Being in LA now I am reminded of the first time I really got into rap/hip hop. I of course always had a surface-level connection with liking the music, but I didn’t get motivated to seek out knowledge about it until one day when coming back from the beach with my cousins here in LA, and they started playing Biggie’s Life After Death. When I heard those stories being told I was hooked. Ever since then, hearing old hip hop and rap songs that I used to be into throws me into a sense of nostalgia. Here’s some of the tracks that awaken my memories.
Q-Tip – You
I grew up around a lot of Tribe and Q-Tip was always my favorite. I remember staring at his album cover while this song was blasting and just thinking it’s so dope that he made his own beats
Les Nubians – Makeda
I actually just recently discovered this track but it fits right in with all this music resurfacing in my life.
Res – Golden Boys
I remember hearing this track by Res for the first time with my mom, and this memory of us listening to it in the car together runs through my head.
Reflection Eternal – Memories Live
My cousins put me onto Reflection Eternal really young because they were obsessed with the likes of Talib Kweli and Mos Def. This album stays in my rotation to this day.
Slum Village – Climax (Girl Shit)
Dilla became a big focus of mine when I started making beats, and so naturally Slum Village followed, this song is beautiful and will hold its own forever to me.
Digable Planets – Jimmi Diggin’ Cats
This track always had one of my favorite beats ever. Digable Planets was a fiery trio back in the day and they all had mad talent, definitely inspired me in a lot of ways.
Mos Def – The Panties
One of my favorite songs of all time, Mos Def was someone I grew up on, memories of me being alone as a kid slapping this, or even now as an adult driving around to this at like 2 AM in LA after getting off work.
Quasimoto – Am I Confused ( ft. Madlib)
Madlib is such an icon he featured himself under his alter ego, and it’s crazy good.
2Pac – Do For Love
My favorite 2Pac song and this still resonates with me as much as it did the first time I heard it at school when I was younger.
Hieroglyphics – Make Your Move
This track reminds me so much of home it’s crazy. Growing up this was ALWAYS playing. Oakland’s got a lot of history and Hieroglyphics is definitely a large part of it. Not to mention Goapele’s beautiful vocals.
This list throws me back with each song, experiencing the vivid memories of growing up and first experiencing each track. Music has this wonderful ability to transport us to different time periods. Make sure you keep the songs that represent things you care about close to you, because they will always be a part of you. Memories that we hold dear are always a window into our past selves.