BLOG: Memory Lane

Back in the days when I was young, I’m not a kid any more, but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again…and everybody say, I remember way back when. – Ahmad

Every year since I turned twenty five, I get a bit nostalgic, like Ahmad, weeks before my born day. As I reminisce, certain songs bring back the sweaty smell of the high school cafeteria on hamburger day, or homemade mixtapes spliced together for my personal collection, or the unbearable humidity from the lover’s rock-only hooky party. Shoot, my skin would be slick with sweat and my ponytail plastered to my neck, but I kept wining, with my eyes closed, of course.

A few weeks ago, my boy, Rob the Music Ed had me thinking back, as he usually does when we chat about music, with his Slow Jamz blog. The last entry on his list of baby-making music was New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain.” There’s footage of our karaoke rendition of that song somewhere in this office, but I prefer that it stay one of the lost tapes. I’m gonna have to take Jamie Foxx’ advice and blame that one on the ah-ah-ah-alcohol. Why else would we flip that song into a duet, with yours truly getting my baritone on as a young Johnny Gill?

Anyway, I was definitely feeling old school after reading the scoop behind Nas’ Illmatic. Has it really been 15 years? Damn. When “Ain’t Hard to Tell” dropped, I was in North Carolina; a college junior with a kung-fu grip on my scholarship and tutoring never-missed-a-meal football players in English for extra dough. Hearing Nas’ voice on that track offered me, and my homesick crew from the boroughs, a hearty slice of NYC. Those southern playas with their Uncle Luke just couldn’t relate to the kid with the chip-toothed smile.

Here are few other joints that inspire me to reminisce Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth-style.

Run DMC, “Sucker MCs” – Not sure what possessed us, but four of my friends—dressed in matching white T-shirts, blue Lees and blue kicks—were pre-America’s Best Dance Crew contestants in an elementary school talent show. We didn’t take home the trophy (no shock there), but my jones for performing in talent shows was born on a stage in Brooklyn.

Big Daddy Kane, “Warm it Up” – Dudes at Empire Skating Rink murdered the floor at speeds of 100 MPH when the DJ dropped this track. He never played anything this hot when it was an all-girls’ skate. We always got some corny, slow jam, however we happily paid $5 to skate on the weekend session.

Tupac, “Me Against the World” – The day after I graduated from college my boyfriend and I packed all of my crap into a mini-van and made the trek from North Carolina to NYC. My abuelita “tolerated” listening to ’Pac for about 20 minutes, before threatening to hitchhike back to BK if we didn’t play Muddy Waters, Charlie Parker or something without the F-bomb.

Jay-Z, “Feelin’ It” – One year into my first magazine gig, my editor approved a trip to Virginia for myself and two other editorial assistants. Road trip! Road trip! Road trip! We blasted “Feelin’ It” at least 20 times in a row, experienced a little racism in the hotel’s pool and escaped the common wealth state without a speeding ticket.–Miss One

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  • Hate Hate and more Hate

    You have shitty taste in music, but not as shitty those southern fried faggs listening to Uncle Luke. I hope you were making that shit up

    • NakedWithSocksOn

      What are you talking about dude? How are these records “shitty”. Straight classics and Miss One said this was just some tracks that made her reminisce not her favs of all time.

      Shoot, Mad Cobra’s “Flex” makes me reminisce about this one time me and my girlfriend in high school…. uhm, never mind. My point is, songs good or bad (in anyone;s humble opinion) can evoke some kinda memory.

      And by definition reminiscing should take you back more than a decade. What makes you reminisce Soulja Boy? Jim Jones?

    • mo

      hate hate and more hate….we get it dickhead you hate everything and probably your own life too…kill yourself already.

  • Ron Mexico

    transactions illegitimate, but life is still a bitch… and then you die.

    but for now, life, close your eyes and feel this dick.

    • mo

      classic my dude.

  • jackpot

    Jay-Z, Run-D.M.C., Big Daddy Kane and Tupac are shitty? Please explain…

  • giantstepp

    I tend to have these old skool sessions at the crib where nothing gets played if it was made after 95. I start from my Jr. High era (fat boys, run dmc, Dougie fresh, kurtis blow etc.) Then I take it to HS (NWA, Easy E, PE, KRS, Biz Mark). The college years were (PE, Special ED, Chub Rock, EPMD etc.). And because I went to college right outside of Philly, Cool C, Steady B, Three times dope all get some play. Early 90′s I got hooked on the deathrow sound. I feel a throwback session coming on when I get off of work.

