Celebrities Share Their First Hip-Hop Memories

Artist

SongTitle

THE FIRST TIME
I LISTENED
TO HIP-HOP

We asked artists, actors, executives, and athletes to share their very first hip-hop memory, and these are their stories.

This feature has music. Wear your headphones.
 

"I heard scratching. I was hooked."

I remember seeing the video for the Beastie Boys “So What'cha Want” in 1992, when I was 10. Before that I was listening to rock, so with the Beasties I still understood what was going on. They were definitely the gateway drug into rap for me. My brother was getting into skating around the same time, so we could relate to how they dressed. That video and song gave us so much information as kids growing up in a Jewish, middle-class household in Canada. I fell in love with the aesthetics—the fish-eye lens and the inverted colors. I heard scratching. I was hooked.

A-Trak

DJ

Beastie Boys

"So What'cha Want"

 

"I heard scratching. I was hooked."

I remember seeing the video for the Beastie Boys “So What'cha Want” in 1992, when I was 10. Before that I was listening to rock, so with the Beasties I still understood what was going on. They were definitely the gateway drug into rap for me. My brother was getting into skating around the same time, so we could relate to how they dressed. That video and song gave us so much information as kids growing up in a Jewish, middle-class household in Canada. I fell in love with the aesthetics—the fish-eye lens and the inverted colors. I heard scratching. I was hooked.

I am blank
 

Bella Thorne

Actress

J-Kwon

"Tipsy"

"Oh my god, this beat is ridiculous!"

I think I was in my room, listening to that song "Tipsy" and dancing around. I had never listened to hip-hop, and that was one of the first songs that I listened to and was like, "Oh my god, this beat is ridiculous!" It was "Tipsy."

 

"Oh my god, this beat is ridiculous!"

I think I was in my room, listening to that song "Tipsy" and dancing around. I had never listened to hip-hop, and that was one of the first songs that I listened to and was like, "Oh my god, this beat is ridiculous!" It was "Tipsy."

I am blank
 

"I had just gotten my first job at the Atlanta mall."

It may not be my very first memory of hip-hop, but it’s a fond one! I had just gotten my first job at the Atlanta mall blowing up balloons in a local store there and with my first paycheck, I bought myself the 12-inch single of Public Enemy’s “Rebel Without A Pause.” I’m sure I listened to it for a month straight!

CeeLo Green

Artist

Public Enemy

"Rebel Without a Pause"

 

"I had just gotten my first job at the Atlanta mall."

It may not be my very first memory of hip-hop, but it’s a fond one! I had just gotten my first job at the Atlanta mall blowing up balloons in a local store there and with my first paycheck, I bought myself the 12-inch single of Public Enemy’s “Rebel Without A Pause.” I’m sure I listened to it for a month straight!

I am blank
 

Chaz Bundick (Toro y Moi)

Artist

Public Enemy

"Bring The Noise"

"Me and my dad would dress up as Chuck D and Flavor Flav."

It was probably skateboarding and listening to stuff like Jurassic 5 or something. Well, actually when I was like 8, me and my dad would dress up as Chuck D and Flavor Flav. I would wear a clock around my neck and he would wear a Pittsburgh Pirates hat or something. That’s the main hip-hop that I was listening to, Public Enemy. It was the only hip-hop my dad was into.

 

"Me and my dad would dress up as Chuck D and Flavor Flav."

It was probably skateboarding and listening to stuff like Jurassic 5 or something. Well, actually when I was like 8, me and my dad would dress up as Chuck D and Flavor Flav. I would wear a clock around my neck and he would wear a Pittsburgh Pirates hat or something. That’s the main hip-hop that I was listening to, Public Enemy. It was the only hip-hop my dad was into.

 

"[My mom] told me, 'Don't become that.'"

I just remember borrowing my friend’s N.W.A. tape and leaving it on, and then my mom coming in my room and hearing who her little man was turning out to be. She didn't take everything though. She punished me but she let me have my N.W.A. tapes back. She just told me, "Don't become that.”

