After checking out VH1’s 3rd Annual Hip-Hop Honors the other night, I’ve pretty much decided that while it wasn’t as great as last year (mostly due to the bad sound quality that forced me to strain my ears to listen to the Beastie Boys and the Wu-Tang Clan) that it wasn’t as ho-hum as I’ve heard folks make it out to be.
Surprisingly enough, I found Ice Cube’s tribute/ performance to be the best of the night. I say suprisingly because I was used to Cube the actor and forgot about Cube the rapper- until I caught the It Was a Good Day/ Check Yo’Self:
and found myself transported back to the classic hungry hip-hop that I remembered and love. (I haven’t been able to stop listening to Check Yo’Self since all day) Dare I say it, it took me back to my childhood when all hip-hop represented to the fullest on the radio. The whole vibe inspired me to look around for traces of that early 90s vibe (which, in my humble opinion, was the best hip-hop era ever).
And thus far, I’ve found:
I know I’m definitely showing my age here, but before there was Pharrell or Kanye West rocking bright colors and a preppy vibe, there was Kwame- the boy genius. While he’s best known to today’s generation as the rapper that Biggie Smalls clowned in Unbelievable, he was the witty rhyming, polka-dot rocking predecessor who set himself apart from the other MC’s that were out in the early 90s. And while he’s more behind the scenes nowadays as a producer (i.e. Tweet’s Turn Da Lights Off), he showed folks on the Hip-Hop Honors red carpet a few weeks ago just who rocked it FIRST.
And for those who think that rope chains went the way of Cazal sunglasses and Cross Colours jumpers, well, this Kenneth Jay Lane rope link necklace will beg you to differ: