A couple weeks ago we did an episode dedicated to the first 50 years of hip hop. There was a lot to go over and a lot to cover, so we had to break it up into two episodes. We're only gonna get about 8% of it. But we are back on this episode to pick up where we left off. We finished up the last episode talking about the Golden Era, and on this episode we're gonna start with what is known as the Bling Bling Era through current day hip hop.
Miguel: This is They Reminisce Over You. I'm Miguel.
Christina: And I'm Christina. We wanted to take a minute to make a small request of all our listeners. If you're listening to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Goodpods or Podchaser, leave us a five star rating. You can also leave a review as well on Apple, Goodpods and Podchaser. Ratings, and reviews will help us with discoverability. And we want to get this out to as many like-minded folks as we can.
Miguel: We wanna get on the first page of these podcast apps.
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Christina: Thank you again for your support. You ready to get into the show?
Miguel: Let's do it.
Christina: And we are back. This is They Reminisce Over You. I'm Christina.
Miguel: And I'm Miguel. A couple weeks ago we did an episode dedicated to the first 50 years of hip hop. There was a lot to go over and a lot to cover, so, we had to break it up into two episodes.
Christina: And we still won't be able to cover everything, but we're just trying to do our best.
Miguel: We're only gonna get about 8% of it. But we are back on this episode to pick up where we left off. We finished up the Golden Era, and on this episode we're gonna start with what is known as the Bling Bling Era through current day hip hop. So, are you ready to dive In?
Christina: Let's do it.
Miguel: Okay. So, for this episode, we're gonna start in the year 1997.
Christina: The year was 1997.
Miguel: All right.
Christina: That's all I got. I didn't have any follow-ups. I will say though, as you mentioned, this is the mainstream explosion, what people often call the Bling Bling Era, which has also made the expression "bling bling" very annoying.
Miguel: Well, you can't do anything about that now. It is what it is.
Christina: It's what happens when things go mainstream.
Miguel: Yes. So, at this point you have hip hop people who are now becoming entrepreneurs. Rappers are now pop stars. And money is just going through the roof at this point.
Miguel: New York is no longer the center of hip hop. It's expanded globally. So, everybody has something to say at this point. Hip hop stars are basically what rock stars were in the '70s and '80s. They are the biggest thing going and have continued down that same path ever since. Even through to today.
Christina: This is when excess becomes a thing.
Miguel: Yes. This is when—
Christina: I mean, it always was, but now they have some real money to back it up.
Miguel: Yeah. Before this you had a little bit of money.
Christina: You had some gold chains, but you're still living with your grandma.
Miguel: Yeah, it was a lot of projection. Like, from the '70s, '80s, early '90s. Now you, you got real money. Like, you're not leasing these cars. Now you can buy one of them and lease the other ones. And all of your jewelry is not fake. Only half of it.
Christina: Them chains ain't hollow.
Miguel: Yeah. They, they got a little more weight on them now.
Miguel: So, you have, like, after the passing of Tupac and Biggie, a new crop of stars are starting to blow up.
Christina: Right. And everyone's kind of clamoring for the throne.
Miguel: Yeah, so, you have the Jay-Z's of the world. You got Diddy and everybody associated with Bad Boy still around. You've got people like Eminem coming up. Dr. Dre is still around. Ice Cube is still around. Ja Rule and Murder Inc. are starting to make moves as well. So, there's a lot of people that are vying for the hip hop throne, so to speak.
Christina: I knew that we had really hit this mainstream explosion because I remember just hearing "Hypnotize" being played out of like, every car in Abbotsford. And, you know, I was listening to it, my friends were listening to rap and stuff, but it was just, it wasn't like, everybody.
Christina: And I was just like, man, I'm hearing this song everywhere and it's not coming from my car. And I remember one of my old classmates who used to make fun of me, you know they always say, "oh, you listen to that rap crap!" Which is hilarious that they thought that was clever calling rap crap 'cause it rhymes. But like, the whole point of rap is to write clever rhymes, and this is the best y'all can come with up with to say that this ain't real music? But yet you can't come up with a better rhyme than that?
Miguel: At all.
Christina: But anyway, the same kid who was harassing me for listening to that rap crap, came into HMV where I was working at the time, and shuffled over to the cashier and gave me that No Way Out Puff Daddy and The Family cd.
Miguel: Of course.
Christina: And I'm like, oh, look, who's buying this rap crap now. Oh, now you decide to get on board? I see, I see. And I remember looking at him like, mm-hmm. And he just kind of like head down and gave it to me.
Miguel: Was he wearing a durag?
Christina: He wasn't.
Miguel: Because that would've just made it even more spectacular.
Christina: Who knows, maybe he put one on, you know, after listening to it a couple times. But I was just like, I remember, I remember what you said about my musical interests. And now look at you.
