Here are 17 rap lyrics that technology made obsolete
Hip-hop sure loves its gadgets, but technology changes so fast that it’s hard to keep up. It used to be that vinyl records were how we listened to music, but now we’re streaming tunes. Before the iPhone your favorite MCs were rocking beepers and Motorola two-way pagers.
Through the years Jay Z, Eminem and Nas have all made reference to tech that just doesn’t exist today and as we started to listen back we couldn’t help but laugh. And after the laughter, of course, we made a list and compiled 17 rap lyrics that technology has made obsolete.
1. “Motorola two-way page me.”
On Jay Z’s 2000 single “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” the Brooklyn don flaunted his brand new Motorola two-way pager. It was cutting edge tech back then, but seems pretty prehistoric now.
2. “Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis/ When I was dead broke man I couldn’t picture this.”
Back in 1994 Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis were the top video game systems, but now we have XBox One and Playstation 4 — thank God!
3. “My laser disc’ll make you take a razor to your wrist.”
This 1999 Eminem track is a throwback for real. You can tell by the laser disc reference. For those with no frame of reference, laser discs were giant DVDs — the size of 12-inch vinyl.
4. “Check the spellin, R-E-F-U-G-E-E get the CD from Sam Goody he he.”
Back in 1997 Wyclef Jean sold millions of CDs and we’re guessing he sold a good number of them out of Sam Goody, but no one is really buying CDs anymore. In fact Sam Goody filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and shut down most of its stores.
5. “She gave me a kiss and then she gave me my ticket/I put my Walkman on and said, ’I might as well kick it’.”
In the full-length version of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song Will Smith rapped about his Walkman. Mom, what’s a walkman?
6. “Beep me 9-1-1.”
It was 1998 when Missy Elliott dropped this song and even though she admitted in the chorus that she had a cell phone, her beeper seemed to be her favorite mode of communication. Wonder how that’s working out for her.
7. “Grab the pliers for the channel, fix the hanger on the TV.”
Before we had televisions with remote controls, people had to get up and change the channel by turning a dial on the TV set. When that dial broke, you used a pair of pliers. Oh and before cable, folks used a wire hanger to get better reception. Now you have a better understanding of this Ghostface KIllah lyric.
8. “He don’t have America Online up in here.”
LOL Mannie Fresh do you remember dial-up?
9. “Put this in your CD-ROM/ www.Canibus.com.”
What’s a CD-ROM? My new Macbook doesn’t even have a DVD slot. Someone tell Canibus we’re confused.
10. “I’m telling shorty I’m a writer/ And as she’s looking for the token, she drops a package of the EZ Wider.”
The main character in the Lost Boyz’s 1996 single “Renee” digs in her purse for a subway token. Before New Yorkers were swiping Metrocards to get on the train, we used tokens.
11. “Shooters pop up like Instant Messenger.”
Hey Fabolous, do said shooters want our a/s/l as well?
12. “Never put me in your box if the sh-t eats tapes.”
Back in the day Nas used to listen to cassette tapes in his boombox and the tape would get caught-up in the boombox’s gears and ruin everything. That’ll never happen on Spotify.
13. “I wear black a lot, in the Ac, act a lot/Got matching VCRs, a huge Magnavox.”
In the mid-90s Jay Z used to have VCRs and 10-inch Magnavox television screens in his Acura, now he flies private jets.
14. “Tryna push 700s they ain’t made them yet.”
The Notorious B.I.G. passed away before he got to see the Mercedes Benz F700 in 2008.
15. “I need a 2-way freak.”
Three 6 Mafia and La Chat were really onto something back in 2001 with their “2-Way Freak” single. It wouldn’t fly today though.
16. “When I chirp shawty, chirp back.”
T.I. wasn’t talking about birds on this 2007 track, he was talking about the old Sprint Boost Mobile phones with the “chirp” feature.
17. “Do you know the importance of a skypager?”
Chances are you probably don’t, but when A Tribe Called Quest dropped this song back in 1991 these beepers were everything.