Category Archives: Music

Top 25 90’s Songs – Hip Hop

Last week, I debuted my “Top 25 90’s Songs – Rock” list and it stirred up a little discussion about some things that were left off. This week is my Hip Hop edition and this was probably the hardest of the Top 25’s lists that I’ve made (R&B coming soon!).

These songs are snapshots of what was going on in hip hop during the 90’s (commonly known as the “Golden Age”). In order to get a good representation, I decided to only take one song from each person/group. There are a couple cross-overs, but that is because it’s part of a duet or a guest-spot on someone else’s song.

Again, these songs are in no particular order, just as I thought of them. If you think I left one off that should be on there, let me know in the comments.

1. “Tha Crossroads” – Bone Thugs
2. “Nuthin But a ‘G’ Thang” – Dr. Dre f. Snoop Dogg
3. “California Love” – 2pac f. Dr. Dre
4. “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” – Diddy f. Mase
5. “Regulate” – Warren G f. Nate Dogg
6. “Triumph” – Wu-Tang Clan
7. “Can I Get A…” – Jay Z f. JaRule
8. “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” – Busta Rhymes
9. “Sabotage” – Beastie Boys
10. “If I Ruled the World” – Nas f. Lauryn Hill
11. “All I Need” – Method Man f. Mary J. Blige
12. “Rosa Parks” – Outkast
13. “Bow Down” – Westside Connection
14. “Gangstas Paradise” – Coolio
15. “Get At Me Dog” – DMX
16. “My Name Is” – Eminem
17. “Ready Or Not” – Fugees
18. “Jump Around” – House of Pain
19. “What They Do” – The Roots
20. “What’s My Name” – Snoop Dogg
21. “Hip Hop Hooray” – Naughty By Nature
22. “Ghetto Superstar” – Pras f. Mya and ODB
23. “Richter Scale” – EPMD
24. “I Wish” – Skee-Lo
25. “Hypnotize” – Notorious B.I.G.

***I purposely left off Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” because while it’s cultural impact and overall greatness cannot be ignored, I never really listened to Public Enemy.

Alright, what songs are on YOUR  list?



Filed under Life, Music, Observations

Top 25 90’s Songs – Rock

Having grown up in the 90’s, I have a natural bias toward the music/movies/pop culture that came from that era. I will tell you it’s better and then offer no defense because I feel that none is needed. Having said that, I have compiled 25 rock songs that sum up the decade for me. Some have sentimental value, some I heard on the radio a thousand times, and some are tied to a specific place and/or time.

That’s what music does. Whether we like it or not, it becomes the soundtrack to our lives. Whether it’s playing in the background or in our headphones, it’s the songs that carry on. So here are my Top 25 90’s Rock Songs (Hip Hop, and also R&B to follow). No links, no commentary, just titles and artists. And if you’re from the 90’s, you won’t need any of that stuff anyway.

1. “The Way” – Fastball
2. “Semi-Charmed Life” – Third Eye Blind
3. “Rock the Party (Off the Hook)” – P.O.D.
4. “Ironic” – Alanis Morissette
5. “No Rain” – Blind Melon
6. “Virtual Insanity” – Jamiroquai
7. “Basket Case” – Green Day
8. “Follow You Down” – Gin Blossoms
9. “Higher” – Creed
10. “Jeremy” – Pearl Jam
11. “Wonderwall” – Oasis
12. “Where It’s At” – Beck
13. “Iris” – Goo Goo Dolls
14. “Only Wanna Be With You” – Hootie and the Blowfish
15. “Who Will Save Your Soul” – Jewel
16. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana
17. “Spiderwebs” – No Doubt
18. “Machinehead” – Bush
19. “Kiss From a Rose” – Seal
20. “Interstate Lovesong” – Stone Temple Pilots
21. “Buddy Holly” – Weezer
22. “Down” – 311
23. “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” – Smashing Pumpkins
24. “Amish Paradise” – Weird Al Yankovic
25. “Under the Bridge” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

What’s on your list?

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Rap in Church (sort of)

Recently, I was given the opportunity to write a spoken word/poetry/rap/thing (still not sure what to call it) for our Easter service here at the church. I wanted it to in a real way, to be a re-telling of the Easter story, but also take it beyond that into the “so what” of the story and how it affects how we live our lives today. Below is the video of me actually doing it and beneath that are the words. Hope you like it!

