We maraude for ears…

I’m a month off from being 33 and while there’s plenty of weird new thirty-something baggage I have to deal with; I’m finding it easier to think back on the past without being sad about the time that’s past.

One of the things I’ve found myself thinking about are those tiny little “sparks” the moments in our lives where something made so much sense; it was absolutely a part of you-a permanent fixture of who you are and who you will be. Those sparks are everywhere;
 our interactions with people, a piece of art we saw at a gallery, hell, it could be an argument you had with a friend.

20 years ago I discovered music, and that was my spark.

I don’t think I have to explain myself completely. We all have that moment where the music we listened to stopped being just the background of moments. That single moment where you stopped and actually listened to what was coming out of the speakers or headphones.

I can cite dozens of albums that cracked my skull open in 1993; The Broken EP, Enter the WuTang, Siamese Dream, In Utero, Vs., seriously, Google “albums released in 1993” and you will find a list highlighting what I consider to be the definitive year of the decade for all genres. It’s a phenomenal group of work.

There’s a single album that is still on my permanent playlist.

November 9th, 1993 is officially the day hip hop died in my eyes. A lot of folks will balk at that, but I’m not being negative. Midnight Marauders was the album that nailed it. A Tribe Called Quest managed to release an album that was not only fit for general consumption, but was so full of soul and meaning – so purely hip hop,  that it will never be outdone. There have been hundreds of good albums released since then, but this right here is the masterpiece.
I’ll put it in perspective. A lot of folks compare Tribe’s album before this, The Low End Theory, to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s, which is pretty valid. I think of Midnight Marauders as hip hop’s Revolver, an almost perfect album.
So anyway, this was an important work of art to me. Since that November, I can say that I went through three cassettes and two CDs of this album alone; all lost from overuse.
Now, I at least have it all on digital and still listen to every single track of this album with a smile on my face. 
I know every measure, every lyric – it’s been tattooed to my brain.
Thanks to Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammed, and sometimes Jarobi. I’ll continue listening for another 20 years.
Be easy, folks.

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