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BLOG: Acquired Taste

I try not to rush my judgment whenever discovering new artists.

If I don’t like the first song, I try giving the artist another shot. If I’m still not convinced after listening to a few more samples, I typically reach a verdict, but it can always be overturned. The thing is, most of us are pretty much set in our musical ways and aren’t as open minded as we’d like to think. Once an artist has already left a bad taste in your ears, it becomes difficult to acknowledge that his next effort could be better than what you’ve already heard. In my case, I’ve dismissed a good amount of MCs for whatever reason only to become a fan later down to line. Here are a few examples. —Jackpot

Noreaga: I must have been deaf when The War Report first came out. Then again, you’re always bound to miss something. There was a whole lot of dope music coming out in 1996-97. I was still bumping Nas’s It Was Written, De La Soul’s Stakes Is High, The Fugees’ The Score and Busta Rhymes’ The Coming, among others, when Capone and Nore first dropped so it just went over my head. But then, I think it may have been early 98, I heard “Body in the Trunk” with Nas on a DJ Clue tape. Several months later I copped N.O.R.E. and later went back to The War Report.

DMX: I don’t have a good reason, but I didn’t like DMX when he first came out. I didn’t care much for his appearances on Mase’s records or any of this other features. Plus, I was too busy being a Canibus stan, so I pretty much overlooked Dark Man X. My cousins were all raving about X during the summer of 98, but it wasn’t until Hot 97 began spinning “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem” in regular rotation that I took notice. My cousin Tone had the LP all along and I never bothered dubbing it. I ended up buying my own copy around September or October and loved it.

Ludacris: With Cris, it may have been a regional thing. At the time Back for the First Time came out, Ja Rule was doing his thing, Jay was doing his thing, X was doing his thing, Nas was around. There was still an abundance of dope East Coast music coming out, so it just felt like there was no need to listen to some dude from Atlanta (despite liking OutKast). Little did we know, Luda was one of many releases that helped the game shift Down South. Soon enough, these cats were inescapable. I remember watching BET one day and seeing the video for “Southern Hospitality.” WOW! I thought I had heard every flow possible up to that point, but this kid Cris was just spitting so different and ill, I just couldn’t deny it. I never did like Back for the First Time, but then “Area Codes” came out, followed by “Roll Out (My Business)” and later “Saturday (Oooh Oooh)”. That’s all I needed. As it turns out, the guy didn’t only have incredible flows, but lyrics to go.

Alicia Keys: I fronted on Ms. Keys for pretty niggorant reasons. You see, I liked “Fallin,” but I just didn’t like her look. She had a pretty face, but those damn Brandy ass microbraids turned me off, man. But then I saw the “You Don’t Know My Name” video and she was looking right with them big curls. As far as Alicia, the music was always there and I always dug it, it just took me longer to come around because of her image. Stupid, I know.

I know there’s more, but that’s all I got off the top. What about you guys? Who are some of the artists you fronted on at first and later loved?

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