What a great week it has been for hip-hop in New York City! On top of the big 2014 DMC US Finals at Webster Hall in the East Village on Saturday (reviewed on Amoeblog here) and the following day's nearby Battle Ave DJ battle at Turntable Lab, there were clubs and concerts galore, an amazing True School Park Jam yesterday, the Harlem Hip-Hop Festival - part of Harlem Week - over the weekend, and first annual International Hip Hop Parade on Saturday. The parade took place in none other than the "Boogie Down" Bronx, the borough where hip-hop was born 41 years ago, with many legendary figures in attendance including the three grand marshals of the parade Melle Mel, Grand Wizzard Theodore, and Kool DJ Red Alert (who afterwards called the parade "a great event to recognize this unstoppable culture that was born in the Bronx."). The organizers of the parade, which took place along Bathgate Avenue to a positive response from onlookers, say that they plan to travel to a new location each year for the event, noting that their mission statement is one of, "showing the positive side of Hip Hop music through technology, education, and expression." More info.
Just finished in production and finally published yesterday is the above anticipated second part/sequel to the excellent premiere in the The History of DJ and the continued story of the UK founded DMC as told by DMC founder Tony Prince - the former Radio Luxembourg DJ/founder of the British company that would become synonymous hip-hop DJ/turntablist battles - even if DMC initially (and still does) stand for Disco Mix Club. It was so named since initially it was all about the mixing end of the DJ but soon morphed into the scratch area of the DJ as is outlined in this second part of the documentary above when some participants in the contest took offense to the (then) new direction in the latter 80's that the battle was taken - upon its cue from the scratch-themed Superman battles at the annual New York City convention the New Music Seminar. Tony Prince formed the "Disco Mix Club" in 1986 as an offshoot of his Disco Mix Club Show radio program that he began in 1981. The above second part is a great history lesson that covers a lot of ground in the history of both the DMC and of the DJ. It returns to some memorable moments such as Philly DJ Cash Money traveling to the UK in 1988 to reign supreme in the competition, 1989 DMC World champ Cutmaster Swift doing a live routine on the high profile Terry Wogan television program, and Germany's DJ David winning the world title in 1991 when, in the final dramatic 15 seconds of his six-minute routine, he wowed the judges with the ultimate body trick of palm-spinning his entire body around on top of one of his turntables. However many (justly) argued at the time that the judgement was unfair and based on his purely eye-catching, visual body trick rather than on his turntablist skills and that runner up DJ Qbert should have in fact won. But such are the debates surrounding any competition that carries as much weight as the DMC does. Upcoming in this year's DMC battles are the 2014 DMC US Finals taking place in NYC at Webster Hall on August 23rd (look for a full review of that battle here on the Amoeblog shortly after that date), followed by the 2014 DMC World Championships in London at the Forum on October 5th. Below is the video of the winning routine by last year's champion - DJ Fly from France.
Above is part one of the recently published documentary on the DMC, which is the DJ battle organization that began in 1986 in the UK by famed Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince who formed the "Disco Mix Club" or DMC as an offshoot of the Disco Mix Club Show radio program that he began five years earlier. His first spawned remixes that were then released on tape and vinyl, which then in turn led to the actual DJ competition. Initially the battles were more themed towards (as the name implied) "disco" party DJ mixing, but then (after noting the turntablist style of the US Superman/New Music Seminar (NMS) battles) changed up their focus from purely DJ mixing to the more intricate scratch/turntablist hip-hop DJ styles and techniques. Nowadays a respected worldwide organization with battles in countless countries that lead up to an annual worldwide championship battle, its most recent years' developments (which some love and some hate) have been mostly digital era related. These include ones such as allowing DJs to utilize laptops with programs like Serato and Traktor, and also well as hosting online DJ competitions whereby DJs record at their homes their own battle routines and upload them online to be judged by the DMC. To check out the numerous DJ contestants in the DMC Online DJ Championship 2014 click here.
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top 5, Week Ending 04:25:14
1) Childish Gambino Because The Internet [Record Store Day] (LP) (Glassnote)
2) Notorious B.I.G. Life After Death [Clear Vinyl] [Record Store Day] (LP) (Atlantic)
3) J. Stalin S.i.d.-shining I (Town Thizness)
4) Various Artists Mandala Vol. 1: Polysonic Flows (Mello Music Group)
5) Nocando Jimmy the Burnout (Hellfyre Club)
As a result of the mad rush for exclusive Record Store Day releases at Amoeba Music on the incredibly busy RSD 2014 last Saturday some of those releases make up the latest Hip-Hop Top Five weekly chart from the Berkeley Amoeba store where E-Lit, in the video above, does a run down of new releases and what was popular during Record Store Day such as the vinyl version of Childish Gambino's Because The Internet. Other new chart entries include Bay Area homegrown talent J. Stalin's in demand new joint S.i.d.-shining I, the excellent Mello Music label compilation sampler Mandala Vol. 1: Polysonic Flows, and brand new Hellfyre Club release Jimmy the Burnout from Nocando.