When They Reminisce Over You – Hip Hop

Hip Hop Pete Rock & CL Smooth Diggen in Crates

…I know a way to make a ton of money, I’ll be a rapper, a dj, or a breakdancer!

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I remember the first time the true meaning of Hip Hop became clear to me. It wasn’t the first time I heard Kid Capri play White Lines on Kiss FM, the first time I Saw Boogie Down Productions perform or when I stood next to DJ Premier and watched him spin. It was a reunion show at an Old School Hip Hop Association party, years after the block parties, and the shows at those underground clubs and it was through the eyes of a young kid who had been sold the MTV version of hip hop. Sure he appreciated truly skilled MC’s like KRS ONE, Chuck D etc but he equated Hip Hop with battles not the MC Shan vs. KRS One type, not verbal violence like Kool Moe Dee and LL but emcees actually killing each other. This was in the wake of the deaths of Biggie and Tupac and West Coast vs. East Coast wars.

When we got to the club Cash Money was spinning and there was nothing but pure joy in the room. People were actually dancing, not leaning back aloofly as all young heads do, there was no fear of a fight breaking out, shots being fired, it was all about the music, the art. He looked around the room awestruck and said “so this is Hip Hop!”

Back in the day these pioneers of Hip Hop didn’t think “ I know a way to make a ton of money, I’ll be a rapper, a dj, or a breakdancer!” Back in the day there were no rich rappers. They only had one reason to rap, dance, deejay and write graffiti… for the pure love of it, as a means of expression. That is why there are so rappers out there today put out work without substance and heart, they are not in it for the love of the art they are in it for the chance to strike it rich. Don’t get me wrong there are some talented creative emcees out there but they are the minority.

I thought I’d ask some Hip Hop Pioneers, Schoolly D, Larry Larr, DJ Cash Money, B Real, Grand Wizzard Theodore, MC Breeze, DMC and Busy Bee their feelings on Hip Hop. Here are their responses:

  • Schoolly D

    Schoolly D1. What was the first rap song that really moved you?
    Funky 4 Plus 1 More “Rappin’ and Rockin’ the House”
    2. What do you think of the state of Hip Hop today?
    That question is too ridiculous to answer, where’s that state between Pennsylvania and New Jersey!?!
    3. How would you define Hip Hop?
    Next question please…
    4. Is Hip Hop Dead?
    No cuz I’m still alive and workin’
    5. Tell me your best Hip Hop memory.
    Walking home from the dry cleaners and I heard a song on cars stereos that sounded like mine… and it was! And I dropped my dry cleaning and ran all the way home to listen to it on my home stereo. (I coulda just stayed put and listened to the cars)

    Schoolly D Fan Page

  • Larry Larr

    Larry Lar1. What was the first rap song that really moved you?
    I Need a Beat, LL Cool J
    2. What do you think of the state of Hip Hop today?
    Thanks to the Internet all music is in trouble (not just Hip Hop)
    3. How would you define Hip Hop?
    Hip Hop is not music but a way of life
    4. Is Hip Hop Dead?
    Hip Hop is dead for true Hip Hoppers
    5. Tell me your best Hip Hop memory.
    Rapping on stage with LL Cool J. My cousin, super producer Hotrunner, would have
    House Parties at his house when I was just a little kid and from there I would rock
    the mic.
    6. Why did you start rapping?
    It just happened… To this day I can’t remember when and where, I’m just happy God blessed me with the talent to do it.

  • DJ Cash Money

    cashmoney_full1. What was the first rap song that really moved you?
    Super Rappin by Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five
    2. What do you think of the state of Hip Hop today?
    It Stinks! These kids don’t know anything about Hip Hop. It’s not their fault though, they are taught Viacom, MTV, Clear Channel… they dictate what these kids listen too. They teach our kids nothing but ignorance. That’s why the industry is the way it is.
    3. How would you define Hip Hop?
    Hip Hop is a lifestyle for me. It’s a rebellious form of life, in a good way though. If you are wearing a nice outfit then I would say that’s nice but check out what I am wearing. You are always trying to outdo the next person, which is nothing but being competitive.
    4. Is Hip Hop Dead?
    Hip Hop is not dead. It’s just what the media covers. There’s more than Jay Z, TI and Beyonce going on. They still have bboy events that are completely sold out. The media doesn’t cover events like that.
    5. Tell me your best Hip Hop memory.
    Winning dj competitions & being able to travel all around the world to rock parties.
    6. Why Did you start deejaying?
    James Brown, when I heard this dj cutting up James Brown breaks.

