Pioneering SF Hip-Hop DJs Eddie Def + DJ Cue Travel to NYC for Series of Turntablist Performances

Posted by Billyjam, June 21, 2012 11:33am | Post a Comment
Today, Thursday, June 21st, pioneering Bay Area turntablist Eddie Def (pictured belpw), along with his fellow Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (later Space Travelers) founding member DJ Cue (pictured left), are both flying into New York City where, over the next few days, they will be performing at a series of DJ events, including this Saturday's big DMC DJ Battle for US Supremacy & NYC Regional DMC DJ battle at at Le Poisson Rouge where they will be the star showcase performers along with host/mc Lord Finesse. More DMC info here.

Upon their arrival today, the two veteran San Francisco turntablists/DJs will be heading directly to East Harlem where they'll be doing a special turntable performance at the prestigious and always fun Tools of War-produced annual summer True School Park Jams. This afternoon's Spanish Harlem Hop Park Jam (which is free like all the Park Jams) is in Spanish Harlem at White Park El Barrio located at Lexington and E. 105th Streets (NY, NY 10029) and is near the #6 Subway line (map it here). It runs from 3pm to 7pm with other scheduled DJ performances today by both Tony Touch and Lean Rock.  Then tomorrow (Friday June 22nd) at 7pm (EST) the two DJs, along with DJ ALF and other guest turntablists, will be performing live (a freestyle set) on WFMU on my weekly radio show Put The Needle On The Record.

"I'm really psyched to be going out to New York to perform," Eddie Def told me recently by phone adding that he was disappointed that DJ Quest -  the third founding member of the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters - would not be able to join him and Cue due to scheduling and other factors. "We wish we could go as a whole crew but logistics don't really make it easy to bring so many of us to events that aren't local," added DJ Cue when I talked with him earlier this week adding that regardless it would still be a most memorable set of performances by him and Eddie Def. When I caught up with Cue this week I also asked him a bit about the history of the Scratch Hamsters/Space Travelers and what folks can expect at the NYC shows.

Tracing back their history of how, when, and where they met up and formed the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (BPSH) and how that crew morphed into the Space Travelers/Bullet Proof Space Travelers Cue recalled, "Eddie Def and Quest met in the late 80's in the Mission District through a mutual friend.  I met Quest through a mutual friend from high school and and then Quest introduced me to Eddie Def in summer of 1991.  After kicking it for a few months we began a crew  and then five years later added Marz after he worked for me at the shop [Cue's Hip Hop Shop in Daly City]. We saw his talent and character  and knew he was like us and a great addition.  Eddie K has known Eddie Def since the 80's when they were a crew with T-Mor.  Eddie Def, Eddie K , and Quest are all from SF, I'm from Daly City, and Marz is from Millbrae.  When Marz became a crew member we changed the name to Bullet Proof Space Travelers.  The name has always been changed depending on who writes about us or what project we are talking about but the people never changed or left."

Since the group would often have long breaks between recordings or concerts I asked Cue if they had ever officially broken up or if they were simply on hiatus? "There has never been a crew break-up or anyone leaving even though some of us are missing in action years at a time.  We all have our own careers in music so as a crew we haven't worked on much due to distance and other obligations. When we do perform we are usually doing improvised live sets made up on the spot.  We have more in common with the life of jazz musicians than anything else.  Our lives dictate what our sound is."

And speaking of their sound and style I asked Cue what NYC audiences can expect from the visiting SF duo this weekend? "The NY sets will be pretty much showcases of what we do as individuals but performed together," said Cue. "Eddie Def is a scratch genius and will cut over tracks I play.  We like to maintain the showcase/party rock format over the battle style routines so all spectators can enjoy the show.  Specifically for the Park Jam we are going to make sure we get funky for the dancers.  We don't get to do that much party rocking for the dancing crowd in the Bay Area so being in NY at the Park Jam is an honor for Eddie and myself." 

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Eddie Def (6), San Francisco (365), Christie Z Pabon (30), Space Travelers (4), Dmc (53), Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (5), Bullet Proof Space Travelers (1), Turntablism (43), Dj (37), Dj Cue (18)