Amoeblog

NOLA DMC DJ Battle Does Its Part in Helping Restore a Post Katrina New Orleans to Its Former Big Easy Glory

Posted by Billyjam, April 15, 2010 05:23pm | Post a Comment

Tomorrow, Friday April 16th, the 2010 DMC American Battleground kicks off with the first round of this year's National DJ Battle Qualifier events. The DJ battle, being held in New Orleans at the Hookah Club on Decatur Street and hosted by Truth Universal, will also feature showcase sets by New York's DJ Shiftee, who is the current reigning DMC World Champion, and Mista B of San Francisco's 4OneFunk crew, who was runner up in last year's US DMC finals. In the upcoming weeks following the New Orleans DJ battle, other US DMC regional battles will take place in Denver (May 1st), NYC (May 15th), Long Beach, CA (May 21st), and San Antonio TX (May 28th). Then on August 7th the 2010 DMC US Finals DJ Battle will be held at Santos Party House in New York City.

But of all these US DMC battles, perhaps the most noteworthy is tomorrow's opening event since, by hosting the DMC battle in New Orleans for its second consecutive year, the event organizers are not only helping ignite the local competitive turntablist scene but they are also doing their part in the gradual recovery of a post Katrina New Orleans -- a still devastated city that has a ways to go before returning to its former Big Easy glory.
 
Christie Z-Pabon, the DMC USA Event Coordinator, credits local New Orleans DJ/promoter Tony Skratchere (part of New Orleans' Soundclash collective) with making the NOLA DMC event happen in the first place. "Tony Skratchere was just determined to bring it there and get the scene kicking. I remember when DJ Spin from Louisiana was the only person from that state battling in the late 90's," she told me, noting that, "Basically the DJs are taking the lead in all the cities and either becoming the promoters or finding promoters for us [at DMC]."

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DMC/ITF DJ CHAMPION ROC RAIDA OF X-ECUTIONERS DEAD AT AGE 37

Posted by Billyjam, September 19, 2009 01:29pm | Post a Comment

It has been reported by several sources that New York turntablist Roc Raida of X-Men/X-Ecutioners fame has died earlier today. The DMC and ITF DJ battle champ was 37 years of age. The artist had reportedly been hospitalized for a serious spinal injury following a recent accident while kick-boxing training. Along with Rob Swift, Total Eclipse, and Mista Sinista, Roc Raida rounded out the best known line-up of the X-Ecutioners (formerly the X-Men), whose other members had included Steve Dee, DJ Boogie Blind and DJ Precision.

In addition to performing and recording with his DJ crew (in 2002 the X-Ecutioners dropped Built From Scratch on Loud), he also collaborated with numerous hip-hop artists over the years, including Big Pun, Immortal Technique, O.C., Buckshot Lefonque, and Smif N' Wessun. Above is one of Raida's great turntable routines from the 1995 DMC battle that he won in which he displays his typical playful, fun approach to the art of scratching, incorporating ample use of body tricks. Note that at this time his crew was still named X-Men (they eventually were forced to change it due to Marvel Comics sending a cease and desist) and the DJ was known as Roc Raider (with an "R" at the end). I knew Roc Raida for many years and last interviewed him about two years ago. I will try to find that interview to transcribe for a future Amoeblog. R.I.P. Roc Raida.

2009 US DMC Finals: 1) DJ Shiftee 2) Mista B 3) DJ Shmeeze

Posted by Billyjam, August 2, 2009 01:23pm | Post a Comment
2009 DMC US FINALS: SANTOS HOUSE, NYC AUGUST 1st

dj shiftee
1st - DJ Shiftee

2nd - Mista-B

3rd - DJ Shmeeze

Yesterday's DMC 2009 US Finals at Santos House in New York CIty was a great experience for me. The winner was DJ Shiftee from New York; second place was San Francisco DJ Mista B; and third place was DJ Shmeeze from Fountain Valley in Southern California.

But I must say, beyond these three official winners, all of the DJ's that participated yesterday were winners as far as I am concerned. I really enjoyed everyone's routines. And despite the hiccups that happened such as humming coming out of the sound system, or simply a DJ's needle skipping, the event was a big success. I may have arrived at the battle a little late because of traffic congestion on the wack ass New Jersey Turnpike, but I still got there in time to witness the turntablist heaven that was this year's DMC finals.

