Glad to see D-Nice put this episode of his excellent series True Hip Hop stories.. You listen to Big Daddy Kane after all these years and realize he was not only truly one of the best, but also someone who never really got his full props both as a writer and emcee..
This was a classic meeting of the Hip Hop minds so to speak as Afrika Islamwho had recently moved to Los Angeles teamed up with Ice T and showed that Hip Hop was beyond the confines of New York… They formed a group called the Zulu Kings which included Mele-Mel who now adorned the title Grandmaster since he and Flash were no longer cool and Bronx Style Bob. They did a song called ‘The Beach’ which celebrated the lifestyle of LA. I remember first hearing this on my way home from San Francisco on KDAY 1580 out of LA. Back in the days the nation’s only 24/7 rap station had an AM signal which at night would bounced 400 miles up the coast-from LA to the Bay. It was one of the first times I had heard a collab with east and west coast artists.
Below is another classic cut that help put early LA Hip Hop into a larger spotlight. Its the classic joint from Ice T called 6 in the Morning that I first heard back in ’85-’86 Back in those days LA was ruled by police Chief Darryl Gateswho pretty much let of LAPD do what they want which was crack heads and be the most abusive force in the country. I think Ice captured the moment..He brought to light life on the ghetto streets of LA which up to that time was only slightly glimpsed through TV cop dramas like Starsky and Hutch. Many like to credit this song with setting off the ‘Gangsta rap genre.
The one thing that was a bit bothersome and it only became so as I got older and bit more educated was Ice describing how he and his boys they beat some woman down. It wasn’t something I paid close attention to back in the days.. But its pretty jarring now. Hopefully all of us have grown to not see that as a cool thing even if its in a dope song..
PS please forgive this wack swagbucks ideo.. apparently Warner brothers owns the copyright and won’t let it show on Youtube.. Maybe one day these record companies will learn..
Where Ice T gave us a pretty indepth description of of LAPD, Toddy Tee dug deeper with a song that actually made national news. It was called Batter Ram and it reffrenced the reinforced army tank that LAPD had purchased to knock over crack houses. Than LA police chief Darryl Gates said it was needed, many thought the tank was not only over the top, but also in violation of people’s civil rights. There were a couple of occassions where the tank was used on the wrong houses.. This is arguably one of the first ‘political/social commentary songs coming out of LA