This lands in my "top 5 best hip hop songs ever" category. Let's see, what else would go there..."By The Time I Get To Arizona" by Public Enemy for sure, hmmm..."Iron Galaxy" by Cannibal Ox (go Cat People!)... Something from U-God, but of course...ehmm...Ooh! And "Syntax Era" by Leaders of the New School! Okay, for those few who read this, if you have beef with my taste, feel free to diss (that means you, Liam.)
What I love about "I Am I Be" is it's sense of poignant sadness and resignation. For De La Soul, a happy-go-lucky, hippy-hop group, to pull off something so mature was a feat in itself; but the track went beyond all expectations and set a new landmark in the world of hiphop. As you can probably tell by the sound, this song came out in the early nineties, back when hiphop was in its adolescence and the genre was still taking baby steps. This came long before the advent of underground, and g-funk and gangsta were still in their germinal period. I mean, it had only been a short while since Ice-T and the 2 Live Crew had made their marks by being infatuated with penis humor and swear words. And De La came out with THIS. Just listen to the lyrics. Posdnous raps about a number of sobering topics, from the personal struggle of unplanned fatherhood, to the public tragedy of the disolusionment of the Native Tongues click. Prince Paul as always sets the perfect sonic backdrop, and a host of guest voices float in and out of the mix(Listen for Q-Tip's bitter remark "I Am Q-Tip and I Be friction"). I will never tire of this one, and I hope you enjoy it....I'm thinking now I should switch U-God with "Ghetto Bastard" by Naughty By Nature...Nah.
I Am I Be
Aki Khalaq Box Set
2 weeks ago