[Vimeo 10778592]

Forever, Death is Conquered

It’s a pretty familiar story, told in all of its glory
The Risen King, coming to bring a reason to sing!
Or at least show up on Sunday
It’s got all the ingredients, all the pieces in place
One man accused; mocked, beaten, abused
Everyone against him, no one to stand with him
Seems like an open and shut case

Put on display as something less than a man
The mock trial began as he stands before the people
The same people who praised and with palm-branches raised
Shouted “Hosanna” with a worshipful gaze
My how things can change in just a couple-a-days
But now all he hears are chants of “Crucify him!”
And as he looks around, still no one stands beside him

Put him up on a cross; the last bit of his dignity lost
You see for you and me, salvation is free
But this; this is the cost
And after fighting and gasping for every breath
He gave up his spirit because he had nothing left
No more stories to tell, no more people to heal
Even the Roman guard knew that this guy was for real!

But it was far from over

And as the disciples lock doors, close windows, and hide
The women mourned and cried because their savior had just died
Inside they’re broken, looking for some relief
Anything to remove the stain, to ease the pain of their grief

But he didn’t stay down; He didn’t lay down and quit
He rose from the grave in 3 days because his power’s legit
Recorded in Scripture so we’d never forget
That with a cross and three nails, Christ tipped the scales
And paid off our debt

So now we show up on Sunday with a new shirt and tie
But during the week we’re still living a lie
We’ve forgotten the reason that Christ had to die

Let’s remember together that forever, death is conquered
No longer looming, dooming us for eternity
Christ’s blood covers it all, every wrong thing we’ve ever done
And the resurrection of God’s Son
Is the reason we get together and remember
That thru the glorious sacrifice of Christ,
Death is conquered forever.

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Kalahari Parody Video #1

Inspired by some of the most popular songs out there, my friend Mark Artrip (who’s also featuring our parody videos) and I decided to parody some of those songs, make music videos, and show them at our annual Kalahari Retreat.

The first video is all Mark. From his obsession with Jay-Z to wanting to stand in the parking lot as it snowed, this was all him and I think he killed it (metaphorically speaking). He wrote all the lyrics and everything, and this was the first video we showed at our retreat. Check it out, enjoy, and check back for #2 (there are 4 total).

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Great 8


In honor of me going to see one of my favorite bands, MuteMath, in concert, I thought I would put together a list to help you, John/Jane Q. Concert-Goer have the best possible experience at a concert. So here they are in random order (the numbers mean nothing). Read, learn, enjoy.

1. DO listen to the band’s new album before you go. More than likely the tour that they’re on is to promote the new album. Buy it and listen to it so you don’t stand there waiting for that ONE song you know off their last album.

2. DON’T wear any paraphernalia at the concert of the band that you’re going to see; it’s never okay. It’s especially not okay to buy a shirt there and then just throw it over the shirt you’re already wearing (especially if the shirt underneath is bigger than the shirt you just bought.) Just don’t. Trust me.

3. DO go with friends. Concerts are much more enjoyable when you can say, “Remember when…” and, “I can’t believe he…”. At least find someone to go with you for that shared experience so you can at least relive your experience through conversation and not your eleven 30-second cell-phone videos you took and uploaded to Facebook.

4. DON’T do anything on this list.

5. DO get there early. This mainly applies to GA (General Admission) shows because when you get in line determines how enjoyable your experience is. Regardless of whether or not you’re a front-row kind of person, being at the front of the line gives you first pick of any of the places. If you’re going to pay that much for a ticket, at least get a good spot to enjoy it.

6. DON’T be in a hurry to leave. There might be someone in your group who wants to stick around, check out the merch table, or possibly even grab a picture w/the band (if they’re coming out). You standing around tapping your foot and looking at your watch does not help me decide which shirt I want. Plus, the parking lot is most assuredly going to be terrible to try and get out of, so take a chill pill.

7. DO find the biggest fan of the band you saw who wasn’t able to go, and tell them how amazing it was. And then bring it up about once a month until the next chance to see them. Also, at any concert that you go to with that person, say something like, “I mean, this was good. But it wasn’t as good as (fill in the blank).”

8. DON’T spend too much money at the show. More than likely, every piece of merch that is for sale at the show is available somewhere else for less money. If it’s something that you MUST have, go home and check out their website or even eBay. The merch table is there to sucker you in because you just had a sweet experience and now you have to capture that feeling in a shirt, sticker, or program. Walk away, save your money, take a picture with your phone, and then go find it cheaper somewhere else.

Those are just a few “Do’s and Dont’s.” Do you have any to add?

