Throwback Thursdays: Remembering '85
I am looking at 1985.
Regan was inaugurated for the second time (uh, why?), Volcanoes scorched Columbia, Earthquakes shook Mexico, the Huxtables were ruling Thursday nights, and I was a giggling, wide-eyed kindergartner that loved chasing my older brother, watching kung-fu flix on Saturday afternoons, and listening to the Get Fresh Crew.
Seven years separates my brother and I. While he was free to roam around our neighborhood with his friends, I was confined to the boarders of our yard, the only break in my confinement coming when my brother would let me tag along with him. I was so happy to be down with the crew. I was special, the only girl to be let into the circle. Did I care my brother would roll his eyes when our mom said that he could go to the store or the park or down the block, "as long as you take your sister with you"? Heck no! I was just happy to be along for the adventure.
Back then, our South Central neighborhood was a reasonably maintained, working-class section of LA. There was a park a few blocks away, a slurpie shop, liquor stores, and a make-shift arcade. When I was allowed to tag along it was usually to venture to the slurpie shop for ice cream. At the shop, the owner, who was also the Rec. Leader at the park, would allow the kids to crank up KDAY on the radio.
Through the speakers of someone's boombox I heard a man making music with his mouth. Later I would learn it was called beat-boxing, but back then, I thought it was so cool to create music with nothing but one's mouth. My brother and his friends would try to imitate Doug E Fresh, mimicing trumpets and telephones with their voices. While other boys posted up on the tables to Slick Rick's lyrics.
This is how I learned the words to the first song I ever memorized.
Somewhere between slurpies and beat-boxes, I sat and watched and tried to wrap my 5 year-old brain around the words on the radio. I kept coming back to Ricky D's "Tony the Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiger" line, because 1)I loved frosted flakes and 2)Tony the Tiger always looked so cool on his commercials. Little did I know that this was only the beginning of my love affair with music, and in particular, hip hop.
Every single significant year, moment, and memory of my life has a theme song. If a song comes on the radio, I am instantly taken back to where I was or what I was doing when I first heard it. My life, in essence, is a musical. Every memory inextricable connected to the rhythm and the rhyme of the music that moves me. Music is always there, like a trusting, welcoming friend, each and every time I sit and listen.
What's your theme song?
And what were you doing in '85?
Related Tags: hip hop, music, Doug E Fresh, books, 1985, Los Angeles, Politics, Art, Poetry