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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.26.13: Ghostface Killah, Apollo The Great, Los Rakas, Hieros, DMC, Medusa, Streets of Rap + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 26, 2013 01:39pm | Post a Comment
        

Amoeba Berkeley Hip Hop Top Five Week Ending April 26: 2013



1) Ghostface Killah Twelve Reasons To Die (Soul Temple)

2) Kid Cudi Indicud (Dreamworks)

3) Trek Life Hometown Foreigner (Mello Music)

4) DJ Neil Armstrong Sweet: 10 Year Anniversary Box Set (Turntable Lab)

5) Kev Brown Songs Without Words Vols 1 + 2 (Green)

Special thanks to E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley  for taking time to record video above and run down the latest new hip-hop arrivals at Amoeba which include goodies such as Mello Music's Trek Life  (Hometown Foreigner) and Kev Brown (Songs Without Words Vols 1 + 2). Then of special interest to DJ/turntablist fans are both the Beat Junkies Record Store Day leftover vinyl release plus the beautifully done box set by DJ Neil Armstrong (Sweet: 10 Year Anniversary Box Set). Speaking of the craziness of Record Store Day last Saturday, E-Lit reports that two of the hottest hip-hop RSD 2013 exclusive items at the Berkeley Amoeba were the Notorious B.I.G. vinyl reissue of Ready To Die and the GZA chess set - both of which were snapped up and sold out in record time. Continuing to sell well at Amoeba Berkeley and the other two Amoeba stores this week are both the new Kid Cudi (Indicud on Dreamworks) and Ghostface Killah's Twelve Reasons To Die (Soul Temple). And below is a video from this hot new collab with Adrian Younge.

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"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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DJ Mixing and Scratching Without Turntables Or Records: The Art of the Tape-Jockey

Posted by Billyjam, January 7, 2013 08:08am | Post a Comment
        

These two early 90's video clips (above and below) explain and demonstrate the inspirational Soviet Union "tape-jockey" duo from Latvia featuring Pasaules and jeb Modris Skaistkalns known as Mr Tape. In the above 22 year old clip from the 1991 DMC Finals and introduced by DMC top man Tony Prince the two tape jockeys from Latvia (back then still part of the Soviet Union) demonstrate their craft. In the video below, from the same early nineties time period and produced in Amsterdam by Dutch TV, the two Latvian tape jockeys break down how they do what they do. Both loved techno house and hip-hop music with a passion. They also loved the concept of DJing (spinning & mixing beats, scratching, and beat-juggling etc.). The only problem was that, due to the market restrictions of their communist homeland, they literally had absolutely no access to the three main components that went into doing being a DJ in 1991:  Technics 1200 turntables, records, and a mixer. Most would give up at that point but not them. Instead in an inspired DJ McGyver like move they got two reel to reel tape decks, recorded songs onto individual reel-to-reels, and manually tweaked the tape machines to do some extra tricks: including building in a cross fader, and then then tapping their finger tips on the tape heads to get effects normally achieved on turntables and a mixer. In the DMC video they have no mixer but in the demo from Dutch TV they utilize a simple small mixer. I find this to be truly inspirational stuff because it proves that with a strong unstoppable passion for something coupled with a good imagination that you can overcome lack of resources and achieve your goals. 

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DJ Precision Wins 2012 DMC US Finals

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2012 02:47am | Post a Comment
The winner in the 2012 DMC US Finals DJ battle at Le Poisson Rouge in New York last evening was DJ Precision of the X-ecutioners, which means that as the new US DMC champion the New York-based DJ will travel to London England next month to represent the USA in the world DJ battle that was won last year by  American DJ Vajra.

Coming in second place last night was Virginia DJ I-Dee, while the third place slot was taken by Manwell, who was one of four California DJs out of the eleven contestants in New York last night to partake in the prestigious, long-running DJ competition that US DMC organizer Christie Z Pabon called "the best battle yet."

The other three DJs representing Cali were DJ Cocheze, DJ Lodus, and DJ Sol Rising (formerly known as Skwint), who represented the Bay Area after winning the 2012 DMC Bay Area Regional back in April and came in fourth place in a tie with New Hampshire's DJ Fascinate. All eleven turntable contestants delivered strong sets in a close competition that judge and 1986 DMC champ DJ Cheese called "the best I seen in years" and was rounded out by Florida's DJ Concept and DJ Immortal, Washington State's Waystyles, and Texas DJ Donnie Dee. The 2012 DMC World DJ Championships takes place in London on September 28th.

NYC's Ultimate DJ Battle Weekend: DMC US Finals, Roc Raida Memorial Gong Battle, & Stylus Sessions

Posted by Billyjam, August 3, 2012 04:47am | Post a Comment


In New York City this weekend there's a real treat in store for scratch DJs and fans of scratching and hip-hop DJ battles. Tomorrow (Saturday Aug 4th) the 2012 DMC US Finals National DJ Battle is taking place at Le Poisson Rouge in the Village. The winner of this anticipated DJ battle will go onto London, England next month to represent the US in the 2012 DMC World DJ Championships on September 28th. This Sunday (Aug 5th) in New York at the same Bleecker Street club will be the 2012 Grand Master Roc Raida Memorial Gong DJ Battle - bearing the name of the much loved X-ecutioner DJ who began the event years before he passed on in 2009. And to top things off for this NYC DJ weekend, that is been dubbed Ultimate DJ Battle Weekend, later today (Aug 3rd) will be the DubSpot Stylus Sessions # 2. Curated & produced by turntablist scholar John Carluccio this event will be video streamed live from the West 14th Street DJ school's headquarters.

At tomorrow's big US DMC battle, where competing DJs from all round the nation  will include DJ Sol Rising who won the 2012 Bay Area DMC Regional Battle back in April, the host will once again be the ever funny & entertaining Lord Finesse (of D.I.T.C. fame) while the Bay Area's DJ Snayk Eyez,  who is the 2001 DMC US Supremacy Champion, will do be among three DJs doing a special turntable routine performance. The others will be legendary 1986 DMC World Champion holder DJ Cheese, who after a long absence is back performing and recording over the past couple of years, and DJ Total Eclipse of The X-ecutioners. Meanwhile DJ Spictakular of the legendary Allies DJ crew will be doing a long partyrocking series of sets throughout the day long event that begins at 2pm and ends by 930pm tomorrow.

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