What ever happened to the sweet, sweet hip-hop that pervaded the 90s? I know, I know ... most of you are shaking your head in disbelief - as if there could be such a thing as "sweet hip-hop" - but just read on ... you'll see what I mean.
Take for instance "I Need a Hot Girl" by Hot Boyz, one particularly rousing anthem from the end of that era. Here, verbatim, are the first four lines:
'You need a hot one I got one, I take and bend
Shake it down, break it down, with me and a friend
Biggity bounce, slide, ride, work that thing to the right
Push it down, push it up, boom you dynamite' (add appropriate inflection)
And then there's "My Projects" by Coo Coo Cal:
'In my projects, my project thick
In my projects, everybody cooks bricks
In my projects, my projects thick
Don't come to my projects if you ain't wit dis clique'
Or how about the unforgettable Western/Hip-Hop crossover "Ghetto Cowboy" by Mo' Thugs from 1998:
'The names Powder P can I get a twelve gauge
Outlawed everyday on the front page
Mr. Kid, if you give me the low down
Me and Blackjack, we ready for the showdown
With two double barrels pointed at whatever
We'll stick together, I'm perdy clever'
(Perhaps the best use of the word "perdy" in any song ever. Period).
But need I quote more? For everyone in touch with their inner, sex-crazed thug, the genius of these hip-hop masterpieces is beyond reproach (My Inner-Thug Name: T. Four Piece). For the true believer, there was never a better era.
So the question is, what happened? Where are the Koopsta Knicka's, Tupac's and Krayzie Bone's of today? I know, I know ... some of those guys retired. Some overdosed on heroin. Some are serving time in maximum security prison. And some are dead urban icons rumored to be coming back in 2007, but not really actually coming back. (You know who you are).
I just don't think today's hip-hop has that same, undefinable quality ... we've seem to have moved past that time when music was able to eternally straddle the line between completely depraved and lovable 'gansta magic.' No, the hip-hop of today has definitely crossed that line. The music of today can best be described only as "Fergalicious."
Oh, well ... I guess some things will just never be the same. I'll just have to resign myself to being one of those crazy old guys who embarrasses their "hip" grandkids by rapping on the front porch with his dawg's and remembering the days when the Notorious B.I.G. reigned supreme.