Miguel: Well, I'm not surprised at that at all because, like I said, this is when everything really started to blow up. Like, MTV's playing it. You have multiple rappers who have gone on to become actors on television and in movies. Records are being sold by the ass load at this point. And it seems like everybody's getting a record deal. If you were affiliated with anybody at a certain point in time, your entire crew was getting put on. So, money was just flowing freely. You got rappers making million dollar videos, $2 million videos. The budgets for everything were just outrageous.
Miguel: And a lot of people took advantage.
Christina: And now people are getting record deals that probably shouldn't have got record deals.
Christina: Well, your favorite, Silkk The Shocker.
Miguel: Ugh. Yeah. But you know what? I'll let that kind of nepotism slide because
Christina: He was part of a, of a, a group. It wasn't some random record company that didn't know any better.
Miguel: Yeah. Now see, I would have a problem—
Christina: Master P was just trying to put his people on.
Miguel: I would have an issue if it was a crew of people that weren't related. You just had one horrible rapper and you put him on anyway. I would have a problem with that, but this is his brother. I'm gonna get my brother some checks too. So, I'll let that slide.
Christina: Even if you can't stand him?
Miguel: I never liked Silkk The Shocker. He ruined a lot of classic hip hop songs. Rapping off beat.
Christina: Actually, I'm gonna change what I said.
Christina: There were more opportunities for people to put their people on, let's put it that way. Even if maybe some of them didn't need to.
Christina: But there was that opportunity. Now they didn't necessarily have to go begging for deals from people who don't understand what's going on and like, don't understand the culture or the music.
Miguel: Because everybody had their own record label at this point, so, they were able to put on a lot more people. And instead of going to the labels for deals, they were just using the labels for distribution at this point. So, you had Bad Boy. Death Row was barely hanging on after the death of Tupac, but they were still around.
Christina: No Limit.
Miguel: No Limit.
Christina: The aforementioned, No Limit soldiers.
Miguel: No Limit which led to Cash Money a couple years later. Everybody had like, a little clique. Dre was starting over with Aftermath with Eminem and 50 Cent. So, there were all of these record labels that were generating a lot of money for a lot of people. The ice was flowing, the champagne was flowing. Rappers were selling shoes. 50 Cent had his sports bras that he was selling.
Christina: Sports bras for men.
Miguel: Sports bras for men.
Christina: I hated those so much…
Christina: Even back then.
Miguel: Those tank tops were terrible.
Christina: The cut is so weird.
Miguel: But he had a, a sneaker deal with Reebok.
Christina: Wait, wait, wait. I gotta say one thing about those 50 Cent tank tops. You know what I have to have to do? Well, the listeners won't be seeing, but remember Lil' Bow Wow. "Let me hold you."
Miguel: Oh God.
Christina: Wearing that damn tank top. And being clowned years later by his own daughter.
Miguel: Oh God.
Christina: "Let me hold you."
Miguel: Yeah. I'll let you have that moment. That, that's all you. I forgot where I was going now.
Christina: 50 had a shoe deal.
Miguel: Yes. 50 had a sneaker deal with Reebok. Jay-Z had a sneaker deal with Reebok. Uh…
Christina: What about all that Rocawear and all that stuff.
Miguel: Birdman had a deal with Lugz. Birdman and Funkmaster Flex were selling Lugz, but yes, yes.
Christina: I remember those damn Lugz.
Miguel: Uh, Rocawear was selling clothing. Diddy was selling clothing with Sean John.
Christina: Baby Phat and Phat Farm.
Miguel: Yeah, Russell Simmons had all the Phat stuff going. So, money was being made in all sorts of ways within hip hop, other than just getting on a mic and doing some rhymes.
Christina: Don't forget about them Apple Bottom jeans.
Miguel: "With the boots with the fur." Yes. Nelly was selling Apple Bottom jeans. Everybody had their, their hands in something outside of just the music. And that's where a lot of the money was coming from. I'm not gonna lie, I had a OutKast clothing t-shirt. Actually I had a couple of them, now that I think about it.
Christina: I had a black velour Ecko catsuit. I think it was Echo, or was it Baby Phat ? No, I think it was Ecko and I loved it.
Miguel: I believe you. Because I had a, a bunch of Phat Farm. I had the Ecko, I had Enyce, I had Rocawear.
Christina: I actually didn't have a lot of the, like, the hip hop clothing line stuff, but that's 'cause I didn't have any money.
Miguel: See, this was when I—
Christina: I had to be selective.
Miguel: When I first started working, and I had my first credit card too, so, that was a deadly combination. So, I had all the oversized t-shirts and size 44 jeans that were twice as big as they should have been on me.
Christina: Oh man. I was working at, Footlocker in...I think '98 or something. Anyways, and that was when FUBU was getting really popular. I think that was the first time I saw like, oversized clothing. I'm like, these t-shirts are huge. Like you no longer had to buy double XLs to make 'em bigger. Like, you probably wanna wear a medium.
Miguel: Yeah, because even the mediums fit like double XL's.
Christina: Right. I'm like, these T-shirts are huge.
Miguel: Yeah. And with all of that said, everything still comes back to the music though.
