I went to a bar last night and immediately fell in love with the DJ. (You probably heard enough about this last night if you follow me on Twitter.) His entire set consisted of songs that threw me into an altered state of nostalgia and extreme happiness. I’m talking Biggie, Tupac, Ice Cube, Skee Lo, Biz Markie, Tribe … he had it all. It was an interesting situation where I didn’t want any songs to end, because I was having so much fun jamming and remembering other times when these songs were prevalent in my life, but at the same time, I couldn’t wait to hear what he would play next. Essentially, I never wanted the night to end. Talk about a successful job as a DJ!
All of this got me to thinking about music, memories, and how the two come to be. We all know the feeling of hearing a song and being blasted into our pasts, immediately remembering where we were, who we were with, and the atmosphere of the time that was. But the part of memories through music that doesn’t seem to be talked about is the moment in which the memories are created. Can you know in the moment that you will forever think of that event whenever you heard the song that was playing?
It made me wonder, as I was listening to these classic hip hop songs that remind me of middle school, high school, college, or even more recent times as I’ve taken a trip through old school hip hop, whether the original memories would remain, or if this epic night that I had last night would overcome the past times and be the night I would remember when I heard the new songs. It made me think that yes, you can know in the moment that a memory is being formed, but you have to be conscious of the situation.
The moral of the story, or what I walked away with last night, was that it’s an incredible feeling to be able to live in the moment. Build on the past and prepare for the future, but right then and there, you should be reveling in your surroundings. Soak the sound in and let your brain soak the memories in, but allow yourself to have the time of your life. Because you never know (or maybe you do!), you may hear this song in the future and be blasted back to last night. Do yourself a favor and let it leave an incredible mark on your timeline.
…And while you’re at it, be sure to make the soundtrack a good one. To help you do this, I’m putting together a Spotify playlist of Old School Hip Hop classics that bring me back to the good ole days (and last night!). What I need for YOU to do is comment on this post and let me know what songs need to be added to the list. I’ll then go and add them, and you can subscribe to an ever-growing playlist that can be your go-to memory-building playlist. Fun part of it is, we’ll all be building our own memories to the same set of songs. And there we have it. Boom goes the dynamite.
MP3: “Work” – Gang Starr
MP3: “Jump” – Kris Kross
Have you ever found an amazing pair of jeans…only to realize that these gems might just look better as jorts? So you proceeded to cut them up, putting your own style into them, perhaps fraying the edges just as you’d like them to look. And somehow, they come out perfectly. The originals were awesome, but you created a beautiful new look that others can only manage to stop and notice. Like, ‘Damn, I gotta get me some of those.’ Your handmade jorts are THAT great.
Alright, so maybe not all of us can relate to this. This is coming from a girl’s perspective, and unless you live in Cali or are a hipster dude, you might not get the reference. So if you haven’t had that experience, it’s okay. But don’t lose hope! It may someday come to be! For now, though, I’ve got the perfect alternative. I, as part of Sunset in the Rearview, hereby present to you: Big Z Remixes. Just like that perfect pair of jeans-turned-jorts, Big Z has taken a collection of masterful hip hop in his new album, Slow Down, cut it up, put his own spin on it, and sure enough, created a tour de force in its own.
After falling in love with his past work, I wasn’t sure Big Z’s sound could get much better. But sure enough, in the time he took off to create the latest album, Big Z went back to the drawing board and took an exacto knife to the edges, adding touches of genius production and gentle instrumentals to an already fine-tuned sound, and he ended up with a miraculous piece of art. If the artists on this album (who include Tupac, Kurupt, Lupe Fiasco, Wiz Khalifa, Kanye West, Nas and more) could hear how Big Z has combined their vocals with his melodious instrumentals, I have a strong feeling that they would first do a dubious and quick double-take, but soon after would be pleasantly surprised at just how good they sound on these new tracks.
So alas—all pregamers, stoners, hipsters, gym-rats, hoodrats, eager listeners seeking to find the appeal of hip hop, and kids stuck in the library wishing that rap music wasn’t so damn hard to study to: we can at last unite! The day has come when all of preferred styles have been paired and tailored to match. So whether you prefer jorts, sweatpants, leggings, gym-shorts, or maybe ripped up cargo-pants, we’re in for good luck, for it seems this right here is one-size-fits-all.
“Against A Mad World” (ft. Tupac & Tears for Fears) – Brenton Duvall
What do you get when you put Tears for Fears and Tupac in a song together? I guess since we’re in the age of Mashups, that just doesn’t sound that crazy. But I’ll tell you what sounds crazy: this song by Brenton Duvall. It’s not just your regular mashup, it’s more than that. It’s got personality! It’s got Brenton Duvall’s touch and flavor! It’s good. I’m definitely digging it. But hey, I always love me some Tupac.
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