Life may begin at 30, but it doesn't get real interesting until about 150.
One hundred fifty miles per hour, that is.
It's true. The feeling of an open road and an open throttle is unmatched. Rocks Off loves motorcycles. At one point, we owned three, until we found our bike of choice: A Suzuki Hayabusa 1300 GSX1300R, arguably the world's fastest sports bike. But don't argue. We'll smoke you on 59 if you try.
And what do we love as much as motorcycles? We love hip-hop equally. In fact, we don't ride our motorcycle unless we're listening to a playlist of our favorite tracks. It makes the experience that much more stimulating.
Recently, over a "sip session" with our cousin, which is a period involving alcoholic beverages, hip-hop discussion and watching the latest rap videos on YouTube, Rocks Off ran across Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill's mutual passion for motorcycles, but his was a bit different than ours.
You see, Meek Mill loves dirt bikes. In an urban setting like Philly, where we can't imagine there are exactly endless piles of dirt to jump, you wonder if there's a disconnect. There isn't.
We first heard about dirt-bike clubs in major cities a handful of years ago from our boy Charlie, who's from the Boogie Down Bronx. He rides bikes, too, and has spoken enthusiastically about dirt-bike clubs throughout the New York boroughs.
The dirt bike scene in Philadelphia is rich. That inspired Rocks Off to count down the five best motorcycle hip-hop videos.
Here we go. Zoom, zoom.
5. Lil Wayne, "Stuntin Like My Daddy": "Zoom on that Yamaha, chromed out 1100." Great chorus and because it's so great, it'll join the few hip-hop tracks that are truly associated with motorcycle life. This track in particular holds a dear place in our hearts. Our father -- R.I.P. -- rode a motorcycle, so "Stuntin Like My Daddy" creates that connection.
Songwise, it outranks many of the tracks on this list, but from a video production perspective, it doesn't get top ranking, as a minute and a half into the video, the motorcycles disappear from the storyline. Don't they know that in a high-speed chase, you don't trade bikes for a car? You stay on the bikes and there is no chase.
4. Puff Daddy and Faith Evans feat. 112, "I'll Be Missing You": No one likes to see a motorcycle wreck, but this video's use of Puff crashing a 1986 Suzuki GSX-R1100 to grab the viewer by the neck was really genius. Our old motorcycle instructor once told us that motorcycle crashes happen unexpectedly, usually when you're looking around enjoying the view and taking in the sights. And you're not supposed to do that.
Rocks Off thinks the motorcycle scene in "I'll Be Missing You" was a metaphor for the life Puff was leading, which made an abrupt stop -- maybe even crash -- when The Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down in California on March 9, 1997.
3. Redman feat. E3, "Ride": Another opening scene with a bike wreck, and this time there's no metaphor. That's all right. Redman makes up for it with a video full of stoppies, wheelies and burnouts. Redman stands on his bike, raps on his bike and even texts on his bike while the video reminisces on key scenes from biker-movie favorite Biker Boyz.
We're due for another movie. We think we've watched Biker Boyz more than this video of Melanie Iglesias and Lisa Ramos, which is a lot.
2. DMX, "Ruff Ryders' Anthem": Some of the sickest wheelies you'll see in your life and the most intimidating packs of bikes you'll find in a rap video. This track is synonymous with bike riding, and the video is the reason it achieved that feat.
If a bell is a physiological trigger for a boxer to fight, then this does the same for many sports-bike owners. It's a physiological trigger to act a total ass on two wheels, doing death-defying stunts. The word "anthem" is overused, but this is truly an anthem for a national community of motorcycle enthusiasts.
1. Meek Mill, "Ima Boss": If we're distilling this list through pure video execution, and not getting blinded by nostalgia, then Meek Mill's "Ima Boss" unseats the longtime best motorcycle video, "Ruff Ryders' Anthem," by a millisecond on the racetrack. Mill wears the motorcycle championship belt proudly.
"Ima Boss" is a demonstration of the culture of dirt-bike stuntin' in his hometown of Philadelphia. The contrast of dirt bikes and city streets is really memorable. The slow-motion shots of gravity-defying wheelies inspire jaw drops.
Damn it. Now we're on Craigslist looking for a dirt bike.
Meek Mill opens for Drake tonight at Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. Sold out.
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