This is part of my sparsely ongoing series chronicling the Golden Age of Hip-Hop: The 1990s. Special thanks to Craig, my homey. (Link for those reading on Facebook)
When I posted my first Hip-Hop videos of the 90s feature, featuring Public Enemy's "Give It Up," I had no doubt that I would create a wildly insatiable appetite for not-so-long-lost hip-hop lore. I was right: The world changed. Now, some might call that an overstatement, but I tend to disagree. I created a firestorm rivaled only by the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Identity Mystery. (I am about to blow your mind: I suspect they are the same person.) I am well aware that the addition to my hip-hop series, this addition in particular, will feed the aforementioned firestorm into a dangerously riotous frenzy, but I am dedicated to my art. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the second installment of the Hip-Hop videos of the 90s phenomenon:
In 1995, Chicago-born Antoine Roundtree, aka Skee-Lo, rocked the world by introducing the short-lived epoch of self-deprecating hip hop. The 5'4" rapper's underrated single, "I Wish" embraced its status as a historical benchmark by featuring samples from Buffalo Springfield's "For What it's Worth," which featured the lyrics "Stop, children, what's that sound, everybody look what's going down," The song is often used as a symbol of change (mostly in nostalgic 60s movies) and Skee-lo was well aware of the change that hip-hop needed. Thirteen years later, due mostly to Skee-lo's brave leadership, modern hip-hop is no longer the puffed-up egocentrist hodge-podge of money and women it once was.
Well, I did say it was a short-lived epoch, didn't I?
Okay, so Skee-lo didn't exactly stem the tide of bling-and-ho hip-hop, but his humility was earth-shattering. The rap world has yet to see someone else who can rap not about how awesome they are, but about how awesome they genuinely aren't. Among other things, Skee-lo raps about how he wishes he:
-Was a little bit taller
-Was a baller
-Had a girl who looked good, he would call her.
-Had a rabbit in a hat, with a bat
-Had a '64 Impala.
Skee-lo also laments his lack of height, and his miserable ride.
I tell you, if Skee-lo's song isn't refreshing, I don't know what is.