Hip Hop Snow Daze


Looking outside at the onslaught of snow covering us, like being under the big heavy blankets on our parents bed. Snow days are great for relaxation and a time to play catch up. However, we can also gaze out in anxious pain, waiting to run out and let our limbs flail in the outside world.

When I was living in the stronghold of American culture, Brooklyn  in the county of Kings!!! I loved trudging through the snow, making my way to my boy’s cribs, either Shad in Manhattan or Paul up in the Bronx. No matter the place, once I got there I dropped my shit, settled and lit one up while watching, or listening to the best Hip Hop tunes.

In season with the snow I want to hook up some of the videos I enjoyed with that specific white out theme of snow galore…

Check out Redman trooping down the snowy steps of his crib, hearing the cool wind blow, as a sample of an Indian sounding horn coming from the Mary Jane Girls’s song “All Night Long,” and then blam…..it hits with his first words.

He belts out “Mic check, I can get smooth to any groove,” and is then checked  by Hurricane G (making her on screen and rap debut) telling him to fuck the smooth shit. He then belts out that he walks around the street with a tech nine tucked into his waistline!!! It’s a great video, as Redman and his crew roll through the snowy terrain of Brick City, known to the census bureau as Newark, NJ!!!

Another great cold one, I was put on by my older brother, is the video for Organized Konfusion’s heavy hitter, “Stress.”

It’s great as you hear the start of the bass line, sampled from the Paul Butterfield Band’s song “Last Hope’s Gone.” It slowly spirals up and out of control as they both belt out “Stress, Kill, Destroy, Stress!!!” as they trudge through feet of snow. It’s great commentary seeing blurred images of the city juxtaposed with Prince Poetry and Pharoahe Monch walking through feet of snow, expounding their stress living in America. The thickness of the snow presents the hard walk in the life of African American men. Snow and New York City’s looming buildings close down on our commentators, who hail from Queens, as they convey the stress agenda.

Who can forget the great Gangstar video for the great “Mass Appeal” track from their album Hard To Earn.

In the third verse the segment of the video takes us to the cold, snowy shores of Brooklyn. As Guru, one of the greatest MC’s and a sad loss too all of us, recounts join through tough times by prevailing, and he did that just like the seashore – being calm.

Who can forget the faint sounds of the piano keys hitting soft as the beat dropped in for the “C.R.E.A.M.” video by the Wu-Tang Clan?

Deck and Raekwon kick the truth to the young black youth, and the greater white audiences soaking in the visions of ghetto life and urban decay. The coldness of the video with the snow strewn around as the Wu both celebrates and its laments its successes and setbacks. For better or for worse, C.R.E.A.M. painted the mixed messages of living large while sacrificing their lives to the man in blue or the bullet or the graveyard.

We also get the cold, snowy streets of Queens in the Lost Boyz’ video for the bittersweet love song titled “Renee.”

The video progresses through the growing ghetto love between Renee and Mr. Cheeks. Recounting the tale, with the sample of Janet Jackson’s song “Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun),” Cheeks shouts out to his lost shorty asking why is fate so cruel? The most poignant part of the video is its conclusion where Mr. Cheeks corners the guy who shot his shorty, pointing a gun at him and ready to meet out justice. However, he recoils as the guy shout that this is the “game,” this is the “ghetto” as he pulls out a gun, Cheeks turns around and then……..that’s the life.

#Redman #OrganizedKonfusion #Gangstar #WuTangClan #TheLostBoyz


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