Like most people in my generation, I was heavily influenced by MTV. Most of us here at G:TB had the good fortune of growing up at a time when MTV actually regularly broadcast music videos. As opposed to the awful reality programming it’s now known for. As Zman mentioned earlier this week, its easy to forget just how great Yo! MTV Raps (and many other musical genre specific programs of that era, i.e. Headbanger’s Ball, 120 Minutes, etc.) was during its heyday. Nearly all of the great hip hop artists of the late 80s and early 90s debuted in some form or fashion on Yo! I regularly scheduled my Friday nights around being in front of a TV in order to watch Yo! , as it was often my only chance to see the videos for all of my favorite hip hop artists (For some reason BET was only broadcast after 8 pm on my local cable carrier at the time, so I was deprived the pleasure of watching Rap City at this juncture of my life).
Not surprisingly, I was influenced by much of what I saw in these hip hop videos. I’m not different than many white kids who fell in love with hip hop in their teen years and were subsequently enamored with a culture that was far different than what they knew in their everyday lives. While I didn’t go overboard with my mimicry like many, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t draw on some of these videos for use in my everyday life (like say switching from joints to blunts for a period of time in the mid 90s).
One of the most popular, influential and memorable videos of this era was Nuthin' but a G Thang, the lead single from Dr. Dre’s debut album The Chronic. It was, and still is, an iconic song. On top of that, the video was fantastic and full of memorable imagery. Everything from a young Warren G giddily smoking a joint to a buxom female having her top yanked off during a volleyball to a refrigerator filled to the brim with 40s of Olde English and many, many more. And while all these scenes are burned into my memory, nothing in this video stuck with me like one of the first images of the video. That image? Snoop Dogg’s sweatshirt.
You see, I grew up in a small beach community known as Indian Harbour Beach, or the “IHB” as I half-jokingly referred to it. Immediately upon seeing Snoop’s “LBC” sweatshirt, I promised myself that one day I would have an IHB version of Snoop’s sweatshirt. Well, thanks to a lazy summer Saturday and too much free time on my own hands, that day was Tuesday. That’s when the greatest sweatshirt I’ve ever owned arrived in the mail. Behold:
Now I just have to wait two months until it gets cold enough for me to wear it.