An old Bellevue friend with whom I keep in touch via Facebook recently used a status update to ask his friends, over 1,000 in all, about their personal taste(s) in music. I responded with the following:
"My preferences include virtually every genre' of Rock, most of the mainstream Pop songs from '79-'95, contemporary and instrumental Jazz, real Country (not the pretty boy crap that's so prevalent today), R&B from the late '80s to mid-'90s, elements of Rap from the same era, and electronic/"mood music" that has grown on me considerably over the past five or 10 years."
Chaz, and another friend of his, liked my comment. Although most of my social network responses invoke a comparable amount of depth (you'd be amazed), one might be just as surprised to find that I possess any appreciation for Rap at all. In fact there was a time, not that long ago, when I considered Rap/Hip-Hop a somewhat viable medium worth my time and, perhaps, a little bit of my money.
Those days are gone. Lacking the creativity and social consciousness that once fueled its fire, Rap has become largely reprehensible (not to mention repetitious). But this particular release from Tupac Shakur's debut solo album nearly 20 years ago is responsible for showing me what the genre' was intended to be all about, and it remains the greatest song from a truly golden era by perhaps the most skilled and provocative MC of all-time: