"When it comes to Hip Hop, every die hard fan has a favorite of some sort. Something that when they hear, see, or just even think about, it instantly transports them back in time. A favorite rapper, a favorite DJ, a favorite era, a favorite record... a favorite something! That is what the "The Ghost of '89" represents.
The year 1989 is special to me for a few reasons. First off, most will agree that Hip Hop's "Golden Era" is roughly between the years of 1987-1995. With that being stated, it must be noted that the earlier years were filled with experimentation; some classics, some hits, and a lot of misses. While some of Hip Hop's biggest hits came out of this era, it was also rife with a lot of records that were just clumsy and miss the mark. In 1990 and beyond, although Hip Hop had matured and found its "swag", it also found itself often being co-opted and sold to the highest bidder. Thus, its artistic integrity was compromised. That is what makes 1989 the "golden" moment if you will. It's officially when Hip Hop graduated and began to hold its own.
In 1989, Hip Hop took everything that it had learned up until that point and gave it a polish. Production became tighter, mixes became cleaner, and rhyme styles became more complex – all while maintaining its artistic integrity. You could be intelligent or you could be ignorant, but whatever you did you you HAD to be original and you HAD to sound good to compete. These unwritten rules are what kept the bar high and why anything less than pure excellence was cast aside and left for the suckas to consume. Yeah, everybody dug from the same crates and used the same records, but they did it with their own pizzazz and flare and made it a point to never sound like the next man.
On any given Saturday in 1989, I would listen to college radio and hear the obscure breakbeats and samples that were being used in the production style of that era. Then, I would listen to a mixshow on commercial radio and hear DJs scratching and mixing the hottest records live on air. After that I would watch YO! MTV Raps to catch the newest videos. Finally, I would listen to (and record) "Rapper's Delight" the premier Hip Hop radio show on Cleveland commercial radio, to hear the newest and dopest records. Not to mention I was listening to my own vast tape collection throughout the day. I wasn't just a fan, I was a consumed student and every new song was like a new lesson with Hip Hop being my textbook.
I can specifically recall, tuning into YO! MTV Raps one Saturday morning in the summer of '89 and seeing the World Premier of both "Funky Enough" by The D.O.C. and "Words I Manifest" by Gangstarr back to back. The feeling of seeing two dope undisputed classics for the first time was a feeling that I have been chasing since that moment. That's what prompted me to manifest "The Ghost of '89"; that feeling of constantly being bombarded with with new dopeness. Nothing felt better than hearing music for the first time and not being able to contain myself; and then, hearing song after song that made me feel the same. Before sex and drugs, I got high off of "new dopeness"
The Ghost of '89 began as nothing more than a drill to see if I could make music that – if you closed your eyes and listened to it – you would think it was something directly from the Golden Era of Hip Hop. However, it concluded as a body of work that, not only does that, but it also pays respect to my heroes and the sonic geniuses that made me want to make beats in the first place. I would also like to state that the title "The Ghost of '89" is just a title. The music contained within is not just a representation of 1989 but the entire "Golden Era" itself. I made sure that I not only stayed true to the principles of that era but I also made sure that all of the music could stand alone and complete in the current musical landscape. Perfect for your Jeep, Walkman, boombox or spaceship."
-Bang Messiah, October 2016
released November 25, 2016
Produced and recorded by Bang Messiah at The 40hz Church
Mixed at Red Lion Studios
Cover art by SWiMr@Adeptswim_CST
Executive Produced by Bang Messiah & Chaddie B for ABSNFC
Special Thanks to my heroes: Larry Smith, Davy DMX, Jam Master Jay, The Bomb Squad, The LA Posse, DJ Pooh, Sir Jinx, Dr. Dre & Yella, Doctor Dré, Rick Rubin, Steve Ett, Marley Marl, Paul C, DJ Mark 45 King, D-Nice, DJ Doc, Kurtis Mantronik, Sam Sever, Bobcat, Hurt Luv Bug, Steady B, Hitman Howie Tee, DJ Quik, DJ Mike T, Prince Paul, DJ Premier, The Torcha Chamba, Ced Gee, EQ, Mixmaster Quick, KD, Rob The Repo-Man, Scarface, DJ Ready Red, Bido, Crazy C, Mr. Mixx, Devastator, King Of Chill, Prince Paul, Daddy-O & DBC, Steady B, Organized Noize and Fat Jack.