    • Hate Hate and more Hate

      ^^^ Lol @ niggas listen to old school rap while they beat there dicks.

  • Pierzy

    “The Chronic” and “Doggystyle” really take me back…

    “It’s the capital S/oh yes I’m fresh/
    N double-O P/D O double-G Y/
    D O double-G/Ya see/Showin’ much flex/
    When it’s time to wreck a mic/Pimpin’ hoes and clockin’ a grip like my name was Dolomite”

  • EmCDL

    Aww damn now ya’ll got me reminising…and I’m only 24 LOL

    But still, I have songs back when I was in grade school that make me reminisce…like them PM Dawn joints (“Plastic”, “Nocturnal In The House”), ATCQ (“Scenario”, “Clap Ya Hands”, “Jazz”), Lil Kim (Crush On You, No Time For Fake Ones)…man I can go on forever. I was younger back then, but I was listening to that stuff (even though I had to sneak and listen to it)

    • El Tico Loco

      LOL @ Lil Kim “No Time for Fake Ones”


      • EmCDL

        Yeah she got fakes ones, twos ,threes and fours! LOL

  • El Tico Loco

    Lol @ Lil Kim’s “No Time for Fake Ones”


    • El Tico Loco

      nuffadat I remember having arguments of whether Kane, G Rap, or Rakim was the nicest (still do) and played “The Symphony”, “Men @ Work” (KGR), “Lyrics of Fury” (Ra), and “Wrath of Kane” and analyzing the hell out records we would buy out of GP for the sake of having the illest record collection and trying to be first with whatever came out.

  • anutha_level

    BDP- “part time suckas”
    ice cube- entire “amerikkkas most wanted” album
    outkast – “funky ride”
    EPMD- “you’re a customer” & “jane” (the first one)
    Rodney-O & joe Cooly – “you don’t hear me tho”

    to name a few…

    • INDOE

      Good look giving the Rodney-O and Joe Cooly record a shout out . I just bought it a couple months ago online cuz’ i had to have it !


    RUN DMC – MY ADDIDAS (that shit was #1 on the 98 countdown for like a month, back when they hardly played rap on the radio!)

    NWA – GANGSTA, GANGSTA (whenever they played that song with a crowd of people around, everyone got hype and started rapping it…but when eazy came on niggas went nuts!)

    TOO SHORT – WAY TOO REAL (to this day, the pimpest song ever made! is pimpest a word?)

    AWESOME DRE – YOU CAN’T HOLD ME BACK (some d shit! a nigga from my hood made it big, he got down with PE and put some shit out…the hood was bangin this shit!)

    THE CLICK – LEARN ABOUT IT (i had always thought e-40 was the wackest nigga alive. then i smoked some gan wit my dude in his truck, and he was bumpin the click! learn about it turned me out! after that, i went and got the old e-40 shit, and i’ve been a fan every since!)

    • El Tico Loco

      I remember Awesome Dre (Harcore Commitee)
      and Kaos and Maestro too, I ain’t from the D but I know the scene up there just from my moms sending me up there to stay out of trouble every summer(go figure)

      • DETROIT

        dude, i don’t know where you’re from, but you’re definately an honorary detroiter if you remember kaos and maestro!

      • El Tico Loco

        ATL surprise! I just happen to think outside the perimeter sometimes.

  • latino heat

    i was just listening to the 1st Dogg Pound album a couple days ago. that’s the Death Row classic people forget about. and since Detroit just mentioned E-40, i was just listening to Mr. Flamboyant last night. when i’m in the car i just put my Zune on shuffle and watch the classic’s start popping up.


      “yea, i’m just a hustler on the go, out here gettin my propers don’t ya know….”

      40 is da shit!

    • Pierzy

      Kurupt was amazing on that first DPG album.

