Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Rap City" is a wrap

Another bit of my childhood is gone, after 21 mostly educational years. Rap City will be missed.

Understand, I don't think we got cable at my home until I was about 9 or 10. And I really didn't start becoming a true hip hop head until I was 13 or 14 - roughly around the Joe Clair era (wikipedia says someone named Prince Dejour was the host during my middle school years but I have no clue who that person is).

Anyway, growing up in Houston, you weren't going to hear much on the local radio beyond the most popular (read: pop) acts - MC Hammer, LL Cool J, Fresh Prince, the Beastie Boys and a handful of hometown acts like the Geto Boys, UGK and anyone lucky enough to get on a Screw tape. But I was almost completely missing out on exposure to some of those East Coast pioneers, guys like Rakim, Erick Sermon and Big Daddy Kane.

Rap City helped to fill in the gaps, and for that, I'm forever grateful.

So, as a show of overdue respect, here's my list - not necessarily in any order - of my favorite hip-hop videos from that era. Notice that almost all of them told some sort of story. To be diplomatic, uh, things done changed.

1. NWA - Express Yourself
2. A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario
3. Wu-Tang Clan - Cream
4. Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth - They Reminisce Over You
5. MC Hammer - Turn This Mutha Out
6. Nas - TheWorld Is Yours
7. Geto Boys - Mind Playing Tricks on Me
8. Rakim - Know The Ledge

I just went with the eight that popped into my head. I'm sure I'll come up with more when I finally get around to checking out VH1's "100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs."

UPDATE: Speaking of music and death, check out this ridiculous (yet entertaining) story involving the illustrious Bobby Valentino on my friend Kelley's blog.

UPDATE 2: I might not post again this afternoon, not until I run a few errands and take in the spectacle that should be the vice presidential debate. Should be fun.

UPDATE 3: Can't believe that I left "Me Myself and I" by De La Soul off the list. What an omission. I apologize for that one. Damn.


avery said...

aw, son! that means you never saw The Mayor, who was the first host! dawg, you gotta youtube or somethin. (i haven't checked, but i assume clips are there). it was corny-but-fresh, as most things were back then.

aw, man. that means you ain't see the jawn when he had beverly johnson on there, and he was all tryina mack to her, but w/ his lips in the way, he kept sayin 'bebbly'. THAT'S classic.

so wait: that means you don't know who madelyne woods is either, right?

blackink said...

You know, bruh, I have vague memories of The Mayor. But nothing really substantive. I actually had a high school classmate who claimed I looked like that dude, but nah, not really.

And, yeah, I'm clueless about Madelyne Woods save for Phife's rhyme "Hon, you got the goods, like Madelyne Woods."

I guess my age and ignorance is showing. I'm gonna have to hit up YouTube and wikipedia, for real.

I must note, though, I think I was a bigger fan of Yo! MTV Raps as a child. Just seemed like Dre and Ed Lover were having more fun on there.

avery said...

madelyne. but the youtube does nothing to seeing her on television for the first time. i was sprunger than phife.

blackink said...

That's a good link, man. A very good link. I don't know how I missed that as a shorty.

You know, there's a whole legion of BET dimes that are nowhere to be found these days: the aforementioned Ms. Woods, Sherry Carter, Rachel Stewart, Ananda, Big Lez. Where dey at?