I could swear I remember watching DMG’s ‘u don’t hear me doe’ on The Box as a kid, or at least at one time I remembered that. Memories are memories of memories now. This song also appeared on Scarface’s The World Is Yours, leading to lots of mislabeling in the Napster era, but Face doesn’t appear on this record at all—just a bit of Rap-A-Lot cross promotion. Contra the video caption, as the opening four seconds say, DMG was from St. Paul, Minnesota. This originally appeared on his album Rigamortiz, about which I have little to say despite having heard it multiple times.
I’m really posting this to draw attention to the tie-top beanie he sports in the video. I’m surprised in the last five years of ’90s retromania that they never made a reappearance in any popular forum. 2Pac was definitely the rapper who sported them most often, as seen here in the “Gotta Get Mine” video (which I definitely saw on The Box).
This song has a timelessness both musical and material. This might strike some readers as blindingly obvious, but 2Pac’s continued relevance is shared by few artists; he seemed to recognize the heart of the matter more quickly than everyone else, and his ideological fixation—rather than narrowing the creative possibilities—allowed him to withstand the billowing winds of trends. Certain lines stand out as more or less relevant to certain eras—”only underground funk pumping out of my trunk” feels especially resonant today.
Warren G produced this record; I like how it sits in a funky space between West Coast and East Coast, that squawking saxophone giving a jazzier vibe than you’d typically hear on say a Twinz cut. In 5th grade, I had a tie top beanie that was black & yellow striped. They sold them at Walgreens, I’m pretty sure.