as I am, you’ve probably awkwardly slow-danced to “Bonita Applebaum” at the school dance or at your prom. You also probably know every single verse of The Low End Theory, too.