The Vault: Old Skool Style

19 11 2009

UK Album art for Doug E Fresh

Now, I’m from Missouri. Not a hotbed of urban beats, at least not back in 1985.  I was a country boy who knew I was different, but instead of now where its a bit easier to express your sexuality in High School, not so much then in Jefferson County. So I chose to be different musically. It started when Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall, then Thriller, wooed me from a childhood of Bee Gees and ONJ into the dark, we’ll mocha, side. Safe, sweet, non-threatening urban music. I felt edgy. I mean MTV wasn’t even playing MJ yet. But then boom. MJ hit MTV and it was all open wide. R&B pop music got much more popular around mainstream America, and even was OK to listen to in my neck of the woods. That got boring for me then. I needed something a bit riskier. So not only did i dip my toe into metal, but I found a second new outlet too. Rap. Not rap as you know it now, but early rap. Right before the dawn of hip hop as a multimillion dollar Top 10 industry, before the Beastie’s fought for your right, before Run DMC made we wanna vomit this way, there was just fun early hip hop.  Me and my best friend PJ were jammin’ hard on the likes of Kurtis Blow, LL Cool J’s Radio, UTFO and especially my 2 pics for today, Doug E Fresh‘s La-Di-Da-Di and Toddy Tee‘s Batter Ram.

(right click to download)

La-Di-Da-Di by Doug E Fresh

Batter Ram by Toddy Tee

They both make me giggle with glee for different reasons. La Di just reminds me of all the great free style shit that was going on in NYC at the time and how inventive and original this was at the time. Just 2 guys. No decks, no band, no nothing. Just talent. And Batteram, an early West Coast offering with its pre-gangsta simplicity putting down drug dealers and talking about how he’s got a wife and kids and a job. Admirable, but not too street. Hilarious. But I loved it at the time.

Well, after that, rap went 2 bad ways, Pop (MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice) and Gangsta. Neither appealed to me and I’ve only dabbled sinces (Missy, Matisyahu, De La Soul, Roots). But we had a few good years, hip hop. Thanks.

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