Friday, May 20, 2005

Taking a Nostalgic look back...

The other day I was having a conversation with a young dude who had to be around 19. I was refreshed that he liked some of the same groups that I presently enjoy, groups like The Roots, Common, and Mos Def. The mere fact that he didn't sing the praises of idiots like lil John or Mike Jones gave me hope concerning the younger generation. That hope quickly turned into frustration when I discovered that he didn't know who "A Tribe Called Quest" was, or any other prominent Hip Hop group pre 1995. It even seems that people my age are forgetting about the old school and things we enjoyed back in the day. The following post is a reminder of Hip Hop past, whether it be groups, clothing, or culture, so we will never forget the old school.

Remember:

Shell Toe Adidas: These are shoes that I still wear until this day. As soon as Run DMC came out with "My Adidas" and rocking the shell toes, I was a life long consumer. Whether you rocked them with the fat laces, or no laces at all, it was and still is classic Hip Hop apparel. I remember being at a Run DMC concert as a kid and Run telling everyone to put their Adidas in the air. All you saw was a sea of Shell Toes as far as the eye could see. I am not one to promote any product like that, but I will be a Shell toe wearer until my final days.

Bomber Jackets: This one item of clothing gave my mother fits. There was a kid that got killed for his bomber jacket in a neighboring city so my mother wasn't about to get me one.(Damn news!) After weeks of asking she finally buckled and got me one, but a day after she purchased it another kid had gotten killed for his jacket. She wanted to take it back, but she didn't, but it was weird because each day she would say to me "You aren't going to wear THAT jacket are you?" I have never seen a article of clothing evoke so much fear. I love you mom!

Diamond D: We can't forget about Diamond D, the producer/rapper who dropped the classic album "Stunts, Blunts, and Hip Hop". That album was a Hip Hop classic and should never be forgotten. I like Kanye West, but Diamond D is the best producer slash rapper simply because I found out that Kanye had a ghostwriter on at least a couple of his songs. There was no ghostwriter for Diamond, as far as I know, so he stands out in my humble opinion. It is a shame that the younger generation will probably never know who Diamond D is, or hear this amazing album.

Fat Laces: I was going through a old box of stuff the other day and I found a pair of florescent laces that I used to wear back in the day. I guess I was feeling nostalgic, so I put the laces in my Shell toe Adidas and went about my day running errands and whatnot. Why do you seem to see the most attractive members of the opposite sex when you are wearing something questionable? I quickly learned that my stroll down memory lane was a mistake, but I remember when rocking fat laces were the coolest thing ever.

First Pair of Air Jordan's: Since my mother would not shell out the cash to get said sneaker, I think a relative had given me a pair for Christmas or something. I was the first kid in my school to have them, which ended up being a royal pain in the ass. For one thing people would hate on me and try to ruin your kicks by stepping on them on purpose. Also, I was so scared that someone would try steal them during gym class I ran all the way to my hall locker, put a special lock on it, and placed them inside. Lastly, my school was the last school in the world to be considered "dangerous", but a couple kids actually tried to physically take my sneakers. I loved those shoes, but they made me a walking target.

X-Clan: "Van-glorious! This is protected by the red, the black,and the green. With a key, Sissies!!!" I used to absolutely love that shit coming from this conscious Hip Hop group of the early 90's. They were a bit cartoony for my taste, but you couldn't deny the African history and politics that they injected into their music. In a way I kind of miss wearing those bulky ass black Africa medallions. They probably will only be mentioned briefly in the history books because Public Enemy and Boogie Down Production were simply better artists who were more successful conveying their message. But by no means should X-Clam be forgotten.

Kangol Hats: When I saw LL Cool J Bust into that room, say "Box!", and bust a rhyme in the movie "Krush Grove" I knew I had to have a Kangol. Even though the thing never looked right on my head, I sported my kangol with pride. I had a "conspiracy theory" relative who claimed that Kangols were "made by the clan, and they were tricking young black males into wearing their clothes." I guess he was saying that the Kangol was a new school clan hat, but I wasn't buying that. Not to get off on a tangent here, but were the claims that the "Troop" Jackets were made by the clan ever verified?? Just wondering..

