The Roc Reunion
I can’t start this piece without talking about why Roc-a-fella Records holds such special space in most people’s hearts. The Roc gave an identity to the young black men of different types. The dude that was re-ing weekly had theme music. The retro-soulful back drops matched with timeless syncopation to the then present day street struggles. The corporate young black male had a role model in urban success. These role models spoke the language and lingo these men had been told would be shunned once they walked into those board rooms. Jay and Dame spoke that lingo loudly and proudly, and when we heard we knew we had uncompromisingly made it. The excess that was spoke of in the boastings felt deserving since we all connected to the struggle Beans and Freeway had detailed. We longed for the unity that we seen from the Roc La familia. We wanted our own individual factions to be as tight as State Property appeared to be. The Roc gave everyday apparel legit, that white tee and doo rag was easy to cop so we all could put on our own Roc-a-wear outfit. Those outfits were truly standard issue for the fans of any Roc-a-fella artist. We all knew a hustler that had mastered his flow and represented his neighborhood, isn’t that what everyone at the Roc had done? We all identified with someone from this crew/record label. In the big scheme of things Roc-a-fella mattered and so did everyone they took along for the ride.
So seeing the reunion of our favorite sons of the struggle banded together again ignites a flame that the industry’s new darlings say don’t matter. They say that lyrics, styles and passion are not needed in today’s rap world. That’s a shame; we knew Freeway meant every word he whined and moaned on some of the best soul loops we had ever heard. Emotional that was pulled out from those sped up samples allowed us all to cry in front of the world. Don’t we need to still tell those tear filled stories don’t our struggles matter? December 19th the Roc signs were held high and on that day we mattered and that is special.