I remember back in my day…

I’m getting old.

Back in my day, hip hop was a culture. Some of it good, some of it bad, but it was real.

I can’t even listen to music anymore today.

There was something good going on back then. It was a movement. It reached all parts of the planet. It reached Cambridge, Ontario and it changed my life.

I miss those days and it started me thinking…

I remember when they said hip hop was a fad. I was watching CNN with my father when some reporter commented on the music I loved. I began to  wonder what kind of music I’d listen to when I got older.

What would I like if I didn’t have this?

I remember when big logo Tommy Hilifger gear was cool. I never liked that look. EVER. Even today, when I wear a Tommy Hilfiger suit I feel awkward about it. It really killed the brand for me.

I remember when hip hop kids wore backpacks. I hopped on the trend with a fake leather bag that I bought on a trip to the city. One weekend, my friend and I drove to a downtown nightclub and I forgot the backpack in the back seat. When we came back to the car in the wee hours of the morning, the window was broken and the bag was gone. I just had my work clothes stolen, but I learned a valuable lesson that night.

I always check what’s in the back seat now.

I remember when the D.J. would play two slow song sets a night. Do you remember “Between the Sheets”  by the Isley Brothers  or “Can You Stand the Rain” by New Edition? I don’t think they play slow songs at all any more. I feel sorry for the guys growing up today. Back then, you could risk asking one girl to dance and getting turned down. There was always a second chance for love at the end of the night.

I remember when I wore a High Top Fad. Back in the summer of 1989 I went to a basketball camp at the University of Michigan.  At the end of the camp, on the way back home we stopped off in Detroit to visit my cousins. My cousin’s friend had one of the coolest High Tops I had ever seen. Perfectly cut, it looked awesome. He taught me how to cut my hair, fad it and maintain it. That was the same weekend that I heard “Funky Dividends” by Three Times Dope for the first time. That trip changed my style forever.

I remember when my friends would come back from trips to NYC with new music. Run DMC, the Fat Boys, Dougie Fresh and Slick Rick. It was all so new, so fresh. Back then kids wore shoes with fat laces. Or shell toe Adidas with no laces. Run DMC style. We called our breakdance crew the ’84 Boys.

1984! I can’t believe I’m that old.

Wow!  I can’t believe I used to breakdance.

I don’t even dance anymore. When is the last time you felt so happy you wanted to dance?

When I think back to those days I feel old.

When I hear myself talking about how today’s music sucks, I sound old.

I guess every generation feels like they grew up in the best of times.

I certainly feel I did.


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