Earning my Stripes with Tiger Taylor

As part of a new bi-monthly column, Hip Hop enthusiast Tiger Taylor reminds us that Hip Hop is very much alive.

Dear Notion readers, hellooo! I’m Tiger and I’m a hip hop head.

Being a bit of a hip hop obsessive means having strong opinions on the kind of rap that is in circulation in the Western worldwide radioverse. And while trap and grime can be great at times and there are loads of talented rappers out there… it comforts me to know that there are still some underground artists keeping the old school style alive. It’s my intention to remind young musically minded people like yourselves that hip hop still lives. With this feature, I’ll be having a wee look at a couple of active rappers who you may or may not know about. This week I want to give you a little intro to why I love hip hop and the kind of stuff I’m into. I guess from there you can decide whether or not to step into my office…

So… here goes.

Having come from a rock’n’roll background and only getting into hip hop in my mid-teens, I come from the angle of a sort of outsider who has spent the last ten years gradually building up a pretty large library. And while I’m still partial to a bit of Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd and David Bowie… having been brought up in a world saturated with rock n roll, I was surprised at how deep the discovery of hip hop hit me. I have always been drawn to the rhythm section and beat obsessed so I guess it kind of makes sense that I fell in love with hip hop.

I’ve always loved an old school style, whether it be the 70’s and 80’s B-Boy generation like Schooly D, Eric B and Rakim or the female MC’s of the late eighties, MC Lyte and Queen Latifah who inspired early nineties artists like Bahamadia… I mean, there’s no school like the old school.

Schoolly D - Saturday Night

I am especially attracted to the atmosphere of the late eighties and early nineties stuff; the drum beats, the bars and difference in flow, the thickness or scratchiness of different rapper’s voices, and a kind of brutal honesty in some of the lyrics that are so raw. I also have a particular fascination with Southern hip hop, don’t ask me why, I’m kind of into the darker shit… Maybe it says something about me, maybe not… I just know the beats are delicious. And of course, who doesn’t love 90’s gangsta rap? Gimme’ some Mobb Deep, Wu Tang, Big L, Outkast, Goodie Mobb… the list really is endless.

Big L - freestyle

It is true that, as a feminist, I’m always aware of a slight contradiction rapping along with Dre, “A bitch is a bitch, but a Dogg is a man’s best friend” whilst also shaking an angry fist at the patriarchy, but I’ve come to the conclusion that this is something you have to observe as an unfortunate sign of the times, take it for what it is and just hope for a more progressive future in the content.

Dr. Dre - Housewife

This is one of the many topics I will delve deeper into with my next entry where I will be having a look at the female MC and all round queen Bahamadia. So stay tuned, because in the coming weeks I will be taking you guys on a tour of my current library and hopefully introducing some of you to a couple of new artists. I hope you have enjoyed this little intro and I hope to see you lot back here for the next instalment!

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