I recently came by an article that did a phenomenal job in tying the hip-hop/rap past with the present. It’s always refreshing to remind yourself the history and roots of an entity, such as this music genre, possesses. A writer that simply goes by the name of esau, published an article about the 25th anniversary of LL Cool J’s album Bigger and Deffer.
Esau begins this piece with explaining a brief background of hip-hop and how it has been known to always be changing. Although, 25 years ago, change wasn’t something artists wanted.
For all of its original intent and purpose, artists were expected to keep themselves within a certain box. Which explains why so many of the legendary pioneers are often forgotten due to an unwillingness to expand, which ultimately kills you in the end.
He points out that LL Cool J wasn’t one to conform to the “box” and with his sophomore album, Bigger and Deffer, he managed to stand out of the crowd in the best way possible. Esau shows depth and thought when he concisely writes:
LL was taking a major risk in an era when masculinity meant maintaining one’s edge.
The main portion of the article shows his knowledge of the album and that he has done his research.
“Kanday” was the opposite of “I Need Love,” and let audiences know that this player wasn’t turning in his card anytime soon. LL even tapped into his soulful side with “The Do Wop.” The kid from Queens had no shame in letting his personality shine on his own terms creatively.
What I enjoyed most about his commentary was his final thoughts about the album and hip-hop in general.
However, introspective songs are as much a part of Hip Hop as legendary tales of street hustlin’ and aggressive content. And Bigger and Deffer was an album built on this notion and balance. Some days you want to ride around and kick it with the homies looking for trouble. Other days you prefer to spend it with your significant other seeking affection. Both are normal occurrences, and should be embraced as such because that’s just how life goes how life goes.
His point is simple but very well put. So why’s this so good? Esau shows a love, knowledge, and true appreciation about the album he is writing about. It’s easy to notice when someone is writing for the sake of putting words onto a document, but with this article the author writes with enthusiasm and great insight about hip-hop.