& Henry Chalfant
Grand Wizard Theodore
DJ Cue and DJ Marz
Sacramento Rap History
Lesson by X-Raided
He's The King
of The Smut... On Two Turntables: The Porn / Turntablism Connection
Part 3 DJ Relm and DJ Streak Interview
Just Whatever Rocks:
The World Famous Beat Junkies
Wax: The Porn / Turntablism Connection Part 2 D-Styles
Thriftin' For a Scratch:
The Hella Broke-Ass
Style of DJ'ing
DJ Pone Reports
from the 2002 Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas
DJ Apollo Receives
"Hip Hop Slam Hall of Fame Award"
A Scratch Odyssey:
Year in Review
QBert Receives "Hip
Hop Slam Hall of Fame Award"
How to Manufacture
Your Own CD, Record, or Tape
Oakland's New Underground'
BEATS TO GO:
Filipino American DJs of the Bay Area
at the DMC American Battleground
A very good friend of mine, Mr. Billy Jam, recently
asked about my memories of Sac-Town hip hop, mainly back-in-the-day
thoughts, before the local market was flooded with X-Raided, Brotha
Lynch Hung, and C-Bo clones.
Ah, yes, I remember many things.
I remember when I heard the first Sac-Town hip hop
artist's song played on the radio that I could recall: It was
a "stop the Violence' type of song and it was produced by
Cedric Singleton of Black Market Records. There were several rappers
on the song, but one of them had an amazing, authoritative voice.
His name was even memorable: Homicide. I disliked the song, but
I loved Homicide's verse. Everyone else had written about staying
out of trouble, just say no, go to school; but Homicide wrote
about doing drive by shootings, going to jail, and dying. I could
relate. You see, it was 1990, Spring, and I was 15 years old.
I was in juvenile hall for gang-related offenses. Homicide spoke
of my world. He touched me.
I remember a Sac-Town group named the Phonkee Socialistics
who signed a deal with Priority Records, back in 1991. They were
rather strange, I thought. They wore gas masks when they performed,
and rapped that abstract bullshit, I thought at the time. Yet
I was introduced to them by Brotha Lynch Hung in 1992 and one
of my greatest memories to recall is a long ride to a house party
I took with Lynch and the Socialistics. Nirvana's "Smells
Like Teen Spirit" was playing and every last one of us in
the car, all artists, all black kids, knew the words to the song.
We banged our heads and screamed along with Kurt Cobain, in unison,
as we rode to the party. I will never forget the energy I felt
I remember DJ Tantrum, Percy Hunter, who made mixtapes
in South Sac-Town. Percy did the beats, all samples laid via turntable
mixing recorded on a Yamaha 4-track, with percussion from an Alysses
drum machine. Percy's "studio," a far from soundproof,
small room in his parents house, became a sanctuary for local
artists eager to record songs of any kind or quality so long as
their voices were heard. I made dozens of songs there, back in
1990. I remember hearing a song by Hip Hop/R&B group DRS on
the radio, "That Gangsta Lean," and listening to their
album in shock because they had turned my murderous song from
Psycho Active, "That Sickness," into a love song! I
was bitten by an R&B group, for Christ's sake! But I liked
their songs a bit (pun intended).
I've always felt that Sac-Town rap artists have
had unique deliveries and flow patterns, as far as styles of rap
are concerned. C-Bo, Lynch, myself. we didn't sound like anyone
else's style and flavor. Before us, Bay Area rappers were writing
about drug dealing (415, Richie Rich), pimpin' (Too Short, etc),
dancing (Hammer), or smokin' pot (MC Pooh). No one was HARD CORE,
relentless, gangster with the rhymes until after Psycho Active.
Check the dates of releases. The Lunis, 3X Krazy, Spice 1, all
of the guys makin' dark music in the Bay started doin' it after
the Sac-Town boys came with the Garden Blocc Siccness. We never
got credit for that because we were all considered "Bay Area
artists," so it was considered a new "Bay sound."
Problem with that is, Sac-Town isn't in the Bay.
It's in the valley. River City, cuzzin. If we were not lumped
with Bay artists, our influence and impact on Bay artists' music
would have been more visible and understood.
I remember when there was only one real Hip Hop
label in Sac-Town. Black market. That was when creativity was
kind, back in the early 90's. Now there are over a dozen labels
in south Sac-Town alone. Maybe it's a little too easy to get a
recording contract now-a-days. Not many guys are trying to be
unique anymore. I am hopeful, though. There are some young guys
in Sac Town who are pretty good. Watch out for T-Nutty, No Love,
Smigg Dirtee, and The Trauma Unit. I like their unique deliveries.
Yes, when the Sac-Town scene was pure and everyone
was broke and hungry.
It was the best of times. it was the worst of times.