The other day, I walked into the lobby of my apartment building with two little boys, both multi-racial and of indiscriminate ethnicity, maybe 10 or 11, one squat and compressed, the other tall and stringy with the makings of a very impressive Jew-fro. They looked like Mini-Me’s of two of The Strokes.
One of the kids lives here and the other was his friend. They both were leafing through the latest issue of XXL Magazine, which contains their annual feature on the 10 most anticipated hip hop albums of the coming year. In the minute it took for the elevator to arrive and get to the 3rd floor, where they disembarked, I was treated to a conversation that warmed the cockles of my aging hip hopper’s heart. As best as I can remember, it went like this (imagine squeaky pube-less high-pitched breathless voices):
“The Roots are number ten? They should be number one!”
“That’s Ghostface! He’s great!”
“Oh, I couldn’t see the whole – I thought it said Scarface. He’s great too.”
“Why is Mobb Deep in here? They shouldn’t even be in the Top 100!”
“They used to be good.”
“Yeah, they USED to be good – when they first came out!”
That was as far as it went. Incidentally, these kids were probably pooping in diapers when Mobb Deep “first came out.” And they WERE really good back then. And both Ghostface and Scarface ARE great. And the Roots probably SHOULD be number one.
And when I was their age? I think I was still listening to the Beatles, Barry Manilow, and the soundtrack to "Annie."
'Nuff respect to next-gen precociously hip Manhattan kids.