Some thirty plus years ago today, a child was born. Yes, it’s another birthday for me. I’m to the point I’m about ready to call it good with the birthday’s, cause I just keep getting older. I’m starting understand how people go through the “mid-life” crisis. I’d be lying if I said I was anywhere close to being where I planned on being in life if you asked me 15 years ago or so. That’s life, things don’t always go as plan. It’s just weird though, I see friends getting older, my own parents getting older. I see baseball players that I used to collect their baseball cards being managers and coaches. I see movie stars from movies in the 80′s lookin’ old as dirt. For the longest time, I was under the impression I would never get older, but that obviously isn’t true. I am getting older, and faster than I really want to. Nothing can change that. I’m sure I’ll be reflecting on that this weekend when I’m about 15 beers into it. That’s always a good time to do some soul searching.
As far as hip hop goes, I remember my first serious girlfriend I had about fifteen years ago. She lived a sheltered life, her parents were conservatives, upper middle class people. I, on the other hand was fairly liberal, coming from a more or less lower middle class background. She had no clue what hip hop was before she met me. One of our first make out sessions was during A Tribe Called Quest’s “Midnight Marauders”, she got heavy doses of Tha Alkaholiks, Biggie, and Warren G. I made her set through “rap” movies such as Menace II Society, Juice and Boyz N The Hood (which lead to a big fight over how the government treats people). She asked me once if I thought I’d be listening to hip hop when I was in my 30′s and had kids. Of course at the time, she meant “our kids” as we were planning on getting married and all that stuff. I said “Absolutely”. Fifteen years later, here I am, in my mid 30′s, and still listening to hip hop. It’s still the main music genre I listen to, and I don’t plan on changing that anytime soon. I see myself being in my 70′s and blasting “Whut?!? Thee Album” when the grand kids come over. As hip hop continues to mature, so do the listeners. It’s a music that generally hasn’t been friendly to it’s elders. I have to admit sometimes I’m a little hesitant to say exactly how old I am (I haven’t so far in this post), just for the simple fact that an artist my age would be seen as an old man. It is becoming a more common place to see hip hop artists in their thirties. There are even some in their forties by now. And that trend is going to continue. 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. 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 wanted to list my five favorite songs about growing older and looking back at the good old days. Twenties years ago, hell even ten years ago, you were unlikely to hear songs with this such topic, but they are starting to become more common.
PERFECT. This song and it’s message is absolutely perfect. I’m not sure how old Supa is, but I’m guessing he is right around my age. Supa talks about how he likes the same music from twenty years ago, and how music is too loud. He also brings up women and how they’ve changed. Things were important to us fifteen years ago, isn’t nearly as important anymore. We stay in the past, but everything keeps getting newer.
One of my favorite tracks from one of my favorite albums of the decade. I mean, Breeze talks about eating raw veggies, doing crunches and just getting up their in age. It’s truly a song that people that are going through that “middle age crisis” will identify with the best. Not saying the piano laced beat isn’t dope in it’s own right, cause it is and would be worth listening to all on it’s own.
3. Coolio Feat J-Ro & Billy Boy – I Remember
I know Coolio gets some crap for his first album, It Takes Thief, but I actually kinda of dug the album. It was “I Remember” that was my second favorite second, which featured one of my favorite MCs at the time, J-Ro. The whole song has that throw back flavor and all the verses, except for maybe Billy Boy (who?) brought back my own happy memories of growing up.
MC Lyte kinda came out of nowhere with “Wonder Years”. A Primo banger, Lyte is all grown up and talking about her tips of living older, including “kick the liqour, when you turn 30-30.” Sorry Lyte, that won’t be happening this weekend.
5. Jay-Z – 30 Something
A little crass, a little brash, but I guess this is where us thirty somethings strive to be. I’m from Generation X, a generation that was known for it’s slacking in the 90′s, but now…… Now we want that SUV, we want that country club membership, that Visa Platinum, and the fine wine. That’s what Jay is talking about on here, and who is to say he isn’t right?