I started out today writing about Woodstock since it’s the 40th anniversary, but for some reason I kept getting distracted by 80’s/early 90’s Hip-Hop/R&B & I couldn’t focus on the post so I will do that one tomorrow. Also, if your curious about the top 250 albums of all-time & why I didn’t post it last week it’s because the math doesn’t work with ten albums a week for the rest of the year so I took a week off & they’ll be back up this week.
There’s something inherently beautiful about 80’s music. It isn’t especially profound or life altering, but it is insanely fun & catchy. 80’s R&B & Pop are some of my favorite kinds of music. Now, many of you who read this blog on a regular basis know I am raging a personal war against Pop music. Let me be clear about this, 80’s music is the one exception. It is the advent of today’s alternative. The Smith’s, New Order, even Cyndi Lauper all considered New Wave back then, Pop now.
However, 80’s/early 90’s R&B/Hip-Hop is nothing like today’s, it has evolved or devolved so much that today it is in such a state of major disarray, minus a few artists ,that it has little intrinsic value whatsoever. I am no advocate of tampering one’s words down when there is the need for a four letter word, but there are other words in the lexicon that are equally suitable. If you listen to some of the 80’s songs there is the same message with a more intelligent spin.
Bell Biv Devoe with their poignant phrase,
“The low pro ho should be cut like an afro”
I know nothing of afro’s or anything close, but this is a brilliant phrase to advocate the subtle trimming of female areas. Hip Hop that makes you think. There are other artists who use their lyrics as a means of getting across the true meaning of their feelings. Take for instance the 1991 classic “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” by The Geto Boys. Meant as a song to communicate the desolation of the urban Black Community which, in the 80’s, US officials failed to investigate or actually tolerated major cocaine trafficking in US cities by the Nicaraguan contra army.
He owns a black hat like I own
A black suit and a cane like my own
Some might say, “Take a chill, B”
But fuck that shit! There’s a nigga trying to kill me
I’m poppin’ in the clip when the wind blows
Every twenty seconds got me peepin out my window
Investigatin’ the joint for traps
Checkin’ my telephone for taps
I’m starin’ at the woman on the corner
It’s fucked up when your mind is playin’ tricks on ya
A stark contrast but also also two different worlds within the same community.
Mr. Telephone Man – New Edition
I’d Die Without You – P.M. Dawn
Poison – Bell Biv Devoe
Mind Playin’ Tricks on Me – Geto Boys
People Everyday – Arrested Development
The Humpty Dance – Digital Underground
Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Hip-Hip Hooray – Naughty By Nature