The history of my rap fandom

Welcome to FenDre Park!

I’ve been a rap fan since the early 80’s, beginning with my first viewing of Breakin’.

Some of my other favorite memories and rappers from the various eras include:

However, I did take a fairly extended “break” from active listening to rap music for a few years in the early 2000’s and for a few years recently but I am glad to be back in The Game. But I am not a fan of Jay-Z or pretty much any “mainstream” hip hop.

Today, I am an underground hip hop fan and I will spotlight two of my recent, new (to me) favorite artists: Sabac Red and Nipsey Hussle.

Sabac Red

Masterpiece of politically-charged hip hop.

I recall seeing the Sabacolypse CD cover a few years ago back when I discovered Necro. I was also listening to a lot of hardcore and metal (still do) and Necro had a collaboration with Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed. As is usually the case with underground music, you buy a CD or get into one artist or band, and you check their website or read the CD insert and you see ads and CD covers for other artists on their label. That’s how I discovered Sabac, but it was only recently that I got into his full catalog thanks to the revelation that is Spotify.

Sabac has not released much recently, probably due to the fact that he is a youth counselor in Oakland, keeping kids on the straight and narrow and being a positive influence. That’s what a real G does, he gives back. And that’s why I am a fan of Sabac. He not only spits the real, he lives it as well.

Here’s a video for “The Committment”, which is by FAR the most inspirational rap song I have ever heard in my life. Why? Just listen to his lyrics. ‘bac pledges that he will be a better man, and the whole 9. Then…homeboy pledges he will EAT HEALTHIER! Yes!

OK, granted Tupac rapped something similar in “Changes”, and maybe there were other instances of rappers pledging to go vegan or whatever, but this rhyme caught my ear and I dig this joint and you will, too:

Nipsey Hussle

Real G’s ride bicycles.

The first-ever joint I heard from Nipsey was “Who Detached Us?” (video below, peep it) which features a sample of Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. This was the first-time I had ever really paid attention to Jobs’s message from the speech, and I love how it fits perfectly with the flow and vibe of the song. Nipsey is all about “hustling at your grind and grinding at your hustle” and I take a similar attitude to my life and work as well.

Nipsey is still in The Game and I predict big things from the young hustler. He has amazing rhymes, a knack for picking excellent, underplayed samples, and has the positive message that can be accepted from the hardest OG to anybody willing to work hard to pursue their dreams and live the life they want to live. Get down on the Nipmeister now, before he blows up big, and then you can make snarky Facebook comments that you liked his early mixtape  material better.


I occasionally tweet rap lyrics as #MCJimmyK, my rapper alterTweego (yeah I said it. What?)

Someday, I may actually record my rhymes, but only after much practice. I do, however, already have a few logos designed by my buddy Adam Femino (he also created the Idea Hunters logo for this blog). I’m already picturing a line of $30 snapbacks and $45 hoodies. How else will I pay for all the free mixtapes I make available for download?

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Free doesn’t pay the bills. Hustle does. #MCJimmyK #BlogExclusive

James K. Kim About James K. Kim
James K. Kim (Jim) is a commercial real estate advisor with Pyramid Brokerage Company of Albany, Inc. in the Capital Region of New York, specializing in helping business owners expand into new locations or sell/lease a commercial retail, office, industrial, or investment property.

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