Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)
I’m a hip-hop junkie, straight up. I’ve been one since I was in elementary school, when I first heard Run-D.M.C. and became obsessed with their King of Rock cassette. Fast-forward three decades, and I’m still on the same shit. Sure, I’m an adult now, with a wife and three kids that I dedicate my whole life to. But that doesn’t mean I’m not all over every little morsel of rap goodness the moment I get the chance. If I’m not listening to hip-hop, it’s a safe bet that in my spare time I’m reading or writing about it.
Luckily, I’ve been able to build a nice little side career as a rap scribe, which has afforded me some pretty unique opportunities, especially for a kid whose coming of age coincided with the ’90s rap boom. I’ve been in Pete Rock and Erick Sermon’s basements, talking with them about how they make their music. I’ve hung out with Raekwon and Ghostface and the RZA and listened to them tell me old Wu stories. I’ve chopped it up with Common and Fat Joe and Diamond D and Dres and Del on the phone about their classic material. I once kicked it with Large Professor for three hours in the studio breaking down all the historic moments from his career! But like all true hip-hop junkies, I need more.