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House of Pain, “O.P.P.” & Fake Reggae: My Regrettable Introduction to Hip Hop

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: .

An old friend recently reminded me of something that I had blocked from my memory, my embarrassing introduction to hip hop; and in particular the exact time when I fell in love with “Jump Around.” I suppose that’s the problem with talking to friends you haven’t spoken to in over a decade, you start remembering the things you had long since put out of your mind. The year was 1993 and our hockey team was unstoppable…our soundtrack? The Much Music branded Dance Mix ‘93 which included smash hits by some of the year’s hottest acts including C + C Music Factory, Bobby Brown and the aforementioned House of Pain. A good memory, but regrettable nonetheless.

From what I remember Everlast, Danny Boy and DJ Lethal brought our team a serious jock jam that fueled our undefeated season to the X-treme! …for shame… Continuing with the theme of poor judgment in my musical tastes I continued to develop a liking for the sounds of club and house which lead to the unfortunate discovery of some of the most superficial rap the 1990s. Naughty By Nature’s “O.P.P.,” the undeniably false “Here Comes the Hotstepper” by Ini Kamoze, the sickeningly embarrassing “Whoomp! (There It Is)” by Tag Team and Coolio’s “Fantastic Voyage”; all songs that I couldn’t get enough of between 93-94.

I will say however, that if it weren’t for my taste in dance and pop-minded rap as a youngster I might not have come to appreciate inspiring artists such as Public Enemy, KRS-One, Wu-Tang Clan and even (squirms in pain) Nas. If it weren’t for these acts I would have never began an appreciation that lead me to watching Much Music’s Rap City in the mid-90’s where I discovered that hip hop could be something far greater through the likes of Jeru and The Roots. I can’t be entirely honorable though as I still had a bit of a taste for a bit of commercial rap for quite some time; thus explaining my odd infatuation with a track from the Space Jam soundtrack.