Hip Hop and the Knicks have been intertwined in my life since..... hell since I can remember. Let me take you down "Memory Lane" just a little bit. I lived in the Cornhill section of Utica, NY, Upstate, NY, small city, very poor city, we didn't have major metro subway system or major stars coming to town. We had the Syracuse Orangeman and either the Celtics or the Knicks and of course HIP HOP!! I remember using the tokens welfare gave us (when I didn't sell em) to jump on the city bus, ride to the mall and use the change I had from cashing in food stamps to purchase the latest tape coming out that week. Big Daddy Kane, Eric B. and Rakim, LL, King Sun, Brand Nubian, Kwame, Tribe.... I can go on forever so I'll stop there. Those were the days... I could basically buy cassette tapes with food stamps!!! HA HA!!
I'd always leave the mall early so I can get back, have enough time to play some ball, then rush home and listen to the Knicks on the radio. I'd turn off the lights, lay my head next to the speaker and picture the game being played in my head. Listening to the radio always made me feel as though I was right at the game. Even when we were tapping into someone elses cable and I was able to get MSG... sometimes.... I'd still listen to the games on the radio... it just felt authentic.
That was around 1992 and reminiscing on those days...... man!!
But 1994 was the year, one of my most memorable years!!
I had a brief conversation with Charles Oakley (@CharlesOakley34) on twitter and he asked me if I had seen a video that dated back to the Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, John Starks Era, of course since its OAK I checked out the video, and man!!, I felt like I was in 1994 all over again.
March 27th my son was born. I was a senior in High School, being recruited to play ball at some area colleges and all I could do was anticipate this date. It was beautiful. I bought him a basketball pacifier and put a Nerf basketball hoop in his crib... guess what I wanted him to do?
The Hip Hop scene was crazy... East Coast NY rap was coming back after the West Coast took over for a minute. Biggie, Wu... and my personal favorite... Nas dropped Illmatic!! April 19 , 1994. It was like this album was the storybook to my life and Nas dropped it so eloquently, I could literally smell the NY concrete oozing through my speakers. Illmatic arguably the greatest hip hop album of all time.
Then to top it off the Knicks battled through the playoffs and made the NBA finals. With sheer will, intensity, hard work and defense!! These Knicks etched a place in my heart that I don't know can be matched by any other Knicks team. Although we didn't win.... I still consider that team Champions in my heart. ( I purposely left out NBC cutting off the Knicks/Rockets game to show...... THE OJ SIMPSON CHASE!!!... I WAS PISSED!!!)
Oh yeah on a side note.. I graduated in June of 1994 too and started working out for the Junior College of Albany D1 Team.
1994 such a beautiful year. My son is born, Illmatic Drops, I graduate, work out for future college coaches and the Knicks are in the NBA Finals!!!
"Let me take a trip down Memory Lane" - Memory Lane - Nas (Illmatic) 1994
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