Miguel: I'm just going through the list of things that came out in 1999. So, you had the Slim Shady LP. You had Things Fall Apart by The Roots. So, you have the I Am album by Nas. Who else is there? Ruff Ryders, Ryde or Die, Volume 1. 19 Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury. No Limit Top Dogg. Soundbombing 2 on Rawkus records. So, there was a lot of hits that were still being made at this time.
Christina: Despite it being a lot more mainstream, there's still good music and not everything was quote unquote bling bling.
Christina: You still had some variety.
Miguel: Yeah, there was a lot of variety still, but the big names were just knocking it outta the park.
Christina: And don't forget a, a scrappy young rapper with "How to Rob" trying to make himself known.
Miguel: Yes. Uh, young Curtis Jackson.
Christina: I was looking, I don't know how that song just popped into my radar. Oh, I was just listening to a playlist of Trackmasters produced songs on Tidal, and this was on the list. So, I was just listening to it again 'cause I haven't heard it in like, a million years. And it's just hilarious how he's like, I'm going to get at everybody. So, well, Wikipedia actually lists every single person that he called out. I could read the entire list. It might take a second.
Miguel: Eh, that's up to you.
Christina: Alright. Kim Porter and Diddy, Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston, Brian McKnight, Keith Sweat, Harlem World, Mase, ODB, Foxy Brown, Kurupt, Jay-Z, Case, Trackmasters, Slick Rick, Stevie J. Big Pun, Master P, Silkk The Shocker, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Timbaland and Missy, Joe, Jermaine Dupri and Da Brat, DMX, Treach, DJ Clue. I don't know who TQ is. But the line that he says to TQ is something along the lines like, I would rob you, but your single didn't do very well. So, I guess I'm not the only one who doesn't remember who that is? Raekwon.
Miguel: I remember TQ.
Christina: Okay. Raekwon, Ghostface, RZA, Sticky Fingaz, Fredro, Canibus, Heavy D, Juvenile, Blackstreet, Boyz II Men and Michael Bivins, Mike Tyson and Robin Givens, Mister Cee, Busta Rhymes and Flipmode Squad and even Kirk Franklin.
Miguel: And see, that wasn't even enough to get him dropped. That's what got him the record deal.
Miguel: That's crazy. That's got, that's what got him the deal. But doing "Ghetto Quran" and getting shot is what got him dropped.
Miguel: They're like, you know what? You, you might be a little too hot for us. So...
Christina: I guess because the song, even though some people, did their little response records to it, it was more funny.
Christina: But getting shot wasn't funny.
Miguel: Yeah. I don't even remember who responded to it other than Jay-Z.
Christina: Let's see.
Miguel: That's the only one I remember is "I'm about a dollar, who the fuck is, or what the fuck is 50 cents?"
Christina: Ghostface. Yeah. "What the fuck is 50 cents?" Ghostface said something. Kurupt. Missy Elliott made a note in her liner notes. She said, "I don't know you that well, except when you told me to put them hotdogs down. I got on the treadmill for you baby. Thanks for the remix. Love ya."
Miguel: Yeah, I don't—
Christina: Wyclef Jean.
Miguel: I don't know any of the responses.
Christina: Yeah, I only remembered Jay-Z with the, "what the fuck is 50 cents?"
Miguel: Yeah. That's the only one that mattered.
Christina: So, there were still a couple scrappy rappers. They weren't all swimming in champagne just yet.
Miguel: Yeah, there were still a couple broke-ies out there trying to get to that level, and the irony of him being that big now—
Miguel: Is just funny to me. Like, now you're one of the targets. There's probably somebody that wants to come after you right now, but they don't even know that you used to rap. They just think you're the guy on TV that's producing TV shows.
Christina: Yeah. Power? Is that 50's show? I forgot now.
Miguel: Yeah, the the Power series of 80 different shows and a couple movies that he's produced and acted in. So, he's an actor now. He's doing his Final Lap tour right now. He was just here last week. I saw a couple clips from the show. So what were you listening to in '97, '98, '99?
Christina: Um, pretty much all the stuff that you just listed. Um, Nas, Jay-Z, uh, I'm drawing a blank now.
Christina: Let me look up my list. Let's look at 1997. Camp Lo. Hmm. Uptown Saturday Night came out in 1997. That's a good one. The Luniz. Oh, not the, just Luniz. Life After Death came out. Wu-Tang, Capone and Noreaga.
Miguel: Of course you were.
Christina: Beatnuts. Lady of Rage, Missy Elliott. B.O.N.E. Thugs. Oh, I don't think I was listening to this album that much. The Art of War. What songs are on these? Yeah. I wasn't really listening to this album that much.
Christina: I was listening to Killarmy.
Miguel: That's unfortunate.
Christina: Yeah, I was going through like this Wu-Tang and affiliates deep dive.
Miguel: See, here's the thing. I would listen to like, the main artist. I can't go five levels deep like that. Like, maybe if you had one offshoot, I might listen to that one. But I'm not listening to The Dove Shack just 'cause I like Snoop Dogg.
Christina: It was a time.
