Friday, August 17, 2007

Metal Lungies' Confessions Of A Hip Hop Nerd

Lately, I haven't had nearly as much time as I'd like to visit sites/blogs that I used to keep in fairly regular rotation. Although my acquaintance with Metal Lungies is relatively short-lived in contrast to some of the spots I've been frequenting for years, you can often catch me hanging around there these days. This speaks volumes about the quality of their content, especially considering that I have no less than 5,067 hip-hop related sites bookmarked for "future reference".

What sets Lungies apart from the rest is that these guys keep things extra-thorough. They cover a fairly wide spectrum when it comes to their subject matter, but somehow manage to maintain an overall sense of continuity and focus. They keep me well-informed about current happenings, but are just as likely to feature a retrospective that encourages me to reminisce on the best of days gone by...

Since I'm such a superfan, I asked buhizzle if he'd be willing to stop by and bless my readers with some of his infinite wisdom. What follows is his immensely creative response to my request...Scholar

Hello, new world, here I come. I'm a hip hop nerd. You may remember me from such conversations as "Blueprint 2 would've been better as a single disc," or "Yea, the album version of 'Still Not A Player' is edited for some reason, there's nothing wrong with your copy of Capital Punishment."

You'd probably identify a "nerd" as someone who strives to know everything about whatever subject matter interests them the most. Someone who might chastise you for not knowing as much, but not to be rude -- rather, to make sure that his words stay with you. Someone who passed every test with no worries because knowing the bare minimum to simply "get by" just wasn't enough for him. Well, that's how I am with hip hop. Your average person may be content with purchasing a new CD and skipping through each track until they get to the hit single that they'd heard on the radio 30 times previously. Meanwhile, I'm trying to find out more about the guest rapper on track #9, or where I had heard that sample on track #14 before, or why that one song I heard on a mixtape a month ago didn't make the final album.

Sure, my knowledge of such things may be superior to the average person's, but I don't try to sound holier-than-thou because of it -- most likely, everything I know about hip hop has come at some expense for me. There's a classic episode of Married With Children where Al teaches Kelly every single fact known to man about sports in order to get her on a sports trivia game show and win big money. However, in the midst of the process, Al discovers that for every new thing Kelly learns, she forgets something that she had previously known -- for example, as a result of her new-found knowledge of Julius Erving, she no longer knows the steps one must take to shampoo their hair ('Lather, rinse, repeat'). The episode ends with Kelly destroying the competition on the game show, only to miss the grand prize question: "Who scored 4 touchdowns in a single game at Polk High?" [For those that didn't watch the show, scoring 4 touchdowns in a single game was Al Bundy's only claim to fame.]

Sometimes, I can't help but wonder if I don't have some similar sort of problem. If I didn't know at least 10 songs that sampled Zapp's "More Bounce To The Ounce", perhaps I could've attained the social skills necessary to talk my way out that $200 ticket for making a U-turn in a "business district" at 2 a.m. (when there were no businesses even open)? Or, maybe if I wasn't able to provide a second nickname for every member of the Wu-Tang Clan (The Abbott, Maxamillion, Osirus, Toney Starks, Louis Rich, Rollie Fingers, Jemel Irief, Lucky Hands, Iron Lung), I would've remembered to have kept a condom with me that night in sophomore year, when that girl I met at a party was ready to put out? [Rest assured, I didn't make that mistake twice.]

I've been a hip hop nerd since as long as I can remember, but didn't really find out that I was one until high school. Memories remain vivid to this day -- lending my homie my copy of Cormega's The Realness, only to have him give it back to me the next day because he didn't like it (sure enough, 1 year later, he was trying to put ME on to The True Meaning); letting this girl in 1st period biology borrow my Discman with my copy of Ras Kass' Rasassination in it, and her asking, at least twice, "What's this guy's name again?"; trying to convince my friends that Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water was actually a piece of shit.

