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If you're looking for your nostalgic hip-hop fix, there is no shortage of Instagram accounts dedicated to posting photos of what many consider the golden era. But one stands head and shoulders above the rest: Albeesquare87. Run by a clandestine individual who was or wasn't the "Albee Square Game Room Manager," this account serves as a New York City time capsule, using an expertly curated selection of vintage photos and captions packed with enough jewels to fill the biggest of crowns, to give followers a great glimpse into yesteryear.
Named after Albee Square Mall, a historical landmark in the nation of hip-hop—Biz Markie named a song after the downtown Brooklyn mall, and it's been name dropped in a bunch of raps throughout the years. The mall is no longer there, but its legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of the people who frequented it. The account reminds us of #PreBikeLaneNYC, when subway cars were plastered with beautiful graffiti and Times Square was littered with pimps, hoes, drug dealers, and peep shows instead of confused tourists stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to take flicks. It was a time before SoundCloud, iTunes, and retro Jordans. High-top fades and door-knocker earrings were the norm, Dapper Dan outfits were the uniform, and a new culture was being forged.
The person who runs this account has a beautiful way of looking at the world. Contrary to popular belief, America's ghettos are filled with wise individuals who try to lead the youth in the right direction. Without comment, I would like to present a couple gems I came across below. I guarantee that some of these captions will make you tear up. Like the account says: "It costs nothing to pay homage."
From top to bottom: 2Pac, D.I.T.C., Jam Master Jay, stone cold foxes, Larry Levan, Ice Cube, Larry Hoover, hood royals, and Jay Z.