Pensacola was a bit of a culture shock experience for me. Specifically musically, but also in general. I came from an area where even a lot of the girls at my high school were at least familiar with some underground hardcore bands. Now I was in a small city that was filled with commuter college students to misfits escaping their northern cities for a Florida school, or South Floridians just trying to get away from home, yet still being able to hold onto that in-state tuition. This brought a lot of very different people together and in a very good way, but I was left with no one to bond with over music. I was surrounded by a lot of No Limit Records, drum & bass, and country. I hate all of that shit, like, deeply. Instead, we bonded over other things like beer, pot, and sports. I did make periodical trips to this great hole in the wall record store, East Hill, and my girlfriend introduced me to Napster which led me to a lot of alone time discovering new-to-me music again, but the effects of those records didn’t resonate with me until after I left Pensacola. I’m also posting this list this week as a tribute to my buddy Sean who would have been celebrating a birthday on the 20th.
I actually barely like this record, but I have a lasting memory of it. Before my sophomore spring semester, I was asked to move out of the house I was living in to make room for someone my roommates liked better. I was left scrambling for a new place to live. Luckily, there was a guy we knew who lived at the apartment complex just across whatever major street we lived near. This was Sean. I was skeptical because I barely knew him and though we partied together, we weren’t exactly sharing drunk bro moments. After I moved in, we quickly became really good friends. How Slipknot fits in is I T-boned some asshole who pulled out in front of me and that totaled my car. For a week or 2 I was without whip and Sean would drive me to school a lot of the time. We spent quite a few of those jaunts blasting the self titled Slipknot record, screaming along and pounding our hands on his dashboard. Sean passed away a few years after that and I had beat myself up a lot for not staying in better touch with him after I left Pensacola. However, I still have the fond memory centered around this album.
I really don’t know why this is a top 5 record. Probably has to do with limited access to real music and MTV still occasionally playing videos and my inability to avoid being swept in by the hook on “Come Original”. I also used to lie in my bedroom at Sean’s and my apartment and just listen to the whole album while contemplating important things like “Why don’t I smoke weed anymore?” I still really like the song “Eons”.
I saw Incubus open for The Phunk Junkeez, or someone like that, in Norfolk back when I was in high school and Brandon Boyd still had dreads. I hated them. Years later, while lying on Sean’s couch at like 3am during one of my numerous bouts with insomnia, I caught the “Pardon Me” video. A few days of trying to convince myself that it was okay for me to like a band that I previously hated and I had gathered some CDs together to sell to a chain record store so that I could buy Make Yourself.
Seems to be the M.O. that at least one hip hop album needs to make these “From When You Knew Me” lists. There also needs to be a at least one carry over record from my last location. Originoo Gunn Clappaz, or O.G.C., was one of the last albums I bought before leaving Yorktown. I can’t remember, but I think my friends and I were at a graduation party, or at least a pseudo-graduation party as there were probably quite a few attendees who never graduated shit. Anyway, my friend Brian and I sat on the steps in a smokey haze as Da Storm played. It struck us enough that we soon went to the mall to try and listen to it again at the record store’s listening station. I think I decided to forego making the clerk open up the CD and just bought it instead. It’s one of the most chill, yet darkest hip hop records I’ve heard. Like I said, most of the people I met in Pensacola were into the No Limit Records, Outkast, and Cash Money Millionaires, so O.G.C. was the record I tried to bring to our group of friends to bridge the gap to my side of hip hop thinking. It only barely worked. This is still one of my favorite hip hop albums and was probably the last time I cared about a new(-ish) hip hop release until Death Grips came around.
V.O.D.’s self titled record was a major influence on my high school days. I forget where I got Imprint, but I know it was one of my first music purchases in Pensacola. It was more guitar driven and metal than the last release and I blasted it everywhere, sometimes to lull me to sleep in my dorm room because that’s how my psyche works. I even convinced a couple of friends to ride with me to New Orleans to see V.O.D. with Candiria, Skarhead, and Speedealer (formerly REO Speedealer). Some skinny kid’s girlfriend was talking shit about Skarhead in between songs and the skinny kid did the honorable thing and stood up for his girl. One of the Skarhead singers jumped off stage and uppercut the kid lifting him off the ground with the solitary punch. Anway, Imprint is still sick.
Another carry over album. As I said before, I shared very little in common with the folks of Pensacola musically. However, I probably tried to force this record on anyone I came into contact with. After not so quickly realizing it was futile, Functioning On Impatience became my little piece of home. It contains one of, if not the best side one track one songs ever in “You Can’t Kill Us All” as well as my favorite song of all time “My Love for Extremes”. Not surprisingly, it remains not only my number one album from when living in Pensacola, but still my favorite record ever. EVAR!