A Demo Tape and a White Bronco – Hip Hop: I Still Love H.E.R.

After recently writing about how Hip Hop music got us through the Covid-19 pandemic, I dug deep into my own crates for this next one. I was a Chicago rapper in the 90s (the golden age of Hip Hop), fully immersed in the culture – with a knapsack on my back, shell-toe Adidas on my feet, and notebooks full of rhymes written in graffiti. I went by the name “24K” (long before the current “24KGoldn” rapper – not saying he bit the name but just saying…just saying).

On June 17, 1994 I finished a demo tape with two audio engineers at 18th and S. Michigan Avenue. This was the same day that O.J. Simpson fled police in a white Bronco (we watched it with the sound off on a monitor while we worked like the music was the soundtrack to his drive).

June 17, 1994 footage of O.J. Simpson fleeing police in a white Bronco.

This was also the same year Nas released “Illmatic”, Notorious B.I.G. released “Ready to Die”, Artifacts released “Between A Rock and A Hard Place”, and Common dropped “Resurrection”. Actually so many dope albums dropped in `94 it’s hard to count.

Here’s a visual catalog courtesy of ilovehiphop88.

Some of my style and flow influences were from contemporaries like Boogiemonsters and Souls of Mischief. Samples on my three track B-Boy love-child range from Too Short to Marvin Gaye. The tape was so important to me that I included it in my application to college. It reflects a 17 year old young man in love with Hip Hop and excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the culture.

Well, enough talk…listen for yourself and see if my flow cuts harder than O.J…

24K Demo Tape Track List

1. What You Wanna Be Me For

2. Lost in the Woods

3. Sick of All the Wack

Published by Kelwin Harris

Kelwin Harris is a public speaker, city planner and public engagement professional who focuses on creating equitable communities, empowering people that have been historically excluded from connectivity, and dismantling inequity in Chicago.

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