Amoeblog

Two Years After his Death, GURU of Gang Starr's Legacy Lives On

Posted by Billyjam, April 19, 2012 10:39am | Post a Comment

Gang Starr "Code of The Streets" (from
Hard To Earn, 1994)


It was on this date exactly two years ago (April 19, 2010) that hip-hop icon, emcee GURU of hip-hop golden era legendary duo Gang Starr (with DJ Premier) died succumbing to a year long battle with cancer combined with a serious heart attack from a month earlier.  The name of the super-gifted and highly influential MC, born Keith Elam and who was only 43 when he passed in April 2010, appropriately stood for "Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal" which perfectly summed up the artist. GURU will always be remembered most for his Gang Starr recordings. Yes he did a lot of other work with artists over the years including the ambitious Jazzmatazz series with Branford Marsalis, Donald Byrd, Roy Ayers and Ronny Jordan but it is his Gang Starr recordings/catalog that will forever remain in the hearts & heads of music fans and the general hip-hop consciousness.

There have been, over the years, countless club nights whose names have been taken directly from GURU lyrics, and/or Gang Starr song/album titles. Dave Paul of BOMB Hip Hop once had a party called Step In The Arena. Additionally GURU's fondness for confrontational, battle style lyrics were tailor-made for DJs to utilize in battle scenarios. As UK DJ/producer Pete Sasqwax so accurately noted today on this sad anniversary, "So many quotables & without him, how different DJ battles would've been over the years. I believe there was a significant period of time whereby it was mandatory to use a Guru dis in your DMC [DJ battle] routine otherwise you would automatically fail to progress." Above and below are videos to some of my personal all time fave Gang Starr cuts. Rest in peace GURU - your music keeps you alive forever!

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Michael Maietta of CEG Presents Interview: How I Got Here Part IV with Dave Paul

Posted by Billyjam, April 9, 2012 05:03pm | Post a Comment
This is part four in the ongoing guest Amoeblog series with Dave Paul called How I Got Here that has already featured interviews/profiles on Robbie Kowal of SunsetSF promotions company, Michael Krouse of the Madrone Art Bar in San Francisco, and Dave Paul himself. The series profiles various folks in the entertainment industry ranging from doormen, DJ’s and promoters to venue owners and others. Upcoming interviews will include Nic Adler from The Roxy in LA, Anthony Sanchez of Runaway Productions in Portland, LA based Arizona DJ Z-Trip, and SF DJ/promotor Ren Salgado of True Skool. This latest interview is with Michael Maietta  of NYC based CEG Presents (Creative Entertainment Group) who as band manager and concert promoter has some engaging insights on the music business including his story on the reason for the success of the always booked band Badfish who work with promoters and club owners rather than what he sees as the "more common working relationship of band vs promoter." A must read for anyone who puts on shows whether big or small.

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Michael Krouse interview - How I Got Here series Part III with Dave Paul

Posted by Billyjam, March 15, 2012 11:15am | Post a Comment
























Michael Krouse shares his journey to becoming owner/operator of the Madrone Art Bar in SF

This is part three in the ongoing guest Amoeblog series with Dave Paul called How I Got Here that has already featured an interview with Robbie Kowal of SunsetSF promotions company and Dave Paul himself. The series profiles various folks in the entertainment industry from doormen, DJ’s and promoters to venue owners etc. This third interview is with Michael Krouse who runs the Madrone Art Bar on Divisidaro Ave in San Francisco - a place described by the SF Chronicle as looking like "it were interior-decorated by Jeff Koons and Banksy."  Paul knows him because he's been throwing his successful dance parties at Madrone for years and hence knew all the right questions to ask his subject. Additionally Krouse, who is a really interesting guy with a great history from growing up in Sin City in the 70's and 80's to becoming an artist to someone who totally emerged himself in SF night culture to get a feel for what makes the city by the Bay so unique, offers up some great insights into his life's journey thus far. A really good read!

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"How I Got Here" series Part II with Dave Paul of Bomb Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, February 28, 2012 09:47am | Post a Comment
Last month kicked off the new guest Amoeblog series with Dave Paul called How I Got Here with the first profile piece; an interview with Robbie Kowal of SunsetSF promotions company.  Upcoming in this this eight part 2012 guest series, which profiles various folks in the entertainment industry from doormen, DJ’s and promoters to venue owners, managers, and booking agents, will be such folks as DJ Z-Trip, Ren Salgado of True Skool (San Francisco), Traci P of R.A.W. Entertainment in Las Vegas, Mike Maietta of CEG Presents in New York, and Dave Paul himself who is profiled in this second part of the series. San Francisco born and raised Paul, who is a regular to the Amoeblog having been interviewed or quoted here several times in the past - usually about music, talks here specifically about his appoach to the industry from starting out as a DJ to running both the Bomb Hip-Hop Magazine and record label of the same name to,, more recently, club DJ & promoter producing his Prince and Michael Jackson themed dance parties in SF and around the country for the past nine years.


Amoeblog: When did you begin DJing and was there any particular Bay Area DJ(s) that inspired you?

Dave Paul: I started DJing in 1984. There were a couple of DJ crews that inspired me liked Ultimate Creations and Nitelife Sensations. Also there were master mixers like Michael Erickson and Cameron Paul on KSOL radio. And of course Bobby G from Soul Disco records. He was a real mentor to the hip-hop community during that era.

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Back From NYC DJ'ing Successful "Prince Michael Experience" Party, San Francisco's Dave Paul Spins at "That 80's Show" at Madrone in SF Tonight

Posted by Billyjam, February 17, 2012 10:05am | Post a Comment

Fresh back from a sell-out night at the cavernous Brooklyn Bowl last weekend in NYC with his ever-popular traveling Prince Michael Experience party, San Francisco's Dave Paul is back on his home-ground tonight when, along with his longtime party DJ partner Jeff Harris, will pack the dancefloor at the Madrone Art Bar on Divisidaro with their other long running, retro dance party That 80's Show. Last Friday night in New York, I attended Paul's wildly fun Prince/Michael Jackson themed party which packed in about a 1000 happy party people at the Brooklyn Bowl where folks were lined round the block in the rain waiting to get in (some were turned away) - most impressive considering that was only the second time he had taken this party to New York City, and on a weekend night! I took some photos including one above of Paul deep in the mix as a dancing Michael Jackson impersonator (one of a few of the night) worked the crowd. Last night I caught up with both Paul and Harris to ask them about their popular dance parties and to list their top five or top ten dancefloor favorites for tonight's That 80's Show party - a refreshing mix that runs the gamut of disco, new wave, rock, club, and r'n'b.

Dave Paul's Crowd Favorite That 80's Show Dancefloor Bangers

1) Run DMC "It's Tricky" (1986)

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