I got into Hip Hop when a mate from school came back from holiday in Canada with a copy of Fear of a Black Planet by Public Enemy. “They swear and they hate white people” was how he sold it to me amd although that wasnt strictly true loved it and from there found NWA, Big Daddy Kane, BDP, Gang Starr, EPMD and Brand Nubian as well as London Posse, Hijack and the Demon Boyz, the list was endless (and I’ll pay a fortune for anyone that can get me a copy of a tune called “Gladiator” I can’t remember who did it, other than they were white, it was a remix, it was from a film and my old man apparently got a funny look from the record shop when he tried to get it for me). I suppose it was always going to happen because the first single I bought with my own money was the Stutter Rap by Morris Minor and the Majors.
Although I stealthily kept up my love for Hip Hop when it wasn’t cool at my school to do so (although the paperboy played in goal for my football team and delivered Hip Hop Connection) once I started going out all I was listening to was House. I still loved the old school Hip Hop but never got into Snoop, Biggie, Tupac or Eminem and Jay Z’s Hardknock life sampled Annie for fuck sakes (I’m aware this might be controversial but music’s about opinion, there’s millions of Justin Bieber fans out there who think he’s the bollocks, I think he’s a cunt, that’s my opinion). But a couple of years ago I heard Tyler the Creator’s Yonkers, which starts with one of my favourite lines of all time (“I’m a fucking walking paradox, no I’m not) and recently Scroobius Pip’s Beatdown show on XFM has restored my faith in new Hip Hop. Tyler the Creator has got his critics mainly for the misogynist and homophobic lyrics, but Frank Ocean and Syd Tha Kyd are both part of Odd Future and in my opinion he’s playing a part in a story. I don’t think Brett Easton Ellis is a wannabe serial killer for writing American Psycho , but maybe that’s my way of justifying listening to it. Check out Bastard and Seven off his 1st album for lyrically brilliant tunes, Rusty on Wolf, that again has some great lines and maybe some justification in what I was saying and Oldie on the Odd Future Mixtape Volume 2 for an old school sounding tune.
My brother got a couple of tickets to see Tyler and Earl Sweatshirt (check out Hoarse for a quality piece of dark, Massive Attack sounding Hip Hop) in August and I was not surprised that at a combined 64 we were by far the oldest people there. Standing at the back, well out the way of the MDMA’d out their nut (on a Wednesday) crowd there was a good mix of cool cunts and the kids that didn’t get it quite right (I’d have been firmly in the latter camp in my youth) and amidst the Golf Wang t shirts (Tyler’s label, not really my bag) was a healthy smattering of Stussy which seems to be having a bit of a resurgence lately (maybe it’s never gone away but I’m trying to link a “ain’t I cool talking about Hip Hop” piece to a “ain’t I cool talking about a label” piece) and Triads have got a great Stussy selection in at the mo, including the Yo! MTV Raps collaboration featuring legends Public Enemy, Eric B &Rakim, De La Soul and Digital Underground tees and hoodies, the Stussy and Herschel project with some great weekend bags and backpacks and the more traditionally logo’d tees sweatshirts and hoodies (they’ve got some rascal vests on there that I couldn’t carry off at 18 let alone 35). Also worth checking the Original Store for even more Stussy goodness.