Miguel: I, I can't do that.
Christina: Oh, Common. One Day It'll All Make Sense also came out in '97. Mystikal, even though we, we can't listen to him anymore either, right?
Miguel: Mystikal is trouble. And the thing is, even if he wasn't out here diddling people.
Christina: Over and over.
Miguel: Over and over again.
Christina: And that's putting it lightly.
Miguel: I probably wouldn't listen to much of it anyway just because it, it's really dated. There's a lot of stuff from this era that I don't go back and listen to.
Christina: I was gonna, we're, we're gonna talk about this more in a future episode, but I'm, all I'm gonna say is 1997 had a very specific sound, I think.
Miguel: Yeah, it did. And like I said, a lot of that stuff just doesn't work for me anymore. It was good for that time and maybe five years after, but almost 20 years later, actually more than 20 years later, I, I can't get into it like I used to.
Christina: There's stuff that I still listen to, but it's, it's like, nostalgia music.
Miguel: Yeah, and these are people that I like. But I ain't throwing on LL Cool J's Phenomenon album today. So, I can't do that.
Christina: I think the main ones are sort of, the titans that are still out here today, like Jay-Z and Outkast, Nas, Wu-Tang, those kinds of artists.
Miguel: Right. Not putting on that Mack 10, Based on a True Story?
Christina: That's you.
Miguel: Nah, I'm not listening to that either. Like I said, there's a lot of stuff from that era that's just really dated and does not hold up
Christina: You're not listening to Das EFX?
Miguel: Definitely not.
Christina: What about Fat Pat?
Miguel: Uh, what song are we talking about?
Christina: Okay, so this is from '98.
Miguel: It depends on the song. Like, if we're talking about, what's his name? DJ DMD "25 Lighters" with Fat Pat and Lil Keke. So I, I'll play that.
Christina: That one can stay.
Miguel: Yeah. But, some album cuts from Fat Pat? Probably not, probably not, but "25 Lighters." I'm playing that.
Christina: Big Pun. Some Big Pun songs that can still get played.
Miguel: Eh, a couple of them.
Christina: DMX, It's Dark and Hell is Hot. Well, this is '98 now. I'm looking at '98 now.
Miguel: Same thing. A, a lot of songs I just can't listen to sonically anymore. It doesn't sound good to me anymore.
Christina: Yeah. So, basically, so what I'm seeing here is the stuff that we were listening to in the mid to late 90s is stuff we're still listening to today.
Miguel: Yes. Not all of it.
Christina: Not all of it, but there are people who dominated or came out then, are the people that we still listen to today. Most often.
Miguel: Even if they're not making current music today,
Miguel: Even though Redman just had something come out two days ago, I'll listen to that. 'Cause it's Redman.
Christina: And you love Redman.
Miguel: I do. I think Redman is great.
Christina: Uh, I am not listening to Ja Rule.
Christina: Nah, I can't do it. I just, I could never shake—I'm sure people have opinions about this, but I think I could never shake the, the DMX 2.0 feel to him.
Miguel: Yeah, I could see that. But he made better songs in terms of songs that are more pleasant to listen to. Rather than—
Christina: Yes. But I'll take DMX over Ja Rule any day, though.
Miguel: The danger and despair of DMX.
Christina: "I'm slipping, falling, can't get up." He had some…you know, "y'all gon' make me lose my mind." He had some other heat.
Miguel: Yeah, but even that song is aggressive.
Christina: It is.
Miguel: Like, it sounds like it's a party record.
Christina: "How's It Goin' Down?"
Miguel: And it's called "Party Up," but it's still some horrible shit happening.
Christina: You were dancing to Nelly talking about drive-bys.
Miguel: See, that's different though. That's an old nursery rhyme that he's singing.
Christina: All right. I think we're getting off, off, topic.
Miguel: We're way off topic.
Christina: All right, let me stop looking at this list.
Christina: So, back to this Bling Bling era.
Christina: So, as we were saying, there was a lot of excess, a lot of money flowing, but there was still room for music. Now we're talking about '97 to like, 2006.
Christina: So, I think for me, this is kind of where I was slowly losing interest in newer music. I didn't realize it at the time, and I think this makes sense because of the next era that we're gonna go into. So, from 2006 on, can be known as the Blog Era. The internet. And we've, we've said this in previous episodes before. When the internet became more like, commonly used, a couple things changed is technology lowered the barrier of entry.
Christina: So, it was easier for people to put music out and it was also easier for us to consume only the things we wanted to.
Christina: So, whereas before we had to take a chance on buying a whole album, even if we only heard one or two singles.
Miguel: Yeah, and at this time a lot of the TV shows were no longer on the air, like Rap City and Yo! MTV Raps were gone and fading out at this time, and it's more TRL, 106 and Park driven. Even though those two networks were owned by the same people, everything was kind of being conglomerate or, that's not a word "conglomeratize," but a lot of companies were merging and coming together.
Christina: A monopoly.
