Amoeblog

Brooklyn DJ Esquire Took US Title In Heated, High Caliber 2013 US DMC Finals DJ Battle

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2013 11:06pm | Post a Comment

DJ Esquire took the 2013 US DMC Finals title over the weekend in New York at a packed Stage 48  nightclub with DJs Spare Change and Ease taking second and third places respectively in an entertaining evening that featured inspired six minute sets by each of the 13 US contestants, event host Kool DJ Red Alert providing funny banter, great sets by the special guest performer DJs Rockin Rob, Johnny Juice, and DJ Izoh, plus a surprise moment of true turntablist romance when New Mexico contestant OHM proposed to his girlfriend.

New York City DJ Esquire became a hometown hero Saturday night at the Hells Kitchen district club when garnered the most votes to take the new title at the 2013 US DMC Finals following a heated, high caliber DJ battle featuring 13 turntable talents from all across the country,. This achievement, that he earned despite his needle breaking toward the end of his intense six minute routine, means that the Brooklyn DJ will travel to London, England to represent the US in the DMC World DJ Championship 2013 finals on October 5th. Saturday night's talent-packed battle presented somewhat of a dilemma for all the judges, myself included, since the talent was so great that it was incredibly tough in making that final decision of narrowing it down to just three DJs. Truth is that each of the other ten DJ contestants also delivered incredibly impressive sets and, it could be argued, that any one of them deserved to have ranked in the final three. I was not alone in this summation since, after the battle, talking to such fellow judges as Roli Rho, DJ Cheese, DJ Shiftee, and Snayk Eyez - all of whom had chosen different top threes - the consensus was that it was too challenging task to narrow it down to a top three. Snayk Eyez summed the battle and the content of the competitors up best when he noted how each competitor was 100% on their game with their skills down to perfection meaning that then, "It all came down to delivery, presentation, showmanship," said the visiting Bay Area DJ/judge. 

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #34: Weed and the City, Wheelchair Sports Camp in NYC, Park Jam, Governors Ball Fest, Tony Awards +

Posted by Billyjam, June 5, 2013 09:10am | Post a Comment


Welcome to installment number 34 in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog. This past week here in NYC witnessed the first non-stop, uninterrupted week of hot weather (finally), the launch of the wonderful new CitiBike bike share program to mostly positive feedback (more on this in a future NY Amoeblog), new NYPD released statistics that the subways are safer than ever with robberies on the mass transit system (typically iPhone grab and runs by opportunist thieves) down 30% from this time last year.  And while this past week's tabloid news of Amanda Bynes getting in trouble for weed smoking and bong tossing in New York City dominated most headlines, on Monday up in the state capital of Albany the New York State Assembly passed a medical marijuana bill (for the fourth time) that would allow medical marijuana, passing with a 95-38 vote.

If this new medical marijuana bill makes it through the Senate New Yorkers with "severely debilitating or life-threatening conditions" can be legally prescribed weed by their doctors. As it stands now the difference in attitude towards weed (medical and recreational) in NYC and such California cities as Los Angeles or Oakland is like night and day and has been such since the early 90's. It is radically different here with the NYPD enforcing a zero-tolerance towards any public weed activity. It has been this way ever since the reign of Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani who initiated the "broken window" theory which meant that that small crimes like weed smoking in public (once a common non-issue thing in NYC) were now an arrestable offense. People get arrested in NYC and thrown in jail for the weekend over half a joint and many of these are young black and Latino males who fall into the net of the NYPD's controversial, often illegal 'stop-and-frisk' program whereby the cops randomly stop someone for no reason other than they fit a profile, have them empty their pockets, and arrest them for small amounts of pot.

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DJ Traps Wins 2013 SF Regional DMC Battle

Posted by Billyjam, April 29, 2013 12:00pm | Post a Comment

DJ Traps working his winning routine @ last night's 2013 San Franciso Regional DMC DJ Battle

Proving that you really can make lemonade out of lemons DJ Traps - last night's winner of the  2013 San Francisco Regional DMC DJ Battle - shared during his acceptance speech that his personal life had not been going so good lately but that, via his craft, he had managed to turn all that negativity into something positive. "I been through a lot of shit recently," admitted the winner of the prestigious DJ battle without going into detail. "But I took it all out here," he said gesturing towards the two turntable and mixer set up on which he had just done his stunning six minute winning routine of the heated, high caliber DJ battle.

