Friday, 29 June 2012

Napoli Gets Down

Check out this top notch footage of the 7$ Crew getting down and showing their Italian flair for the four elements. Members SERVAL, KIDKASH, BULLET and AMJAD keep it strictly hip hop at the "JUST WRITING MY NAME" festival in Napoli September 2011. Shout to 7$ and PSA.

7$ in Napoli from bboy Amjad on Vimeo.

Dust & Grooves Exhibition

On July 6th DUST & GROOVES will be exhibiting their huge archive of photography representing vinyl collectors worldwide. My man EILON PAZ has been doing a fantastic job with his immense project and the plan is to compile a book featuring EILON's amazing work. Get yourself over to the exhibition at TROPICALIA IN FURS RECORD STORE on East 5th Street NYC. And who knows, you may even see a photo of yours truly...? On the wheels of steel will be DJ PRESTIGE from FLEA MARKET FUNK, SUPREME LA ROCK, and MR VACATION.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Hip Hop vs Rap

I'm not sure how many of you out there watched the live Hip Hop debate on Youtube yesterday "Hip Hop on Trial", but out of curiosity I tuned in and soon found myself at the brink of smashing up my PC monitor in disgust at what I was hearing and seeing during the broadcast from London's Barbican Centre. The whole discussion (which must have cost thousands of £$ to produce) was to try and debate whether Hip Hop music has a negative influence on society and in particular the young black community. A panel made up of people such as KRS ONE, JESSE JACKSON, TONY SEWELL, SHAUN BAILEY, PROFESSOR JOHN SUTHERLAND, JARON LANIER and others linked via the web (including Q-TIP, ?UESTLOVE from THE ROOTS, and the UK singer ESTELLE) were quizzed by EAMON COURTENAY and MICHAEL ERIC DYSON over the validity of Hip Hop, the messages within the lyrics, and the effect it has on society.

Firstly (and I must add surprisingly), this was not the "debate" it was billed to be but more a very poor attempt at assassinating Hip Hop's credibility. I could spend all day here arguing over 95% of the points raised by both sides and discussed during the broadcast, in particular the comments and accusations made by a somewhat blinkered EAMON COURTENAY. In fact I found myself fuming so much over the contents of said broadcast, especially when several of the invited speakers were only given a token chance at speaking only to be then cut-off before their explanation was complete. The so-called debate became most heated on discussing use of the N word, the B word and the H word. If they wanted a debate on street slang then that is how they should have titled the debate.

As I've said I could lash out at the points made during this broadcast until I'm blue in the face, but I don't really need to do so for the sake of one simple fact that everyone seems to have ignored in this matter - the misappropriation of Hip Hop.
Hip Hop is defined in the online dictionary as "a popular urban youth culture, closely associated with rap music and with the style and fashions of African-American inner-city residents". Now this is not necessarily MY definition of Hip Hop, but it is close enough for the purpose needed here. The point that I am trying to raise here is the debate title should have in fact been RAP LYRICS ON TRIAL.

I am sick and tired of people in the media (and in society) not being able to differentiate between Hip Hop and Rap. As the teacher KRS ONE rightfully told us some years ago "Rap is something you do, Hip Hop is something you live". And just because you RAP, that doesn't necessarily make you Hip Hop, in fact far from it. Hip Hop is a state of mind and a way of life. Rap is simply put a way of putting poetry to music. And Rap is a part of Hip Hop, but not exclusive to it. So all the bullshit that was aired on last evening's Youtube debate is completely irrelevant to me. I'm into Hip Hop which is, and always has, been about PEACE, UNITY, LOVE and HAVING FUN. It's NEVER (I repeat) NEVER been about b!tches, hoes, drugs, porn, guns and crime. And incidentally if a rapper wants to portray that type of image (like an actor in Hollywood plays a role) then you are the damn fool if you believe it to be true in the first place. And if you cannot understand that rap and hip hop are two separate entities and stop treating them as one, then I think I'm beyond reasoning with you.

For more information on this subject you must read the book "Misappropriation of Hip Hop" by DJ FINGERS.