Curren$y

Rapper

N.W.A.

"Straight Outta Compton"

 

"[My mom] told me, 'Don't become that.'"

I just remember borrowing my friend’s N.W.A. tape and leaving it on, and then my mom coming in my room and hearing who her little man was turning out to be. She didn't take everything though. She punished me but she let me have my N.W.A. tapes back. She just told me, "Don't become that.”

I am blank
 

Danny Brown

Rapper

LL Cool J

"Rock The Bells"

"It was raining and we ran all the way home to the hood."

I was in kindergarten the first time I heard LL Cool J's 'Radio' album. My babysitter picked me up from school, and he's like, "Hurry up, I want to go home and hear this album real, real bad." And I was like, "What the fuck?" It was raining and we ran all the way home to the hood, which was Linwood, where I grew up. He had it on vinyl, so he pulled out the vinyl and we listened to it. I've been on rap ever since.

 

"It was raining and we ran all the way home to the hood."

I was in kindergarten the first time I heard LL Cool J's 'Radio' album. My babysitter picked me up from school, and he's like, "Hurry up, I want to go home and hear this album real, real bad." And I was like, "What the fuck?" It was raining and we ran all the way home to the hood, which was Linwood, where I grew up. He had it on vinyl, so he pulled out the vinyl and we listened to it. I've been on rap ever since.

 

"NEVER EVER COME OFF WACK!"

My best hip-hop memory was when Guru and I released our first single, "Words I Manifest.” Back then everyone would shop at Music Factory. KRS-One walks in, sees our record on the wall, grabs it and says, "Gang Starr, I've been looking for this." Me and Guru were like little kids on Christmas. We approached him for advice and he said, "NEVER EVER COME OFF WACK!" But my first memory is the Fresh Fest in Houston at Astro World, our amusement park by the Astrodome. It was Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew with MC Ricky D (now known as Slick Rick), and others. I knew I had to get a record deal and make history.

DJ Premier

DJ/Producer

Doug E. Fresh

"The Show"

 

"NEVER EVER COME OFF WACK!"

My best hip-hop memory was when Guru and I released our first single, "Words I Manifest.” Back then everyone would shop at Music Factory. KRS-One walks in, sees our record on the wall, grabs it and says, "Gang Starr, I've been looking for this." Me and Guru were like little kids on Christmas. We approached him for advice and he said, "NEVER EVER COME OFF WACK!" But my first memory is the Fresh Fest in Houston at Astro World, our amusement park by the Astrodome. It was Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew with MC Ricky D (now known as Slick Rick), and others. I knew I had to get a record deal and make history.

I am blank
 

Elijah Wood

Actor

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

"A Nightmare On My Street"

"I loved horror movies, so I was really attracted to it."

A very early memory was my brother buying a 12" single of "A Nightmare On My Street" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. And I was very young—I think I was six or seven—and I remember loving it because it had Freddy Krueger and this sort of horror element, and I loved horror movies, so I was really attracted to it. I really liked that song. I definitely liked Run DMC and those early hip-hop videos on MTV, but yeah, that one really sticks out.

 

"I loved horror movies, so I was really attracted to it."

A very early memory was my brother buying a 12" single of "A Nightmare On My Street" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. And I was very young—I think I was six or seven—and I remember loving it because it had Freddy Krueger and this sort of horror element, and I loved horror movies, so I was really attracted to it. I really liked that song. I definitely liked Run DMC and those early hip-hop videos on MTV, but yeah, that one really sticks out.

I am blank
 

"We had no idea he was trying to make a record out of it."

Hmm… Probably Afrika Bambaataa. If you look at one of our albums called ‘Uncle Jam Wants You,’ we put the names of all our fan club members from each major city on the record. It’s in alphabetical order and Afrika Bambaataa is up there at the top. When he was about 15 he used to hang around New York and bring us mixtapes of him rapping over other people’s songs, we had no idea he was trying to make a record out of it. After that it would have been De La Soul coming to ask if they could use “Knee Deep” for “Me Myself And I.”

George Clinton

Artist

Afrika Bambaataa

"Looking for the Perfect Beat"

 

"We had no idea he was trying to make a record out of it."

Hmm… Probably Afrika Bambaataa. If you look at one of our albums called ‘Uncle Jam Wants You,’ we put the names of all our fan club members from each major city on the record. It’s in alphabetical order and Afrika Bambaataa is up there at the top. When he was about 15 he used to hang around New York and bring us mixtapes of him rapping over other people’s songs, we had no idea he was trying to make a record out of it. After that it would have been De La Soul coming to ask if they could use “Knee Deep” for “Me Myself And I.”

I am blank
 

Gucci Mane

Rapper

2 Live Crew

"Me So Horny"

"I saw that 2 Live Crew cover up in the flea market and I bought it."

I saw that Luke and 2 Live Crew cover—with them reading the paper and the girls in G-strings—up in the flea market and I bought it. That was my first hip-hop purchase and first memory of rap.

 

"I saw that 2 Live Crew cover up in the flea market and I bought it."

I saw that Luke and 2 Live Crew cover—with them reading the paper and the girls in G-strings—up in the flea market and I bought it. That was my first hip-hop purchase and first memory of rap.

I am blank
 

"Beef, what a relief."

My earliest memory of rap is hanging with my brother rapping Boogie Down Productions. "Beef, what a relief. When will this poisonous product cease?"

Hannibal Buress

Comedian

Boogie Down Productions

"Beef"

 

"Beef, what a relief."

My earliest memory of rap is hanging with my brother rapping Boogie Down Productions. "Beef, what a relief. When will this poisonous product cease?"

I am blank
 

Jake Gyllenhaal

Actor

The Pharcyde

"Passin' Me By"

"Eating fried chicken and collard greens and sitting next to The Pharcyde."

I was a huge Naughty By Nature fan, but then also I remember I saw The Pharcyde at this place called Maurice's Snack N Shack in Los Angeles when I was a kid, before they were The Pharcyde. They were just passing out CDs. So even though it wasn't the first hip-hop song I heard, that was my first experience: eating fried chicken and collard greens and sitting next to The Pharcyde.

 

"Eating fried chicken and collard greens and sitting next to The Pharcyde."

I was a huge Naughty By Nature fan, but then also I remember I saw The Pharcyde at this place called Maurice's Snack N Shack in Los Angeles when I was a kid, before they were The Pharcyde. They were just passing out CDs. So even though it wasn't the first hip-hop song I heard, that was my first experience: eating fried chicken and collard greens and sitting next to The Pharcyde.

I am blank
 

Le'Veon Bell

Athlete

50 Cent

"In Da Club"

"That album was—and still is—straight fire."

My first hip-hop memory would have to be when I bought 50 Cent's 'Get Rich or Die Tryin.' I was in the fifth grade and I remember taking the CD with me to school. That album was—and still is—straight fire.

 

"That album was—and still is—straight fire."

My first hip-hop memory would have to be when I bought 50 Cent's 'Get Rich or Die Tryin.' I was in the fifth grade and I remember taking the CD with me to school. That album was—and still is—straight fire.

I am blank
 

"Oh, this is forbidden."

It was Eminem. I remember going to my homeboy’s house in fifth grade—he would be playing it, and I would be like, “Oh, this is forbidden, I know my mom wouldn’t let me listen to this right now.”

Leon Bridges

Artist

Eminem

"My Name Is"

 

"Oh, this is forbidden."

It was Eminem. I remember going to my homeboy’s house in fifth grade—he would be playing it, and I would be like, “Oh, this is forbidden, I know my mom wouldn’t let me listen to this right now.”

I am blank
 

"My mom was freaking out."

My earliest, most powerful encounter with hip-hop is when my sisters were playing Nas. I forget which song it is, but it's like, "I remember the first time, girl you and me, F-U-C-K-I-N-G." My mom was freaking out. I never forgot that, which is kind of messed up. Then I heard "Forgot About Dre" and I was so obsessed with it. I had my sister wait at the radio, record it, and create a duplicate, A and B-side. Just that one song on repeat over and over, and I would listen to it and play really old computer games. It was really cool that she did that for me. It was really, really sweet of her.

Logic

Rapper

Nas

"K-I-SS-I-N-G"

 

"My mom was freaking out."

My earliest, most powerful encounter with hip-hop is when my sisters were playing Nas. I forget which song it is, but it's like, "I remember the first time, girl you and me, F-U-C-K-I-N-G." My mom was freaking out. I never forgot that, which is kind of messed up. Then I heard "Forgot About Dre" and I was so obsessed with it. I had my sister wait at the radio, record it, and create a duplicate, A and B-side. Just that one song on repeat over and over, and I would listen to it and play really old computer games. It was really cool that she did that for me. It was really, really sweet of her.

I am blank
 

"The bass was so big that the lights flickered."

My first hip-hop memory is seeing Uncle Jamm’s Army in 1980 at the Civic Center in Downtown Los Angeles. I'll always remember that the bass was so big that the lights flickered.

Lyor Cohen

YouTube Head of Music

Uncle Jamm's Army

"Dial-A-Freak"

 

"The bass was so big that the lights flickered."

My first hip-hop memory is seeing Uncle Jamm’s Army in 1980 at the Civic Center in Downtown Los Angeles. I'll always remember that the bass was so big that the lights flickered.

I am blank
 

"That was unheard of for a man coming from the South."

My first hip-hop memory is Lil J, Rap-A-Lot Records. I started my career on those guys and I've always respected them, even with how many records I sold. I think that's what this generation should be doing: respecting the people who open doors for you. What I saw when I was in Houston, what James Prince did to this business, that was unheard of for a man coming from the South. It made me want to get into this business. It inspired me. I ain't got nothing bad to say about somebody that taught how to get money—legit money—in the music industry. So big shout out to James Prince and Rap-A-Lot.

Master P

Artist

Geto Boys

"Assassins"

 

"That was unheard of for a man coming from the South."

My first hip-hop memory is Lil J, Rap-A-Lot Records. I started my career on those guys and I've always respected them, even with how many records I sold. I think that's what this generation should be doing: respecting the people who open doors for you. What I saw when I was in Houston, what James Prince did to this business, that was unheard of for a man coming from the South. It made me want to get into this business. It inspired me. I ain't got nothing bad to say about somebody that taught how to get money—legit money—in the music industry. So big shout out to James Prince and Rap-A-Lot.

I am blank
 

Mike Shinoda

Artist

Beastie Boys

"Paul Revere"

"Like nothing else I had ever heard."

It was Run DMC and Beastie Boys in 1986. I was 9 years old. Run DMC came out with 'Raising Hell,' and the Beasties debuted with 'Licensed to Ill.' I heard both on a boom box at my friend's house, and they changed everything. I was in hysterics when I found out what the "3M TA3" on the Beasties' album art meant. Plus, I had thick glasses and got called a nerd, so DMC was a hero to me—a dude who could rock glasses without a hint of nerdiness. I had been into music before, but there was something very different about the connection I had with those records. I memorized every word, every beat, every note.

 

"Like nothing else I had ever heard."

It was Run DMC and Beastie Boys in 1986. I was 9 years old. Run DMC came out with 'Raising Hell,' and the Beasties debuted with 'Licensed to Ill.' I heard both on a boom box at my friend's house, and they changed everything. I was in hysterics when I found out what the "3M TA3" on the Beasties' album art meant. Plus, I had thick glasses and got called a nerd, so DMC was a hero to me—a dude who could rock glasses without a hint of nerdiness. I had been into music before, but there was something very different about the connection I had with those records. I memorized every word, every beat, every note.

