When I was about ten years old I bought my first cassette tape with weeks and weeks of pocket money I had saved up. It was by some folk band I liked at the time, I was obsessed with Leonard Cohen at that point, my Mum approved of the purchase and we listened to it in her car as she drove me home from town. I'm a middle class kid from rural England, we had to drive something like half an hour just to get to shops where you could buy anything other than food or newspapers. We got into the habit of listening to music as she drove.

The next tape that I bought was called All We Got Iz Us by Onyx, a New York based Hip-Hop group. My mother hadn't heard any Hip-Hop at the time, but was keen that anything I bought she should listen to as I was still a young child, although I wasn't so into the idea. To be honest I'd only heard 'Slam' at a friends house and I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a whole album. I was a little apprehensive to play the thing in front of my Mum as I was sure she wouldn't approve. Anyway, as we circled our way out of the multi-story car park, I removed the cellophane and put the tape in the car stereo.

She drove a Volvo. This is the first song from 'All We Got Iz Us':

We didn't get much further than that first minute before she made me turn it off and shouted at me for a while, but in that minute I had discovered a whole new world. I mean, folk music felt alien to me at the time, so you can imagine how this sounded to a ten year old country boy.

Fast forward through to now. Onyx are back to 'wake up hip-hop', and D.O.D guest verse aside, it's not all that bad. They were always good at what they did, it's just that in the last twenty years Hip-Hop has moved on from their brand of straight up brutality - which is ultimately a good thing. Although Sticky and Fredro would probably disagree with me. The point is, as a kid I found Onyx funny, they were caricatures when the other rappers I woke up to were artists. As the years have passed, the craft of Hip-Hop has developed in many different directions into many different things, some good and some not so. If Onyx were here to help progress Hip-Hop then I'd be championing them, but they're not, they just want to reassert their brand. It is a nice baseball jacket though isn't it?

Look, I'm not saying that Onyx didn't wake me up to an entire world of music, that they helped enable an entire scene to kids like me with their breakthrough singles. I'm not saying that the early '90s wasn't a boom time for the genre. I'm saying that it was, and that is why we don't really need Onyx to come back.

Although there was once a time when I begged to get their tape back.