The competition - the second annual Bay Area DMC Regional in a row after a noticeable six year gap of any DMC battles in the Bay - was a fun and talent-packed turntable competition that was as much a DJ battle as it was a reunion and gathering of Bay Area hip-hop DJs of the past few decades. In addition to young DJ cats like Santa Rosa competitor DJ Lazy Boy (aka Gregory The Great) there were OG Bay Area DJs like DJ Apollo, Pos Red, DJ Quest, and QBert who all started out in the 80's as well as next generation DJs like Teeko, Snayk Eyez, and Golden Chyld who arrived on the scene in the 90's. The whole event, that ran from mid afternoon into the evening at Neck of The Woods on Clement St. in San Francisco, exuded good vibes and a shared love by all in the house for hip-hop DJ'ing and scratch music. DJ Lazy Boy, who placed third in the competition, said during his acceptance speech onstage with DJ Apollo - the MC of the night - that he had grown up listening to the Triple Threat DJ crew (the Bay Area supergroup featuring Apollo along with Shortkut and Vin Roc - another one of the night's judges) and that he used to practice his DJing to, using routines done by Apollo as his template, noting that "it was an honor" to now be onstage alongside his turntable hero.
 
Following a great warm up set by Mista B, who dug deep in his crates to spin lots of old school and golden era classics (Grandmaster Flash + Furious Five featuring Melle Mel, Run DMC, Audio Two, etc.) plus a bunch of throwbacks from the Bay Area including IMP/Cougnut and Rated X/C-Funk, the SF DMC battle started with the first round of each of eight DJs doing two minute routines.

"A Community Event" - DJ Cue on Sunday's 2013 San Francisco DMC Regional DJ Battle

Posted by Billyjam, April 25, 2013 11:45am | Post a Comment
The renaissance in the turntable arts and all it entails, including skratch music and hip-hop DJ battles, that began in the past couple of years - following a bit of a lull for close to a decade - continues its resurgence in San Francisco this weekend when, for the second year in a row after a noticeable six year absence, the prestigious DMC (now celebrating 30 years) DJ battle returns for a Bay Area regional battle. And considering that the Bay Area has long been viewed as one of the main epicenters of turntable culture and battle-DJing this is a most welcome return.

"We're excited for this one," said veteran San Francisco DJ/producer DJ Cue who as well as working behind the scenes will also be a special performer at the event. The 2013 DMC San Francisco Regional Battle takes place on Sunday afternoon/evening (April 28th) at Neck Of The Woods on Clement Street in The City. For his anticipated performance DJ Cue will be joined onstage by his longtime turntable crew partner DJ Quest who two decades ago, along with Eddie Def, formed the legendary San Francisco turntablist crew the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (BPSH). At that time the BPSH crew made history by releasing the first DJ battle record, Hamster Breaks, something no doubt that will be on DJ Cue's mind on Sunday.
"I would say that this year marks a good twenty one years now that the Bay DJ's have been really solidly in the battle scene. Hamster Breaks came out twenty years ago. Invisbl Skratch Piklz won DMC twenty one years ago. And the DJ's from here have been strong ever since. Our history is strong here and we are together supporting the event and forward movement of the battle scene and to wherever it goes," said the Bay Area proud DJ Cue who is also one of the organizers of this weekend's event which he describes as a true group/community effort.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 09.28.12: Brother Ali, Art of Rap s/t, Murs & Fashawn, DMC World Champs, Special Delivery + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 28, 2012 09:09am | Post a Comment

Murs & Fashawn at Amoeba Hollywood this week in celebration of new album


Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 09:28:12

1) Murs & Fashawn This Generation (Duck Down)

2) Kanye West Good Music Cruel Summer (Def Jam)

3) V/A Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap Soundtrack (Sony Music)

4) Brother Ali Mourning In America & Dreaming In Color (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

5) Blu & Exile Give My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them (Dirty Science)


Thanks again to Ray Ricky Rivera at the Hollywood Amoeba store for the latest top five chart of best selling new releases from the SoCal store with the brand new Murs & Fashawn collaboration, This Generation on Duck Down, in the number slot with a bullet since its release on Tuesday of this week. In fact to celebrate the new album on that very same day the duo did a live set (also a live webcast) on release day / Tuesday this week at the Hollywood Amoeba when a lot of fans bought the new album and helped them reach number  show at the same store.  That in-store concert was not just a celebration of their new release. It was also a Rock the Vote drive that Amoeblogger Billy Gil reviewed here yesterday in which he noted how Murs said to the packed crowd that “If you’re smart, you’ll be registered to vote and to get married by the time you leave here.” Check out the in-store/Rock The Vote/webcast concert video above.

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