Saturday, February 24, 2018

Old School Rap For an Old-Ass Dad

While having breakfast with Erik Noisewater this morning, I'm not exactly sure what made me put it on, but I keyed up "Enter the 36 Chambers" by The Wu-Tang Clan on my Sonos. I haven't listened to that one all the way through perhaps since the last millennium. As a matter of fact, this may have been the first time I have heard it in any other form besides cassette. You see, back in the mid 1990's when you bought an album, part of the process of deciding if you wanted the CD or the tape was whether or not you anticipated putting it on in the car or at home. You had to be rich to have a CD player in the car. Rap music to me was just cool as fuck to roll to in the car to like a pimp; leaned way back with one hand on the wall. You know, a white, dorky pimp.

Best pic of a Wu-Tang dad I could find.
There will never be another group like the Wu. A collection of rappers that talented from the same projects, all with something to say, with a sense of humor, with artistry and integrity, and with a brand new gritty style no one had ever heard. Very rarely can I listen to a rap album all the way through, especially as I get older. Even back then, I always thought it a little too bold of an idea when guys were coming out with double disc rap albums. But if there were 36 tracks on the Wu's debut, I gladly would have cruised the mean streets of my boring suburban town listening to every last one. Actually, it is so rare that I will listen to a rap album all the way through. I came up with this analogy, and let me know if it makes any sense to you.

Rappers are like professional wrestlers. So awesome to me back then, but as an adult I can't tell you anything about the modern day ones. 

I could go down the rabbit hole from hell researching 1980's pro wrestlers, and I can still kick some rhymes when I hear those throw-back rap joints.

Behold: Ravishing Rick Rude. The best bad guy wrestler ever with his porno mustache, mullet, and sick abs, about to give some fool the Rude Awakening. 
I have heard Kendrick Lamar is incredible, but I can't say that I have heard one thing by him. Still, I give him credit for going by his given name. Takes balls because those rapper names are so much more fun to think of and easier for fans to remember. Chance the Rapper sounds like just about the greatest guy for my city of Chicago, and I love everything he does for his home town. I just don't know squat about his music. It is like those lyrics just don't enter my brain like they used. They all soaked in there and stayed forever when I was a kid. I would hear a Beastie Boys song and have the whole song memorized after two listens. Now I hear that autotune sound and I just tune out, so to speak. There is no more room in my clogged-up, old balls brain.

Before the Internet there was no way to know for sure what all the lyrics were unless there was a lyric sheet in the album. Rap albums rarely had those. Metal albums almost always did, and they would even tell you which guy played each guitar solo. To figure out the rap lyrics I would put on headphones and write down each line and rewind them. Sometimes I would have to just jot down what it sounded like phonetically.

Even Ja Rule loves puppies.
I'm almost always playing my Sirius radio stations in the car, but on the actual radio there is a station, 104.3, which is all old school hip-hop and R & B. The other day I heard them playing that Ja Rule duet where the girl goes, "Love it when you fuck me, baby." Haaaayoooooo! They forgot to play the edited version. Young Erik Noisewater learned some new fun words in his car seat that morning. Some of the songs I never would have thought of until they popped up in the car 30 years later. For instance, "Freak Like Me" by Adina Howard.

This slice of R & B badd-assery came out a few years before Lil' Kim or Foxxy Brown. No woman back then was announcing that she was "freak," liked to hit it and quit it, and was every bit of a "dog" as the fellas, whilst she stuck her disproportionate derriere into the camera.

Hey, so I have to run. Baby Noisewater has a 1st birthday party for one of his little friends. That's our life now. Right or wrong. Anyone have any thoughts on old school rap, wrestling, song lyrics, or anything at all? Hit me up in 'dem comments!


Exile on Pain Street said...

It's a fact: you tend to hold fast to the music you grew up with. The new stuff rarely takes its place. It's something biological, methinks. I watched Kenrick Lamar on the Grammys and thought his performance was a shapeless, toneless, blob os gibberish. All respect to him but that's what these ancient ears heard. My daughters know Cardi B and it depresses me. She's ugly. And I don't mean physically ugly. Ugly on a human level. Google her lyrics. It's all crass materialism and drinking and fucking.

I'm sorry...what was the question?

Mr. Shife said...

Oh, how you have taken me back with the wrestling and music post. I was more into metal than rap, though. I read somewhere that you have a hard time liking new music after your 30s because you like what you like. Rick Rude was the ultimate bad buy. No man should be that ravishing. He did piss some people off. The Big Boss Man used to drive me crazy. Enjoy those 1-year-old birthday parties.

Kenneth Noisewater said...

Exile: I think it's a combination of us being more endeared to music from when we were young, but it's also just crap now, isn't it? They just mumble with that auto-tune. Awful stuff. Just plain awful. Then again, I'm not the authority on rap. But heavy metal music is coming back in a big way, and I can dig around and find all kinds of awesome bands from Estonia and the like. That I couldn't have done years ago.

Shife: Remember when Big Boss Man and Irwin R. Schister (IRS) teamed up? I love that they thought about things that really piss people off to model a perfect bad guy after and someone said, "Well, everyone hates paying taxes, right?"

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