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Early 1990 Hip Hop Essentials: Good Design happens in chunks.

March 21, 2009

Tribe Called Quest (from Wikipedia)Originally I wanted to keep the  “Good Design is” series about graphic design or design in a traditional sense; fashion, art, architecture, etc. but I have recently been re-inspired by early 1990 hip hop. We may be twittering, texting, facebooking and speeding through commercials thanks to TIVO, but one thing hasn’t changed: The best Hip-Hop happened in the early 90’s and that ain’t gonna change!

Here are the essentials:

  1. Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory album and People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Who doesn’t know “Can I kick it” ?
  2. De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising. Here is their youtube press kit.  De La Soul has the most inventive lyrics of the jazzy hip-hop era by far.
  3. Black Sheep’s A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing “You can get with this, or you can get with that. You can get with this, cause this is where it’s at.” This has been sampled at every hip-hop club I have been too since 1991, and  I love it every time.
  4. Jungle Brothers’ Done By the Forces of Nature
  5. Oakland’s Souls of Mischief’s 93 ’til Infinity album
  6. Del tha Funkee Homosapien’s (who is Ice Cube’ s cousin, thank you Wikipedia) No Need for Alarm. Recently he has been working with Gorillaz. It’s easy to tell who is influencing who there. 

Music is Design

As a lover of pop-culture and an avid follower of hip-hop, I have been disappointed with the past 10 years. Sampling all over the place, really dirty lyrics and dirty beats. I use to love the Black Eyed Peas, and would see them any chance I got, but their recent song boom boom pow!! is trying too hard to be clubby and completely fails. What happened to smoking pot in your backyard on roller skates with De La Soul’s Jenny? 

“Five days you work
One whole day to play
Come on everybody, wear your rollerskates today
It’s Saturday, Saturday”

Do you have any suggestions to add to the list? Let me know, I would love to hear!

“Can I kick it? Yes you can!”

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