Monday, 25 June 2012


BBE RECORDS have once again brought an essential release to the table in the form of HIPOLOGY by VISIONEERS, the alter ego of established London producer MARC MAC. MARC, who was originally one half of duo 4HERO, has worked within many musical genres but has always operated whilst under a hip hop influence, and quotes characters such as KOOL HERC, COKE LA ROCK, JIMMY CASTOR, 45 KING, PRIMO, PETE ROCK, GIL SCOT HERON, KPM RECORDS, JAMEL SHABAZZ and DAVID TOOP as his inspirations. His love for hip hop music and it's traditions is blatantly evident on this album, which is a real hybrid concoction of breakbeat, nu-jazz, neo soul, drum & bass and hip hop. He also has a love for taking well-known samples and re-creating them but with a modern edge, providing an awesome soundtrack to modern 21st Century living. The bonus mix(tape) on the extra CD is also a beautiful listen and Marc blends in dialogue from hip hop pioneers that have inspired him over the years. This, in turn, will inspire YOU on your very first listen. Also featuring on the album are JOHN ROBINSON, NOTES TO SELF, TRAC and BARON on vocal duties. Pick up your copy through BBE RECORDS website.

Soundsci - Candyland

The SOUNDSCI album drops today, so scoop up your copy with the quickness from CRATE ESCAPE RECORDS website before they disappear.

Friday, 22 June 2012

The Mardi Gras Mystery

The Mardi Gras Mystery continues. Have a listen to these alleged original CTI reels (as played by THES ONE from PUTS) and decide for yourself what the real truth of the matter is. Me personally, I just don't know what to believe anymore.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Mac McRaw Giving You More

My brother from another mother and fellow VINYL VETERAN, MAC McRAW, will be blessing the wheels of steel this summer over in the States spinning at various parties including FAT BUDDHA in East Village NYC (with KAMUI SUMIDA), the SHADOW LOUNGE in Pittsburgh (with JAY MALLS), and RIDGEWOOD SOUL-CIAL CLUB in Brooklyn (with DJ MIX GREENS and ICEBERG BENJAMIN). If you wanna know how the UK's very own VINYL VETERANS rock those funky joints, then head over to one of the aforementioned venues and witness MAC's turntable fitness. Don't miss out cuz he has a reputation for giving you more than you bargained for. I guarantee the beats will be dope and the party will be live.

Beans Means Beats

Hip Hop culture within the UK is by no means centered around the capital city of London. In fact since the very early days of hip hop in this country, the scene has been just as prevalent in cities such as Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and Nottingham to name just a few. Even back in the early 80s when Hip Hop was still finding it's feet in London's Covent Garden and at illegal warehouse jams, the Bristol scene was only moments behind in terms of development and crews like Wild Bunch were already rocking parties with two turntables and a microphone.
One veteran of the Bristol scene is SIR BEANS OBE, a character who both myself and BEAT DETECTIVE have known since the mid 90s. He is no stranger to putting out dope beats on vinyl, and has been a member of various UK crews including TRANSCRIPT CARRIERS, UNDIVIDED ATTENTION and PARLOUR TALK, working on production and cuts. Right now in 2012 he has a new EP project called "Pause to Discuss" dropping on limited white vinyl and featuring KELZ, JUNIOR DISPROL and BLAKTRIX. The beats are rough rugged & raw and the rhymes are on point - check it out below and and drop a comment on his Soundcloud page to order your copy on vinyl. BIG respect to SIR BEANS OBE from the DAILY DIGGERS.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

This Is Tomorrow

Check out these remixes by THIS IS TOMORROW - MIKE Z outta Luxembourg has been putting in work on the 16 pads and has been kind enough to lace us with a full album's worth of hip hop joints which have been given the "Tomorrow" treatment. Enjoy...

Nike Air Safari

The NIKE AIR SAFARI was originally released in small quantities back in 1987 and famously featured on the back cover of BIZ MARKIE's debut LP "Goin' Off". The designer TINKER HATFIELD was inspired on a visit to NYC one year where he spotted some expensive furniture made from Ostrich leather, and he took this idea and created his Safari print as a fun project, which later became reality.
Now in 2012 NIKE have re-released the "Biz Markie" Safari, and also put together a NIKE AIR TRAINER 1 SAFARI edition for the sneaker heads out there.