I am blank
 

Artist

MF DOOM

"Doomsday"

"That was when I fell in love."

My first real hip-hop crush happened at the age of 19. I played in a punk band back then, but in the small town where I grew up, the hip-hop and the punk scene weren't that far away from each other, since we shared a lot of the same political views. And so I started hanging out with the cool, older hip-hop guys, and started dating one of them. I was eager to get to know all about the street vibes, and he knew everything about hip-hop, so he gave me all his favorites for me to listen to. That was when I fell in love. MF DOOM was the biggest thing for me, followed closely by J Dilla. And then of course Wu Tang, Quasimoto, and Madlib.

 

"That was when I fell in love."

My first real hip-hop crush happened at the age of 19. I played in a punk band back then, but in the small town where I grew up, the hip-hop and the punk scene weren't that far away from each other, since we shared a lot of the same political views. And so I started hanging out with the cool, older hip-hop guys, and started dating one of them. I was eager to get to know all about the street vibes, and he knew everything about hip-hop, so he gave me all his favorites for me to listen to. That was when I fell in love. MF DOOM was the biggest thing for me, followed closely by J Dilla. And then of course Wu Tang, Quasimoto, and Madlib.

I am blank
 

Papoose

Rapper

Big Daddy Kane

"Ain't No Half-Steppin'"

"When he went to the bathroom, I actually stole the tape."

My first hip-hop memory was when I was a kid. A friend of the family came over, and he was playing a cassette tape, and I learned it was Big Daddy Kane. But it was so amazing that when he went to the bathroom, I actually stole the tape. So when he was ready to go, he was like, "Anybody seen my tape?" and I was just sitting there like *stares at the ceiling* and when he left, I started listening to it. That's what made me want to rap, because it was just so amazing to me.

 

"When he went to the bathroom, I actually stole the tape."

My first hip-hop memory was when I was a kid. A friend of the family came over, and he was playing a cassette tape, and I learned it was Big Daddy Kane. But it was so amazing that when he went to the bathroom, I actually stole the tape. So when he was ready to go, he was like, "Anybody seen my tape?" and I was just sitting there like *stares at the ceiling* and when he left, I started listening to it. That's what made me want to rap, because it was just so amazing to me.

I am blank
 

"What is this hip-hop trying to invade the snowboard scene?"

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. When I was a teenager I was involved with skateboarding and snowboarding culture. That was when all the snowboarding videos were starting to use hip-hop. One of the first times I went snowboarding with friends we were driving up the canyon in a beater car with two-wheel drive. There was a blizzard and we were sliding all over the road. We were listening to the Method Man and Redman album. I remember thinking, first of all, that we were going to die, and then also like, “Give me my Misfits. Give me my Clash. What is this hip-hop trying to invade the snowboard scene?'

Patrick Fugit

Actor

Method Man & Redman

"Da Rockwilder"

 

"What is this hip-hop trying to invade the snowboard scene?"

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. When I was a teenager I was involved with skateboarding and snowboarding culture. That was when all the snowboarding videos were starting to use hip-hop. One of the first times I went snowboarding with friends we were driving up the canyon in a beater car with two-wheel drive. There was a blizzard and we were sliding all over the road. We were listening to the Method Man and Redman album. I remember thinking, first of all, that we were going to die, and then also like, “Give me my Misfits. Give me my Clash. What is this hip-hop trying to invade the snowboard scene?'

I am blank
 

Pusha T

Rapper

U.T.F.O.

"Roxanne, Roxanne"

"Me and my brother would practice breakdancing to this record every day."

My first memory of hip-hop is receiving a UTFO record in the mail from my older sister who lived in Harlem at the time and worked at a record store. I was 7 years old, and that record was "Roxanne, Roxanne." Me and my brother would practice breakdancing to this record every day!

 

"Me and my brother would practice breakdancing to this record every day."

