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From Killer Mike to Fat Joe, hip-hop stars talk about how first rap song resonated with them

by Joshua Brown
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hip-hop memories

The Big Big News recently interviewed various hip-hop stars, such as Killer Mike, Fat Joe, 2 Chainz, and more, to discuss their first experiences with rap music and the songs that resonated with them. In this two-part series, the artists shared their memories of how they first encountered hip-hop and the impact it had on their lives.

Fat Joe recalled the viral spread of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message” throughout the Bronx housing projects, where he grew up. Hip-hop became a way of life in his neighborhood, and he was introduced to it by his brother, who worked with Grandmaster Flash.

Killer Mike, witnessing the drug epidemic in Atlanta during his childhood, found solace in Ice T’s lyrics on “6 ‘N the Mornin’,” as it validated his concerns about the changing world.

2 Chainz couldn’t remember the first rap song he heard, but he was heavily influenced by artists like Luther Campbell (Uncle Luke) and 2 Live Crew from the West Coast, whose music opened up a new world for him.

French Montana, originally from Morocco, was captivated by Tupac Shakur’s “Ambitionz Az a Ridah” and Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which described a lifestyle he could relate to.

Soulja Boy’s love for hip-hop was sparked by his mother’s love for Tupac’s music, particularly the song “Dear Mama.”

Flo Milli fell in love with hip-hop after hearing Tupac’s “Hit ‘Em Up” and was drawn to the energy and lyrical prowess of the legendary rapper.

Rapper JT from City Girls associated her hometown, Miami, with Will Smith’s “Miami,” which became a favorite during her childhood.

Doechii, inspired by artists like Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Trina, credits Miami rapper Trina’s song “Pull Over” for touching her heart and influencing her own music.

King Combs, son of Sean “Diddy” Combs, found inspiration in his father’s music, especially Diddy’s “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” featuring rapper Mase. He was also influenced by A$AP Rocky and his crew, who showed how much fun hip-hop can be.

Diplo, a renowned EDM producer and DJ, reminisced about Miami bass music and the impact of classics like “Planet Rock” and Digable Planets’ “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” on his musical journey.

6LACK’s father, Ricardo FLO, had his own rap career, and 6LACK’s early experiences in the studio with his dad solidified his passion for hip-hop.

Rapper Bia’s fascination with hip-hop began with Aaliyah’s “Try Again,” which combined R&B and dance influences.

Shaquille O’Neal, the NBA legend, discovered hip-hop through the film “Beat Street” and subsequently fell in love with the culture, even experimenting with rap and deejaying.

DJ Drama, growing up in Philadelphia, recalls early memories of singing Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three’s “The Roof is on Fire,” which ignited his love for hip-hop. He was also influenced by Run-D.M.C.’s “My Adidas” and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s “Summertime.”

Overall, these artists’ experiences showcase the power of hip-hop in shaping their lives and careers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about hip-hop memories

What is the focus of the interview series with hip-hop stars?

The focus of the interview series is to explore the first rap song memories of popular hip-hop artists and how those songs influenced their careers.

Which hip-hop artists are featured in the interview series?

The interview series includes popular artists like Killer Mike, Fat Joe, 2 Chainz, French Montana, Soulja Boy, Flo Milli, JT of City Girls, and more.

What were some of the influential rap songs mentioned in the interviews?

In the interviews, artists mentioned songs like “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, “6 ‘N the Mornin'” by Ice T, “Me So Horny” by 2 Live Crew, “Ambitionz Az a Ridah” by Tupac Shakur, “Dear Mama” by Tupac Shakur, and “Try Again” by Aaliyah.

How did hip-hop impact the artists’ lives?

Hip-hop played a significant role in shaping the artists’ lives, providing a means of expression and influencing their career choices.

What are some other hip-hop-related topics discussed in the interviews?

Apart from their first rap song memories, artists also talked about their musical influences, the cultural impact of hip-hop, and how the genre has evolved over the years.

More about hip-hop memories

  • “Watch videos of the artists describing their early hip-hop influences here” (The Big Big News)
  • “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (Song reference)
  • “6 ‘N the Mornin'” by Ice T (Song reference)
  • “Me So Horny” by 2 Live Crew (Song reference)
  • “Ambitionz Az a Ridah” by Tupac Shakur (Song reference)
  • “Dear Mama” by Tupac Shakur (Song reference)
  • “Try Again” by Aaliyah (Song reference)

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