Amoeblog

DJ Battles and Skratch Music Enjoying Peak in Popularity And Creativity As Proven By 2015 DMC NYC Regional At Webster Hall

Posted by Billyjam, June 2, 2015 12:20pm | Post a Comment
2015 DMC NYC Regional winner DJ Dwells photo above and all photos used in this Amoeblog
are by kind permission of
Ignacio Soltero (more pics/info here and here)

 

DJ battles and skratch music are enjoying a peak in both popularity and creativity right now. Age matters less than passion and commitment when it comes to skills and style displayed in turntablism. And Lord Finesse is a hella funny guy! Those are just a few of the things made quite apparent in Manhattan recently at the highly competitive but ever-entertaining 2015 DMC New York City Regional DJ battle where 15-year-old DJ Dwells took the title for the second year in a row, with the Bay Area's DJ Dstrukt coming in second, and As-One in third place. 

Overseen by Christie Z-Pabon (pictured right), the smoothly run, perfectly on schedule four-hour event took place on May 23rd at Webster Hall where the widely diverse and appreciative audience proved the point that the turntable-based art form, which has gone through some highs and lows in popularity over the past couple of decades, is indeed in a most healthy state currently.

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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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