Hip Hop History Tuesdays: Young MC

Posted by Billyjam, April 14, 2015 12:04pm | Post a Comment

Scoring a top ten hit single might seem like any recording artist's greatest fantasy come to life. However the reality is that a hit single can become a stigma for an artist, particularly if it is the only hit single that an artist scores in their career since it will relegate them to that "one hit wonder" pile. Such, unfortunately, was the case for late-80's rap star Young MC whose 1989 breakout crossover single "Bust A Move" was his only big hit - one that has been featured on VH1's "100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders." But even before that, eight years after his hit had topped the charts, Young MC himself seemed resigned to the fact that he was indeed already a one-hit wonder. That was in 1997 when he released the poorly received comeback-attempt album unapologetically entitled Return of the 1 Hit Wonder.  Too bad since Young MC was a good rapper whose career deserved to go further than that one hit.

British by birth, Marvin Young  was born in the Wimbledon suburb of South West London, England before his family crossed the Atlantic to where he would be raised in Queens, New York City. There he graduated from Hunter College, soon-after moving west across the States to attend the University of Southern California.  It was at USC where he not only earned a bachelors degree in economics but also earned the friendship of two students with a bright music biz future ahead of them. Michael Ross and Matt Dike were the founders of the then fledgling Delicious Vinyl Records label. The meeting of these two and Young MC would be a most important one. Thanks to signing the unknown but soon to be hugely successful Young MC to their new upstart label as Delicious Vinyl's first artist - they made a grand entrance into the rap music business. The signing would also in turn launch the career of their next crossover pop rap artist Tone-Loc for whom Young MC co-write both the 1989 top-ten, Tone-Loc mega hit  "Wild Thing"  as well as Loc's hit "Funky Cold Medina" - both from Tone-Loc's debut hit album Loc-ed After Dark. Many have rightfully noted that Young had pershaps foolheartedly given away some of his best material to Tone-Loc.

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Posted by Billyjam, September 25, 2007 07:10am | Post a Comment

Since I (finally) got a new scanner, I am now able to go back into my Bay Area Hip-Hop Archives and start scanning and posting all of these wonderful slices of music history from the last 20+ years in Yay Area rap. Ranging from 1984 to 1996, these are some show fliers plus a ticket stub (above) which is from the first time I went to check out the Egyptian Lover and Uncle Jamm's Army * -- the LA turntable army (who were really hot at the time - especially the Egyptian Lover, whose single "Egypt Egypt"/"What is A DJ If He Can't Scratch" ruled at the time) -- when they came north to the Bay Area to do a show at the cavernous Richmond Auditorium. Rap shows, especially large scale ones, were still a relatively new phenomenon in the Bay Area in '84. It would still be a couple of years before the Fresh Fest (Whodini, Kuritis Blow, Fat Boys, etc) happened and rolled through Oakland (and that was a totally exciting new experience, to check out a large scale hip-hop festival with all of these major acts in the one place!). But in the few years before '84 I only remember going to the very, very occasional rap show, such as Grand Master Flash & Furious Five at the Berkeley Square, which was in '82 I believe, But I do clearly remember some very vocally disgruntled club goers at the long defunct University Ave venue complaining that they had forked over their money but there was no band -- just a DJ and bunch of rappers on mics (twas early days for sure).

Anyway Uncle Jamm's Army would return to the East Bay within a month that summer of '84 when they performed with Run DMC at the Oakland Convention Center (see flyer below and note its very basic layout -- this was in the pre-photoshop days). Also note the low ticket price of only $6.50 for each show.  The other Bay Area rap concert fliers below include one or two that actually never happened-- like the 1994 Music People / In-A-Minute showcase, scheduled during the annual music convention that always attracted a lot of hip-hop acts from all over the country, the Gavin Seminar in San Francisco. That show fell through at the last minute due to the club not being able to get insurance (a common problem with rap shows then and now).  And with some of these shows, the venue is long gone, such as the Omni ("the Bay Area's largest showcase nightclub" on Shattuck at 48th near Telegraph) in North Oakland where Young MC headlined in September 1989 with Bay Area artists Paris, APG Crew, Captial Tax, and Step G with MC Sirgeo all opening for him. Another time within about a year of that show, Too $hort headlined at the Omni -- doing his typical no-frills, straight up rap concert. (This was a time when another Oakland rapper, MC Hammer's stage shows were huge choreographed events -- Too $hort was the proud antitheses of that.)

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