DJ Woody's Excellent New Video Mix Shows His Love of '90's Hip-Hop & Pop Culture

Posted by Billyjam, September 4, 2012 10:03am | Post a Comment

           Big Phat 90's Mixtape from DJ Woody on Vimeo.

DJ Woody  is an amazingly gifted DJ who works in both audio and  video formats - and expertly in each. The UK DJ, who came to fame as an accomplished battle DJ (ITF, DMC, Vestax), not only impressively utilizes the the video scratch/mix format in the hip-hop DJ turntable tradition but this this gifted guy manages to take it  to a whole other next level. This skill he instantly demonstrates in his latest mind-blowing audio/video production above, Big Phat 90's Mixtape which is a pleasing flashback to the highlights (hip-hop and pop culture) of that bygone decade's years with many featured tracks from the first part of the decade - aka the latter half of hip-hop's much heralded Golden Era.

The instantly engaging, brand new, intricately assembled 45-minute, audio visual production is made in "video mixtape" format and, as such, is equally enjoyable to just listen to or watch and listen. Big Phat 90's Mixtape is also the 35 year DJ's salute to his favorite decade: the 1990's - hip-hop and beyond.  Fresh back in the UK from some doing some gigs in Russia over the weekend I caught up with the British talent born Lee Woodbine to ask him a few questions on hip-hop in the 90's,  and also what went into making this impressive video music mix.

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Music History Monday: August 13

Posted by Jeff Harris, August 13, 2012 02:42pm | Post a Comment
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to

On this day in music history: August 13, 1952 - The original version of "Hound Dog" by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton is recorded. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, it is recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. The single will be biggest hit for the Alabama-born Rhythm & Blues singer. The track features legendary R&B bandleader Johnny Otis (featured on drums) along with members of his band. Otis will co-produce the record with Leiber and Stoller. Released on the Houston, Texas-based Peacock Records in March of 1953, the single is an instant smash spending seven weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B Best Sellers chart, selling nearly two million copies. Four years and one week to the day that the original version is recorded, Elvis Presley's cover version of the song will hit #1 on the Pop chart. In time, "Hound Dog" will be regarded as one of the most important and influential songs music history.

On this day in music history: August 13, 1966 - "Summer In The City" by The Lovin' Spoonful hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. Written by John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian, and Steve Boone, it is the biggest single for the New York-based band. The song originates as a poem written by Mark. Sebastian and bassist Boone will put the words to music. The band will hire a sound effects expert who will add the trademark "sounds of the city" effects to the records' break from acetates he has in his sound library. The single is engineered by Roy Halee (Simon & Garfunkel) who will also play a vital role in the overall sound of the finished record, particularly its explosive drum sound. "Summer In The City" will be certified Gold by the RIAA, becoming their first million selling single.

420 Has Evolved Into a Widely Embraced Hip-Hop "Highliday"

Posted by Billyjam, April 20, 2012 08:43am | Post a Comment

Verbal Assassinz, who are among performers at today's 4-20 The Smokeout "Highliday" Hip-Hop Fest, along with Young and Greedy on the song "That Good" - brand new video uploaded this week

Sure 420 (today's date, April 20th) may not be an official holiday but it sure seems like one to the legions of medical (and non-medical) marijuana advocates out there who have for many years been treating this date like any other important annual holiday with 420 events organized around today's date. This so-called "highliday" has also become closely intertwined with hip-hop music and culture, especially on the Left Coast, as witnessed by the number of weed themed hip-hop events happening today.  I personally only first became aware of 420 back in the mid nineties when I was over in Amsterdam reporting for the SF Bay Guardian on the High Times sponsored Cannabis Cup when, at exactly 4:20pm every afternoon, everyone would stop what they were doing to spark one one up. But weed-lore has it that the time of 4:20 to celebrate goes all the way back to the early 1970's when, somewhere in NorCal near Humboldt, a group of friends some folks chose that time of the day to light up, take two, and pass Since then the time morphed into the date of April 20th as a celebratory time.

