Grade 6 official transition between sweatpants and jeans. Grade 7 burgeoning teenager. This is a tale of the year 1997. I was in a new school due to rezoning. The student Machiavellian politics were thrown into chaos. Lost, I started to really get into music as well as having my first real introduction to hip hop due to being in a class with a bunch of Haitians who knew what was up. It was a new world for my earz. My music was still limited to what radio and television showed me but looking back on my tastes I think you can see the seeds of coolness.
Grade 7-8 Iain still had a weird feeling of loyalty to guitar driven music. One song that I shat my pants for in 97 was BLINK 182's DAMMIT. It was also the anthem at Camp Air-Eau-Bois during the summer of 98. But it was pop punk which led me to punk to hardcore and back to pop punk. That's why I say for 100 fucking dumbasses that like my chemical romance there will be 1 really cool guy who will become a music nerd and 1 ugly duckling girl that will blossom into a hot scene chick. Be nice to uggos cause they can get right over the summer! First day of school jaw drops ftw. I still really love this song. Straight pleasure with no guilt.
Staying inside punk shit I discovered PENNYWISE off a shitty compilation album, think big shiny tunes). These comps is was what kids did pre-mp3s to get the one off songs they wanted cause you didn't want to risk spending 15 bucks on a full album that had one song you liked and a bunch that sucked. (ie: i mother earth). The song was SOCIETY. I never saw the video on tv because it was banned. Later on in high school I felt bad for so call "punk kids" who told me Pennywise was the "real shit" when I was trying to tell them about local hardcore shows. This song did a lot to get me interested in politics though. I just found out this year that they were a legit HC act in Cali during the 80's. Kinda ironic.
The next song changed my life the most. HYPNOTIZE by THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. who to this day still is one of my absolute favorite artists. Hypnotize even more so than Wu Tang made me see why Hip Hop was superior to the top 40 rock I was digging at the time. I had to give it up. Biggie was also obese like my obese childhood self. Kind of dorky to say that he gave me confidence in being cool and a fatass, he helped me have swagger. Shit my school picture that year my lips looked really big and I wasn't smiling and said Haitians started calling me white biggie or biggie blanc. I had zero problem with being called that. Today I am much less fat but I still dig the big. As time went on I went beyond liking the pop aspects of biggies career and got into the pristine beautifully constructed coke raps that are very introspective. I give you the video that made hip hop THE mainstream music.
For English class that year we had to make a commercial for something. We did ours for Adidas basketball sneakers. I was a fat Russian exchange student who sucked at basketball. I strap on the sneaks and BLOCK ROCKIN BEATS by THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS comes on in the backround and I dunk on a bunch of kids. We had pretty nifty special effect tricks to make it look like I was for real dunkin and got a dude's dad to layer the music on top of the images. I wish I had that tape.
97 was a great year.