When Did You Fall In Love With Hip-Hop?

RnB/Hip Hop | Sunday 4th August 2013 | Natasha

So, When Did You Fall In Love With Hip-Hop?

It was Sanaa Lathan, (also known as Sidney Shaw) who asked the question, ‘So, when did you fall in love with hip-hop?’ I was talking to hip-hop guru and founder of website Gone So Far about all things hip-hop when he asked me a similar question. He actually asked me what my first memories of hip-hop were, but I guess the question has the same weight, because for me, I fell in love with hip-hop with my first ever listen.

I remember my Dad having an extensive music collection from Luther Vandross to The Sugarhill Gang; I remember tracks like ‘I Got 5 On It’ by Luniz blasting out from the speakers. I’d come home and my mum’s music collection extended further, she would be playing ‘Strawberry’ by Nicole Rene or ‘I’ve Got the Power’ by Snap. Music has always been the soundtrack to my life, but just like every other aspect of individual growth I had to find my own connection to it to really understand and appreciate it the way I saw those around me fall in love with it.

When I first heard ‘Regulate’ by Warren G featuring Nate Dogg, I knew musically hip-hop would always be my first love. Since then I’ve had moments where I’ve cheated with other genres, thought they could offer me something better, but after my experimentation I always went back. From that first moment, I knew whatever happened I would always grow old and stay loyal to hip-hop.

‘It was a clear black night, a clear white moon’, as soon as Warren G started to tell his story and the beat hit me I knew that this was it for me; I was addicted.
In the beginning it wasn’t the lyrics that captured me, it wasn’t even the artist themselves, it was just the way it all went together so perfectly, the way it made me feel. ‘Regulate’ was released in 1994, and then in 1995 Coolio released ‘Gangster’s Paradise’, and although I heard these tracks a while after they were originally released, it didn’t matter because it was game over for me. Moving forward however, I wanted to hear what these rappers were saying and as I got older, I got curious and started to understand it was more than just music, they had stories to tell.

These are two hip-hop moments that are the most prominent to me, although of course, there are tons of other memories and flashback of feelings that I get when I listen to some of hip-hop's greatest; these tracks define nostalgia for me.

Hip-hop makes me happy, it makes me sad, it inspires me and it frustrates me, but that’s why I fell in love with hip-hop; its complex simplicity. Just like hip-hop has its beginnings, our personal journeys with-hip hop started somewhere too. So, when did you first fall in love with hip hop?

Natasha Artwell @Natasha Artwell