Friday, July 06, 2007

My Block

After reading debstar's last blog on bay area music, I was reminded of the connection between music and place and all the anthems artists put out to the cities where they came up. Sometimes I wish I could have grown up in a place like LA, Brooklyn, Chicago, or any of
the many cities that have songs dedicated to them. Unfortunately, growing up in somewhat obscure places like Steveston, British Columbia and Sacramento, I never got a chance to bump a tribute to my city (but I do remember in high school we all went batshit when Pac hollered "Sacramento where you at!?!" in "California Love").

Even though Steveston's biggest claim to fame was as a historic fishing town and the salmon capital of the world, it was still, in my mind, THE place to be. Nothing could beat riding on my bmx with my best friend Kevin to the dirt jumps at Steveston Park, getting so caught up in ping pong we forgot about Japanese class, or scrounging for cans to recycle so we could blow the refund on chips, a coke slurpee, and a day at the arcade. To this day I still remember --and sometimes long for-- that feeling of complete and utter freedom we had those endless summers where we would do everything but nothing.

No matter where you're from, most people have a deep attachment to the place where they grew up. From memories of the corners where they would spend their summers, to the 7-11s where they would endlessly loiter, and the distinct smells, sounds, and sights that defined their block, where we came up is a source of pride no matter where it is. Maybe more so than any other genre, hip hop is rooted in a sense of place, and just about every MC has a few verses, if not entire songs, dedicated to their corner. So until the Steveston or Sacramento hip hop scenes blow up, here are some of myfavorite tributes to everyone else's hoods.

[MP3] Murs :: LA
No doubt Tupac's "To Live and Die in LA" is the song of choice for most Angelenos, but I love how Murs’ tribute acknowledges LA in all it’s beautifully messed up glory. Plus, between Murs and Tupac, who’s REALLY from LA?

[MP3] Blue Scholars :: Inkwell (Remix)
If anyone’s going to put Seattle hip hop on the map, Blue Scholars will. What else can I say, this remix is straight bangin' and quite appropriately samples from fellow Seattleite Modest Mouse's "Float On".

[MP3] J-Live :: Travels
Ok, this one is more autobiographical than a tribute to his hometown of Brooklyn, but with that infectious bassline and easy flow, I just had to throw this one in.

|bruce banner|
damn my blogs are getting wordy.


Blogger debstar said...

I heard that people get long-winded when they get old. You know anything about that?

10:58 PM  
Blogger bruce banner said...

what the *%@#?! how the f@#! would i know anything about being @%@#%ing old OR *!@#ing long winded?!!?! f!@#* that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(i'm turning green).

10:04 AM  
Blogger doctashock said...

Actually, if I recall correctly Tupac was born on the east coast and went to school in Baltimore. I always found that to be an interesting tidbit of information while eveyone was championing the east coast/west coast beef.

8:09 PM  
Blogger bruce banner said...

yeah, that's why i never got why tupac claimed LA so much...but whatever...how was the do over? none of us made it out.

9:00 PM  
Blogger debstar said...

Maybe he loved LA in all its messed up glory and it's where he felt most at peace to be himself. Who are we to question someone's connection to a place..

12:53 AM  
Blogger doctashock said...

I agree that home is where the heart is and whatnot... but given the venom that was spewed back in those days it just seemed a little ironic to me. Trust me, I've lived in quite a few other places I'd love to claim over my own hometown.

Do Over was really cool, nice and chill and good vibes from all the people in the place from what I could tell. The type of place you can walk up to a girl and be yourself without over-extending efforts to try and pick her up ya' know?

I saw quite a few familiar faces, and some of my favorite DJ's were there just hanging out as well as spinning so I'll definitely be going back. Maybe this weekend even. Apparently you gamble on getting in hassle free after the crowd picks up around 6 or 7 though.

9:52 PM  
Blogger bruce banner said...

wordddd!!!! i was going to say something like that, but umm...i didn't.

10:22 PM  

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