Jheri Curl: On this blog I have expressed the most intimate details of my life, being introspective from day ONE. I have told you good people about my rocky relationship with my father, my inability to fill a magnum size condom, and the few times I have gotten my ass kicked. But the following sentence is by far the hardest for me to admit to: I once had a jheri curl! Yes, that's right, the HumanityCritic once wore a shower cap to bed.(I can't believe I'm admitting this) I was a kid though and my old man wanted me to get one in the worst way. I'll tell you one thing though, no 10 year old boy should ever be subjected to wearing curlers and sitting under a fucking dryer. The jheri curl had to be maintained, and I was lazy about it so it quickly turned into a debacle. Being that I hardly took care of my new "hairstyle" it ended up looking like dried ass wheat after a while.

House Parties: Being a 31 year old man, the parties I go to are nothing like the ones when I was younger. Then, I would see sexy girls in tight Jordace jeans, wearing those huge door knocker earrings. The music was always slamming, and there was a chance that I would get some "late night loving" from one of the girls in attendance. The sounds of Biz Markie, MC Lyte, Stetsasonic, Superlover Cee-Cassanova Rudd, 3XDope, and various other groups would delightfully fill the air as I danced the night away. NOW, every function that I go to now doesn't have any music, the food is mostly horrible, and the people in attendance are so dreadful that I wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire. I went to a function last week where a woman was telling me that more black folks should vote republican and that Condi Rice was her personal hero. When she asked me what I thought about Ms. Rice I eloquently said the following: "You mean Aunt Tomasina?? Fuck her! She doesn't have the best interests of black folks in mind, and I won't praise her because she is black and in a high position. Plus she is incompetent, fuck her!" Man, I miss the sight of tightly worn Jordace jeans.

30 comments:

Funkeedva said...

You took me way back with this one :)

CultStatus said...

dope post...

i just threw a mix cd on my blog..

snatch it up.. it's filled with Ignant Shyt!!

but i do know and feel the greats too.

-Cult

Goldi said...

I *sniff, sniff* had a curl at 10 too. And it was cut in shag.

savvy said...

seeing that ole boy wasnt too far off from my age i really cant belive he hasnt heard of tribe called quest. that's a big WOW..
i knew of everythang you mentioned except diamond d and x clan. but you must remember i was 15 in 1999

Dawud said...

i rocked the suede adidas with the fat lases
what about members only jackets or parachute pants?
plastic puma sweat suits for the b-boys..
damn that shit looks corny now..

Gunner Kaufman said...

Part of the reason young cats dont know these groups (atcq..dela) is because major radio..and video stations(bet sent a memo) believe they are no longer relevant to hip hop..deep huh.

And you left out TROOP....L.L.'s first sponser...

black mythology 1 oh 1..
T otal
R ule
O ver
O ppresed
P eople.....

TO the East...my brothers.

Frank León Roberts said...

great post...these all remind me of my "Arrested Development" days...

SMW said...

I had a jheri curl (curly perm) until I turned 16. That's WAYYY after they went out of style. But I'm a girl, so hey, no one said anything to me.

In fact, now that I mention it, I didn't have a boyfriend until I turned 16 either. Could have been the hair...

Thank God for growing up and paying to get your own hair done!

I love your posts, ALL OF EM!

Amadeo said...

Still Rocking the Shell toes.

I could never get a starter jacket cause people got killed over them.

Ahhh....house parties.

Toya said...

i'm glad that my mama never put me through the horror of wearing a Jherri Curl! i can say i never had one...though i did probably use to wear those big dookie braids, lol...

Nikki said...

I buy at least 2 pair of shell toe Adidas every 3 years because I wear them so much. And Kangols will never run outta style as long as Samuel L. Jackson is around. He's forever rockin' one.

coley said...

Once again thanks for the memories! You had me rollin with this one...

"my inability to fill a magnum size condom, and the few times I have gotten my ass kicked. But the following sentence is by far the hardest for me to admit to: I once had a jheri curl!"

the kid said...

*whoo hoo* Yay for nostalgia! I'm 23, but I had to ride the bus home with my cousins who were in middle school and high school when I was in elementary. Soooooo, I was the sucker who learned all the songs and dances while they egged me on after school every day. Remember biking shorts? :-D My favorite. Oaktown 357 caused me to beat somebody up over my tape and to get beat down by my ma cuz I kept asking for the tight midriff top that was supposed to go with the shorts. Oh, the memories... Supersonic, The Cars that Go Boom, all of the Polkadelic songs. Ok, I'll stop blogging in your comment box.

