Lately it has really been in me to become more acquainted with current hip hop. For a while I was strictly sticking with real rap with real lyrics and actual content. Tupac, Lauryn Hill, Outkast….ya know, real and legit hip hop artists!! Of course there are times when a catchy song with a dope hook comes on the radio and catches my attention, even when it totally goes against everything my mama taught me. If that beat is bangin’ and the hook is dope, it’s gonna speak to my spirit. Don’t act like you’ve never yelled out “Popped A Molly I’m Sweating” at the club! It is what it is. lol
At any rate, all of this talk about hip hop made me want to reach back and take a look at the artists I listened to while growing up. Those that were influential in the transition of hip hop. I feel like everybody under the age of 30 should know about artists like Naughty By Nature, Kriss Kross, Da Brat, & heck, let’s gone and throw MC Hammer in the mix too. We ALL had or wanted a pair of Hammer pants back in the day, right! I’m not even saying that these artists were the best at the art, I’m saying that they played a major part in fashion, they let us know that it was okay to dance, and to be an individual.
Who remembers Shock G?
Remember “Do what Ya Like” and “Humpy Dance”? Of course you do!!! Growing up, I only knew him to be the lead vocalist for Digital Underground. But, I found out that this brother is an accomplished pianist, visual artist, and producer. Not only did he introduce Tupac to the world but he also co-produced Tupac’s second single “I Get Around”. Throughout Shock G’s career I’ve really only seen one of his alter egos but he’s actually created several! These characters were played so well, many people actually believed they were actual living and breathing people. He was such a genius of his time because he incorporated different voices, disguises, stand-ins, and camera tricks to maintain these illusions. I think most of us remember his most famous alias, Humpty. As a kid, you couldn’t help but to be drawn in by the outlandish clothes, the over the top persona, and let’s not forget the huge “big like a pickle” nose! What I appreciate most about this artist is that he stepped outside of the box and dared to do something different, something that nobody else was doing during his time. Let’s not forget amazing artists like him and what they did for hip hop!