Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Video of the Day: Public Enemy: "Shut em Down"



Remember the movie "Brown Sugar", where the main character would ask everyone who she interviewed "When did they fall in love with Hip Hop"? Well, even though it was just a piece of fiction, I always felt that it was a softball fucking question. I mean, I fell in love with Hip Hop when my siblings brought that Sugar Hill Gang record home when I was in kindergarten, and watching my father's disapproval of something that he claimed at the time "was a bunch of niggas talking" had me hook, line and sinker. But I look at Hip Hop more like a marriage, forget recalling first dates and first kisses, I always want to know about those in-between moments where you knew that you would love that person forever.

For me, one of those "in-between" moments was the summer of 88' when my 3 cousins came to Va Beach from Hollis Queens. Since their arrival was near my birthday(Aug 31st), they came bearing gifts, three tapes that would indeed change me for the rest of my life. One was Big Daddy Kane's "Long Live the Kane", the second was EPMD's "Strictly Business", and the third was Public Enemy's "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back". Even though I was a fan of Hip Hop before this point, I can point to me receiving those three albums as a focal point when it comes to my love of said art form. But it was mainly Chuck D, showing me a side of life that I hadn't yet experienced in the suburbia that is Virginia Beach, a side of history that I wouldn't learn at Kempsville High, the rugged beats, the unapologetic lyrics, and the preacher vocal delivery who would put sweaty baptists like T.D Jakes to shame. Man, god bless Public Enemy, god bless Chuck D.(More accurately, Happy Birthday)

2 comments:

Jonzee said...

You have the same b-day as my best friend...

She too is an "ass-kicker" with a flaming hot temper. And is at the same time a sweetie. Is that you?

Must be something about that day...

M E T H O D Man said...

I think one of those in-between moments ... before Rakim, before Kane, before EPMD, and before he became the lip-licking, carb depleting "phenomenon" ... was Cool J defiantly exclaiming that he couldn't live without his radio. Sweat pants, Kangol, Adidas wearin' LL. To this day I'd place that album in the top 10 defining albums for hip-hop. "Rock the Bells", "Dear Yvette", "I Can Give You More". Those were the days. Damn. I sound like my Dad.