Sunday, January 11, 2009

If You Don't Know Now You Know

The film, "Notorious," comes out this Friday. It's the story of one of New York's finest, The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls. It's hard to believe he's passed away over ten years ago. For someone who wasn't in the rap game long, he had a huge impact. He came along at a time when West coast rap was all the rage. People had almost forgotten that this rap thing started in New York. Big Poppa busted onto the scene and reminded them.

I'm a fan of the hardest of the hard rap music. I don't mean the bitch, hoe, I sell drugs and i'm rich version. I'm talking about hard beats and lyrics that come from the heart. Biggie Smalls was right up my alley. I never found his lyrics gratuitous. It always felt like he was telling a Brooklyn tale.

I was born and raised in Harlem. We moved to the Bronx when I entered junior high school. It was the beginning of this thing some people now call rap and the people who love it call hip hop. It was fun. It was not only about putting words to music, it was also about graffiti, break dancing, and the electric boogie. I remember going to jams in the park and having a ball. I even grabbed the mike a few times. My name was Tricky T. (It was cool in the eighties) The dance battles were amazing.

Somewhere down the line, hip hop turned into rap and I lost some of my interest. I still listen to it, just not all of it. I often find myself wondering what it would be like if Biggie was still alive. He was just about to blow up when he was killed. He had so much potential. New York mourned for a long time after he died.

I remember the day he died, March 9, 1997. My husband and best friend threw me a surprise birthday party the night before and we had a lot of fun. He woke me up the next morning to tell me Biggie had been shot and killed in California. I couldn't believe it. Hip hop had lost one of its best.

I don't really listen to rap music anymore. There's too much bling bling and look at me going on. That's not hip hop. I prefer to look back to the fun days. I'm sure that's how those in my parents generation feel about r&b. Don't get me started on that.


The Fitness Diva said...

I am actually a bit excited about this movie as well. I, like you, don't really listen to rap at all anymore.
I don't feel that this music says anything, has any true value, and it definitely doesn't speak to me.
I also feel like it's helped to ruin many a young black mind.

I probably stopped listening around the time Salt and Pepa's last big album, and you KNOW how long ago that was. Once it became disrespectful to women, self gratuitous and violent, it lost me.
Imagine my slight embarrassment at a party I went to recently where I didn't know any of the lyrics to the latest rap songs, but all my white and asian friends did, and were rapping along while I stood there with my mouth shut. Hilarious in its own way, but true! I've tuned out rap and "hip hop" to the utmost degree. I won't allow one note of it to play in my house. Just not into it.
Old school, however, is allowed. ;)

Anyways, the Biggie movie looks interesting, and yes, I am down for that! Actually, I'd have to say that my interest really died COMPLETELY around the time that he and Tupac did. Not that I was a huge fan of either, but I did at least enjoy a lot of what they were putting out before they left us.

On a side note, they say that Lil' Kim is mad about how she was portrayed in the movie. That only makes me want to see it more! LOL!

Keith said...

I loved Biggie and Tupac...and was saddened by both deaths. I'm going to see this on Friday.

Strongblkwmn said...

Did either of you see the movie? I was out of town, but plan to see it soon. I heard it was good.

Kofi Bofah said...

You just might enjoy this post - who knows?

The Greatest Rappers of All Time

I am still tightening it up, though...