Disco At The Marisco

This weekend, those dudes over at DIGGERS WITH GRATITUDE are holding their Summer bash at THE MARISCO club in Woolacombe on the UK's south coast, which is incidentally the oldest standing Discotheque in the United Kingdom. Live on the night will be DJ FORMAT, EMSKEE and CHUBB NICE with a performance by THE GOOD PEOPLE (EMSKEE & SAINT), and to help celebrate the event DWG have also released a 45rpm 7inch single by THE GOOD PEOPLE feat production by DJ FORMAT. Get yourself over to DWG for more details, and get yourself down to Devon for the partay!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The Chrome Angelz

Anyone with even the slightest interest in early graffiti writing will be aware of THE CHROME ANGELZ - the European crew that set the standard for both letter forms and characters circa the mid-80s. Members included PRIDE, BANDO, MODE 2, SCRIBLA and ZAKI DEE; all names that are mentioned frequently in graffiti folklore in regard to pieces on walls (rather than pieces on trains). Their unique style and ahead-of-the-time characters made them amongst the most emulated crews globally, particularly after their work featured in the legendary graffiti book SPRAYCAN ART by HENRY CHALFANT.
15th June excitingly marks the launch of the first ever group show from THE CHROME ANGELZ at THE OUTSIDERS, showcasing new and unseen work from arguably Europe’s most influential graffiti crew. In addition photography and archival work will be exhibited providing audiences with a rare insight into their unique history.
The artists themselves will regroup for their debut exhibition to present new works that epitomise their long-held commitment to creating a distinctly European aesthetic by way of the style and enduring spirit of graffiti culture. Paintings, drawings and sculptural works will be on display alongside selected pieces from their archives.

The exhibition commences 14th June 2012 at THE OUTSIDERS 8 Greek Street LONDON W1. More details here

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Fly Kicks

The Story of Yo! MTV Raps

Thanks to KWOTE ONE my fellow Hip Hop soldier down under in Oz for sending me the link to this documentary about the MTV show we all grew up with and loved so much. Enjoy.

Stay High 149

June 11th saw the passing of old school writing icon STAY HIGH 149 - the man who painted The Saint stick figure all over New York transit during the 70s. He will always be considered a pioneer of the movement - rest in paint WAYNE ROBERTS aka STAY HIGH.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Clash of the Turntable Titans

CHRIS READ, MR THING, DJ DISTER and DJ SUSPECT (from THE INCREDIBLE FUNK LEAGUE) will be taking to wheels of steel at EURO CLASH on Sat 16th June 2012 at the Lockside Lounge in Camden Town. Expect Golden Era hip hop. b-boy funk and rare breaks. This sounds like a recipe for a dope night out! And if you are not familiar with THE INCREDIBLE FUNK LEAGUE then check out their double LP and 12" releases available to scoop online - DAILY DIGGERS recommended beats!

Another Dose of 45s

Here's ANOTHER DOSE OF 45s - it's kinda self explanatory really, but rather than my usual mix of funk classics and b-boy breaks, this time I have compiled an hour selection of dope Hip Hop 45s past and present. I know Hip Hop music was primarily released on the 12" format throughout the 1980s, but I have always collected as many hip hop 45rpm seven inch singles as I could get my hands on. Many 45s were promotional only releases from the 80s and 90s and were manufactured purely as a promo tool rather than to increase record sales. I've included a few promo only 7s in this selection together with a couple of recent and very essential 45rpm releases. Ain't nuthin' to it but to get into it...

45 KING instrumental
KWAME - "The Rhythm"
DOUG E FRESH - "Spirit" instrumental
PUBLIC ENEMY - "Black Steel..."
MARLEY MARL - "The Man Marley Marl"
SUPER RAT - "Motorcycle Mike"
SPOONIE G - "Spoonin Rap"
TWO-TONE - "We Are Two-Tone"
MAIN SOURCE - "Bootleggin'"
POS K & MC LYTE - "I'm Not Havin It"
MADMAN SHAWN - "Walk Thru Hell"
THE PHARCYDE - "Live at Dodgers Stadium"
BLUEPRINT - "No Half Smokin'"
DAMU THE FUDGEMUNK - "When Winter Comes"
SPOX PHD - "Brilliance"
RASHEED CHAPPELL - "What I'm Here 4"

"Did somebody page Quinton??"