  • B-Real

    b-real1. What was the first rap song that really moved you?
    Hard Times by Run DMC and the message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5 because of the social content they were writing about..
    2. What do you think of the state of Hip Hop today?
    It has it’s ups and downs like every other genre of music but one thing is for sure, it’s constantly growing and evolving.. Some things are good some not so good but the fact that it’s one of the more prominent music genre in this day and time shows the staying power of the music form… people thought it was a passing phase and here we are 30 years later..
    3. How would you define Hip Hop?
    It’s a music of expression. it expresses the realities of life in all aspects.. and it’s a definitely a culture..
    4. Is Hip Hop Dead?
    Hip hop is not dead, but the spirit of it needs to be revitalized.. there’s so much bullshit out there now that it has been misrepresented by what MTV and BET play.. What they play is rap music which comes from hip hop… now kids that don’t know any better think that that’s what hip hop is… you used to have to be exceptional to make hip hop records and you had to know the history of it… things are different now because it’s not about the skill or talent… it’s about an image… you used to have all the bases covered now anyone can get a deal or make they’re own record so it’s become a ‘lil watered down but it definitely is not dead because you still have quality artists making some great records.
    5. Tell me your best Hip Hop memory.
    Being at jack the rapper in Atlanta in the early 90’s hang with q tip, Brand Nubians, naughty by nature, and leaders of the new school… we all came out around the same times and we were all fans of each others music… it was a great time in hip hop..
    6. Why did you start rapping?
    I started rappin’ as a hobby… I liked it so much that i wanted to do it like the people I looked up to… I never thought back then that it would have gotten me this far in life… who knew?

  • Grand Wizzard Theodore

    gwt041. What was the first rap song that really moved you?
    The Message by Melle Mel
    2. What do you think of the state of Hip Hop today?
    Hip Hop is fine, rap needs a doctor.
    3. How would you define Hip Hop?
    DJ, b-boy, mc, graffiti, beatbox, peace, love, unity, and having fun.
    4. Is Hip Hop Dead?
    No because I am not dead, Kool Herc is not dead, Bambaataa is not dead, Flash is not dead.
    5. Tell me your best Hip Hop memory.
    Creating the scratch and needle drop.
    6. Why did you start deejaying?
    To express myself.

  • MC Breeze

    MC_Breeze1. What was the first rap song that really moved you?
    The Breaks
    2. What do you think of the state of Hip Hop today?
    Commercial
    3. How would you define Hip Hop?
    A renaissance of music, art, and dance.
    4. Is Hip Hop Dead?
    NO you just have to know where to look, it is endangered.
    5. Tell me your best Hip Hop memory.
    Philadelphia against New York at the Spectrum in South Philly.
    6. Why did you start rapping?
    Because I had something to say.

  • DMC

    DMC1. What was the first rap song that really moved you?
    Super Rappin’ by Flash and The Furious Five
    2. What do you think of the state of Hip Hop today?
    It needs me.
    3. How would you define Hip Hop?
    The music of the Hip Hop culture.
    4. Is Hip Hop Dead?
    As long as I’m alive Hip Hop ain’t dead!
    5. Tell me your best Hip Hop memory.
    Hearing Rebel Without a Pause by Public Enemy.
    6. Why did you start rapping?
    Because it gave a shy guy a platform to be heard!

  • Busy Bee

    busybee1. What was the first rap song that really moved you?
    Rapper’s Delight
    2. What do you think of the state of Hip Hop today?
    It’s cool.
    3. How would you define Hip Hop?
    Love, peace, unity and having fun.
    4. Is Hip Hop Dead?
    No way.
    5. Tell me your best Hip Hop memory.
    When Grandmaster Flash got into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.
    6. Why did you start rapping?
    There was nothing else to do.

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