And once again DJ Red Alert hosted the battle and Lord Finesse was providing the tunes. It was my first time hearing Lord Finesse on the turns, and he did a pretty damn good job keeping the crowd alive during one of the breaks during the competition.  Red Alert kept the crowd laughing and hyped up just a bit throughout the night. I wonder what's in the "Poo Poo" juice he kept on drinking all night? The crowd turnout was pretty good, as I saw a lot of people from the next generation of Hip Hop heads. There were a few youngsters in their early teens in attendance as well.

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AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 07:31:09

Posted by Billyjam, July 31, 2009 03:08pm | Post a Comment
Psycho Realm's "Sick Dogs" from reissue of A War Story: Book 1

Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 07:17:09
fabolous loso's way

1) Fabolous Loso's Way (Desert Storm/Def Jam)

2) Mos Def The Ecstatic (Downtown)

3) Dudley Perkins Holy Smokes (1 AM APPROACH)

4) Psycho Realm A War Story: Book 1 (Sick Symphonies)

5) Chali 2na Fish Outta Water (Decon)

Brooklyn, New York rapper Fabolous is back with a bang. His fifth and latest album, Loso's Way on Desert Storm/Def Jam, is this week's number one new hip-hop album at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store this week. Like Jay-Z [who, incidentally, appears here on the track "Money Goes, Honey Stay" (When the Money Goes Remix)] and his fabolous loso's wayAmerican Gangster record, the new Fab album also comes complete with a gangster movie inspired theme. Loso's Way is based on Carlito's Way. And the "Deluxe Edition" of Loso's Way comes complete with a DVD of the half-hour plus movie of the same name that is reportedly a semi-autobiographical film. The film also draws many parallels with the original movie character Al Pacino plays in Carlito's Way.

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DJ DEVA VU: DJ SLYCE WINS DMC USA FINALS AGAIN, 11 YEARS LATER

Posted by Billyjam, September 3, 2008 11:52am | Post a Comment
DJ Slyce wins 2008 DMC USA Championship
Congratulations to the new DMC DJ champion of the USA DJ Slyce who took the title hands down (once again) last Saturday night at the Knitting Factory in New York and consequently will travel to the UK later this month for the 2008 DMC World Championship finals September 26th/27th. It was a kind of deja vu for DJ Slyce who also won the US DMC title eleven years ago (see video clip of that legendary 1997 DMC routine below). "Anyone who said hip hop was dead has not been to a recent hip-hop DJ battle and with the return of DMC to the Mecca I can assure you the DJ element of our culture is alive and kicking some serious ass! An historical night to say the least and not because DMC was back in New York, not because it was the first time a father and son competed-- it was having such a variety of past and future legends share the stage and tear the decks up," said Washington DC (formerly of the SF Bay Area) DJ Dust One, who drove the four plus hours to NYC just to attend the event last weekend.

Dust One stressed to me how blown away he was by both seeing Grand Wizzard Theodore (creator of the scratch) and to getting to talk to him. "I asked him if it must feel great to watch what he created develop into such an art form. He smiled and proudly answered, 'I created monsters,'" related Dust One, adding that, "DJ Slyce stole the show and will represent the United States with the utmost showmanship and [it] would not surprise me if he took the world title back home. His set was flawless and the creativity took it to another level.Competition was definitely tough, but DJ Slyce showed us he is the best! Much respect to all the competitors, the judges and to Christie Z for coordinating such a great show!"
 
DMC Events Coordinator Christie Z Pabon is a the tireless ambassador of turntablism as well as theDJ Slyce other elements of hip-hop.  She had not organized a DMC battle for several years, instead focusing more on her own hip-hop dedicated organization, Tools of War. Pabon was perhaps the single reason why this year's US DMC battles seemed to bring the battle back on track after years of people complaining of it slipping. I talked with Christie Z, who organized the DMC battles from 1998 to 2000 and who likely will stay on board for upcoming years' DMCs, about how she felt about last weekend's event in NYC:

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