Amoeblog

Inspired By A Dream, 2012 DMC Bay Area Regional Battle Winner DJ Sol Rising Returns Triumphantly to DJ Battling

Posted by Billyjam, May 30, 2012 06:34pm | Post a Comment
DJ Sol Rising, the winner of last month's Bay Area Regional DMC DJ Battle - the first Bay Area DMC battle to be held locally in six years, may have thought his battling days were long over: his last battle been eight long years ago. Back in both 2003 and 2004 the DJ, formerly known as Skwint, made it as far as the DMC US Finals, placing 2nd in the US Supremacy in 2003, Vinyl Kombat US Finals in 2004, and winning Scribble Jam in 2002. In fact the DJ had absolutely no desire nor any intention of ever returning to the DJ battlefield; at least was not until fellow Bay Area turntablist. Snayk Eyez invited him, in March of this year just a few weeks before the April 7th DMC Bay Area Regional battle, to showcase at Skratchpad - the monthly scratch party that Snayk Eyez is a part of along with founders Deeandroid and Celskiiii and others.

"I was really hesitant as I hadn’t practiced routines in years. But I guess it planted the seed," he said of DJ set he did at Skratchpad just weeks before the DJ battle that most entrants practice for all year long beforehand just to enter and do their short well-studied routines.

But still the Oakland based Sol Rising, who was born in Canada and grew up in the MidWest before relocating to the Bay some years ago, said he had absolutely no intention of entering the DMC battle this year. But then he changed his mind because of a dream - literally. "A week before the battle I had this crazy vivid dream about battling at the Bay Area regional. The next morning I woke up earlier than usual and just started messing around on the turntables before work. The whole day at work I couldn’t wait to get home and practice. In the evening I created two scratch routines and then came up with a beat juggle a few days later. So I came up with three usable routines in less than a week which would have taken me several months if not a whole year in the past," he said of the winning routines that qualified him to travel to the DMC US Finals in New York in August to represent the Bay Area. "Everything was super accelerated. I honestly can’t say that competition is the path I’m on but I feel the universe guided me to compete for a reason that has yet to be revealed." After this intriguing sharing I felt compelled to follow up and interview Sol Rising further for the Amoeblog on his career as DJ and his take on the Bay Area DMC battle that he won (second place was DJ Cocheze from SF and third was Primo from Santa Rosa) in which in the first round he did a two-minute routine and, in the final round, he did a six minute routine.

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Return of the DJ Battle: Prestigious DMC Bay Area Regional DJ Battle Returns After Noticeable Six Year Absence

Posted by Billyjam, April 6, 2012 11:08pm | Post a Comment
Among those in Bay Area battle DJ and turntablist circles there has been a real buzz lately as this weekend sees the return of the prestigious DMC to the Bay Area after six years. The DMC has not held a regional battle in the Bay Area since 2006 which is a little shocking to many followers of the turntable arts since the Bay Area has long been considered one of the main centers of turntablism and battle DJing, giving the world such hip-hop turntablist legends as QBert, D-Styles,Mixmaster Mike, DJ Quest, Apollo, and Shortkut to name but a few.
 
But now thanks to the efforts of such folks as Charles Angeles (aka Inbituin  of Spintronix & Thud Rumble) along with the support of the DMC USA's tireless CEO, DJ battle coordinator, and all round hip-hop culture ambassador Christie Z-Pabon tomorrow, Saturday April 7th at 4pm at 330 Ritch in San Francisco, the 2012 Bay Area DMC regional battle will be going down!

And it should be a good one since there are twenty DJ contestants ready to battle it out on the turntables. The event will be hosted by Fran Boogie and the judges will include DJ Quest, DJ Apollo, DJ Cue, Jazzy Jim, DJ Shortkut, and myself. There will also be some excellent DJ showcases, following the DJ battle portion of this all-ages event that ends at 10pm sharp, from 4oneFunk's Mista B (2008 DMC West Coast Champ and regular DMC showcase artist), Snayk Eyez (2000/2001 DMC US Supremacy Champ), La Femme Deadly Venoms (Deeandroid & Cellskiii, plus Lady Fingaz), and the aforementioned hard-working iNBiTuiN (Spintronix / Thud Rumble).  Later on there will be after party DJ sets from Goldenchyld of The Bangerz (2011 SF Red Bull Thre3style Champ), Cutso (The Bangerz - formerly Finger Bangerz), and The C.M.E. (Good Musik))

