"Engine, Engine Number 9, on the New York Transit Line, if my Train Goes off of the track, Pick It Up, Pick It Up, Pick It Up!" is one of the most powerful Hip-Hop lyrics ever spoken. To this day, anyone who plays just that segment of Black Sheep’s The Choice Is Yours, would send any crowd into a frenzy! For the past week I’ve been revisiting ‘Old School’ Hip-Hop music, generally anything made before 1995ish. At this time I was in the 8th grade and woke up to the Ed Lover and Dr. Dre (East Coast, Dr. Dre) Show on Hot 97. Hip-hop has evolved (for good and bad) since it has become a popular in the 1980’s, although it was (and still is) misunderstood. I get chills about revisiting the crisp and memorable lyrics of the old school, suddenly I feel as if I’m back in the 90’s: Clinton was President, AOL was the Internet, Yahoo! was amazing, Will Smith was the Fresh Prince and everything was dope. Here’s some of my fav old school tracks for sucka’s.
- Black Sheep – The Choice Is Your’s (Revisited)
This song has the most memorable lyrics
- Kris Kross – Jump
The two-hit wonder group (remember "I Missed the Bus"?) even had their own fad. Although it was the worse fad ever, it was the only time you could wear your clothing backwards and be cool.
- Shai – If I Ever Fall In Love
Me and my friends sang this song and tried to serenade girls with it. We weren’t successful at all…
- The Lords of the Underground – Chief Rocka
There’s something about walking into a room and yelling "Boom Shakalaka, Yo Here Comes the Chief Rocka" that makes this song a hit.
- K7 – Come Baby Come
When Hip-Hop met Dancehall is produced great hits like this one.
- O.D.B. – Shimmy Shimmy Ya
When you put a picture of your welfare check on the cover of your hit album, that’s either the stupidest thing anyone can do or the most genius way of sticking it to the man. The music was just as stupid, or genius.
- Snoop Doggy Dogg – Lodi Dodi
Before being just Snoop Dogg, Snoop Double D entranced people with his rendition of Slick Rick’s song, becoming the more popular version.
- N.W.A. – Fuck The Police
One of the most controversial hip-hop songs ever made, also one of the most powerful songs.
- DJ Kool – Let Me Clear My Throat
The ultimate club song. Play this anytime and watch the crowd go crazy.
- Kurtis Blow – The Breaks
This is the best sounding bad day song ever. Had a bad day, that’s just the breaks!
- Onyx – Slam
This is one of the best anthem songs for men.
- Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
"Now what you hear is not a test, I’m rapping to the beat…" one of the early tenants of Old School Hip-Hop. It has that urban and funk groove that makes it memorable.
- Slick Rick – Mona Lisa
Comparing beautiful women to beautiful paintings since 1995.
- Run-D.M.C. – My Adidas
Before Korn re-defined Adidas, there were shoes. There was nothing like a pair of white Adidas, now called white ‘classics’.
- Peter Gunz, Lord Tariq – Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)
Thanks to Shakira, every time I hear this song I think of her hips (I get they don’t lie.) This is one of NYC’s Hip-Hop anthems, although it’s really an anthem for the Bronx.
- Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back
I don’t think anyone can imagine life without this song. Everyone loves this song.
- Wreckx ‘n’ Effect – Rump Shaker
The second best booty song ever made.
- Eric B. and Rakim – Eric B. Is President
Before Barak Obama became president, Eric B. held that honor.
- Warren G – Regulate
Listening to this song on my walkman, I always felt like a bad ass. Yes, I did say walkman, you know the portable listening device you put a cassette tape into.
- Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise
The most soulful hip-hop song ever. Now Coolio is doing online cooking shows (SHAKA-ZULU!)
- DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime
Before Will Smith, he was The Fresh Prince. He was so fresh he created the summer anthem of all time.
- Queen Latifah – U.N.I.T.Y
You can not say anything bad about Queen Latifa. This song is just as valuable and correct today as it was when it was released.
- Salt-N-Pepa – Whatta Man
While this is a song for women, this is an all time classic for the search of a good partner.
- Naughty By Nature – O.P.P.
The dirtiest but fun nature song ever created. Naughty By Nature definitely slipped one by everyone with this song.
- Young MC – Bust a Move
Ever want to dance in the middle of the streets, play this song.
- Heavy D – Now That We’ve Found Love
What ever happened to Heavy D? Did he find love and not know what to do?
- Public Enemy – Don’t Believe The Hype
Featuring Hip-Hop’s original hype man, Flava Flav (who’s become reality televisions poster child), Chuck D and Flava Flav brought politics and a message to NYC hip-hop.