      • opm509

        co-sing that but I think he was the tightest on streetz iz a mutha
        domino and tag team bring me back(wasnt the most lyrical of songs but hey I was wut 6th or 7th grade)

  • brand-new

    i heard warren g and nate dogg’s regulate the radio the other day, brought back some memories

    • EmCDL

      Since you mentioned that, I also forgot that track they did together “Nobody Does It Better”…shit is bangin! Nate Dogg the true hook singer!

  • $ykotic

    Snoop-Doggie Dogg World

    EPMD-Bandwagon RMX

    Lox-F*ck You

    Special Ed-Can’t go Back

    NaS-Black Girl Lost

    Group Home-Baby pa(short as hell skit but the Preemo beat is fiyah)

    Pete Rock & CL Smooth-Straighten It Out

    Not my all time but close ass hell faves.

  • $ykotic


    E-40-Do Ya Head Like This

    T.I.- Watch What ya Say…

    co-sign that Jay-Z

    Plenty of good music out there to get your fix on.

  • El Tico Loco

    Main Source Just Hanging Out
    Brand Nubian Wake up (Reprise in the Sunshine)

    Aiyyo knowledge this
    The attribute Haji helper to another God
    in need He Allah God Islam
    As I proceed to civilize the uncivilized
    Word of wisdom to the groove from the wise (speak on it God)

    Rapalot DMG, 2low, Odd Squad (Devin the dude old group) 5 ward boyz, Geto Boys, Big Mello

    The Old Suave House (Mr Mike, Eighball & MJG)

  • Kane Corleone

    Kurupt was goin hard on the dpg album. I was bangin that old Dj Quik 2nite shit was dope. Niggas failed to mention that Xclan .that ol Cube.the 1st Cypress hill tape.Penthouse Playas Clique,AMG,CMW ,2ndtoNone.Above the law.Ice T…westcoast ol skool was to dope back then

  • PeRs_1

    NWA was always a hit with me and mine. Some of the first Gangsta Rap i got down to and it was strange to outsiders that we knew all the words to that S**t! Specially Comptons in the house “They got their wacky wacky record with their wacky wack crew, yo whata bout their lyrics? Shits wacky wack Too!”

    Kinda reminds me of ol’ school crew that used to be good to kick with, now half them crack heads or no hopers…

  • GO-Getta’

    My grandma told me 1nce….
    ‘Life is about memories, so try 2 make gr8 1′s’

    1.Mind-sex(Dead Prez) – Relax let’s ‘ve a good conservation

    2.Travellin’ Man(Dj Honda & Mos def) – made me wanna dj & ryhme @ the same time

    3.Until the day(Nonchalant)- powerful lyrics

    4.Doo Woop (Lyran Hill)- damn,she was pregnant

    5.Today was a gr8 day(Ice Cube)- just got paid

    6.Big Poppa(Biggie)- the hook was sick

    7.Regulate(Warren G & Nate Dogg) – 2nd 2 none

    8.Where i’m from(Jayz) – gotta represent

    9.Aint mad @ cha(Pac)- kept me goin’

    10.Guilty Conscience & Stan (Eminem)- spooky

    11.I wish(Skello)- daydreamin’ ain’t a sin

    12.Halftime(Nas)- back i was an mc sparking scared 2 kick my ryhmes cuz they ‘ldn’t understand i’m the f*** man.

  • Khayan from the bronx

    GREAT LIST!!!! Me personally I would have to had a little Biggie. One more chance will do.

  • Rappin’BC

    I’m big on artists who never get the fame that they earned.
    Roger Troutman & the Zapp band shaped Hip-Hop in its entireity, especially West Coast.
    Rodney O. & Joe Cooley should have been bigger. They put out that hardcore funk-Hip-Hop sound before it was a thought in Dr. Dre’s mind. Without the albums “Get Ready To Roll” or “Fuck New York”, West Coast wouldn’t be what it was… even their album, “Three The Hard Way” inspired Snoop Dogg and 213, because before the trio of Nate Dogg, Warren G., and Snoop were called 213- their group was called 3 The Hard Way. Their first album modeled off of Rodney O. & Joe’s too- 213-The Hard Way.
    I think Rodney O & Joe Cooley + ocassionally General Jeff, are West Coast Pioneers and deserve more credit. They were like the EPMD of the West Coast, but they banged twice as harder.

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