While getting some coffee the other day, I overheard a varied group of teens talking about “old school music”. Music from the 90s that is.
I chuckled inwardly.
One of them was playing Nas and Lauryn Hill’s “If I Ruled the World”. At least he had good taste in music, I thought.
“You like old school Nas or new Nas?” I asked him.
“Old school,” he replied confidently.
“Mid 90s Nas?” I challenged.
“Yeah. Like this one,” he proudly replied and seemed to visually high five his friend.
“Ah,” I said, and went about my business.
I chuckled to myself again. Probably too nuanced a question for a high school student. Nas released his debut album, Illmatic, in ’94. “If I Ruled the World” was on his second album, It Was Written. Album two came out in ’96.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him old school Nas and new Nas were the same.
Discovering music is a journey meant to be enjoyed free from judgement or expectations. It is personal and not to be interrupted.
Ask me if I’m tryna kick knowledge
Nah. I’m tryna kick the shit you need to learn though
That ether. That shit that make your soul burn slow
(Nas, Ether 2001)