It continued through college. In my first year, when I lived in the dorms (Anacapa 14-North, holler back!), there was this computer program called DC++ (short for "Direct Connect... Plus Plus") which was basically a file-sharing network strictly for students living on campus. I basically flooded that program with as many hip hop songs as I could that weren't popular-as-fuck at the time. I could recall being in people's dorm rooms, smoking weed or drinking beer or what not, and watching them play a song that they had clearly downloaded from my DC++ account -- even the typos in the file names matched up with mine. And, just to be nice, I'd try to play it off as if these songs were brand new to me. "Smif-N-Wessun, huh? So it's like that gun company, but with an 'F' instead of a 'TH'? Interesting. No, I've never heard of them." All the while, in my head (which was often spinning as a result of the weed smoke and liquor consumption), I'd be thinking to myself, "These guys have NO idea!"

These are the cheap thrills of the hip hop nerd... sharing songs with people in the hopes of them possibly becoming a fan of an artist that likely doesn't even know how you're trying to help them... telling that same artist, following a by-chance encounter after a live show, that your name is "Steve... no, I said Steve", when they borrow your Sharpie to sign your T-shirt, and then keep your Sharpie to sign other people's T-shirts... spelling out that artist's name to the random teenage girl working at Best Buy, just so that you can feel the satisfaction of being 1 of 2,000 people who actually purchased that artist's CD, as opposed to just downloading it for free... inserting random hip hop lyrics into everyday conversation in the hopes that someone might notice, but mostly for personal gratification (case in point, the first sentence of this post -- Hell Hath No Fury, biatch! 7th best album of 2006, I-M-O!).

I am a hip hop nerd. Here are 10 songs that are completely unrelated to one another outside of the fact that I know about them, and that most people might not know about them, and that I feel like they are worth being shared. Much respect to Scholar for letting me post here, and, for the record, none of these pictures are of me (though I've always been a fan of the whole mustache-and-taped-glasses look).

Canibus - "Allied Meta-Forces" featuring Kool G Rap

Diverse - "Wylin' Out (RJD2 Remix)" featuring Mos Def

Dramacydal, Stretch, Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac & Buju Banton - "Runnin'" (not to be confused with Eminem's Alvin & The Chipmunks remix)

Grouch & Eligh (of Living Legends) - "Streetwalking"

Large Professor - "In The Sun" featuring Q-Tip

Lifesavas - "Clutch Moments"

O.C. - "Half Good Half Sinner" (sampled on Common's "The Game")

Smif-N-Wessun - "Toolz Of The Trade"

Souls Of Mischief - "Cabfare" (fittingly sampling the theme from Taxi)

Zion I - "Kharma"

Word From buhizzle's Moms:

"To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research." -Steven Wright


dennis said...

Killed it with the post. Laughed my ass off cuz damn can I relate.

Satchmo said...

excellence with a side of corn pudding.

Mally From The 612 said...

Man you got a following fa real...that was nice ass post you did on being a nerd because I feel like a nerd too, but shit I have to speak up for rappers i like even if I am the oddball...

I mean and everybody on the radio ain't wack, but people who listen to the radio feel that those who are not on the radio are wack...or its boring...I like to try and put people on good artists...

For example I done plugge cats on Skyzoo, Joe Budden, Little Brother, Sean Price, Buckshot...there are many more...I'ma nerd too, but just not as much as you...but I will say I didn't realize I was one until high school either...Cuz now all i do is listen to music all the way research and rack my brains with shit...

I don't think it helps that I rap either because man that makes me more of an addict to the music and rap/hip hop...Once again I like the site and the post...


Max said...

great post man..oh yeah, I'm a hip-hop nerd no question..always tryin to introduce less-informed heads on the virtues of lesser known emcee's that cultivate that boom bap of the few cats I know that still purchases cd's still as well..keep it up with alla that..

scheme said...

married with children!



Theory said...

Damn man! This was amazing...I def am relating to all your tales...and props for the Diverse & Mos Def cut I remember that joint from back when I was in High School just chillin learnin as much as I can! Peace

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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