Thirty-four years ago today, a child was born. We’ll call him “Trevor”. Trevor was born to young parents, barely in their twenties. His mom was a student and his father worked three jobs at 16 hours a day to make ends meet. They rented a small run down house close the college that had water pipes that would freeze every winter when ever it got cold. They lived in a then small town in the Pacific Northwest. It was the end of the Vietnam War, the energy crisis was looming and the free will of the 60’s was giving way to the confusion and disillusionment of the 70’s.
Trevor grew up in a fairly stable home. His mom would go on to manage various pet stores around the city and his dad would be lucky enough to catch on with Hewlett Packard as a machinist. The new job would in able his pops to give the family a step up from paycheck to paycheck life they lived early on in the beginning to being able to afford some of the nicer things in life. No more generic Mac & Cheese, it was the Kraft brand from then on out. The family would buy a house outside of the main city after a few years, in an area that would later give way to crime, drugs and drive-by’s. Trevor would never see the rough life that would plague the area later in the 80’s and the 90’s as the family’s five year stay there was peaceful and uneventful, but he still likes to point this out as it is his only real claim to living the “rough life”.
(Trevor’s latest Photo)
In 1980, the family would move back to the traditional suburbs surrounding the growing town. This would be the home that Trevor would grow up in for the next fifteen years. The neighborhood would become Trevor’s stomping grounds as he made the journey through adolescence. Trevor didn’t get into a excessive amount of trouble. He would get sent to the principal’s office several times during grade school for fighting. In Junior High, he would decide to test authority at be a teachers nightmare. In High School, he would get kicked off the freshman baseball team for telling his coach/math teacher to “fuck off” and he would be suspended for a freshman football game for punching a teammate on the sideline for missing a tackle. The worse trouble Trevor got into during high school was getting busted in a vacant field with a case of empty beer cans and three half naked girls by Five-O the summer between his Sophomore and Junior years. The cops would overlook the beer (luckily) but would give him a curfew ticket. The cops took it easy on Trevor, Trevor’s father though, was not so forgiving. His father, a very big man and intimidating man with a short fuse, was a strict disciplinarian and it would be another year before Trevor ever drank again.
For the most part, Trevor’s adolescence was fairly drama free. He would screw his head on straight his Junior and Senior years and graduate High School in ‘91 and go straight to college. That might have been a mistake as Trevor took advantage of the lack of people giving a rip if he was in class or not and would spend most of that first year of college drinking 40’s and playing pool in his friends garage. That summer, he would rupture a disc in his back and would need back surgery that would require him to miss a large of chunk of the semester. He would end up sitting out the semester, which was probably the best thing that could have happened to him at the time. Again, all he would do is rehab and work-out and play pool in his friends garage while drinking 40’s the whole semester, but it also gave him time to reflect on his future. Amazing how 40’s and blunts will do that to a man.
Why am I bringing all this crap up about Trevor? Well, as I said Trevor turns 34 today and one thing that has always tied my…errrrr…..Trevor’s life together is music. As Trevor reminisces about the past 34 years, his love of music that his mom installed at him at an early age is the one thing that is comes up in all his memories. He can remember watching “Solid Gold” and watching Blondie performing “Rapture” in the early 80’s. It wasn’t though until he saw Run DMC performing “Walk This Way” on MTV that he would discover his love for hip-hop. From there on out, hip-hop would always be the there for him. For more than half his life now, if things were going shitty, he put on some hip-hop, if things were going good, celebrate with some hip-hop. You get the idea. Trevor was putting together a mix of songs that have some sort of personal meaning to him during his time here on this world and thought he would share it with all of you.
I had several ways I wanted to go with this post. As I….errrr….Trevor gets up there in age, entering now his mid-30’s, the age of the average hip-hop is also rising. Where do the older listeners go? What do they do? Is the music still relevant to us? As Hip-Hop gets older so will it’s listeners and what happens in the future is up for debate. There are artists that are getting older as well, but hip hop hasn’t been exactly nice for it’s vets either. I personally don’t want to hear the same things I wanted to hear when I was 18 or 19. I’d rather hear things relevant to my 30 something life. Is there room for that in hip hop? Time will tell….
(I’m not one to talk much about myself. I like to think I’m fairly private and keep things to myself, especially in an everyday type of setting with people I deal with on an everyday level. But every so often, I open the book that is my life and share it with others, especially since 99.9% of you will never meet me in a real life setting. I’ve had some personal and internal strife the past couple weeks. I think I’ve finally found a way to be happy after about 10 years of battling personal demons. It’s not over yet, but I think I’m well on the way to being “me” again.)
