My FAVORITE group, ever.
Gave their fans an amazing Valentine, gems from their catalog
Way, way, WAY BACK.
Way back, to a time in my life where rap music (particularly the amazing, socially conscious rap music that dominated the era) was all that tethered me to this Earth. Every time I listen to De La or Tribe or Mos Def or Common, I can remember, with perfect clarity, where I was when I first heard the songs. Remember the journey to the record store (remember those!?!) to buy a cassette tape (!!) or CD. I can remember listening to some songs on my Walkman and Discman (!!!) until the batteries died. And reading the liner notes for thank yous, trying to spot familiar names. And rendering my favorite CDs to scratched, horrible messes from carrying them around everywhere. I remember running out to buy the latest Source Magazine after spotting someone reading it on the train.
I remember long lines to get into venues. Feeling all of my awkward older-teen-on-the-cusp-of-womanhood feelings surrounded by the beautiful women who frequent rap shows. I can remember jumping with those packed crowds, taking elbows to the head. I remember shyly asking for autographs and photos. I even remember spotting Posdnuos in SOHO and being too bashful to say hi…then immediately regretting it and spending 15 minutes trying to figure out where he’d gone, LOL!
I remember choosing, from all of my music collection, the songs of these men to take with me abroad. I remember the sense of home they gave me when I was so far from mine. I can remember falling asleep to I Be Blowin’. I can remember weeping when I heard that Tribe was breaking up. I remember their last concert and the finality of that era of my life ending when we left the venue.
It’s shocking to think that some of these things happened twenty+ years ago. My life is so many light years better than it was at that time. But, there are days when I’d give anything to relive those moments. To hear those songs for the first time, again. To go to a show and be so damn glad to be in the same space as those I so admired.
I feel glimmers of it when I listen. And it feels real good.
Thanks, De La Soul.