Now, there are some songs that we all remember no matter what- like “Hot In Herre,” “Yeah!,” or “Get Low.” I don’t need to remind you of those because they’ll always be burned into your brain. But here are some old school-for-Millennials rap jams that were huge back when they came out, but may have fallen off your radar in the time since.
Once you hear them again, though, hopefully they’ll start bringing back the memories of bar mitzvahs, gym class, sleepovers, road trips with parents, and other childhood scenarios where you desperately hoped the dirty version would come on but resigned yourself to the probability of hearing the lame, scrubbed-clean rendition.
Ludacris- “Southern Hospitality”: Here are the “themes” Ludacris goes with in this song: Cadillac, 20-inch, pretty-ass, long john, dirty south, hand-me-down, mouth full of…, sweat, hit by…, Afro, overall, thugged-out. Damn, I was kind of hoping that would crack some secret code. Guess all it does is show you what Southern hospitality is really about.
Nelly- “Air Force Ones”: I never owned a pair of Air Force Ones, but I definitely hit up Foot Locker a few times and checked out their selection after hearing this. My favorite line: “We up in Foot Locker and I’m lookin’ like I’m needin’ those…she just standin’ thurr as if I’m shootin’ free throws.” Tell’em, Murphy Lee.
Chingy- “Right Thurr”: Undoubtedly the best beat of its era. Unfortunately, I never knew most of the lyrics in this song- a combination of cultural unawareness, difficult-to-decipher accents, and, uh, the fact that I was roughly ten years old. However, all these years later, I now know…a few more of the lyrics: basically, this girl is hot.
J-Kwon- “Tipsy”: It’s crazy to think that people of my generation were taking our social cues from people like J-Kwon. Seriously, we must be so screwed up compared to other generations. Listen to these lyrics. These were formative times for me! Yikes.
Petey Pablo- “Freek-a-Leek”: Easily one of my favorite videos from this time period. I can still recite the opening and closing parts, when Petey Pablo is pretending to be the radio DJ, from memory. By the way: I had the clean version of this song, and I still don’t know what most of the edits actually are. Probably better that way.
Cam’Ron- “Hey Ma”: Loved this one. Just a complete summation of things that are not socially acceptable. Perfect for 5th-graders to be listening to: “Get in the car, and don’t touch nothin’, just sit in the car, let’s discuss somethin’, either we lovin’ or I’ll see ya tomorrow.” Try shouting these lyrics when there are girls present, see what happens.
Rap music may not be quite as dope as this anymore. In fact, for me, it’ll never be better than these. But just think, there’s another generation out there growing up with what’s on the radio right now. That’s their formative music. So at some point, you’ll have to respect it just like people older than me ought to respect this stuff. Right?
– Jack Narron