Miguel: Yeah. They were being monopolized by a handful of companies. So, everything that was being played on the radio coast to coast was starting to sound the same because a lot of these stations in these cities were owned by the same company. Like, Power 106 is playing the same playlist as Hot 97, which shouldn't have been happening. LA and New York shouldn't be playing the same music at the same time. So, it was a lot of that that we were being force fed all the same stuff without like, local acts being put into the mix either.
Christina: Right. And I think also the availability of it. So before, if you wanted something, you had to like, save money to go buy it or you had to like, go find it. And so you really had to like something to make that effort. Whereas, when you can just download something on Napster or, I mean, as streaming started to come into play and stuff, you'd just be like, eh, that song's okay. Sure, I'll download it. Like, it's just so easy to listen to stuff. And now you're sort of just like, your, your interest is more passive.
Miguel: Well, for me, during this time, I wasn't going outta my way to listen to new stuff either. I was just listening to new stuff by the people that I already liked.
Miguel: So, me listening to a newer artist was very rare at this time.
Miguel: I might listen to a Rick Ross because I liked what he was doing, but I'm not gonna listen to Obie Trice, for instance. Like, he's affiliated with people that I listen to. But I'm not gonna waste my time trying to get into Obie Trice after I've given it more than like two or three songs, and it didn't work for me.
Christina: I think during this time, the only artist that I would add to like, my roster of favorites is Kendrick Lamar. There are other artists that, you know, I'll like, like some songs or whatever, but I don't have any personal connections or like, I don't feel anything. It's just something catchy. And it's funny to say that the only new artist I like is Kendrick, 'cause he's been in the game for like over 10 years now.
Christina: We've talked about newer rappers that we like, but they sound like artists that I already like.
Miguel: Right. Yeah, I can't think of anybody outside of like, Kendrick Lamar or J. Cole or even Lupe Fiasco, Jay Electronica. Just a handful of people that have come out since like, 2005, 2006 that I consistently listened to whatever they release something. It's a small handful. There's a lot of people that I should like. But I just can't get into him for whatever reason, and probably never will because we're like, 10 years in now and I can't.
Christina: Right. You can't just jump on the Drake bandwagon now.
Miguel: Yeah, I, I've tried to get into Drake, but it just doesn't work for me.
Miguel: And I'm not gonna say that Drake sucks or Drake is wack. It just doesn't do anything for me.
Christina: I mean, you know, him being from Toronto and also obviously it was like, oh, who's this hometown hero on the rise? So, I remember when the buzz started coming out around him, and I had a friend who was trying to put me on to Drake, and I, I was just like, I don't know, I, it doesn't work for me. There is one album of his that I actually listened to more than once, but I don't know what it is. Maybe It's just my age where, 'cause I think definitely your age does make a difference in discovering new interests in general, and that includes music. Now I am the one who is like, ah, you kids and your music. Even though it's the same genre, I think it's enough time has passed that it's the next generation's time.
Miguel: It is, but I can't concede that fact because the stuff that I'm starting to get into now. Like, I'm talking in the past two or three years, I really do like, and most of them are women. There are a few like, male artists that I, I do mess with of this newer crop. And I guess we're moving on to like, the, the current day of, of rapper.
Christina: Actually, let's not move on yet. 'Cause we barely, even talked about like, how the blogs change things or like why is technology a good and bad thing?
Miguel: Yeah. Okay.
Christina: Let's go back a little bit.
Miguel: All right. I will let you take that.
Christina: So, do you think it's just because with all these blogs and now the, the people are driving, I guess like, what's popular. And having more access to actually releasing music means having more variety. Why is having more variety a bad thing? Like, isn't that what we liked about hip hop when it started to expand out of New York? What is it about technology that kind of changed that?
Miguel: There's too much of it. When we were getting 30 to 50 albums a year, there was more that we could actually sit and listen to. But if you're getting 50 albums a week being released, there's too much. Like, you can't listen to everything.
Christina: Do you think that kind of dilutes it? Because even if there's more albums being made, shouldn't the quote unquote good ones, rise to the top?
Miguel: They should, but because there's too many to weed through, you probably won't even find that good album. That's been the biggest issue since like, the late '90s, moving into the mid two thousands with like, Napster and Limewire and all this stuff, when people were able to just pick a song from here and there, which then leads to blogs curating things. Now technology has allowed anybody being able to make music from wherever they are. Like, if you have a a smartphone, you can make an album today. And that just gives us too many options to choose from, and most of it that we do get to hear is shit. Well, okay, I shouldn't say most of it that we hear is shit. Most of it that I hear is shit, and that makes me not want to look further, if that makes any sense. because it's like I don't know where to look.
Christina: And there's too much to week through.
Miguel: And there's too much to weed through. So, it has to be something that's really good. That comes off of a recommendation of somebody I trust.
Christina: Yeah. I think as with any new technology, when it gets introduced, it starts off as a good thing.
Christina: 'Cause I think lowering that barrier of entry is actually a good thing—
Miguel: It is.
Christina: For people who, don't live in New York.
