Children’s Story by Slick Rick

I told my main man Will I was experiencing a bit of writer’s block concerning the very blog you’re reading now.   I’m looking forward to this Friday’s show, of course, and that has taken over my thoughts.  However, Will being Will he told me the thing that pulled him into my show was the stories I told.  The way I expressed my love for the culture, How it was ingrained in me.  So I was reminded of a story I did have.  I decided to share it with you all.

When I graduated from 8th grade, My Grandmother gave me, as a graduation present $20!  Not a lot of money I know but to a soon to be 9th grader it was all I needed.  My house was close to my school so I ran home, and changed from my suit and church shoes, into my jeans, t shirt and sneakers.  Hadn’t really told anyone where I was going.  I just left.  No one else knew where I was headed but, I knew,  despite never having been there.

I headed to the nearest bus stop.  I know the number one is going downtown but I’m not sure where to get off or anything.  I’m just compelled.  I’m not necessarily going anywhere.  I’m being pulled there.   The wise old advice “Don’t spend this all in one place.” was totally out of that bus window.   I saw my destination out the window.  There were so many places like this in downtown Chicago.  I knew I would have no trouble finding one.  There, with the huge neon lights was the record store.

I had 20 dollars.   Albums were $9.99 12″ were $3.99.  I had decided to get one album and 2 12″.  I had never bought any music before but my mom had a huge album collection. The records I bought today, I figured,  was the start of mine.  At this age I was already a huge hip hop fan.  This music spoke to me and despite everybody saying that it was just a fad and it would play out soon, I knew better.  Me and everyone I knew listened to it.  I loved it and it truly understood me.  It spoke my language, it walked the way i walked and talked the way I talked.  I was Hip Hop even then.

I was amazed at the racks and racks of records.  I grew up in the 80’s so I was a fan of Culture Club, Duran Duran, Madonna (Oh was I a fan of Madonna, but that’s another story for a much different time lol)  however, I knew I was there to buy 3 hip records and while I may have looked at a couple of other racks, I wound up at the hip hop racks  and it is there that I spent most of my time.

There were a couple of racks of hip hop records (this was the 80’s, it wasn’t anything like it is now)  I looked through eveything, From Afrika Bambaata to Whodini.  I picked up every record.  I read the backs of every one.  Slowly and with great relish.  I had read the liner notes of my Mom’s albums but these were in my language with people who looked like me.  The guys on the covers dressed like I did.  These were my people.  There were other people in the store.  They would come and get their records and leave.  When I picked my eyes up form whatever album cover I had in my hand at the time, I’d think these people must have a lot of music or they’ve been to a lot of record stores.  This was my first trip tp one and since I was drawn to this place, it obviously hadn’t released it’s grip on me yet.

After a while, I looked outside and day had turned to night and I realized I had looked at album covers for 3 hours!  I decided it was time to take my purchases and head home.  It was a bittersweet affair because I knew what I left with was mine but in all honesty, I WANTED THEM ALL!  I couldn’t steal them all (remember this was the 80’s.  The only place you could get free music was on your radio) so I needed to think carefully about my choices.  These would be the first records I ever bought and they had to be special.  For the 12 inches I settled on my 2 favorite songs at the current time.  The Whodini Funky Beat video was my shit, (I recorded it from Friday Night Videos) and it also had a Whodini mega mix on the b-side.  I figured I was getting a lot of music for my money so I got that one.  My other favorite song at the time was not nearly as timeless yet it was still a great song and still one of my favorites to this day.  Pee Wee’s Dance was my song when I graduated from 8th grade and I had to have it.  I put a lot more pressure on myself for the album choice.  It had to be the best album out at the time.  This one had to be timeless.  The definitive hip hop album of that time.  For my album choice I went with Run DMC’s Raising Hell.  I had no idea how big it would be because My Adidas  hadn’t even hit if I’m not mistaken.  I knew I was a huge Run DMC fan so I figured this would be my best choice.  I took my selections to the counter, handed the girl my 20 dollars, she placed them in a bag, gave me my change and left.  I was walking on a cloud.  I saw a trash can outside of the record store by my bus stop.  I took my records out and threw the paper bag away.  I was proud of my records and wanted the world to know I had them.  I wanted everyone on the bus, on my walk from the bus stop, in my neighborhood,  to know I was a fan of hip hop and the records I had were the ones you needed to have if you too, were a fan of hip hop.

