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Hip-Hop Weekly: The Eternal Throwback “Let Me Clear My Throat” by beccaaydelotte

I remember sitting in the car, driving home from some sports’ practice in 1996 hearing it, and thinking, “Hmm I like this.” I was 7 and it struck a chord in me.

To this day, “Let Me Clear My Throat” is a throwback that knocks ‘em dead at parties and is guaranteed to be sung along to anywhere it’s played. Maybe it’s those brassy horns, or the ridiculous rapping of a guy named DJ Kool, but it made its mark in ’96 in Philadelphia and it still stands as one of the best hip-hop songs of all time.

One guy I met said he was the there the night DJ Kool performed “Let Me Clear My Throat” for the first time at the Bahama Bay Club in Philly. Now, everytime he hears it, he’s reminded of celebrating his birthday surrounded by friends hearing that crazy rap performed for the first time, making its mark on hip-hop history.

So why does this song make listeners flashback to the first time they heard it? First off, almost everyone knows it. And if you don’t, get acquainted. Then there’s the call back where the audience gets to join in to the “clear my throat” rap. But best of all, it’s the shout out “now all the ladies in the place, if you got real hair, real fingernails, if you got a job, you going to school and ya’ll need nobody to help you handle your business make some noise.”

It’s strong, it’s real, it’s simple, it’s funky, and it gets in your head. It’s original. You remember it. You want to sing along, you want to make some noise and you want to keep hearing it. It’s a basic hip-hop song that has everything right going on. And 13 years later, that’s what makes it a welcomed throwback.

–Becca Aydelotte

If you like Hip-Hop, R&B and throwbacks tune in to HipHop for BREAKFAST on WERW Mondays 4-7am

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