Christina: Or you don't have a friend who knows somebody who could, you could get a demo tape into their hands.
Christina: So, in that sense, it's good. And I think at the beginning, that opened doors for people who might not have had that chance.
Miguel: Yeah. It levels the playing field, and you don't have to fight through 300 other people to try and get your demo to an A&R.
Christina: And you also have the opportunity to own more of your stuff too, if you can just release stuff or do stuff as independently as possible. We won't get into it too much since, we can only say so much in one episode, but listening to The Blog Era podcast by, um, I just forget their names...
Christina: Um, ItsTheReal, I definitely recommend listening to that to understand this whole advancement in technology and how it started as a good thing of like, oh, now the people have a say in what we want, and then how it turned into something else.
Miguel: Yeah, see I was good with it then. Because as you said, it gave people an opportunity to have their music heard. In a lot of cases, they probably wouldn't have been able to. They could go directly to somebody who had a blog and say, hey, can you post this? The downside of that is, anybody can go to someone on a blog and say, hey, can you post this? Or if they don't post it, they just put it up on their SoundCloud or whatever, or put it on YouTube and it may not be good.
Miguel: Like I, I think there needs to be some sort of balance. Even though we can't put that genie back in the bottle of there being some sort of gatekeepers, like I don't think everybody should—
Christina: Yeah. Because even the A&R's, people who are supposed to be a A&R's are like on Twitter, like, hey y'all, who are you listening to? And it's like, that's your job.
Miguel: Yeah. Like, that's what you're supposed to be doing. But we can't take that back anymore, and I don't want to take away people's opportunities to be whatever they want to be and make the money they wanna make. But there has to be a better way for the excellent rappers and performers to be pushed, and we don't have to search as hard to find them.
Christina: Yeah. I think the Blog Era was twofold, like we just said. It definitely helped some people, but it ushered us into what hiphop and rap music is like today. So, there's two things that I think I'm seeing today is sort of the runoff of technically anybody can do it now. So, on one hand a lot of it feels like a popularity contest, where if you are just a person that's really good with social media or like getting people to follow you and stuff that you can just make whatever music and people will just like it because they like you. It's like the, the cult of personality rather than people not knowing anything about you, but they just love the music. Now it's like, get popular first and then release music.
Christina: And also, again, we've said this many times before the loss of regionality because everyone is like, the internet is the world now.
Christina: So, aside from maybe like, your hometown accent, a lot of the music in my opinion sounds the same. But, as you were saying, there's a lot of like, I'm not sure why this happened or how this happened, but a lot of the, the rappers running the game now are women, so that's a good thing.
Miguel: It is. This is probably the best time in hip hop history for women. Because there's a lot of 'em that are on the charts and making a lot of music that's actually selling. Whereas before it would only be two, three, maybe four at a time. Now the majority of the rap acts that are doing well are women.
Christina: Right. So I'm not really sure…hey, why not? I guess maybe we don't—
Miguel: I'm not gonna question it. I'm just gonna take it. It's something that's been a long time coming. And I'm okay with it.
Christina: I don't wanna, regurgitate too much of what we talked about in our previous episode about new hip hop. What was the episode called? We'll link to it.
Miguel: New hip hop for old niggas or something like that.
Christina: "New Hip Hop For Old Heads." 
Christina: I think. Something like that.
Miguel: Yeah, that's it. I knew something like that. I, I wanted to name it that, but I decided not to.
Christina: But basically we had talked about like, a lot of the newer male rappers being like Lil' Wayne's children.
Christina: And so, I think maybe because, at least for me, a lot of the male rappers are doing like that sing-songy rapping. I, I wasn't really a huge fan of Lil' Wayne. I'm not gonna be a, a fan of his, like, his offshoots.
Christina: Whereas I find that the women are trying to be like rappity rap. Like, the rap we listen, grew up listening to.
Christina: And that's probably why I personally like the, the women rappers more because they're like, rapping. Instead of just like, autotune singing. But also because we're old now, people in our age range are having children who are late teens, early twenties. As much as there's older rappers now, the ones who have been around since the early waves still making music, it's still a young person's game. So, you got this new crop of young rappers whose parents are basically us.
Christina: So, now the music they're making, while it's new music, it sounds more along the lines of stuff we grew up listening to.
Christina: Because their parents are us and they grew up listening to what their parents listened to, and now they're getting those influences. So, this new crop might be going back a little bit.
Miguel: Yeah, and like I mentioned in the last episode, everything in hip hop tends to be on a five to 10 year cycle. And we are coming up on like 10 years of blogs being gone, and it's kind of cycling around back to where we started from.
Miguel: At least on the side with the women and there's still a few dudes that are out there doing the rap without the auto-tune and the melodic rapping along with the singing and whatnot.
Miguel: So, it's starting to come back around to that. So, I'd say in the next five years or so, we're probably gonna end up back where we started. The production's gonna be different because you can't really sample like you did in the '80s and '90s. The laws have shut that shit down and people don't want to pay for samples really, in this day and age, although there is a lot of sampling. The sampling that's happening now, they're sampling like, the rappers that we were listening to.