I went in and played my records, scratched on my records, sampled my records on a little weak ass Casio keyboard.  Rapped to my records, Break danced to my records, pop locked to my records, Pee Wee Danced to my record and I was in hip hop heaven.  They were mine and they were dope!   The way I felt that day I never forgot and as I look at the 16,000 songs in my ipod, today I was reminded of the first 3 records I ever bought.  I still smile when any of them come on today.  Some people listen to Hip Hop. Some people like Hip Hop.  Some people love Hip Hop.  I AM HIP HOP.  I am that.  Not by choice but I am compelled to be.  It is me and I am it.  That will never change.

Gonna take this time to shout out some people who are representing The Old School, New School, Need To Learn Though Show, to the fullest.  Gotta give a shout out to Superposter ViVi Obioha outta Baton Rouge (Go Saints!),  My man Eyesofphases holding me down in North Carolina, Janee Curry holding me down in the Rock Town (she does taxes at JBL 8319 Geyer Springs. (Tell them The Professor sent you and get a hook up!)  My man that’s been with me since day one DJ Prophet, Kristian Petersen holding me down with the Foreign Exchange in Denmark, Shirley Dasupawoman outta Beantown.  A real survivor, we met on EffBee in October and we been in touch ever since (please tell me what’s going on with The Bad Girls Club!), Kyle Theaker outta Central Florida, James Cyfe Moore and Mz Banga Baker (Ya’ll still my favorite Facebook couple!)  Alex Gonzalez straight West Coastin, The Twins Gina B and J Dub outta Rock Town, Hippy Mike, Wyndam Whyte, Greyson Vaugh, Aaron Thomas outta Sin City, Miles Prower (Thanks for the Celebrity Rehab update!)  The interrogation team of Shannon “Oh Really?” and Nick Actually outta Fayetteville.  Shannon meets everything with skepticism (Suspect: I bought the beer at 12:15.  Shannon: Oh Really?) and Nick is the closer. (Detective:I believe this happened.  Nick: ACTUALLY, what happened was this…) It is with these two no crime goes unsolved.  Thank you all for keeping hip hop alive, and if you like what we’re doing tell a friend.  Each One Teach One

This Friday Hip Hop 101:’79-’84!  The first of an 11 month series taking the freshmen through the golden age and for the upperclassmen it’s a bit of a refresher.  Join Will and I for what will be an amazing show.  Also podcast on the right as well as the request section.  It’s been going kinda slow lately.  There is not a record you want to share with the world?  Is Each One Teach One not the class motto?  Get it in!

Ya man,

The Professor

p.s. Thanks Will E. Rock for the inspiration and for being my partner and the battery in my back.


~ by Professor Mike on January 26, 2010.

22 Responses to “Children’s Story by Slick Rick”

  1. SUPERB story telling. You put so much more thought into your first music purchase than I did. Lookin forward to the show this Friday (Actually & Oh are perhaps planning a hip-hop dance party to teach some!), and I might see y’all the Friday after that! Thanks for the sweet shoutout!! Much love!

    • to be fair, I had a whole 3 hours to decide. It does pose an interesting question which may become a Class Discussion. If you read this I’d like an answer. What was your first musical purchase?

      • I’m trying to remember: I think it was either a Destiny’s Child album or Tubthumper (Chumbawumba). Sad trombone.

      • lmao yes sad trombone is very appropo! How ever let’s look closer. Destiny’s Child I don’t HATE…so at least a C+ for that one and I get knocked down but I get up again???? wow. C for that one but your Bravery in admitting Chumbawumba gets you an A!

      • Haha apparently my music tastes were not well-refined at the age of eight!!

    • oh and thanks for the compliment on my story telling. It’s one of my favorites.

