Amoeblog

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Joe Conzo (Born In The Bronx) Amoeblog Interview

Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2014 06:47pm | Post a Comment
     

"It's pretty humbling and amazing to see my photos from when I was a sixteen, seventeen year old kid," Joe Conzo told the Amoeblog - as seen in the above video clip - speaking last week by the wall of photos on display at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise gallery space on Greenwich Street in the Village in New York City. The exhibit is similar in title and theme as well as contributors to the highly recommended 2007 published book Born In The Bronx that he is an integral part of. "Born In The Bronx: Afrika Bambaataa, Buddy Esquire, Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style and Joe Conzo - A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop" the exhibit that is curated by Johan Kugelberg (editor of the book) runs through July 26th, 2014 at the downtown gallery space and is well worth visiting - and it is free.

In addition to Conzo's photos on exhibit are such artifacts as classic original era hip-hop show flyers by Buddy Esquire (RIP), a grid of original cells from the animated sequences of Charlie Ahearn’s landmark hip-hop film Wild Style, and a wall display of LP and 12" vinyl from the Afrika Bambaataa's influential record collection.  There's also Afrika Bambaataa manuscripts and notebooks and the original lyrics handwritten for “Planet Rock” - all of which adds up to must-see material for any true hip-hop history fanatic.

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Review of Hip-Hop's 40 Year Anniversary Concert With Kool Herc and Other Icons at Summerstage in Central Park

Posted by Billyjam, August 12, 2013 10:54am | Post a Comment

On Saturday, August 10th, New York City (the city that gave birth to hip-hop culture on August of 1973 thanks to founding father DJ Kool Herc with the help of his sister Cindy Campbell in the Rec Room at 1520 Sedgwick Ave. South Bronx) held a big tribute concert at Summerstage in Central Park with DJ Kool Herc and a host of other icons from the genre all participating in what was a most uplifting musical celebration of the global culture of hip-hop. The following day -Sunday, August 11th - was the actual 40th birthday so Kool Herc continued the party over in Long Island City, Queens at graffiti mecca 5Pointz (I will report on that party in coming days here on the Amoeblog).

Saturday's event was the big official party/concert marking this momentous anniversary; it oozed love and respect for the genre and culture that was for so long dismissed by many as "just a fad." Of course, as we all know, hip-hop in its four core elements (DJing, MCing, B-boying, and graffiti/writing) has grown to become a universal language and a globally influential culture. To drive home this point on Saturday in Central Park, a display of flags from various countries round the globe adorned Kool Herc's onstage turntable set up. So did a big mounted poster of James Brown.

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DJ Vajra Took Title In Heated 2011 DMC US Finals DJ Battle in NYC Last Night

Posted by Billyjam, August 7, 2011 12:28pm | Post a Comment
          2011 US DMC champ DJ Vajra (this pic + all photos courtesy of Joe Conzo)

"How long you been practicing?" host Lord Finesse quizzed DJ Immortal at last night's 2011 DMC US Finals DJ battle before the talented turntablist launched into a six minute routine that could determine the path of his future as a DJ. "My whole life,"  said the Florida DJ born Jamie Keogh, qualifying that ever since he started DJing at age 15 he has dedicated every spare moment to honing his craft as a DJ/turntablist in preparation for an opportunity like last night's big battle.  As with each of the other anxious eleven contestants at yesterday's heated national DMC DJ finals, held at Santos Party House in New York City, (and all the other hard-working battle DJs who didn't quite make it as far as this final round) DJ Immortal, who earlier this year triumphed in the 2011 DMC New Orleans regional DJ battle, has spent literally thousands upon thousands of hours practicing the same moves over and over to the point of perfection so as to get to this stage. Indeed it is that level of love for the art, and that type of dedication/obsession that it takes to become a competing DMC battle DJ nowadays. 

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