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Hip-Hop on the Streets, Literally

When I was a teenager, I was exposed to something that I had heard of, but never experienced firsthand: hip-hop from the streets.

It was circa 2004 and I had just gotten off the school bus and was walking toward my home in the land of suburbia.

I was young and curious, and so there was no hesitation to pick up the shiny object on the asphalt. Two CDs in a plastic, clear folder. Warm to the touch. The printable area scratched with carelessness. One was orange and the other was purple. The former read “Old Yeller, Hip-Hop Happy,” and the latter, “Thug Ass Shit Cause You’re A Dumb Ass Bitch.” I took them home.

A fan of Fred Gipson‘s “Old Yeller” and interested in what “thug ass shit” entailed, I played both CDs and this is what  I heard:


1. Afroman “The American Dream”
2. Afroman “Cuz I Got High”
3. Royce Da 5’9 “Back in the Days”
4. Akon “Locked Up”
5. Akon “Lonely”
6. Andre Nickatina “Bakin’ Soda in Minnesota”
8. Andre Nickatina “Saw a Gangsta Cry”
9. Andre Nickatina “Crack Raider”
11. Andre Nickatina “Killa Whale”
13. Atmosphere “Bleed Slow”
14. Atmosphere “Don’t Ever Fuckin’ Question That”
15. Atmosphere “Hells Playground”
16. Atmosphere “Trying to Find a Balance”
17. Beastie Boys “Girls”
18. Beastie Boys “Fight for Your Right”
19. Beastie Boys “Brass Monkey”
20. Juvenile “Project Bitch”
21. Big Tymers “This is How We Do It”


1. Andre Nickatina “The Rap Gods”
2. Atmosphere “7th St. Entry”
3. Atmosphere “Multiple Reprise (Remix)”
4. Atmosphere “Onemosphere”
5. Atmosphere “1597”
6. Atmosphere “4:30 A.M.”
7. Atmosphere “Sound is Vibration”
8. Atmosphere “Cuando Limpia el Humo”
9. The Flobots “Handlebars”
10. & 11. Too scratched to play
12. Andre Nickatina “Couger”
13. Andre Nickatina “Cadillac Girl”
14. Andre Nickatina “Reel Drama”
15. Andre Nickatina “Last Breath”
16. Andre Nickatina “My Rap World”
17. Andre Nickatina “Sun Duck Kim”

After approximately eight years of reflection (not really), I’m convinced that Andre Nickatina, AKA Dre Dog, was behind it all. Or maybe, it was the opposite of what Afroman suggests in “The American Dream” track: “Even though the government tried to experiment with me by placing me in the projects, I’m still the American Dream.” Government planting hip-hop mixes in the suburbs? *Insert Illuminati and conspiracy theories* Think about it…That’s all I’m saying.

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