  2. that is a great story. props prof. mike.
    my first purchase was unfortunately was D12’s Devils Night when i was i think 11 years old. it was a birthday present for my brother and when my moms found out about the lyrics she WHOOPED MY ASS! and got really upset that i would listen to that kind of music but now she’s cool haha. the first rap album i bought my for myself was Lord Willin’ by the Clipse and i put that LP on blast forever. this was back in the day when all i had was a cd player so if i went out, that 1 CD that was in my cd player was all i was listening to. good ol days.

    • your story reminds me of when I first heard Schooly D “Gucci Time” The lyrics go “how the fuck did you get so cool?” and when my Mom first heard that she threatened to throw all of my tapes in the trash! Fortunately, despite WHPK that came on Midnights on Friday, played NWA “Dopeman” every week for 2 years straight, Moms never heard that one. lol I loved and still love the Lord Willin album. For the sake of argument we will count that one and give you a A- for that choice.

  3. My first cd purchase was De La Soul 3 feet high and rising.

  4. oh man i get the same feeling when im out tryna buy classic albums, i actually feel rushed by the time a third store clerk asks me if ‘i needed any help.’ smh, to a die hard hip-hop fan, its a shame on how they will never know the classics they hav in their store racks. But my first cd i bought was the bad-boys 2 soundtrack. To this day, i still dont mind it being my first ever hip-hop album since the album in its entirety is actually quite diverse musically yet ‘New York’ themed nontheless. If i were to make up my own music compilation right now, it would sound like that album.

    • I love the “Can I help you?” question. I have been told I am a music snob so in my snobbery I want to answer “Not in a million years” lol. I usually just ask for Ultramagnetic “Critical Beatdown” and watch the look in their eyes lmao! Now as for your Bad Boys 2 purchase. I don’t have a lot of knowledge of that soundtrack so I can’t accurately grade you. Your explanation of your selection was so on point I gotta at least give you a B+ and that could be upgraded later.

  5. Professor, I have known you now for what… about 10 years or longer? I have enjoyed traveling down this road with you… You are such a MAGNIFICIENT story teller – I can actually visualize you riding the bus, going into the record store and spending all that time trying to decide what to purchase. I also remember time when we used to hang out and you took me to Been Around Records on University here in Little Rock and another similiar type records store in North Little Rock (I forget the name)… We were in both stores at least 2 hours each! Man… those were good times! I am so excited for you – I can hardly put it into words. I’m excited because other my own personal music collection… I have GREAT music to listen to… free of a bunch of commercialism! WAY TO GO! I look forward to Friday night like some people look forward to payday! (lol)… Anyway… keep up the good work!

    • Yes I was KNOWN at Been Around records I bought so many Old School and hard to find records there! Evelyn I must say, I appreciated your patience both times. It took a special person to stand around with me for two hours partially looking to purchase, partially taking a trip down memory lane. I appreciate you taking me down memory lane and letting everyone know that as a child, 10 years ago, and now still I am looking for the perfect beat. (to quote Afrika Bambaata) and every single great track I have found I have shared, am sharing or will share with you all. Thank you all for making me a part of your lives and Thank you especially Evelyn for your undying love and support.

  6. Great blog this week. Loved it!

  7. I really enjoyed this. As others have said, great storytelling!

    First cd I bought in 8th grade was Sublime’s self-titled.

    First vinyl I bought was Paul Simon’s Graceland which started my now life long love of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

    • Ahhhh Sublime A+ Graceland gets an A on the strength of “You Can Call Me Al” and the great video that accopmpanied it starring Chevy Chase but you mos def get a + for Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Honestly I would love to hear them do Hip Hop I have seen them on Tv several times and they ALWAYS impress! Put your A and your + together and what do you have??? An A+! Lizzie you never fail to amaze me!

      • You’re too kind. I love “You Can Call Me Al”, but have to go with “I Know What I Know” as my favorite off the album. I too agree about LBM doing hip hop. It’d certainly be a site to see, and we all know they have the vocal talent already. Looking forward to the show tonight!

  8. Ahem Will E. Rock? We’re waiting…

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