P.S. I'm still doubling over in laughter about your curl!!

nahmix said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
nahmix said...

Yeah, you took a sista back on this one. I had a pair of shell toe adidas up until '02. Your conversation with the 19-year old reminds of an experience the chicks and I had last month. We went to Butler Univ to see The Roots perform. As a rule, I hate concerts at colleges, but I love The Roots so we made the drive from the Chi anyway!! The crowd was wack, but even worse was the opening band. I think they were BU students, but anyway! Before ending their set they said they were gonna take us back with an old skool joint! They performed Ain't But a G Thang!! We were like...WTF? We had to remember, that's kinda old skool for that age group!

Jdid said...

oh man, diamond d, by far the best producer on the mic. going to have to break out the sally got a one track mind and i'm outta here

Coffey0072 said...

I can gladly admit that I never had a jheri curl, but I looooved those belts with the big buckle that featured nifty words like: FRESH, SEXY, or DOPE.
Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam sans Full Force and Public Enemey were my favorite as were Roller Skates with the four wheels and all. People in middle school got their LEES patch snatched off the back of their jeans if they weren't looking.

I never had Jheri's hairstyle of choice, but I WILL admit that I owned a pair of LA Gears (yikes).

By the way, call me out of the loop, but who's Mike Jones.

Luke Cage said...

DIAMOND D???? Stunts, blunts and hip hop??? U were feeling that? Man, how in the hell is this album slept on so much. And now you're repping that joint. I can't find anyone who's done that. hell, i stopped reading your post when I got to that point man. And your brother has never done that before. What else did you write about?-lol Great job.

Dee said...

dam H.C you took me back!! Great post!!

Breez said...

Dang...I'm getting misty thinking back. For some reason, I desperately wanted a curl and my parents refused to let me have one. I thank them both to this day, lol. As far as house parties, those were the DAYS. *sigh* Could it be that it was all so simple then?

Brown Shuga said...

OMfrigginG!!!You are a HOOOOOOOOOT! Fat Laces? X Clan? Jherri Curl (rock it jherri curl...hollywood shuffle). Um...what else? Gosh....3Xdope....house parties (before they got violent, ofcourse) You forgot to mention that! Aww man...I could go on and on. You took it there. The music of today is definitely nothing like the music of yesterday. DAMN!

Anonymous said...

If the chicks can't get with the fat laces, do you really care what they think? even if they are fine?

ESP said...

Great stuff no doubt.. But I think I'm gonna give the nod to Divine Styler's "Aint Sayin Nothin" as the track from the past that's most unjustly slept on..

Never had a jheri curl, but then I don't think it woulda worked for my hair anyway..

Ms. World said...

I didn't know you can't fill a magnum size condom! Humanity...
You had a jheri curl too! Lord have mercy! I too, had a jheri curl and believe the creation of these signaled a decline in the Black American community. You are so right that we were walking around with shower caps on our heads! I was feelin X-Clan back in the day. Now you got me thinking about the days when rap wasn't about partying or wearing italian designers!

Mahogany Elle said...

You were lucky HC. I tried to convince my mom to let me get a curl (and red plastic Michael Jackson jacket) and she said I had "clean lost my mind". Direct quote. Sniffle. Perhaps it was for the best :)

Dayrell said...

lol *dead* @ the pic of the gold jheri curl cap! my goodness! *whew*...

hey HC i STILL have my fat laces...*buries head* gosh, how embarrassing. lol *buries head again*

Karla said...

Man you took me back with that one. Hey thanks for stopping by my blog and posting a comment. I'm digging your blog and will be stopping by more often.

peachy said...

HA!!HA!! Dried ass wheat-there's always somebody. hee hee.

TheSaga said...

i dig the Adidas but fuhgetaboutit, ol' school G-Nikes are the way to go. i buy two pair or them suckas.

jheri curl??... just let ur soooooouuul gllooooooooowwww!!!!!

ella m. said...

The 19 year old kid knowing nothing about the existence of a Tribe Called Quest is sad but not surprising.
I remember a couple of summers ago I was rehersing for a show with the band and we started playing "If I Was Your Girlfriend" just to warm up.

This ignorant college kid walks by all excited and asks us if Beyonce or Jay Z was playing that night and how cool it was that they would come this far upstate.
Kid was probably enough of a jackass to think that that bridge and the lyric didn't exist until "03 Bonnie and Clyde" but it still pissed me off.