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Throwback Tracks -- May 24, 2017


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks -- May 24, 2017

David R. Smith

Long weekends are tough, if only because you somehow lose a day. I thought today was Tuesday for the longest time. Turns out, it's Wednesday. That means that this Throwback Tracks I'm writing is schedule to drop in less than 24 hours. So I guess I'd better get on it, no?

I'm only going with 6 songs to make up for my blunder 2 weeks ago. Mostly because I have things to do today and one less song, while making it only marginally less work, still makes it less work. The 7 songs to round out the faux-pas will be next week.

More hip hop!

The Guys From do not hold the rights to any of these songs, it is more our hope to expose our readers to new (*cough*) and different retro music, or re-expose them to things they may have forgotten about.

At the top of each section, will be the song name, followed by the artists' name linked to their website (if possible...which is totally hit and miss with oldies), so you can fall down the rabbit hole, finding and supporting what you dig.

Check The OR - Organized Rhyme

Any Canadians about my age might remember this band. Any Canadians in the generation behind me might remember this band. Any non-Canadians might not have any idea who the hell this band was. But might recognize their lead rapper as the infamous Tom Green. Yes, before he was world renowned for his onscreen antics, Tom Green was in a rap group. And to be perfectly honest, this song is pretty great. 

The video is not. But it was the early 90s and it was Canadian. You should be happy there's a video at all. And really, if there's one thing to take away from it, it's that beauty of an Ottawa Senators hat Tom Green is rocking!

Gin and Juice - Snoop Doggy Dogg

Ahh Snoop. The coolest dude around. We were in Montana this weekend and somehow Snoop Dogg came up. I think it was in context to the hockey playoffs and the fact that Snoop has been making videos about them. But then the rest of his persona came up and even the most non-rap people in my family love Snoop. Because he's the coolest. 

He has such an irregular sounding voice in terms of hip hop. But the man can throw down verses like nobody else. There's a reason why he has been so popular for so long. Because he's awesome. How many times do I have to say it?

Regulate - Warren G

It is no secret that hip hop is not my forte when it comes to music. I enjoy it, but I enjoy very select songs. I have a hard time listening to a full hip hop album because I find I get weary after a while. But a mix CD of hip hop? I'm all over that. Provided it's songs I know.

Anyway, a lot of my hip hop knowledge comes from my cousin Danny who loves this music. Back in the days of MSN Messenger, he would send me messages telling me to download different songs. This one was one of them. It has since made its way onto several mix CDs I've burned in the past. 

I love the intro to this. That whistle sets a great tone. And it gets stuck in my head, mostly because I don't know any other lyrics to this song. So I just whistle this over and over again. Which is fine. I could certainly think of worse things to repeat in my head.

I think the best part of this song is the music. It's got simple keyboard notes and a bit of funk, but it's kind of downtempo which is somewhat underused in a lot of the hip hop I listen to. And I think that's why I like it so much. 

Intro - DMX

I love this song. It's just such a great build up. 

Apparently Mike Tyson used it as his entrance song in 1999 when he fought Francois Botha. And that makes perfect sense. This song doesn't make sense as, say, a hockey entrance song. That's too fast. But for a long walk to the ring, having this slowly build and end with the boxer getting into the ring, it's a great journey. 

I actually like a few DMX songs, but for whatever reason, this is my favourite. Again, I think it's because it's less conventional of a song than some rap songs. Sure, there's the standard profanity, and electronic instruments helping DMX, but those chimes at the beginning set a standard for this song that is just terrific.

Push It - Salt-N-Pepa

Salt-N-Pepa have had some pretty classic songs in their tenure as artists. This song might not be the classic definition of rap, but there's a dearth of women in this month's list and these two could throw down. Plus everybody knows that synth riff. It's the best part of this song; it's like the best ear worm. 

Plus this song runs back to 1986. I knew these two were around in the 80s, I just didn't think it was that far back. However they came to be, I'm glad they did.

This song definitely rings of 80s hip hop, though; it's clean, there are a lot of delay effects in the mics and there's more music than there are lyrics. And yet, it's classic and everybody who knows this song loves it. So there you go!

Dear Mama - 2Pac

Obviously California Love is 2Pac's most known song. And with good reason. The song is incredible. But we all know that song and I wanted something different. 

This song is a nice love letter to Pac's mom. I had no idea the circumstances to which Pac was born and this song made me want to investigate more throughly. Apparently both his parents were members of the Black Panthers and his mother gave birth to him a month after being acquitted from "Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks."

I mean. Holy crap. No wonder there was so much edge to Tupac. How could there not be? The guy was in the thick of it from birth. And yet! He went to a school for performing arts where he featured in Shakespearean plays and ballets!! Who'd have thought. 

I would contest that Pac is one of the most famous and most talented rappers of the 90s. And now we know why. Between his upbringing and his education, the guy had a lifetime of experiences to rap about by the time he was old enough to drink. No wonder was so proficient.