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Great 8


I’ve been to a lot of concerts. Dave Matthews Band (Leroi R.I.P.), Coldplay, U2, The Eagles, MuteMath, EBE Crew. But no matter where you go, who you go with, or who you go to see, there are always those people that you see and you know that if you’re going to enjoy this concert, you need to be as far away from them as possible. I’ve seen ’em all, but here are my Great 8.

1. The Guy Who Tapes the Entire Show – While it used to be just a tape recorder and something small that fits in a shirt pocket, today this guy has upgraded to a video camera. Always hoping for that classic YouTube moment like the dude from Nickelback getting hit in the head with a bottle or Bono falling off stage, he holds his camera high and with pride. And out of all of the “guys” on this list, he’s the most tolerable…until the light on his camera distracts you and all of Section E during the song you’ve been waiting all night to hear.

2. The Karaoke Superstar – This person knows every song. And when I say “knows” I mean sort of recognizes the tune a little bit if you give them a second to think about it. But just like with bad karaoke (is there good karaoke?) the person chooses to belt out songs that he doesn’t even know and really only gets about every third word, maybe. Each song is usually preceded by a “Oh, I LOVE this song…” and then it turns into something like, “Lights wi-…………….YOU home. And indi-…………phone. I……….FIX YOU! Woo!”

3. The Little Kid Who Has No Idea Where He Is or Who He’s Listening To – This is the kid you always wanted to be, but now that you’re out of college and had to save for 3 years to go to this show, you secretly hate him. He walks around in the $45 shirt and the $28 hat that his dad bought him, but you know full well the kid doesn’t even know one band member’s name, let alone all the words to every song they ever wrote (like you, of course.) And no matter how hard you try to avoid this kid, he always seems to be in front of you, ordering a bigger pop or a cooler keychain, and even though you hate him, you still kind of wish you were him.

4. The Loud Talker – This person is probably the most oblivious person in the entire place. He is almost always talking about something unrelated to the concert and it’s at the absolute WORST time. The band has gone off stage and the lead singer has come out by himself for an acoustic encore. You’re trying to guess what it will be and as soon as the first note is played, you hear behind you something like, “Hey, have you seen The Fugitive? I know it came out awhile ago, but I just saw it and liked it a lot! That Tommy Lee Jones…” You’re torn because you want to hear the song, but you also want to punch this dude in the face.

5. The Aisle Dancer – This guy is pretty desperate for attention. Apparently his mom never looked when he shouted for her before he jumped off the swings, so now he wants to make sure no one will ever ignore him again, ever. He never really dances with any rhythm, or connection to the music, it’s mostly just a back and forth motion. The dead giveaway that you’ve spotted one of these guys is that about every 2 minutes, he slowly looks around to see if anyone is watching him. Sorry dude, but the only person watching you is me, and I’m laughing on the inside.

6. The Know-it-All – This guy isn’t a stranger. Sadly, he probably came with you. On the ride up, he told you about all his albums and how long he’s liked the band. He’s rattled off all of these obscure (which is code for “terrible”) songs that only he would know and then acts smugly surprised when you say, “I’ve never heard of that song.” He shows tendancies of the “Loud Talker” as he tells you all the random facts about the song you’re straining to listen to or the song you just heard and then complains because “…they’re not going to do anything off of their first album, which is by FAR the best. My favorite song is ________, but they probably won’t play it. It’s pretty obscure.”

7. The Wanderer – This guy is hard to spot. He’s usually slow, and is in no particular hurry to go anywhere. You may even see him and think nothing of it. But as soon as you realize that he’s just wandering for wandering’s sake, he’s a distraction. He more than likely came by himself, so he’s not tethered to any particular area or seat, so he is everywhere, because he can be. And no matter where you are or where he is, you can see him. And even though it’s you’re favorite song and you paid $210 just to hear it, all you can do is follow this guy up and down the aisle.

8. The Constant Stander(**Does not apply if it’s an SRO event) He’s probably trying to show that he’s a true fan. I mean, a true fan stands up for every song, right? Not necessarily. You can spot this guy because he’s not singing, he’s not clapping, he’s not even swaying a little bit. He’s standing there, arms folded, like he’s listening to a lecture on grout removal. He’s trying way too hard to compensate for the fact that he’s really not a fan at all. And then after staring at the back of his head all night, you realize that he’s really a fan of ticking off the actual fans.

Did I miss any? Who have you seen at concerts that you should avoid?


Filed under Great 8, Life, Music, Observations

David Crowder Does Daft Punk

Just saw this the other day. It’s from January. If you’ve already seen it, watch it again. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it for the first time. Catching a theme? That’s right: watch this video.

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