Profound Hip Hop Quote #17: Homage to Philly Edition

30 Apr

“Smashing those who stand in my path;
counting ’em down like math.
planning, mapping, rapping them down,
from my part of town! 

—Tuff Crew, “My Part of Town”

Tuff CrewClick here to watch the video!!

It’s the end of the month, and I am still paying homage to some of the Philly rappers from the past who have made an impact on this culture and on me. Who knew there were so many from the late 80s and 90s.  When I think about a rap group  who not only put Philly on the map on a national and even  international level but also put my “town” on the map, I think of Tuff Crew consisting of Ice Dog, L. A. Kid, Monty G, Tone Love, and DJ Too Tuff.  I was in middle school when I was first heard, “My Part of Town.”  Not only were the lyrics and delivery on point, but  what really put this song on my radar was the tantalizing hook.

What is it that makes these specific song so profound?  It’s a combination of the music itself and the content.  Scratching and mixing it up on the “wheels of steel” was highly regarded in the 80s and early 90s, and DJ Too Tuff was a beast on the turn tables enticing all party goers to jump out of their seats and hit the dance floor to prove they were “So damn tuff!” The members of Tuff Crew were culturally and ethnically diverse and commanded the attention and respect of all who listened as they claimed what was theirs while fully displaying their machismo.  It takes courage and confidence to be willing to “smash those who stand in your path” as you represent where you are from and what’s most important to you.

Even though this behavior can potentially have an adverse effect, leading to gang turf  mentalities, it can be positive as well. Most people take pride in where they are from and will even give back to the community or put forth their best effort because they know that they are representing more than just themselves.  They may be representing a street, a neighborhood, a town, a city or even a nation.

Who or what do you represent?  Do you take pride in where you are from? Are you putting forth an effort to improve “your part of town?”

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Tuff Crew uses a simile  to stress their point about taking out all competition and opposition: “Counting ’em down like math.” Both similes and metaphors are excellent ways to demonstrate a point because it offers comparison to ensure that the lister has a clear understanding, and it also presents the information in a way that requires some critical thinking on behalf of the listener rather than stating it plainly.

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