The New Old School
by Adam Bernard for Adam’s World
I was having a conversation with DJ Riz of Crooklyn Clan the other day and for a few minutes we got curmudgeonly about Hip-Hop. Like a lot of folks who are reaching, or are already in, their 30’s, we lamented the lack of knowledge younger Hip-Hop fans have of the old school. Riz, however, also brought up the interesting point that teenagers today have their own version of old school and it may surprise a lot of people to see which artists fall under their “old school” classification. If you’re around my age the list will also make you feel really really old.
I started listening to rap music when I was nine or ten years old. To make this equation easier let’s just say ten. I was ten in 1988, so anything before 1988 is my version of “old school.” It just so happens, because of when I was born, all of that music also falls into the traditional definition of “old school,” as well. With that timetable in mind, let’s take a look at the current incoming college freshman class, most of whom are 18 years old. They were all ten in 1998, so providing they didn’t have older siblings who could introduce them to Hip-Hop earlier in life their version of “old school” starts in the mid to late 90’s.
The idea of Wu-Tang, A Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees, Redman, DMX, Onyx, Naughty By Nature, and even NORE being “old school” is painful to a lot of Hip-Hop fans.
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