I was never much of a 2Pac fan, but I always loved his track “Do For Love” off R U Still Down [Remember Me] – the first of his umpteen billion posthumous albums. This one first dropped in the fall of 1997. Sadly, in our iTunes culture, it’s become a lost track, but that’s why things like YouTube are invaluable resources. This is probably the most emo 2Pac could ever get, short of thicker glasses and wearing rejected, oversized Cosby sweaters.
And, of course, if I’m going to post a rare 2Pac clip, I’ve got to show you a little something from Biggie Smalls, and I found something perfect – 17 year old Notorious B.I.G. freestyling on the streets of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn; prime footage of BIG when he was still unsigned talent, local phenomenon.
These days, if you hit up Bed-Stuy, you’re liable to find one of three things – a renovated crack house that goes for $1000 a month, a luxury condo, or a Time Out-winning restaurant. The landscape of this borough is constantly evolving; far past the Hipster Cliches that seemed to rule the 718 only a few years ago. And to be frank: Williamsburg has been officially annexed by Manhattan, so no one south of it takes it all that seriously anymore. Now, we have The Barclays Center to worry about, partly masterminded by BIG’s former protege, Jay-Z. With the impending arrival of an NBA franchise 15 blocks away from my house, there’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said. Brooklyn has changed, and some of the elements that made it Brooklyn are gone, too. But as with all things, new can only bring another identity for another generation of Brooklynites. And I wonder sometimes, what that will be, the possibilities are endless. Therefore, I’m applying tomorrow to open up a Dinosaur Farm in Ditmas Park. Bike shorts and t-shirts to be available via Cafepress come June.