I Used to Love H.E.R.: Nick Andre (City Light)

The 43rd installment of I Used to Love H.E.R., a series in which artists/bloggers/writers discuss their most essential or favorite hip-hop albums and songs, comes from Nick Andre, a Bay Area DJ/producer and co-founder of Slept On Records who has worked with, among others, artists from Quannum and Living Legends. His newest project is City Light, which recently toured with and recorded a split covers EP with Her Space Holiday.

bizarre rideThe Pharcyde
Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
(Delicious Vinyl, 1992)

I got Bizarre Ride on cassette tape during a summer trip in seventh grade to my cousin’s house in S.D. This was the first “underground” hip-hop album I owned. That summer my cousin and I got really into smoking weed so Pack the Pipe was kind of an anthem for us that summer. Bizarre Ride had such a unique sound to me from the different vocal tones of Fat Lip, Tre, Brown and Imani to the simple but extremely catchy hooks. They even manage to make a entire song out of Ya Mama jokes.

As I got older I got obsessed with going to as many hip-hop shows as possible and began to find out about similar artists such as Hieroglyphics, Living Legends, Project Blowed, etc. Right after high school, I saved up my money and purchased an MPC 2000XL and decided to take a shot at making beats. This became my new obsession. As I progressed and became more confident about what I was making, I started giving beat tapes to local MCs in the Bay Area. This led to being able to work and tour as a DJ with some of the artists I had grown up listening to such as Medusa (Project Blowed), OMNI (BLX), Bicasso (Living Legends) and more. About 10 years after I had purchased Bizarre Ride, I found myself backstage at a Pharcyde show we were main support for, drinking Hennessy with Jern Eye and getting so drunk that we ended up on stage singing the chorus to Passin’ Me By … doesnt get much better than that.

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