Throwback Thursday: Geto Boys, NWA and Gang Starr

Today’s Throwback Thursday is about one of my longest loves, hip-hop and rap music. I love rap music. I fell in love with rap back when my little brother would bump it in his 73′ LTD with truspoke rims, blasting Sugarhill Gang or UTFO or Newcleus. I was into rock and new wave at the time but once Eric (my brother) started trying to scratch on my pops’ turntable, I knew there was something magical about the music.

I always felt rap was more his music because he bought it, exclusively, where I was still buying other styles of music. We both would buy Public Enemy or Too Short records but when the lyrical content started getting harder, my brother dropped off and I took it on as my own.

When I first heard the Geto Boys, I was lit up. The lyrics were wild and in my opinion, more punk than anything I owned. It was like my punk rock. It upset parents and neighbors and ultimately, politicians. Then NWA came in to the game and not only was the production nonpareil,  it was from my city, Los Angeles! I was so into the three records they put out. I loved Ice Cube’s solo stuff too but Dre was moving beyond all rap music because his production was bullet proof and tight.

Gangstarr came to me after those two groups but it was a hard, East Coast story and, like DreDJ Premierwas on another level from all the other producers. I own every Gangstarr record, as I do NWA/Ice Cube/Dr Dre/MC Ren/Eazy E solo stuff and I actually own every Geto Boys record, good and bad. I can’t say that about a lot of groups that I love.

The reason for this post is that I owe a lot to these groups and thought about it while watching Michael Rapaport on Snoop Dog’s GGN Youtube channel. I knew Rapaport was a hip hop fan but wow…he gets as excited about it as much as I do. Ikey used to always laugh at me when I would tell someone why I love gangster rap. He would say “tell them, Juan” because he knew how passionate I was about this music that impacted my life so profoundly. Gangster rap really was telling it exactly how I saw living in Los Angeles in the early 90’s.

Now go buy a Dre or Premier record and tell me those bass lines won’t help your playing!