CLASSICS: POP – NEW JACK SWING – HIP HOP
One of my favorite songs from some of hip hop’s biggest groups back in the day; from Run DMC was “King Of Rock.” It was on side B, of their hit single “Walk This Way,” a duet with famous rock group Aerosmith. If I am not mistaken, Run DMC was the first mainstream rap group to experiment and incorporate rock in to their music. This experiment turned out to be a huge success. As far as I can recall, no other rap group has matched both the success of “Walk This Way,” and “king Of Rock.” The background music for “The King Of Rock” was perfect as far as helping to bring out the classic Run DMC persona we remember and loved.
Damn! Ever since I started my web project, and each time I go through my memories, I’m dumbfounded as to just how much music culture I’ve lived though. Once you start doing research on these beloved music artist, you really get an eye opening sense of just how much time has gone by. This morning’s artist is about MC Hammer. He was an amazing rapper, dancer, and all around talented performer. Such a shame that he is not on the mind of many classic lovers, because I feel that his story was one that should not be forgotten. With his smash hip-hop dance hit called “U Can’t Touch This,” released in 1990, Hammer set a new standard on how hip-hop artist would perform going forward. Hammer’s performances were electrifying! Tons of energy, and fun to watch! Hammer was so popular, I can’t even watch this episode of Family Guy, without having flashbacks of his performances. If you didn’t laugh at that episode, you must have been living under a rock.
Along with Hammer’s success being in the limelight, so was his failures as well. You see, unbeknown to Hammer, he would experience the worst public embarrassment of his life. In the beginning of the 90s, Hammer’s estimated worth was over 33+ million dollars. But after just 5 years of performing, Hammer found himself over 13+ million dollars in debt. In 1996, Hammer finally filed for bankruptcy. When I saw this on the news, I was thinking to myself, how the f**k could this even be possible? I kept thinking, if I was worth 33 million dollars, trust and believe, every single bill I had would have been paid first! Shortly after he filed for bankruptcy, I remember he did a frank television interview. He explained that bottom line it was money management. However, the problem wasn’t even about money being spent on himself, almost all his money was spent on other people. All the crowds of dancers, expensive houses for his family, wardrobe, etc, etc. But for me, I know what must have been the real kick in the balls, was the fact that once all his money depleted, so was his friends! I remember him explaining that almost everyone in his life during his music success literally disowned him. The man that changed the face of hip-hop forever, was quickly forgotten in less than a year after his filing. A few years back, I accidentally discovered a YouTube video of Hammer doing internet marketing. Well kids, what was the takeaway of this post? Be careful of the company you keep!
Let me start off by saying, I’ve never been a fan of hardcore hip hop. That isn’t a statement to put down people who do, it’s just a matter of musical taste. The kinds of hip hop I used to enjoy was I guess what you would call “Bubble Gum” rap today. Anything past Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Dug E. Fresh, Chub Rock, and sometimes Rakim isn’t my cup of tea. How I feel about hip hop today, is like how I feel about R&B. After Berry Gordy sold Motown, the quality of music has slowly went down hill after that. Sorry, just my opinion. Anyway, the reason why I’m writing about Easy E, is because someone posted a photo of him on a Facebook group I belong to. Now, please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying, I don’t think people should always think negative about celebrities. However, every time I see someone mention anything about Easy E., it’s always about how great his music is….. Fine…. But why do my people from my generation almost totally over looked the fact that he rocked the rap industry, when it was revealed he had A.I.D.S.
I mentioned this because this was also a huge part of Easy E’s life that we shouldn’t ignore or forget about. It taught a huge lesson to both the rappers and the fans of rap, because this was at a time where it was thought of as impossible that a rapper can get A.I.D.S. Rap was and still is anti-gay, and the mentality was (and sometimes still is) that only gay people got A.I.D.S. Which kind of opens a segway in to what a really wanted to talk about, which is the attitudes the rap industry still have about women. Unfortunately, there also exist women who are all so eager to entertain the degradation of other women, never seeing the importance of demanding respect. I digress…… Actually, after the announcement of both Easy E. and Magic Johnson’s status, the rap industry appeared to have put all sexual activity on lock-down. It’s a shame that Easy didn’t have the money that Magic Johnson had to stay alive, but then again rap had not reached its peak yet. Today, I can’t recall anyone that was just as famous as Easy E. who contracted the virus. However, I just wanted to say that straight woman are just as much of a victim of this deadly disease as gay men, and I just wished that there was still messages from the hip hop community about protecting themselves while “getting their freak-on.”
As I’ve always said, I am really not a fan of rap music. I can’t recall any rap record I’ve listened to where I liked the entire album. However, every once in awhile I come a cross one or two songs that I liked, provided that it was “bubble gum” in nature. Although for this particular album it has an advisory on it, the beats are very bubble gum. This was the era when every rapper in the world was trying to mimic Run-D.M.C. In fact, LL sounded so much like Run-D.M.C., if I didn’t know better I would have said his album was them. To be honest, I love LL more as an actor than a rapper; but I managed to find two classic gems from him on this album. They are called “Bad,” and “I need Love.” I think what attracted me to “Bad” was the beat really. Even if you didn’t understand what LL was rapping about, you couldn’t help but to move your feet to the “Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse” tune. “I Need Love” was a tune that made just about every girl melt from the start of the first note. This is probably the only real song I liked from LL (that I can remember). I think it was because it sounded more of a serenade than a rap “song” (if you want to call rap that).
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