Man, I gotta be real with you. I had no idea this Zune was going to be so much dopeness. Again, here's the setup. 30GB of nothing but hip hop and, of that, everything on there has to be 20 years or older. Meaning, right now, I can have everything up to 1987 and, once we turn over into 2008, I'll be permitted to load 1988 albums on there. What it creates, essentially, is a paced and, more importantly, chronological feeding on hip hop's rich history. The hope is that I'll finally provide myself the vehicle to hear all those dope records that I never got to as a kid growing up in Lubbock, Texas. I mean, in 1984, I was playing with Masters of the Universe toys and dreaming of being an alligator. I didn't know anything about Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde's "Genius Rap" or Sugarhill Gang's "8th Wonder." Why would I? And, better yet, why would I ever care? Well, both are valid questions. I mean, I don't really need to hear these old records, but sometimes I feel this completely over-the-top feeling of self-importance that what I'm doing desperately needs to happen and uncovering hip hop's storied past is one such thing. Yeah, I know it's stupid, but I figure my listening needs some structure, some focus. I'll just listen to anything anymore. I'm not discriminate anymore. I need to put my blinders on and just do that damn thing.
What I've found from my brief time with this machine, the Zune, is that out of the 151 songs that I currently have loaded on my Zune from 1979 to 1987, I've become a very big fan of Original Concept's "Can You Feel It?" which was actually a B-side to "Knowledge Me"--both of which were produced by the great Rick Rubin. Released in 1986, "Can You Feel It?" is essentially just a song of breaks, most notably a very recognizable Jackson 5 break from "It's Great to be Here." Dope, dope, dope. Oh, and the greatest thing about the Zune is that the album art comes up beautifully on the large(r) screen and, in the case of Original Concept, there is no cover art because there was no album. Instead, I just use the 12" label like this:
Another observation is Eric B. had the hardest drums. The dude was incredible. Listen to "Paid in Full" (classic) followed by "As the Rhyme Goes On (Pumpin' in Turbo Mix)" and tell me this dude didn't have the best beats back in 1986-87. I didn't even know there was a "Pumpin' in Turbo Mix" for "As the Rhyme Goes On" until yesterday.
I also realized and my listening has confirmed this: the Beastie Boys were just ill. I mean, back then, there were really four records--Paid in Full, Raising Hell, Criminal Minded and Licensed to Ill. Yes, I realize there were more, but these albums I really credit to developing what was, to that point, a 12"-game into fully developed records. Licensed to Ill was just so out there sonically. Those drums, those rock-riffs. Yeah, ill indeed.
Also, to help in sorting through the 30GB of hip hop that will soon (more later than sooner) occupy Da Pocket Prophet, I have decided to bring in eleven different sub-genres to help sort out the material. They are as follows:
"Backpacking" (late addition)
So you can bring up the "Gangbanging" genre and put it on shuffle and, while right now, you'll only get Ice-T, King Tee and N.W.A., soon Geto Boys will pop up in there. Maybe Above the Law. "Turntabling" features Double Dee and Steinski right now, but next year I'll be adding in "Terminator X to the Edge of Panic." Yeah, hip hop geekdom and snobbery to the fullest. You better believe it. Man, I might need to go ahead and bring in a "Backpacking" sub-genre because you know I'll need it. Make that twelve.
Got jury duty today. Thought it was yesterday and worked Sunday all afternoon because I thought I was going to be out.. I'm a big dummy. Holla.