Fast forward to April 20th, 2012 and this year's 420 has evolved into almost a national holiday with this year, it seems, having even more events planned around it than any previous year, especially hip-hop related ones, and especially in California where medical cannabis laws are more progressive than most states - even despite the recent confrontations with the Feds under the Obama Administration that Richard Lee and his Oaksterdam University endured (read more here c/o Huffington Post). Of course anyone who listens to hip-hop can tell you that with hip-hop music, just like with reggae, it seems like every other song has some reference to the sticky icky, and that since even before the early nineties blunted hip-hop craze hip-hop/rap had readily embraced weed culture dating all the way back to its roots in the Boogie Down Bronx.

In honor of 420, 2012 I've listed a few of the hip-hop and other music themed 420 events happening today and tomorrow, in the Bay Area. Additionally below I have posted some weed inspired hip-hop music videos - a few classics from over the years.  This evening starting at 7pm, including a free BBQ until 9pm, is The Smokeout with RBL Posse's Black C (who will do the classic RBL "Don't Gimme No Bammer" at least once), 11/5 (who will do "Garcia Vegas"), Dru Down, Young Dru, M-Dash, Illa Sevearr, Verbal Assassinz (see their brand new video above), and reggae act Tom Slick & Sofa Kin Tight. 21+ $10 At Time Out at 1822 Grant St. Concord, CA. Billed simply as 4/20 tonight at SOM Bar on 16th in the Mission district of SF is a reggae, dancehall, and bass music DJ night with sets from the South Rakkas Crew (Mad Decent - DJ Set), DJ Daneekah, DJ Sep, Kush Arora, Bootklap, Manitous vs Matt Haze, and U9Life live. 21+ 9pm - 3am. $5 before 10:30pm, then $10. More details here.

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West Coast Hip Hop: A History in Pictures: Book Gets Kickstarted

Posted by Billyjam, December 1, 2011 09:35am | Post a Comment
As with so many music and book publishing projects in these challenging economic times Paul Stewart's small LA based publishing company Over The Edge Books is turning to Kickstarter to help launch the excellent hip-hop photo book West Coast Hip Hop: A History in Pictures by veteran music photographer Michael Miller. The photo-journalist, who was in LA as well as other West Coast spots, during hip-hop's golden era and beyond, has compiled an impressive collection that offers an invaluable view of the key West Coast hip-hop artists of the era including Ice Cube, NWA, Too $hort, Cypress Hill, 2Pac, Snoop Doggy Dogg, House Of Pain, Souls of Mischief, Coolio - most of which were shot for album covers and have gone on to become iconic symbols of that historic era in hip-hop music. The publication of the limited edition book, which has already surpassed its Kickstarter goals, will coincide with many of the book's photos been exhibited in galleries in both California and New York City. This week I caught up with publisher Paul Stewart, who has a long rich music history, and photojournalist Michael Miller, who has also worked with non hip-hop artists, to ask them each about the book and the hip-hop history presents.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 01:14:11: T.I., Saigon, J-Live, Steinski, Beans, Cypress Hill, NAMM + More

Posted by Billyjam, January 14, 2011 08:19pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 01:14:11

1) Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
2) Diddy-Dirty Money Last Train To Paris (Bad Boy Records / Interscope)

3) Nicki Minaj Pink Friday (Cash Money/Universal)

4) Cee Lo Green The Lady Killer (Elektra Records)

5) T.I. No Mercy (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)
Thanks to my man Burgess (of Healamonster & Tarsier fame) for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart from the Hollywood Amoeba store that includes many of the already high-profile major releases of the past month or more. Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj, and Diddy (with his in-demand new dancefloor driven project Dirty Money) are all once again included here, as is the latest release from T.I., No Mercy on Grand Hustle via Atlantic Records,

Released on December 7th, the long overdue No Mercy is T.I.'s seventh album and his first new release T.I.since 2008's popular Paper Trail. For this release he pulled out all the stops, with guest appearances from some of today's hottest names, including Kanye, Eminem, The-Dream, Christina Aguilera, and Chris Brown, who is featured on the single "Get Back Up." Meanwhile, production duties are spread out among studio masters such as Danja, who produced "My Love" & "Knock You Down;" Dr. Luke, who produced "Magic" & "Right Round;"  and Jim Jonsin, who worked his magic on "Whatever You Like" & "Lollipop." Note that in addition to the regular version of this CD there is also a Deluxe version that offers two bonus tracks as well as special packaging.

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