“Time Is Illmatic” Hip Hop Life

I’ve lived a lot of lives, I’ve been around a lot of different cultures and have been invited into places and homes most never get to go.  From Pentecostal churches, Quinceanera’s, stash houses, to Ny penthouses.  I’ve seen a lot and I feel so lucky and happy to have such a vast perspective on this planet and the people on it.

I’m historically a California guy although I was born in the south, and as a kid I grew up very aware of gang life, I think my city had like over 15 well known gangs. You couldn’t go anywhere without getting “checked” based on the color of clothes you were wearing or the street you walk out of.  Gangster rap was the first type of music that spoke to me, not because I was a gangster myself but because it was a reflection of what was  going on at that time close to my area and my city…Oceanside. Through that time and the gangster rap window I fell in love with Hip hop..
I would play street basketball with all the younger brothers of the gang members in the neighborhood and was getting schooled on hip hop from them daily. I’d have “government cheese dinners” at their apartments listening to great hip hop debates.  I would be the only white kid at all balck house parties.  I would study Soultrain episodes for dance move tips on our 13 inch black and white tv (with pliers to turn the knob always sitting on top).  As soon as I heard rappers like… Nas, Wu Tang,  Outkast, Jay Z, and Gang starr who were rapping about the streets but with a heightened level of intelligence…I was like “this is my shit I feel this”
I couldn’t identify with shit like Nirvana or Guns and roses that kinda shit never spoke to me, it was just noise to me. It wasn’t speaking to me like hip hop did, it didn’t address my environment, my struggle and my joy like rappers like Nas did.  Nas quickly became one of my favorite rapper “poets” talking soulful street poetry.  I’ve always loved soul music, jazz, reggae and blues.  I like music I can feel not just hear.  Hip hop was all that and with the right storyteller behind those rhythms…I knew hip hop was for me.
I don’t like talking about people like I’m a “fan” because I’m not fanatical about nothing or no one but after watching this “Time is illmatic” I have an even a greater respect for this man and his impact on me and hip hop music in general.  “Time is illmatic” is a well done film, and its only drawback was when it ended I wanted more.  I recommend it.
Side note…Nas just partnered up with my friend John Semour and his chicken and waffle place out of BK called Sweet chick…got me feeling all proud of the homie. Good things.

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