space jam

The PotW Staff Remembers Their First Favorite Album


Music listeners are essentially dopamine addicts. The chemicals are secreted every time we hear a song we love.  We all remember the CD that changed us from casual listeners into audio fiends. Maybe we enjoyed the smooth grooves of a boyband or decided Sisqo had some street cred, but there’s nothing quite like discovering that life-changing album. Even if it was Creed’s greatest hits. Allow us to wax nostalgic for a second.



My introduction to music had an uncertain beginning. As an eight year old, I went through the painful process of being forced to return several albums by god-fearing parents. Targets included: Coolio for explicit language/bad hair, The Bloodhound Gang for poo jokes and boy band All-4-One, of “I Swear” fame, for sweetly harmonizing sex metaphors.

Months after letting Bryan Adams and a Christian rap tape gather dust, I sat watching Space Jam in a small theater. During the scene when a young Michael Jordan dunks, my eyes watered as I pictured myself also soaring through the air. I was blissfully unaware of a future in which I would a) still be white and b) only grow to the height of Big Sean. However, as soon as I could convince my family I wasn’t about to turn into Satan, the Space Jam soundtrack was in my uncoordinated little hands.

It was a crash course in rap and R&B, featuring everyone from Jay-Z to D’Angelo, to disappearing acts like Changing Faces and my former musical brethren All-4-One. Before his underage rendezvous gained interest, R Kelly sung his anthem “I Believe I Can Fly,” Coolio gave inspirational life advice which he clearly didn’t follow on “The Winner,” and Biz Markie met the Spin Doctors on “That’s The Way I Like It.” There was also a mysterious artist called “feat”or “ft,” who seemed incredibly prolific and appeared on almost every song. I distinctly remember telling people they were my favorite artist, until I discovered months later that “ft” was actually short for featuring.

“Hit Em High” was the album’s posse cut and undoubtedly my personal favorite. Somehow it managed to sound hardcore despite featuring no swear words, a feat even that the mighty Lil Romeo was unable to achieve. I listened to the soundtrack almost every day and could rap the lyrics word for word. My perception of music was forever altered and although my basketball career tanked, my obsession with everything audio had begun. It wasn’t until years later that my musical taste regressed to Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock. Oh the follies of youth.

 


The Music Survey

First album: Space Jam soundtrack.

Space jam

 

I loved the movie so it made sense that I got the album too. My first introduction to Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Method Man and D'Angelo, so not a bad start really.

This was my favourite track and I still know it word for word:

Note: Technically my first CD was actually the self-titled album by cheesy 90s group All-4-One, but my mother made me return it because it had subtle masturbation metaphors. I brought it because of the strength of this uplifting and revolutionary ballad. I was like eight or nine so give me a break.

First concert: Blindspott

I can’t remember exactly, but New Zealand nu metal band Blindspott played at my high school and I still remember the vocalist pretending to scream as a pre-recorded track played in the background.

Pathetic.

Last album: Big L: Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous

I had a big gap in my music knowledge so this album was on my to-listen list for a long time. Pretty entertaining album thanks to Big L's wordplay, despite the samey beats with shouted hooks.

Last concert: Kanye West and Jay-Z: Watch The Throne.

My first time seeing both of them and my first show at The Staples Centre. Say what you want about Ye's arrogance or the declining quality in Jay's music, but they are amazing live.

Favourite albums: A ridiculously hard question.

I’d say the holy Wu trinity: Supreme Clientele, Ironman and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx or Tool`s Anima album. Maybe throw in some Chip Tha Ripper, Vintersorg, *Shels, and B.I.G as well.

Musical guilty pleasure: More cheesy 90s R&B or power metal I liked when I was angry and 13.

If you're reading, share your survey answers!