While living and working in Edinburgh in 2008 I set out to write one million words in 366 days... but only managed 800,737.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Hip Hop Heritage

I’m not sure how it came up* but last night Marisa sung these lines:

We used to walk down by the river
She used to watch the sun go down

Then said, “What song is that?”

I said, “It sounds like Richard Marx.”

She gave me a blank look. Names and music don’t go together for a large proportion of the population.

Anyway, I summoned up Richard Marx’s ‘Hazard’ on my computer thanks to the wonder of YouTube:

I've never thought Richard Marx was cool. He’s always been slightly above Michael Bolton on the ladder of M.O.R. adult contemporary acts. (The top of this ladder begins at ground level and descends into a deep crevasse.) ‘Hazard’ is admittedly his least cloying hit ballad (refer to ‘Right Here Waiting’, ‘Now and Forever’…) and listening to it again after howeverlong it’s been was the kind of nostalgic delight I am experiencing often in my serious twenties for my silly pre-teens.

But when the song ended, I thought about it a little more. When Richard Marx was big (1989-1994) I wasn’t into M.O.R. adult contemporary, of course, but neither was I into rock, or folk, or indie, or anything which resembles my mature music tastes. I was into hip hop.

Six Of The Best From My Hip Hop Period

* ‘Regulate’ – Warren G and Nate Dogg

* ‘Gin and Juice’ – Snoop Dogg

* ‘Gansta Lean’ – D.R.S.

* 'Tha Crossroads' – Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

* ‘California love’ – 2Pac and Dr Dre

* ‘Fantastic Voyage’ – Coolio (the only song in this list I regularly earworm these days; maybe because the original song by Lakeside was so catchy)

These were the songs that loomed large in my life as an eleven and twelve year old.

These are the songs that are attached to actual memories (going round to the house of someone I wasn’t really friends with just to listen to his copy of Doggystyle; ringing up 2XS every night for a week to try and win E 1999 Eternal).

These are the songs from the Richard Marx era I should be nostalgic about.

But for some reason, I don’t own any of the above artists albums and only have one of those songs (‘California Love’) on my iPod.

Why is this?

I’ll look at that tomorrow.

* I lied.** I actually asked, “Have you ever thought about what songs you’d like played at your funeral?” which eventually lead to Richard Marx rendition.

** For the purposes of expedience rather than deception. I’m happy to admit that I ask questions like, “Have you ever thought about what songs you’d like played at your funeral?” from time to time. So what? And yes, I’ve thought about it myself. Perennially at the top of the list: ‘Desperadoes Under The Eaves’, just so that I could look down on the congregation (if that’s what you call a collection of mixed- and non-denominational mourners a congregation) singing:

I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel
I was listening to the air conditioner hum
It went mm mm mm
Mm mm mm mm

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ahhh we used to sing that song (Hazard) at primary school. I of course had no idea what it was called or who sang it (I probably would have said Billy Joel (was it him who did river of dreams??)). I loved that song. I thought it was so deep. Thanks for reminding me.