My first memory of hip-hop is receiving a UTFO record in the mail from my older sister who lived in Harlem at the time and worked at a record store. I was 7 years old, and that record was "Roxanne, Roxanne." Me and my brother would practice breakdancing to this record every day!

 

"Life-altering experience."

I was doing the dishes when WDAS-FM premiered "Rapper's Delight" on the radio October of 1979. I stared at the clock radio like it was Orson Welles' 'War Of the Worlds.' Life-altering experience.

Questlove

Artist

The Sugarhill Gang

"Rapper's Delight"

 

"Life-altering experience."

I was doing the dishes when WDAS-FM premiered "Rapper's Delight" on the radio October of 1979. I stared at the clock radio like it was Orson Welles' 'War Of the Worlds.' Life-altering experience.

I am blank
 

"It was just a DJ and an MC who never made it out of the neighborhood."

My first time, that first memory of hip-hop was when I was 7 years old, at a street block party on Staten Island. It was just a DJ and an MC who never made it out of the neighborhood. He was just the dude right there. The only people that knew him were the people from his building. And he said, “Dip dip dive, so socialize, clean out your ears and you open your eyes,” and I was hooked. Hooked. That was it.

RZA

Rapper/Producer

DJ Grand Wizard Theodore

"Military Cut"

 

"It was just a DJ and an MC who never made it out of the neighborhood."

My first time, that first memory of hip-hop was when I was 7 years old, at a street block party on Staten Island. It was just a DJ and an MC who never made it out of the neighborhood. He was just the dude right there. The only people that knew him were the people from his building. And he said, “Dip dip dive, so socialize, clean out your ears and you open your eyes,” and I was hooked. Hooked. That was it.

I am blank
 

Travis Barker

Artist

Beastie Boys

"The New Style"

"It was the same rebelliousness I got from listening to punk rock."

I think my introduction was Beastie Boys, but I probably didn't even recognize it as hip-hop. It was just music at the time. Music was always just music to me. It was never like, "I skateboard so I can only listen to D.R.I. or The Faction." I was always happily confused. I liked everything, kind of like how people are today. But even back in the day there was something about listening to N.W.A. or Public Enemy or The Pharcyde or Ice Cube—it was the same rebelliousness I got from listening to punk rock. I grew up skateboarding to both of them.

 

"It was the same rebelliousness I got from listening to punk rock."

I think my introduction was Beastie Boys, but I probably didn't even recognize it as hip-hop. It was just music at the time. Music was always just music to me. It was never like, "I skateboard so I can only listen to D.R.I. or The Faction." I was always happily confused. I liked everything, kind of like how people are today. But even back in the day there was something about listening to N.W.A. or Public Enemy or The Pharcyde or Ice Cube—it was the same rebelliousness I got from listening to punk rock. I grew up skateboarding to both of them.

I am blank
 

Ty Dolla $ign

Artist

Mista Grimm

"Indo Smoke"

"That's how I learned to play bass."

Ice Cube's “Today Was A Good Day” was a hip-hop anthem in Los Angeles. It was like the soundtrack to my life. The first time I heard Mista Grimm's “Indo Smoke”—I wasn't smoking yet—I couldn't get the bass line out of my head. That's how I learned to play bass. And Warren G is the reason I started making beats.

 

"That's how I learned to play bass."

Ice Cube's “Today Was A Good Day” was a hip-hop anthem in Los Angeles. It was like the soundtrack to my life. The first time I heard Mista Grimm's “Indo Smoke”—I wasn't smoking yet—I couldn't get the bass line out of my head. That's how I learned to play bass. And Warren G is the reason I started making beats.

I am blank
 

Vashtie Kola

DJ

Eric B. & Rakim

"Paid In Full"

"It was empowering and exciting to say the least."

My first memory of hip-hop was watching MTV when they still played music videos. I was probably about 5 years old, before I was able to explore the world outside. MTV was my vehicle. I remember seeing Run DMC, Rakim, and even Neneh Cherry. It was a bit mesmerizing because the majority of images on TV were usually of affluent white people, and here were people who looked like me and dressed like the kids in my neighborhood. It was empowering and exciting to say the least.

