Hip-Hop Week continues on In Third Person! What was your gateway into hip-hop music?
I remember my gateway into the world of hip-hop vividly. Borrowing my friend Faiz’s cassette copy of Homebase by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, I dubbed my own copy and bumped it all the time. Despite “Summertime” being an enduring classic, starting out with Will Smith doesn’t do anything for my street cred.
It got me thinking about other potential gateways into the genre. There’s no shame in where you start or where you end, but when I started to think about it, the “PokeRap” from the original Pokemon animated series immediately came to mind.
Sandwiched by singing parts, the rapper rhymes off the names of every Pokemon at the time. By the time this came out, I was already “too old” for anything related to Pokemon and I cringed every time I overheard this song come on when my younger brother was on.
Looking back on it now from a less-judgmental point of view, that song may have had a huge impact on the genre. There are millions of kids whose first exposure to hip-hop or rapping was the PokeRap. As “silly” of a starting point as it may be – and again, I’m not one to talk – but I think the math would suggest that it must be many people’s gateway into the genre.
Was the PokeRap your first exposure to hip-hop music? Did it turn you into a fan of the genre? There’s no shame in that! Let me know if it was! If not, was your gateway into hip-hop music?