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My high school years (84-88) were mostly spent in San Mateo, California; about 15 miles south of San Francisco. It was a really great place to grow up in the 80s. I was the kind of kid who enjoyed making my way across the high school campus at lunch, talking to many different kids of groups. In the immortal words of Edie McClurg, I was pretty close to "the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads". I was also one to bring many of these groups together, especially at weekend parties.
I used to hang out with the Odeski brothers: Scott, Howie and Nicki. These three were close in age and loved one another as much as they could hate on one another. I think Scott and Howie had a fight with baseball bats at one time? Their mother owned a lot of property in Foster City (right next to San Mateo), and local officials wanted her to sell much of that property to the city, which she regularly declined, so local law enforcement would harass her sons, often arresting on trumped up charges and then not following through, just to intimidate the family. They were used to it. Foster City cops were notorious in their intimidation tactics towards teens as it was. I learned to hate cops then and there.
They had a big home, and turned their 2-car garage into Nicki's bedroom. And what a room! They put in the work to make it the real deal, along with video games, foosball table, pool table, television, bar, neon signs, and a sweet stereo.
This is where I got my earliest education on Rap and Hip Hop. To be honest, we all called it Rap. I'm not sure when Hip Hop entered the vernacular, but it wasn't around us in the 80s.
Nicki was always playing Rap. He did a lot of record shopping and had the latest 12". LL Cool J, Eric B and Rakim, Ice T, NWA, Public Enemy, Kool Moe Dee, Salt and Peppa, BDM, Biz Markie, Schoolly D, Slick Rick, Too Short, Too Live Crew, and so much more.
I was a DJ at the very popular local ice rink, Ice Capades Chalet, at Fashion Island Mall, nearby. I bought records every week for that job, so I was also buying 45s and 12"s of these artists and so many more. I was also very much into punk, metal, psych and the Grateful Dead, so it's safe to say my early music education was expanding by leaps and bounds with Rap being added in.
I was also working for Good Vibrations Mobile DJs, spinning at weddings (oh so many weddings), school dances, birthday parties, and more. I was allowed to bring the DJ console to my high school every so often to spin at lunch in the quad. That was so much fun. I recall one instance when I placed "Walk This Way" by Run DMC on the turntable and let it roll. It was a huge hit at that time, and I really enjoyed it. Half way through the tune I slowly dragged the needle across the record (SACRILEGIOUS!!!!!) and then started up the Aerosmith version. I did for affect, obviously. I think I even made some comment on the mic like "this isn't how it's supposed to go...riiiiiiiiiipppppp. Here ya go!" So lame, but I was 16, so what do you want?
My years at KFJC (88-97) just added to my growing appreciation of Rap and Hip Hop. And what an excellent era it was for that genre.
So on Monday night I wanted to pay tribute to this long-lasting and ever-evolving genre. I am truly happy it wasn't the fad that so many said it would be. This show isn't any kind of retrospective; it's just me playing some of my favorites in two hours. I kept the mic breaks to a minimum so the music would tell the tale. And yes, most of what I played was released between 87-95. That's my favorite era!
That's not to say there isn't a lot happening now that I don't love. I'm a big MF Doom fan, as well as Kendrick Lamar, and many more. I still shy away from pop of any genre, so the pop Hip Hop doesn't do anything for me.
I may bring Little Lauson Hell on again soon for her to play her favorite Hip Hop of this past decade. She has a lot on her playlist that I need to dive deep into.
Enjoy and please share this gem.
Happy 50th Hip Hop! Let's hear it for many more awesome decades to come!
Laugh, Love, Fuck: The Coup
JBs Comin' Through: Jungle Brothers
The Cactus: 3rd Bass
Car Thief: Beastie Boys
Potholes In My Lawn: De La Soul
Am I Black Enough For Ya: Schoolly D
Ten Crack Commandments: Notorious BIG
Protect Your Neck: Wu Tang Clan
Don't Believe The Hype: Public Enemy
Buck Whylin': Terminator X
One Time For The Rebel: Son of Bazerk
Back in the Old Days of Hip Hop: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Earth People: Dr. Octagon
Run This Town: Jay-Z (featuring Rihanna)
Come On Down: Big Daddy Kane
Soul Brother #1: Pete Rock and CL Smooth
I'm On The Mic: KRS-One
Rapp Snitch Knishes: MF Doom
Search 4 The Lyte: MC Lyte
Samba Soul: N.A.S.A. (featuring DJ Qbert, Q-Tip and Del the Funkee Homosapien)
Steady Mobbin': Ice Cube
No Shame in My Game: Gang Starr
Sucker MCs: Run DMC
Brother Rap: James Brown