Naima Cochrane Profile picture
Gen X emissary. Snack aficionado. Storyteller. Industry veteran. Black girl. #MusicSermon. @clivedavisinst. @bma_coalition.

Feb 24, 2018, 35 tweets

Ok, ya'll...
So it's 10:30 on a Friday night, and I'm in the crib because #washedgang (we outchea).
It's rainy, and 40 degrees, and it seems an appropriate time for a #MusicSermon devotional I've been sitting on...

One night last month some us had a brief convo about Jeep music. I started puling up songs and videos, but it led me in another direction (although there's some overlap), to a super specific era & niche of rap music...
Let's call it Bubble Coat, Leathers, Polo Boots & Timbs Music

Lemme throw the bat signal up for @metroadlib real quick. I told her I had this on deck.

So we're just gonna spend a little time on this. It ain't for everybody. This is on the block, head nod, cruise with your boys, somebody's holding swishers, everybody's calling each other "dun" music. And it's all around 93-95.

There's only one real place to start...

This is pre-bling rap music, sitting the other side of the bright, party vibe of New Jack Swing.
This sound was for the street ninjas...
All the killas and the hundred dolla billas

Visuals were dark, gritty. Random vacant lots & alleyways. 80 thousand people from the block in the video.
I mentioned head nodding already right?

Two labels specifically basically own this micro-genre: Duck Down (home of the original gun clappers) (yes I know they say Bucktown...but it works)

Duck Down had Smif n' Wesson, Black Moon, Buckshot, Health Skeltah, Boot Camp Click (see the theme?) and more

...and the other was LOUD Records.
Home of Mobb Deep, and 89,091 negroes from Staten Island (I don't think there's ever been anyone else legit in hip hop from SI... it's not even a real borough) who called themselves Wu Tang

In the early 90's, there were huge musical chasms in regional music. This was the era that birthed the East Coast/West Coast battle, and the vibes really couldn't have been further apart. They both talked about the streets but in different ways.

We were also in a heavy Five Percenter moment (also a heavy Islam moment, also a heavy African heritage moment...all kind of remixed together), and that was all up and through hip hop, too.
Maybe modern hoteps should try spitting their stuff over dope beats. Might work.

We also let it be known we wasn't no punks.
If you feelin' froggy, son.... *holds arms out like Dough Boy on the porch*

And I know you didn't have to be from/in NY to feel this music, but you may not have known just HOW NY this sh*t was if you weren't here.
For example...dancehall references all up in some of these joints

And the reference track...
(I ain't know nothing about Buju Banton until I got back to NY in 96)

And I'm not sure which came first, but staying in the dancehall lane for just one more second, Mega Banton (they sound like dancehall transformers 😂) used the same Barry White sample as Black Moon on "I Got Cha Open"
This joint jumps in a party here.

Like I said, it was a convo about jeep music that led me down this road, and there's a lot of these songs that were strictly for your truck, not for chillin' in the house.

Like I said, this was pre-bling up to right at the beginning of bling, so we weren't rapping about the cars, the designers, and the trips to exotic locales and all that quite yet; we were happy we made it up and out.

To all the people on twitter, God bless your life...

And boom bap rap really wasn't trying to party, and was looking at "party" rappers like 😒
EPMD got at 'em with Crossover, Guru & Primo did it with Mass Appeal.

I mentioned putting your whole hood in the video shoot in some random lot with trash cans on fire or something, right?
Also, shout out to the original backpack rapper era.

One moment...trying to make sure I don't skip nothing before I jump ahead in time...

So Souls of Mischief is from California, but this song always felt NY to me.
The title of this is everything, because it FEELS like 93. Like just feels like the actual year.

So...everybody be quiet for a second. Give this your full attention.
One of the best remixes ever to be remixed (that damn Puffy), and IT IS NOT ANYWHERE. No on nan' streaming service or on iTunes, and it's not fair. Because it's perfect.

As we continue on.... in another lot with the whole hood (and a Young Fat Joe...again).
Shout out to a time when you could put 80 thousand samples in your songs with no consequence. We'll never have tracks as layered as this & what The Bomb Squad used to do again. 🙁

Boom shaka lacka, yo here comes tha -

(Shout out to Yo MTV Raps and Rap City after school for the daily dose of ALL this)

And you can tell whether somebody's really about this life based on whether their favorite version of "They Want Efx" is this one...

...or this one

This song is a little earlier than some of the other stuff but the PRT belong in here.
When people talk about the stuff that Kendrick, Cole and Chance are talking about like hip hop's never seen anything like it before, I'm like clearly ya'll missed all the hip hop before 95.

But you know, you try to put young'uns on to this era, the scrunch their face up, like "What is this? What kind of track is this? You can't do nothing to this" (when all they do to music right now is basically a super sped up version of our early 90s head nod)

Lost Boyz, to me, was a bridge group between the boom bap & Jeep music and a party vibe.
They WERE signed to Uptown, after all.

Lost Boyz also gave us one of the all time great hood love stories.
(These lyrics so simple gotta love it). RIP Renee

And speaking of street ninjas transitioning to party music.
Still one of the illest beats of all time. And only in NY has the Quiet Storm ALWAYS been a party song.

When Prodigy died, I was down near West 4th St (the Village, for non-NYers), and had the original BLASTING in my headphones, and it made me really really mad at gentrification, bc this song used to feel right walking through there... but it was jarringly out of place that day.

And the two joints I'm going to end with are way late in this era. Technically into the bling era chronologically, but they are solidly NY as sh*t, and fit right here.

Wha, wha, wha?

And I've been sitting on another very NY-centric sermon for Native Tongues that I'll drop soon, but I'm going to close this with sometimes-considered-periphery-nativetounges-group The Beatnuts. Even with Joe & Pun on this, to me it always fit on the latter end of this subgenere.

Actually, no. I'm going to close with this.
One of my favorite collabs ever. Give Nice n' Smooth some respeck.
*Does the wop*

No benediction, since this was just a devotional, but there IS a playlist. I'll throw it up tomorrow.

Ya'll can put your Triple Phat Goose and Averix jackets back in the closet now.
Polo boots, Gore Tex, and Timbs live forever though.


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