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Rakim, EPMD, Lord Finesse, Jazzy Jay, & Cold Crush Brothers Among Those Doing Free Concerts In NYC's Parks This Week

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2011 09:57am | Post a Comment
The summer ain't over yet. Still lots good stuff happening in NYC. And sure, New York City in the summer can endure some extreme and unpredictable weather shifts that can unleash some unbearably hot and humid weather or thunderstorms that come out of nowhere, but that's all part of what makes it New York in the summer. Another defining factor is the jaw-dropping amount of amazing & free outdoor cultural events, especially all the music concerts in the parks. Of these there is no shortage of hip-hop free shows by legends of the genre such as the free SummerStage show in Central Park today (Aug 21) featuring Rakim, EPMD, and DJ Funkmaster Flex or the free Digger's Delight park jam on Tuesday evening (Aug 23) in St Nicholas Park up in Harlem with hip-hop icons Lord Finesse, GrandMaster Caz, Jazzy Jay, and Red Alert. Then on Wednesday evening of this week (August 24), there is a free concert by highly-influential and legendary hip-hop act the Cold Crush Brothers who will be downtown Manhattan on the bandshell in the East River Park.

Today's free SummerStage show, which starts at 3pm and goes til about 7pm, should be a goodie since it features Rakim, who many have called the greatest emcee in the history of the genre. It is also the 25th anniversary of Eric B & Rakim’s iconic album, Paid in Full which is considered to be among the top ten greatest hip-hop album of all time. EPMD's debut album, Strictly Business, is another golden-era hip-hop classic that makes many best of lists, as does their follow up Unfinished Business.  Funkmaster Flex will DJ at the start of the day and throughout the afternoon for which it is likely special guests will stop by. Last summer, I caught Public Enemy in the same spot. Earlier this summer, I saw Brazilian rapper Marcelo D2 on the same Central Park stage. Also this summer, I made it to two park jams at Queensbridge Park (another legendary spot in hip-hop's formative years) to see concerts from both N.O.R.E. and Kool Moe Dee. Each was really good, especially Kool Moe Dee. Then two weeks ago, I trekked over to Tappen Park on Staten Island to catch the Sugarhill Gang. While disappointing overall due to the fact that they spent most of their set doing covers of other old school acts, it was worth it to hear them do "Rapper's Delight" and it was free! Like today's Rakim & EPMD show, these were all part of the public funded City Parks Foundation Summerstage Series, which puts on a wide array of shows in the parks of each NYC borough every summer.

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NYC Summer 2010 Pt. III - Tools of War's Christie Z Talks About the True School NYC Summer Park Jam Series

Posted by Billyjam, July 1, 2010 02:04pm | Post a Comment
True School NYC Summer Park Jam, Week 1

Unlike California's seasonal changes, especially SoCal, where the shift from one season to another is relatively subtle, New York goes throuGrand Wizzard  Theodore gh dramatic extremes in the change from winter to summer. The East Coast's freezing cold winters are typically a period when you simply have to stay indoors much of the time and are so severe that by the time the polar opposite hot New York summer rolls around, everybody automatically rushes outside to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

In the late spring and summer New York City's streets and the parks come back to life, with cafes setting up on the sidewalks again and block parties, park concerts and events jumping off everywhere you wander in the NYC. And for hip-hop fans, especially appreciators of the old school, there is no shortage of outdoor events. Of all of these, the True School NYC Summer Park Jam Series is the ultimate annual must-attend event.

Now in its eight year, this Tools of War (TOW) produced free summer Park Jam series sets up stage at a few different NYC parks every Thursday evening, June through August. It's clearly a labor of love by TOW's Christie Z Pabon, who works along with a strong support group that includes her husband, legendary hip-hop Park Jam Tools of Warfigure Jorge FABEL Pabon, aka Popmaster Fabel. Long rooted and well connected within New York's hip-hop circles, TOW manages to enlist some amazing artists. Last Thursday I attended the Park Jam at East Harlem's White Park on 106th Street and got to see/hear many artists, including GrandMaster Caz of the legendary Cold Crush Brothers and DJ GrandWizzard Theodore -- the veteran Bronx DJ who created the scratch. As the classic breaks and hip-hop music boomed from the JBL speakers, b-boys, poppers and lockers got busy in a most entertaining and impromptu fashion. 

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