This summer has seen a wonderful showing of mixtapes and compilations, from Solid Melts' An Empire of Fun to the Road Goes Ever On's Au Revoir, La Côte. With that in mind I decided to dive into this whole mixtape thang but wanted to do something a little different. I wanted my tape to have a nostalgic feel to it, I wanted it to stand out amongst all the indie and chillwaving that dominates my blog; I wanted to compile a list of tracks that in some way or another brought back my adolescence and as Talib Kweli says, "Bringin' Back Sweet Memories". Thus I had to go back to the 90's to find it but not only that I had to call upon the the Hip Hop music of that era.
Hip Hop started to take form in the late 70's while the 80's is what people still remember as its beginnings, but it was 90's that would define the genre and invented the many styles that we know of today. The 90's saw the rise Afrocentricity as the driving force amongst many of the early artists only to take the backseat as the gangster rap of NWA & Death Row Records and the materialism that started to creep in from the Bad Boy Family and obviously the Cash Money Millionaires. But what also happened in the 90's, more so towards the end of the decade, was the creation of "Neo-Soul" and RAWKUS Records attempt to bring back lyricism to the art.
The tracks on this mix represent songs from each year of the 90's and having to pick the number of songs that I did was an impossible task. There are many notable artists left out, KRS-ONE, Nas, Jay-Z, Outkast and Notorious BIG being the most obvious, but my only excuse is because I had a two hour limit from the website I was using. Many of the songs used were under the radar and were not necessarily radio jams but for me were songs that showed how incredible this genre can be. However, some of the other songs had a more commercial appeal and when listening to the tracks reminded me of those embarrassing Middle School dances and had to be included.
The 90's were a great time in Hip Hop history which I will forever love and remember; the lack of Hip Hop posting on this blog has been the fact that I have been so disillusioned with how the genre has evolved and not much has appealed to me as of late. I still prefer the more socially conscious and culturally artistic style of Hip Hop and hopefully this mixtape can bring back those memories when Hip Hop was Hip Hop and was used as a tool to speak out against the social problems that plagued (and still do) our nation