- Terence McDermott
Today an album drops and everyone in the hip hop community has been anticipating it! Kendrick Lamar dropped two singles last month and everyone lost their minds. Honestly, I wouldn't say I'm a huge Kendrick fan but no NEW artist in the last five years has had me as excited about an album release as him. It got me thinking about how anxious I used to get growing up.
I going to sound old right now...BUT BACK IN MY DAY....we checked for all the new music on Tuesdays. Every Tuesday without fail to be exact. Between my best friends and I, we had every new release for 10 years probably. We would buy the new album on CASSETE TAPE and buy blank cassettes and record it for each of our friends after we listened. This is against the law, but we were young and really didn't even know that law existed before Limewire gave your computer AIDS. This was our version of Limewire or Napster.
Something you as the reader should know about me is, I LOVE music. Before I knew boobies and women would ruin my life, music was there for me. Paticularly hip hop music! I remember my first tape was Run DMC - King of Rock. I loved it. My parents listened to R and B and i thought that music was OKAY but one minute in and I knew RAP music was for me. It spoke to me! It was talking about the things I wanted wanted to hear. So, after Run DMC opened my mind I wanted to explore. I was an instant fan, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Fat Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie....I loved it all. But then....N.W.A. Came and blew my mind.
Before NWA came and changed the landscape everyone was nice. Everyone was polite. Not NWA!! They said what they wanted when they wanted and didn't care about the backlash. It was the voice of a frustrated generation trying to be heard and it fit me!! That's when I knew that this would be the music I would listen to FOREVER.
I remember walking into music stores (yes kids there were ENTIRE stores dedicated to music!) and looking through every album. Some I bought just because the cover was dope. (Jay Z's "Reasonable Doubt" comes to mind) I would take it home, put the tape in, press play, and immediately look for the lyrics in ths cover. Back then, if you got lyrics it was like Christmas!! But if there were no lyrics I would look to see who produced every track. Now this was crucial, because before everyone started making their on beats certain producers and djs would be in high demand! Before there was DJ Mustard and Mike WiLL-made it, there was Rick Rubin and Dj Premiere. I would read and listen in awe of what these music magicians would do. How the melodies and rhythms melded together into a beautiful urban culture masterpiece!! For that hour, I would disappear into my own world and just be happy or angry ir whatever the artist wanted me to feel.
Fast forward to today. I still look for new music on Tuesdays and although some people release on Tuesdays most of the good artists are choosing release on Fridays. Now we listen to everything on mp3s and music sharing sites such as iTunes music Spotify and Tidal. Its genius. You go look up the artist you want and BOOM their whole album is there ready and waiting. You don't even have to get dressed. As much as I love music, this system was made for me! I mean hell, for 10 bucks a month I get ALL the music i can process. You can't beat it. But....Nostalgia is crazy. The whole experience of buying the music and opening music made it feel like every Tuesday was a holiday. You can't replace that. But this new Kendrick Album is supposed to be the best thing out in years so I'm going to go home and turn Spotify on and listen intently. Just like when I was a kid!