Christina: Right, or like the R&B, like they're sampling SWV now.
Miguel: Yeah. So they're not sampling the original artists. They're sampling the sample, which is funny. I saw an interview with Prince saying that 20 years ago, it was like, at some point we're gonna start sampling the samples, and that's where we are. So, I don't know where I was going with that, but…
Christina: You're just saying the production will be different.
Miguel: Yeah, I think the production will be different. So the, it won't be as DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Dr. Dre, RZA type beats, but I think the rap will be that way. Like, the lyrics will are going back in that direction.
Christina: Um, for a while I was just like, maybe I'm just too old for this shit. But rap and hip hop has always been seen as like, a young person's genre, but since it's young enough that the pioneers are still here, now we get to see it as, music for people of different ages.
Christina: And now I'm like, you know what? I'm not too old to listen to this.
Miguel: Not at all.
Christina: It's just, there's definitely some that is not for me and it's for young people, but back then I didn't think I'd be like, you know, 40 something still listening to, to rap music, you know what I'm saying? Like, it seemed like young people's music.
Christina: One of the documentaries we watched, Nelly said something like, pretty soon rappers are gonna be 50 years old.
Christina: And that's pretty much him now. Like, I don't know exactly how old he is.
Miguel: Uh, late forties.
Christina: Late forties.
Miguel: Yeah. I don't think he's 50 yet, but he's creeping up on it. He's in the neighborhood.
Christina: Has is over 50. Jay-Z's over 50. and can't forget the game going. You're 38 and you still rapping. Ugh. Now look at him.
Miguel: He's 15 years past that
Christina: Exactly, and so it's interesting to see hip hop getting old and still staying young at the same time.
Miguel: Yeah. It's 50 years old and this is the first time we've had the opportunity to see rappers get old.
Miguel: And still be able to perform. Like, when rappers got old in the '90s, you just never heard from 'em again until Nas would do a "Where Are They Now?" type record. But Nas is at 50 or 51 or whatever he is, is still putting albums out. Nas has put out like, six albums in the past three weeks. All right. Not that many, but he's had two albums a year for at least three years now.
Miguel: Jay-Z has put out an album a couple years ago, post 50.
Miguel: You have other rappers in their late forties who are just as good now as they were 20 years ago, and still being able to go out on tour and perform at a high level. Like, we're going to see Wu-Tang and Nas and De La Soul in a couple months. And LL Cool J next week. So, these are people who are grandfathers.
Miguel: Yeah. And they're still performing at a high level.
Christina: And then the music is still as relevant and popular as ever that you still have these 20 somethings making new music.
Miguel: Yeah. So, it's not going anywhere.
Christina: So, not bad for a fad.
Miguel: Yeah. Something that was supposed to be gone in five years.
Christina: And we didn't even talk about how hip hop music is more than just music. Like, the culture influenced things. I mean, we touched on it a little bit with all the, the clothing and stuff, but like, movies. And um…
Miguel: Yeah. movies, TV shows. Like I said in the intro of the first episode, it dictates the way we live, like the way we speak, the words we use, the phrases we use is all rooted in hip hop. And that's with everything. The way we dress, our hairstyles, our clothes. It's all hip hop.
Miguel: I used to think KRS-One was a madman 30 years ago when he was running around talking about "I am hip hop." I remember him saying that at some point the President will have a KRS-One CD in his house, and I'm like, nigga, you crazy. I'm sure Barack Obama was listening to—
Christina: I'm sure.
Miguel: "Love's Gonna Get'cha" in the White House.
Christina: And you know what's crazy is Biggie said this back in like 90… what, six or something? "Who thought that hip hop would take it this far?" It's like—
Miguel: Nah that was '94.
Christina: '94. And it's like, when he said that, that wasn't even close to where it's now.
Christina: You're like, this far? This ain't even far. This is like, a third of the way there.
Miguel: That was the tip of the iceberg. 'Cause we are coming up on 30 years past that statement and there's no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. I'm here for it. 'Cause I can't wait to go see Jay-Z performing when I'm 70. I want to see him perform "I Just Wanna Love U" at Caesars Palace when I'm 75. Just roll him out in a wheelchair. And let him sit on a stool and perform "Takeover."
Christina: The acoustic version.
Miguel: Yeah. Nah, I, I don't want the acoustic version. I want the same thing.
Miguel: I want the Kanye produced version of takeover with his gray wig on and a cane and Blue Ivy gotta help him come out on stage.
Christina: Yeah, right. Blue Ivy's kid.
Miguel: Probably, probably.
Christina: Yeah. I don't know. I think it's definitely changed my view of what being old means in general. Like, when I was young, you know, being like, 40 something, whatever, that felt so old.
Miguel: That's because, and I'm gonna say this is because of hip hop too.
Christina: Yeah. Because look—
Miguel: A 40 year old today is not as old as a 40 year old in 1980. Because for instance, Sherman Hemsley that played George Jefferson. You saw how he looked, right?
