Amoeblog

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: History of DJ (The DMC Story Part 2)

Posted by Billyjam, August 12, 2014 10:34am | Post a Comment
           
The History of DJ Part 2: The DMC Story (2014)

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.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Rare Early 90's Interview with E-40 and The Click

Posted by Billyjam, March 25, 2014 01:01am | Post a Comment

The Click "Tired of Being Stepped On"

Recently uncovered the early days interview in the careers of E-40 and The Click  - his family group that featured D-Shot, B-Legit, and Suga T - that I conducted with the legendary Vallejo family rap crew on KUSF radio in San Francisco (interview below)  around the time of the release of The Click's group album Down & Dirty that featured the above track "Tired of Being Stepped On," and the E-40 solo album Federal on the crew's label Sick Wid It. This was before they signed with Jive Records and when D-Shot would still go by the name Mac D Shot.and B-Legit would still be sometimes referred to as Legitimate B.

For this 22 year old radio interview the group were joined in the studio by their producer Studio Ton and it was an exciting time for them as they were regionally popular - both in the Bay Area and down south and in the mid west where they built up a grassroots following from tirelessly trekking out to these other parts of the US to sell their tapes. In the interview they talk about their first (pre Click) group MVP who, in 1988, released a 4 song 12" EP featuring such tracks as "Thought I Could Trust A Girl." Note that with their later record label Sick Wid It they had a habit of printing the following year's date on their releases (IE if an EP or LP dropped in 1990 it would read 1991 on the label) hence there's often confusion about the exact years of the early era Sick Wid It releases like Federal and Down & Dirty that are often listed as 1993 instead of 1992.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Overview of 1990's Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, September 24, 2013 05:40pm | Post a Comment
The 1990's was an amazing decade for hip-hop music: one which enjoyed the second half of the so-called Golden Era of hip-hop, the birth & proliferation of the indie hip-hop movement, the end of the Afro-centric movement and, propelled by the success of the early decade success of the G-Funk Era, the commercialization of the gangsta rap style that continues to this day.  So for this Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog I present a broad overview of the  decade that was the 90's. A by no means inclusive of that very prolific decade this look at the decade merely scratches the surface, selectively highlighting a handful of releases and events (with each year getting a mention) that helped shape the 1990's in hip-hop.

In 1990 revolutionary, militant and Afro-centric hip-hop was in full effect and looked like it would be around forever. Examples included such popular socially & politically charged albums released in that first year of the decade as Public Enemy's third full-length album Fear Of a Black Planet, Ice Cube's first post N.W.A./solo album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Boogie Down Productions' Edutainment,X-Clan's To The East, Blackwards, Brand Nubian's One For All, Poor Righteous Teachers' Holy Intellect, Paris' The Devil Made Me Do It, Tragedy The Intelligent Hoodlum's self-titled Marley Marl debut, and Lakim Shabazz's Lost Tribe of Shabazz.

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