 

"It was empowering and exciting to say the least."

My first memory of hip-hop was watching MTV when they still played music videos. I was probably about 5 years old, before I was able to explore the world outside. MTV was my vehicle. I remember seeing Run DMC, Rakim, and even Neneh Cherry. It was a bit mesmerizing because the majority of images on TV were usually of affluent white people, and here were people who looked like me and dressed like the kids in my neighborhood. It was empowering and exciting to say the least.

I am blank
 

"No one has an earlier memory of hip-hop than me."

My earliest memory of hip-hop is before everyone’s. No one has an earlier memory of hip-hop than me, I'll bet you. My first favorite was a commercial. Drive on down to Great Bear. It was a tire commercial or something, and if your tire went out, you'd drive on down to Great Bear. There was a rap in it. It predates Run-DMC. I feel like it was even a year before Afrika Bambaataa. But I used to breakdance to Afrika Bambaataa. I go way back.

Vin Diesel

Actor

Afrika Bambaataa

"Planet Rock"

 

"No one has an earlier memory of hip-hop than me."

My earliest memory of hip-hop is before everyone’s. No one has an earlier memory of hip-hop than me, I'll bet you. My first favorite was a commercial. Drive on down to Great Bear. It was a tire commercial or something, and if your tire went out, you'd drive on down to Great Bear. There was a rap in it. It predates Run-DMC. I feel like it was even a year before Afrika Bambaataa. But I used to breakdance to Afrika Bambaataa. I go way back.

I am blank
 

Warren G

Artist

Jimmy Spicer

"The Bubble Bunch"

"We would have cyphers on our way back from work."

Being around Dr. Dre when he was DJing with Uncle Jamm's Army, I used to hear a lot of the music he would play, stuff like Jimmy Spicer, Roxanne Shanté, The Beastie Boys, KRS-One, and Ice T. That was some of the first hip-hop I heard. Dre was mixing these records on his mixtapes so he put me on to all these artists. I was an athlete, so I was more into sports. I would play around with music and when I was 13 or 14 I started working with Snoop, Nate, The Twinz, and other neighborhood kids. We would have cyphers on our way back from work, just freestyling, so we started a group called Voltron Crew.

 

"We would have cyphers on our way back from work."

Being around Dr. Dre when he was DJing with Uncle Jamm's Army, I used to hear a lot of the music he would play, stuff like Jimmy Spicer, Roxanne Shanté, The Beastie Boys, KRS-One, and Ice T. That was some of the first hip-hop I heard. Dre was mixing these records on his mixtapes so he put me on to all these artists. I was an athlete, so I was more into sports. I would play around with music and when I was 13 or 14 I started working with Snoop, Nate, The Twinz, and other neighborhood kids. We would have cyphers on our way back from work, just freestyling, so we started a group called Voltron Crew.

I am blank
 

"A Tribe Called Quest was the first hip-hop I fell in love with."

My first memory of hip-hop… Wow, I have no idea what my first memory of hip-hop was. I mean, A Tribe Called Quest was the first hip-hop I fell in love with. I was probably 11.

Zoe Kravitz

Artist

A Tribe Called Quest

"Check The Rhime"

 

"A Tribe Called Quest was the first hip-hop I fell in love with."

My first memory of hip-hop… Wow, I have no idea what my first memory of hip-hop was. I mean, A Tribe Called Quest was the first hip-hop I fell in love with. I was probably 11.

I am blank

CREDITS

Illustrations - Bernard Rollins

Design - Jonathan Fouabi

Product - Stephanie Musat

Edit - Jacob Moore, Graham Corrigan, Alex Gardner, John Walaszek, India Nicholas, Sarah Honda

Developers - Geoffrey Chin, Jonathan Crockett, Nick Gish