I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City. I was a kid in the 80s. I used to sneak onto the set of “Do the Right Thing“. So much that the crew thought I lived on that block. I was at the video shoot for Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power“.
The 90s was my time though. A Tribe Called Quest’s “Oh My God” was filmed around the corner from where I lived. I remember seeing Jay-Z and Bleek in a Bentley right before the photos appeared on the “Hard Knock Life” album. I was in QueensBridge for Nas’s “The World is Yours” video shoot.
I’ve been privileged enough to have either seen up close or greeted some of my favorite rapper’s. From Kane to Mc Shan to Redman to Boot Camp Cliq…(No Biggie though…damn). Like any other kid back then, hip-hop was the pulse of NYC. It was OUR music. OUR culture. Long story short, I have a lot of stories.
Let’s talk about NYC hip-hop today. I am fully aware of most rappers out of NY…today. Let’s talk about the A$AP crew. I watched an interview with A$AP Ferg that left me a little impressed.
Now, most of the dudes from my generation (and from other cities) can’t understand how anyone could like them. Why? They are from NY but they aren’t making music typical to the NY sound. NY Sound?
It hard to say that because the mantra of every borough in New York City was to stand out from one another. Let alone the rest of the country. The A$AP Mob flies under a different banner though. They embrace the styles and “swag” of other places.
The reason why I was so impressed by A$AP Ferg was because….well…when he spoke…he reminded me of home. He handled the criticism like a pro. He justified their non-NY influences by giving props to the INTERNET.
As a result of the Internet, you can now connect, chat, and Skype with just about anyone in the world. These connections have brought hip-hop fans together in a way that makes my generation feel like locals. No longer are you hearing about the hottest dude on your block. Now, you are privy to hood information from around the world.
It’s truly amazing BUT… WHAT’S HIP-HOP IF WE ARE ALL THE SAME?
I couldn’t wait for the interview to be over so that I could soak up all of his music. Sometimes it takes a little personal insight to help you understand someone’s movement. I went right to his Soundcloud….hit play…and…this sh*t is wack.
Damn, I wanted so bad to get into it but some sh*t can’t be forced. I realized that people who like these dudes, like the music because they believe in the movement. I believed in the movement after that interview, but I couldn’t stomach the material.
Maybe I’m just old. Maybe I’m a product of a old time. Maybe this song is some bullsh*t. I don’t know. I’m not giving up though. I will check out his album. I still believe in his sales pitch. I just need a minute…