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Throwback Tracks -- May 3, 2018


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks -- May 3, 2018

David R. Smith

Well here it is: the long talked about, highly anticipated hip hop month. Full disclosure, I don't know a crap ton about any of these artists, only that I really like these songs. We're starting off this month with one of my favourite rap songs and from there, we're just going to meander our way through some other great stuff. I hope you enjoy this month as much as I do!

Also: I had a comprehensive list of songs I was going to use but it's in Lethbridge and I'm in Calgary, so.....

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.

Straight Outta Compton - NWA

I do love this song. I am not typically a rap fan, but every now and then I come across a track that I just absolutely adore. The first time I heard this one, I couldn't get enough of it. 

I can't really do justice talking about this group; the movie does a good enough job of that. But you can hear just how angry the group is when they bellow out this song. 

What I find most interesting is that Easy E is the member who got the most love, but Ice Cube is the one who I find the most edgy. Now; who knows what was going on behind the scenes... maybe Cube was the one who was rapping about violence and the like because he felt he had the most to prove. Or it's because he was rapping about what he knew. Either way, that first verse is damned angry!

Mo Money Mo Problems - The Notorious B.I.G.

This song actually came out posthumously following the death of Biggie (hence the reason it was on the album Life After Death.) I remember it being on the airwaves right around the same time as (then called) Puff Daddy's I'll Be Missing You. I found it interesting that there was a memorial song for a guy who also had a single out at the same time.

The problem with this song, is that every time I hear Diana Ross' I'm Coming Out play anywhere, I always hope it's this song. Because I like this song way, way better. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind Diana's version, I just knew the sample version of her song from this instead, so to me it's as good, if not better.

And man. That video? Those jump suits? Classic 90s. Love it. It is also really cool that they still filmed a music video despite the fact that they couldn't get Biggie for it. 

Jump Around - House of Pain

For some reason, I always thought that House of Pain was Irish. I think I was once told that, so I took it at face value. Now, they do celebrate their Irish heritage, as you can see by the Irish flag they sport, but they are, in fact, American. Notwithstanding, I still love this song. 

There are some rap songs I'm working at memorizing in their entirety and this is one of them. It's not like I spend every waking moment trying to get the lyrics down, but every now and then, I'll listen to this song and try and get another part of it. 

Now, rap is definitely a genre dominated by African Americans, but throughout the next month, we'll see a couple white guys make appearances. And these seemed like the right guys to start with. Who doesn't know this song? 

When this song plays at any event with a dance floor, I'm there in a heartbeat. It's just so perfect. It's generally inoffensive and has a great beat. If any DJ worth his salt wants to get the dance floor bumping, this song should be at the top of a playlist. 

The Next Episode - Dr Dre

There are going to be a few appearances by Dre in these coming weeks. It's hard not to have multiple appearances by artists, as they tend to feature on other artist's work. Plus this song is Bad. Ass. 

My cousin used to claim that Snoop was the coolest man on the planet. It's hard not to agree with him. (Although, he did also claim that Bill Clinton was the second coolest, so...) Snoop and Dre are so good together. Total different styles of rapping but when you put them together, it makes magic. There's a reason the two of them have sustained for so long; they're brilliant. And if this song doesn't prove that, well... I don't know what to tell you. 

Alphabet Aerobics - Blackalicious

Okay seriously. Who doesn't love a sweet hip hop song that increases in tempo but is also a complete series of alliterations?? This song isn't as gangster as some of the other ones on this week's list, but it's still just as impressive.

Literally going through each letter of the alphabet and creating a verse where most of the words start with that letter makes for a great track. And it's also something that one could only really do in a hip hop song. It doesn't strike me as the type of song that you could do with a bunch of guitars and bass guitars. It needs to be a very simple beat and a voice. I don't know who is all in Blackalicious, but they killed it on this song. 

Also, if you want a little something-something extra, watch this video of Harry Potter performing it on Fallon

photo credit: thecomeupshow Ty Dolla $ign via photopin (license)