This probably will hold no meaning to anyone else other than “Trevor”, but fuck it, I’ll post it up. It’s a collection of songs dealing with the impending aging, the state of hip hop, or what was hip hop, and just personal songs that mean something to uh, Trevor. They are not old or rare, just sentimental, fuck it, I’m past giving a fuck what others think, so call it emo, it is what it is.
WYDU Presents: “Grown Folks Music”
1. Juggaknots – 30 Something : A song for the 30 something b-boy. This song would be something only someone who is older than 30 could appreciate, if the beat wasn’t so damn dope.
2. Supastition – Fountain Of Youth: If I could write a song on how I feel, this would be it. Perfect for the old, grumpy, disgruntled b-boy. True shit for true people. If you haven’t heard this song and are over 30, download this just for this song.
3. Nas – Can’t Forget About You: This generations “I Used To Love HER”. I think if this song came out 10 years ago, it’d be a classic. And this coming from someone who didn’t care for “Hip Hop Is Dead”
4. Kaze – 50/50 Amp: Another song dealing with the “good ole days”. It went under the radar, but still a great song for kicking back and reminiscing of the good days.
5. Common – I Used To Love H.E.R.: A timeless classic, twenty years from now, come 35 year old will be bitching about how hip hop sucks compared to twenty years ago, but will still mention this in his blog, or whatever the fuck they are using then.
6. Binary Star – Honest Expression: A few years back when I hated almost any hip hop that was not made in the post 90’s, this was my theme song. I still agree with the song though.
7. Cunninlynguists feat Masta Ace – Seasons: Another classic joint that deals with the glories of hip hop that can make any 30 somethinger throw on a pair of shell toes and a fat dookie rap and spit along with it.
8. Pharcyde – Runnin’: We’re getting into the personal tracks for me. People ask me my favorite Pharcyde album and I always said “Labcabin”, for the only reason I was going throw a tough time in my life when that album was dropped and it helped me get through it. The dark time dealt with back stabbing friends and a lost love and this album helped get throw it. This song was the main song I’d play with Tre’s verse being my guiding light for a few times. “I let the bullshit blow in the breeze…” was my saying for a long time.
9. Atmosphere – Die Motherfucker Die: Listen to the song….then listen to the last line. One can’t like anyone else if one doesn’t like ones self…and that’s not always easy and drugs don’t always make it any easier.
10. Little Brother – Sinners: I’m not religious, in fact I have pretty adamant feelings against organized religion that I could get into a 20 page diatrade about, but I won’t. I am spiritual though. I’m no where near a perfect person, but I do try. This song reminds me why.
11. Tupac – When My Homiez Call: If you are like me, you have friends that you will always be there for, but somewhere in life, you took a different path than they did. As I mentioned, I stayed out of major trouble in high school. One of my best friends though, chose a different path. He got into drugs, selling and using, stealing shit and other things that I wasn’t down with. The last real time I hung out with him much was those garage pool days where we’d drink 40’s and shoot pool and…listen to Tupac. I hear this song now and I think of him. I still hear from him every couple years or so, when he’s not in jail and he still brings up this song.De La Soul – I Am I Be: Something about this song. Not sure what it is, but it’s always struck a chord with me. Especially the “Or some tongues that lied and said we’d be natives to the end, now a days we don’t even speak…”. I used to roll with a crew of guys and this was about the time I saw people in a true light
12. Atmosphere – Little Man: I would have hated Atmosphere when I was younger, but now it’s a group I can identify the most with, I don’t care what anyone says. I have a little girl, and I wish I could say those kind of things to her. Then the self-destructive nature that some people do to themselves, it’s something I can identify with. The line “How’s the self abusiveness..” hits home.
13. Foreign Exchange – Happiness: “Good Lovin’, good people, good music in my life, it makes me happy”. Positivity breeds positivity, it’s something I’ve struggled with in recent years. This song helps me remember that.
14. Masta Ace – Beautiful: A feel good song that make the hardest hard rock smile
15. Oh No feat Posdnous – Smile A Lil’ Bit: Life is what you make it……
16. Jay-Z – 30 Something: I like the Juggaknots version better, but you gotta get some floss when you get older as well, this is for the millionaire 30 something year olds.
Trevor didn’t go out this weekend, lack of funds. This weekend though, it’s on. Drinking when used for the right reasons can be fun, and what the fuck, you only turn 34 once, right? Sorry if this was some wishy washy shit, but sometimes, I might not wear my emotions on my sleeve, but close underneath. I’ve been doing some soul searching recently, I hope I found it.
Peace out party people!