Chelmsford Gas Works

Back in 1987 when I was sixteen years old, I moved to a town called Chelmsford about 20 miles eastwards of the UK capital London. I was already a budding deejay and graff writer by the time I moved to Chelmsford, so to find out that the town had it's own graffiti "hall of fame" was a real bonus when I arrived. Within walking distance of the town centre was the old Gas Works, which basically consisted of some abandoned warehouse/office buildings and a huge concrete circle approx 50m wide and 2m high (which I'm guessing was the original base for the giant gas tank that once stood there.) Both of these areas was heavily bombed with throw-ups, pieces and dope characters plus some amazing work by the infamous ESSEX ROCKERZ (I remember the names PROUD2, DEMANE and SEVERE) both inside the buildings and around the concrete circle. As a teenager thirsty for hip hop this place soon helped me forget the anguish of having to move across country in the first place. As long as there was hip hop in the new area I didn't care where my parents regular house moves took us.
I'm pleased to say that Chelmsford's hall of fame is still alive and kicking some 25 years later; the concrete circle still remains and is pieced most weekends weather permitting by some well known writers, although the dilapidated buildings were demolished in the early 90s if my memory serves me correctly. Over that 25 year period I have regularly visited the Gas Works to check out the active writers as they paint, and to photo the burners and pieces on display. And I must add that I am rarely disappointed when I visit, even though I now live a good 20 miles away. Chelmsford Gas Works still oozes the vibe that it had in the early days. And of course the quality of the work is high, which was the same back in the 80s. A lot of early UK writers caught a little fame over at Chelmsford HOF, and as long as it remains it will always be highly respected and regularly hit. And even after it has gone it will certainly be fondly reminisced over by all those who have been painted and photographed there.
I have to give a humongous shout to that dude SOUL SAFARI for posting up some old flicks from Chelmsford HOF over on his SOUL SAFARI website in a piece entitled "back to the old walls" and his Flickr page HERE where you can see some 80s action at Chelmsford. It seems we all have fond memories of the gas works in the early days. Keep writing ya name...

Bob James

BUNCH TV have interviewed the maestro BOB JAMES and asked his reaction to people sampling his classic beats "Nautilus" and "Take Me To The Mardi Gras". All beatheads will own these two classic breaks, so listen up to BOB's initial opinion of the unauthorised use of his music and how he later began to appreciate the love he was getting from the hip hop audience.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Tools Of War

The TOOLS OF WAR organisation are again filling the parks of NEW YORK CITY with music this summer, and the line-up of deejays gets better and better with every year. If you're in NYC this summer then you need to add this to your itenary. If you're not in NYC this Summer then you had better make plans for 2013.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Breaks on 45

Whenever I pull out some crispy drum breaks that revolve at 45rpm you lot out there seem to perk up more so than usual and leave far more comments. Is that because, like myself, you prefer the snappier sounding drums which at 45rpm kick much louder than the lesser quality 33 1/3rpm album version? Or maybe it's due to the fact that 45s seem to be easier and cheaper to pick up cheap in the field these days? Or is it simply because of the recent trend (many of the better known and better respected hip hop DJs these days are dropping 45 sets rather than the usual 12" selections)?. Either way it's all gravy with me, and it's only fair that I give you some MORE of what you bargained for. Today I've decided to pull out some serious breakbeat heat on 7" vinyl and I'm sure by now you expect nothing lesser from the DAILY DIGGERS crew. Weak kick and snare business is simply not an option, but plenty of funky headnodders and straight-up b-boy classics.

You may not be instantly familiar with the title of either the artist or the track title on this one but if you a keen break mix fan then you will certainly recognise the track and the beat you are about to hear. I believe FAITH are a religious rock band hailing from Indianapolis in the States, and this track is taken from their first LP. However this clip comes from a Portugese picture sleeve 45rpm single which I picked up some years ago for next to nothing price wise. I have yet to see another 45 on my travels but I do know there is a US 45rpm out there too, plus the LP does show up in rock record shops from time to time. Great chanting in the intro sets the mood for the track and the funky groove continues for the majority of the record until the drummer is finally allowed to beat the skins with as much ferocity as he dare. This is one for the beatheads, as it's great for chopping up in the sampler!

MAIN INGREDIENT - "You Can Call Me Rover" 1973 RCA RECORDS
These are some of my favourite drums, despite the fact that they are at a much slower tempo than I normally prefer. I think it may be because of the way that LARGE PROFESSOR so neatly looped them for "Hang On Kid" by NIKKI DEE on DEF JAM RECORDS in around 1991. This was always an under the radar LARGE PRO production, and great for rocking doubles so I had to buy the soul 45rpm with the drum break when I saw it. On RCA so it's a relatively easy one to pick up without costing the earth. The drums are slow but have a fantastic shuffle to them, and although EXTRA P sped them up for his NIKKI D production I'm happy to rock them at the original tempo. In fact I have even added a one minute or so clip of just the drums so you can bop your head to this.

Wow, where do I start with this one. Suffice to say that KOOL and his GANG were one of THE funkiest bands that there ever was. Without a shadow of doubt. MR BROWN is the GODFATHER of the funk and I am a huge fan, but KOOL & THE GANG are the unmentioned funk outfit who gave us so many incredible drum breaks and absolutely killed it on a few of their early joints. I could listen to their stuff all day but I do get annoyed however when I tell my non-music colleagues that I'm into KOOL & THE GANG and they only respond with "LADIES NIGHT" and "CELEBRATION" as examples. My choice here is the 45rpm version of "Jungle Jazz" which provides us with two of the most dirtiest funkiest afrocentric drum breaks of all time. From the word go we are treated to a gritty drum loop with funky woodblocks, followed by rasping flutes and surging horns building to a frenzy at times. After three and half minutes a short horn blast indentifies the coming of the second drum break, just as dope as the first one. The title "jungle Jazz" is very apt considering the tribal mood of the song. If you haven't already got lots of early KOOL & THE GANG records in your crates then you really should have!

I had made a mental note to find this record many years ago, but over the time since then I had forgotten how good it actually was. When I spotted a slightly battered copy recently for small change, I was dubious whether it was going to be any good. But then I spotted the telltale sign of 2 dark patches within the grooves of the vinyl - this was all the confirmation I needed (just visible on the photo). The title "Do It To It" was always easy to remember, as was the red and white label, but I could never recall the artist and had given up looking for it. It had left my mind entirely, and then turned up a couple of weeks ago during a record hunting mission which didn't really bear much other fruit on the whole. But as I returned home to drop this little gem I was first struck by the fact that it is a real frantic uptempo northern soul stormer (great description eh?) but when the double breakdowns come (as identified by the two separate dark patches in the vinyl) the drums are hard and funky and take no prisoners - check it out!

????? - "?????????" ????????? RECORDS 19??
OK, I gotta keep some of these dope drums under the radar, so please don't be mad that I'm keeping this one kind of under wraps. And please don't waste your time zooming in on the photo either because I've blurred as much info as I needed to to ensure some confidentiality. All I will tell you is that I stumbled on these little 45rpm gems (I say two because I scooped doubles on the same day) by a prog rock band which are on a French label, and I'm guessing it's from the early 70s but I cannot be completely sure with the lack of a date on the label or sleeve. All I can tell you for sure is that these drums are completely off the wall and as infectious as chicken pox, even if the track itself is a little "way out there" in parts (typical of early prog rock stuff). But who dares tell me that this beat ain't the illest! (Big shout to SUPREME LA ROCK for knowing this one within two minutes of me posting it up!)

Tougher Than Tough

Man of the moment JORUN BOMBAY has once again given an old classic a re-make. This time RUN DMC's "Tougher than Leather" gets a well deserved strip down and re-build, but this time without the rock guitar samples. Once again JORUN shows you it is sometimes possible to create a BETTER mix than the original. I don't need to hype this man any more than I have done already, so just listen to this REMIX and I bet you say "oh damn!" when you're done.