Can I Kick It?

A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It?

Today for Tape Deck Tuesday we have one of the many tapes lacking any kind of identification. It stood out to me because it has purple on the (blank) cover and it’s only a 60-minute tape. Normally I would have chosen a 90-minute or I’m finding some 100- or even 120-minute ones, but 60? That’s not nearly long enough for most of my taping purposes.

I put the tape in and it started up about half a minute into “Interesting Drug” by Morrissey. Ok, I thought, this must be a copy of Bona Drag. But then next came “Groove is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite. I laughed out loud, both because that song always makes me laugh and because it was not what I was expecting. What was this tape?

The third song was 52 Girls by the B-52s. Now I was beginning to remember. When I graduated from college I didn’t have a job lined up or any grad school plans, nor any clue what I wanted to do. I went back home to Maine and, eventually, got a job at the new record store in town. It seemed like a pretty good gig while I figured out my next steps. Listen to music all day long, order new releases, talk to other music lovers, there are worse ways to spend your day. I got to know some of the regular customers pretty well, some of them college students with radio shows.

Which is how, by the fourth track, I knew what this tape was. Shazam didn’t recognize the song, and I wasn’t 100% sure myself, but I had a strong feeling it was the Chickasaw Mudd Puppies*. I had gone over to the college radio station with a friend who had an early morning show and he helped me make a tape for a party since I wanted a bunch of songs I didn’t have.

My brother and sister were sharing a big old farm house with a couple of other friends about 20 miles away out in the sticks. I’d go over there once or twice a month just to hang out. They were going to have a party and I thought it could use a little new music. I picked some songs I knew they would know, some I liked that they wouldn’t know and a guilty pleasure or two.

Not remembering what was coming next meant I laughed most of the way to work this morning. It’s exactly what I was hoping for with this little project. Reminiscing in the car and enjoying some old songs I might not have listened to in a long time. This seems pretty 1990 to me. Here’s the complete track listing, which I will finally write down on the cover.

Side A
Interesting Drug – Morrissey
Groove is in the Heart – Deee-Lite
52 Girls – B-52s
Do You Remember – Chickasaw Mudd Puppies
Been Caught Stealing – Jane’s Addiction
U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
Can I Kick It? – A Tribe Called Quest
The Only One I Know – The Charlatans (UK)
We Saw Jerry’s Daughter – Camper Van Beethoven

Side B
Temptation – New Order
Love Vigilantes – Poi Dog Pondering (cover of New Order song)
What the World is Waiting For – The Stone Roses
Ugly – Fishbone
Life During Wartime – Talking Heads (Stop Making Sense version)
Look Alive – Pylon
Ask – The Smiths

It was pretty rare for me to make a tape just for a party. Mostly I made tapes that had some deeper meaning, a hidden message, or a theme perhaps. I might make a tape for biking or for a road trip, but even those usually had more going on than met the casual listener. This tape is not trying to say anything more than Can I Kick It? Yes, you can.

*YouTube to the rescue. Also, I think there is one more track on side B but Shazam didn’t know it and I forgot once I got inside what it had been.


  1. Okay, I’m loving this mix. It’s gonna be hard to top this one for me. Camper, Poi Dog, Smiths, Morrissey, AND Talking Heads Life During Wartime. Niiiicccceeee….


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