As a kid at the age of single digit years, I was a fan of anything and everything that was Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. To scratch the surface of my obsession, my room was painted bright red, I had several posters hung every which way and my little iron-on #23 jersey was so beat up it looked like something right out of a dumpster. It found its way to my back too much, but every time I put it on, I wore that b*tch proudly.
When Space Jam came out, it was like a dream come true. The greatest basketball player (Scottie Pippen be damned) and the Bugs Bunny, the greatest Saturday morning cartoon character, in same flick just seemed unreal to me. Needless to say, the movie was one my of my most watched VHS tapes and the soundtrack was one of my most played cassettes.
In particular, I listened to the posse cut, “Hit ‘Em High (The Monstars’ Anthem)” so many times, the tape started tweaking out and much to my parents’ thrill, it completely stopped working shortly after. It was hit verse after hit verse from Method Man, B-Real, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, and Coolio, and at the time, it was probably the most intense and unique thing I had listened to. I literally couldn’t get enough of it. True story.
My mom and dad were always very prudent to make sure everything I listened to was age appropriate, and naturally, Hip-Hop in all its explicitness, was a no go in the house. But this was the lone exception. There was no profanity, no sexual references, and much to my parents’ dismay, absolutely no reason for them to not allow me to listen to it.
Neither they nor I had any idea that Method Man was from a group called Wu-Tang Clan, who happened to be one of the pioneers of the Mafioso sub-genre of rap. Or that B-Real and Cypress Hill were one of the loudest marijuana advocates of the decade. Or that Coolio was probably on every drug imaginable. They still don’t.
I wouldn’t learn any of this until I really dove headfirst into the music during my teens and even then, when I realized “Hit ‘Em High” wasn’t relatively the greatest of tracks, in my eyes it remains the gateway that let me to discover Hip-Hop.
Previously: Day 28 – A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty