Isn’t it funny how my music taste has changed over the years? If my younger self opened up my iTunes, he would have been disgusted. I always used to hate some repetitive techno songs, not understanding, or even giving time to the day to, the club music genre. I also wouldn’t have strayed out of my comfort zone, preferring to stick to my favourite genre, Hip Hop, and just laugh at anyone that tried to convince me that rock was where true talent lied. At the same time, when I look back at the songs I used to like, I cannot sit down and just listen to them in the same way I used to. My music taste has moved on, and I guess that is just life.
So today, I thought I would pick three rappers I used to love and revel in some nostalgia for a while. I could recall why I loved these specific rappers so much and also what I think of them now, in hindsight, with my evolved music taste. Did you like any of these rappers and what other older bands did you used to like?
3 – TWISTA
I am pretty sure my initial love for Twista began just because he was the fastest rapper I have ever heard and I equated that to brilliance. Looking past that, he does have a certain amount of talent. Even looking back now, I have to compliment him for having a style of rap that just interweaves so nicely with the actual music. It doesn’t matter that you can only make out half of the words he is saying, because his voice is so pleasant to listen to that you can just kick back and let the song sink in. I can actually see Twista working well in the modern age of music, because I can see him bringing out a club tune, yet his way of working with the music helping him not lose his initial touch and charm, like a lot of other rappers, rebranding. I can’t even really have a go at him for stealing an already famous song for the link above here, because a lot of my current favourite groups use samples and I understand the relevance of them a lot more now. Twista has aged fairly well and while I can understand why he isn’t relevant nowadays, I still think he has secured his own little place in the Hip Hop industry and can be proud of that.
2 – CASSIDY
Cassidy impresses me less. His style of rap is much lazier than Twista. The lyrics in the above song have very little thought put into them, although I guess if he was going for conversational that also works as a song, then it does the job. It is more the fashion and style of the era that makes me embarrassed to have owned this single once. The cap twice the size of his head, the colourful clothes screaming at you (fuck, I used to dress like that!) It is also so cheesy in its own little way, with the terrible music video acting. It is very early noughties, which is starting to look just as cringey as the 90s, every time I look back at it.
I can see why I used to like it. If this is what I was into, it does its job very well. Cassidy might not be the most imaginative or original rapper, but he holds his own well enough. His voice is clear, which is a lot more than I can say for Twista above. He does the generic thing of that style of rap and outsources the chorus to a female singer that is actually really good. It lifts the song up and the whole tunes rides on the euphoria and good nature of the music video. Seeing as a lot of modern songs like Robin Thicke and Enrique Iglesias seem to write songs purposefully telling women what they are going to do with them, it is actually quite nice to see some polite innuendo. God, musicians, leave something to the imagination!
1 – CHAMILLIONAIRE
I expected big things from Chamillionaire, but he never seemed to become as awesome as I expected him to turn out. I really liked his rapping, but then he would always take it to another level by going into singing. It is hardly good singing (if anything, it is a slower rap with auto-tune thrown in), but adds a nice pick-me-up to the song. ‘Grown and Sexy’ was my favourite of his songs, as it was a little slower and less showy than ‘Riding Dirty’. I liked him best when he was a guest singer in some else’s song. He had less than a minute to impress, so he goes for it, proving that he could have been the next big name on the rap scene. His moment in Ciara’ ‘Get Up’ is really great and reminds me of everything I initially loved about the rapper.
But nothing ever really happened with him. I guess there wasn’t anything original about the rapper; he was just another rapper talking about putting a finger up to the cops. Sure, we all raved about this debut hit, but when that hype died down, we just moved on, paying no attention to his other songs. That’s a shame, because I would have liked to have seen more from the rapper, but as I scan through some of his discography, I do agree that he could have been a one-album wonder, rather than the next big thing. Another sign that I knew nothing about music as a child.