Aquarius, Then & Now



Hey, are you excited for Aquarius (w/ Slick RickAfrika BambaataaTodd TerryKenny Dope and Tony Touch) this Saturday? While you psych yourself up for what these guys sound like in 2012, take a look at these videos from hip-hop days of yore.



Let’s take it back. Let’s take it way back, to when the Slick Rick you know was MC Ricky D, enigmatic newcomer to Doug E. Fresh‘s Get Fresh Crew (alongside Barry Bee and Chill Will.) Here’s a live performance of “The Show,” a pivotal track in hip-hop history. The theatrical narrative and conversational lyricism that characterizes Slick Rick’s style both structures this track and continues to inform today’s hip-hop artists. Also, Inspector Gadget.




Afrika Bambaataa was also up to a lot of good in the eighties. Take, for example, 1984’s “Unity,” a collaboration between Bambaataa and James Brown. The combination of Brown’s funk and Bambaataa’s budding hip-hop aesthetic made for a lethal combination- although the message is actually super philanthropic. Mr. Brown unfortunately doesn’t appear in this video, but Bambaataa lays it down fully without him. Wouldn’t you have loved to be roused from your seat by neon-clad dancers while chanting for the Universal Zulu Nation? Notably, this video predates the popularity of Hammer pants- but a few courageous dancers dare to predict the future.




One more. Here’s a live clip of “The Bomb,” easily the most memorable track off All in the Mind, Kenny Dope’s only release under the pseudonym The Bucketheads. Do you hear the clip that Pitbull sampled in “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”? Try to ignore the crowd at 1:14. Thanks, Chicago. Oddly, I have no idea who any of those people are, so we can safely assume Mr. Dope was puppeteering the beats somewhere safely beyond the camera’s eye, letting French go-goers take care of the visuals… and lipsynching?




Alright, sweet. See you on Saturday.

posted by Forrest Wu