Miguel: He was like, 37.
Christina: That's, that's crazy.
Miguel: When he was playing George Jefferson.
Christina: That's…no way. I thought he was like in his 50's.
Miguel: People in the '70s and '80s at the age that we are now looked a lot older than they actually were.
Christina: Yeah. Like, okay. You know how every time Method Man does something, he ends up trending on Twitter 'cause everyone's thirsting over him?
Christina: And I have to be like, girl, I've been looking at Method Man since '93. You're new to this game, right? But it's crazy because like, even like, our favorite rappers and stuff, they all like, basically look the same but with some grey.
Miguel: Yeah, right.
Christina: And so like, did the music keep us young?
Miguel: I think hip hop is the fountain of youth. Because like I said, if you look at a 40 year old in 1982 and a 40 year old today, they are not the same person, at all.
Christina: Definitely not.
Miguel: I'm just thinking back now, and I'm doing the math in my head of when my grandmother was in her fifties, how she looked versus how my mom looked at the same age.
Christina: And how you look. You're pushing 50.
Miguel: Yeah. And how I look versus other people at this same age.
Christina: See, me just saying, you're pushing 50. I had to like, in my head, I was like, wait, are you?
Christina: You just turned 48, old man.
Miguel: Exactly. So, I say just the music itself is keeping us young and yeah, hip hop is the fountain of youth and I'm gonna stick to to that.
Christina: All right. I think that's a good place to end it.
Miguel: Hip hop is the fountain of youth.
Christina: Oh, there's so much more I wanted to say, but you know what? We committed to one episode which turned into two episodes. I think we're just gonna...don't be mad at us for not, oh, y'all didn't talk about this. Y'all didn't talk about that. Maybe we'll have to have a new podcast to just talk about this, but I think that's a good place…
Miguel: Yeah, the only way to accurately talk about 50 years of hip hop is to do—
Christina: A deep, deep, deep dive.
Miguel: A podcast only on that.
Miguel: Like, you can't do this in two hours.
Christina: Right. Maybe we'll—
Miguel: It can't be done.
Christina: Maybe we'll have to do another one and we' can explore like one year at a time.
Miguel: Right, right.
Christina: Yep. All right.
Miguel: So, on that note, we're gonna wrap everything up here because it's getting hot and I wanna turn this AC back on. But thank you for listening to They Reminisce Over You. We do this every two weeks, so you can—well, we probably won't have one two weeks after this one because we're gonna be going to some concerts and doing some traveling.
Christina: Yeah, we'll see.
Miguel: The summertime's kinda hit and miss for us. But in the fall we'll be back on a consistent, every two weeks schedule.
Christina: I think this one will—isn't this one gonna be out in September? I don't know. I gotta look.
Miguel: This one will be out in September, but I can't guarantee there will be one—
Christina: Oh, the rest of September.
Miguel: Two weeks after this.
Christina: We'll see. Okay. Just, just make sure you subscribe.
Miguel: Make sure you stay subscribed. Follow us on all the social medias. We are at @troypodcast everywhere. So, even if you're bringing MySpace back, we probably have a @troypodcast page there as well.
Christina: Wasn't Solange trying to bring MySpace back?
Miguel: No, that was Black Planet.
Miguel: Yeah. We do have a Black Planet page. I haven't been on it in three years since I created it, but it exists. So, at @troypodcast everywhere, uh, you can sign up for our newsletter. It comes out once a month. That's at troypodcast.com/newsletter.
Christina: Get something fun in your email for once.
Miguel: Yes. And it doesn't pop up every day. It's only once a month. So, you can go ahead and handle that. You can afford it too, 'cause it's free. Uh, if you wanna buy some merch, you can do that as well. Go to teethang.com. Nuthin' But a Tee Thang is our store. That's T-E-E-T-H-A-N-G .com. Get a t-shirt, get a hat. Get a backpack mug, all sorts of shit.
Christina: There's no backpacks.
Miguel: Okay? So, you can't get a backpack.
Christina: I could add one.
Miguel: But you can get other stuff. Go check it out. Buy your mama something for her birthday. Check out our playlists as well. We have playlists for all of our episodes, well, most of our episodes, and we'll have one for this one as well. So, make sure to check that out.
Christina: It's probably gonna be six hours long.
Miguel: Pfft. I'm looking at like, 12 hours on it.
Christina: You could play it for the week!
Miguel: Yes, you can play it for your entire work week. That's what I'm trying to do for you. Make sure to check out those playlists as well. We'll link to some of the interviews and documentaries that we watched that talk about the 50 years of hip hop. Is there anything else that I'm forgetting? I'm sure there is, but…
Christina: Ummm…I don't know. We can put it in the footnotes.
Miguel: Yeah. It'll be in the footnotes. Go to the website, hit us up on social media. Buy some merch. Leave a review. Rate us five stars and yeah, that's it.
Christina: Tell a friend to tell a friend.
Miguel: Tell a friend to tell a friend and come back and listen in a couple weeks. All right, we out.