Hip Hop: A Love Affair

Puppy Love

I’ve been a fan of hip hop basically since birth. My dad was always listening to rap music throughout my childhood. My parents used to drive my sisters and me around in the car bumping Too $hort, Ant Banks, Ice Cube, Bone Thugs, 2Pac or whatever other artists they were into.

For a couple summers especially, my mom would drive us to our grandparents’ house and listen to either Bone Thugs N Harmony, or Mariah Carey on the way.

Some of my favorite songs from that era of my life:
  • “All Good” by Felecia feat. Krayzie Bone
  • “Ghetto Cowboy” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
  • “Fantasy (Remix)” by Mariah Carey feat. ODB
Antwan - Hip Hop In My Headphones

Call me Antwan. I’m just another faceless fan of hip hop that wanted to create an outlet for my opinions. By the way, none of them should be taken too seriously. Everybody has their own unique preferences and all I’m doing is posting about the songs that I like.

Los Angeles Recording School

Me (middle) and my friends at the Los Angeles Recording School, trying to make something of ourselves. I was 17. It didn’t work out…

And yes, that’s a Shady Limited shirt. Wasn’t I cool?

I reminisce for a spell

So that’s what initially got me into hip hop, and I’ve been going through different phases ever since. To start with, I only listened to whatever I heard on the radio or TV.

I would say that these were my pre-teen years. So late 90’s, early 2000’s. We were still recording mixtapes on Maxell cassettes by sitting next to the radio all day long.

That was before my family had a computer with internet access. Once I got online it was a wrap.

Some of my favorite rappers from that era of my life:
  • Nelly
  • Ludacris
  • Eminem
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Dr. Dre
  • Lil Bow Wow (Don’t make fun of me!)
Seasons change, mad things rearrange

I’ve dove into dozens of sub-genres of hip hop over the years. I’m not gonna lie, I illegally downloaded a ton of music back in the days of Limewire, Rapidshare, and Megaupload. Datpiff was best friend for a while. But I’ve always bought CDs as well, and my collection is approaching 300 CDs.

As a teenager, gangster rap absolutely dominated my life. 50 Cent & G-Unit were my favorites at the time. DMX, N.W.A., 2Pac, Westside Connection and anything else that was aggressive and angry was probably in my headphones.

But I also started to explore the history of hip hop through the internet and file sharing.

I was able to relive the early 90’s New York era, as well N.W.A.’s hayday and the subsequent G Funk era that emerged in the west.

I had a new appreciation for hip hop as an art form.

Some of my favorite albums that I “discovered” during that era in my life:
  • Nas – Illmatic
  • Wu Tang Clan – Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
  • Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde
  • Redman – Muddy Waters
  • Ras Kass – Soul On Ice
  • Big L – Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous
  • Ice Cube – Death Certificate
  • Scarface – The Diary

From my first photoshoot ever! Back in the days of Rootedvizion. We got the team together for a couple group photos and some individual shots.

Axe Murderer in Zion

Even when I’m chopping bodies up in Zion, you’ll notice I still have my headphones within arms reach!

Antwan & Espee's First Performance

This grainy photo was taken from a grainy video of my first rap performance ever! It’s actually my sister and I performing our first song that we ever recorded together, “Stars In Outer Space”. I think I was 22 or 23 at the time.

I did her, not just to say that I did it, but I’m committed

This may be a good time to confess that I too am an artist of sorts. At one point of my life I really wanted to be a famous rapper, probably like most hip hop heads. Nowadays I still make music, but it’s more of a creative outlet and a hobby then anything else. I started recording at 18 and am now 27.

I’ve released 2 mixtapes and 5 EPs in that time.

My biggest influences as an artist have been:
  • Eminem
  • Joe Budden
  • Royce Da 5’9″
  • Kid Cudi
  • Kendrick Lamar

Look at me out here, enjoying life!

From my recent trip to Rock Creek, CA.

I purposely had the axe in both pictures, I’m not a weirdo.

What’s Up With Me Now?

Well nowadays, the Hip Hop In My Headphones Blog is my baby. I try to put in a couple hours a day into writing articles, or improving the site functionality.

My #2 priority, and possibly #1 in the future, is the Hip Hop In My Headphones Podcast!

As far as rapping goes, it’s been almost a year since my last project. I dropped BLANCO at the end of October last year.

I still write rhymes on a regular basis, but I don’t like to force the music. I honestly haven’t written enough songs that I’m happy with to put out another project, so for now I’m just working on material. Look for something in 2020 for sure!

Outside of music, I’m just living life! Hiking, camping, beach trips and alladatshit!