Reminiscing back to the late 80’s and the music that was played in my youth on the big red ghetto blaster at the local bus stop
featuring artists like
LL Cool J • Run DMC • Public Enemy • Nitro Deluxe • Masters at Work • Adonis • Heavy D • BDP • Busy Bee
About this playlist
Creating playlists and sharing music is something I’ve done all my life it’s just a different process now with the tools of social media to get the music to not just friends but everyone and anyone right across the world. The only problem with the social media is how little it is actually social, so many people choose not to interact, the playlist can get loads of followers or likes on twitter, but you don’t know how the playlists are being received, are people actually enjoy listening to them, unlike the past where your friend would just tell you that the tape you made for him was shit.
Seriously though it is nice when someone actually messages you to thank you for making a particular playlist or just leaves a nice comment to say they’ve enjoyed it, everyone wants to feel what they do has purpose, so yes it’s these little things I enjoy, but the biggest enjoyment comes from just listening to the music itself when creating the lists.
I’ve got a terrible memory so don’t remember anything significant from a young age to reveal to you but what I do recall from my youth is seeing breakdancing for the first time probably on the tv show ‘Fame’ and the film ‘Breakin’, Ice T rapping on ‘Reckless’ my first introduction to Rap and then came ‘Beat Street’ with more authentic B Boy culture with the Rock Steady Crew, New York City Breakers and rappers the Treacherous Three and Doug E Fresh, these moments are probably stuck in the minds of millions of people of my generation as they were for so many, an introduction to our very own music, like generations before remembering when they heard the Beatles or Elvis for the first time, or when they went to a club and heard Disco music and the dancing scene that went with it, the same again happened when House music hit the UK but I don’t have a defining memory for that, other than just hearing it on the radio, those memories would be made in the clubs for the next 30 years.
On discovering Hip Hop and House, I just wanted to hear as much of the music as I could, but living in a small village and the nearest good record shop over 20 miles way in Newcastle it was left to the radio to fill the void, so I used to wait patiently with a finger on the pause button for any show that might play this new music, always trying to segue the mix together sometimes re-editing or re-recording the tapes so the music was in the right order, these tapes were then put in my ghettoblaster, which was a lovely red colour and had a strap on it so I used to carry it on my back, crank up the volume to full and LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys or Farley Jackmaster Funk proceeded to shake the walls of the bus stop where we all hung out (for acoustic reasons obviously), the equivalent now is two teenagers listening to a terrible quality YouTube rip on their tin pot phone speakers.
After leaving school and affording to buy actual records things progressed from the high life of the bus stop to making tapes for our cars to listen to as we travelled to clubs to experience this burgeoning scene, then Cd’s were burned with compilations of all different genres of music that came out of this scene like Acid Jazz to Street Soul, then at some point like millions of young people across the U.K. at this time twin decks were purchased and dreams of becoming a DJ, in reality just another source of mixtape creation, this time in more creative ways and more genres of music used as I got more interested in Jazz and then new genres of Trip Hop, Jungle and Big Beat were added to the mix.
Never has it been easier to make a mixtape, never have we had so much music to choose from, never has it been cheaper, never has it been easier to share with people, but take me back to that bus stop any day, I honestly got more reaction and enjoyment from ten people digging hearing tracks for the first time played by me, this playlist represents those times.