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This is the eight and final blog on the Hip Hop Slam presents Positive Omen Japan Tour 2011 featuring DJ Quest, Mista B, DJ ALF, and DnZ that also included Quest’s son Alex - aka DJ Train – who traveled on the tour and did one performance. Included are the two tour overview video reports (above + below) care of Mista B who also wrote the in-depth report below. I had seen Mista B in New York City, right before he flew out to Japan, where we were both judges on the US DMC Finals. Likewise I had just seen DJ ALF shortly before the tour – well a week earlier at his wedding down in Maryland.  Exactly one week after getting married the DJ, who once lived in Japan, was heading out on tour of Jpaan. Now that’s some real dedication to the art of turntablism! DJ ALF also weighs in here on this blog on the tour. “The tour overall was grand! I think we have sparked a huge interest in the main purpose of the Positive Omen tour. Although some of the venues had a small turnout due to Obon, we had a great time jamming out.. So, whatever you can please donate whatever you can to a legit organization that will enhance the tsunami relief efforts in Japan. Thanks goes out to everyone whom have been supportive throughout the tour. This is just the beginning!” summarized DJ ALF of the tour.

Mista B says: “In Japan, I took part of a tour with DJs Quest, DnZ, and ALF. The tour was called the Hip Hop Slam presents Positive Omen Tour and it was for the people of Japan who had suffered through the earthquake and it’s fallout. The tour took us from Shibuya-Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Okinawa, Rupungi, and back to Shibuya. We were doing all kinds of gigs and events ranging from in-stores, live stream shows, party rocking events, and showcasing. We also took numerous forms of transportation to get around; from taxi’s to bullet trains. You name it, we rode it.

Not only was it my first tour, but I was flying straight from New York, having just judged and showcased at the DMC USA Finals. I flew half way around the world to be in Japan. It was a good mix of DJs on the tour because we all brought something different to the table meaning some interesting music to be. Some shows had limited space, or not all the equipment like turntables that we needed. For the most part, we improvised with whatever set-up we had but I think we rocked to the most of our capabilities. It was certainly a dynamic sound that we were creating.

One day, we took the train from Shibuya-Tokyo, to Osaka, lugging all our luggage, four mixer boxes, merchandise, and other random items. On this same day, we had four sets in three different locations. We sound checked in a place called Slow Land Cafe went to do an in-store at Manhattan-West Records, went back to do two sets at Slow Land Cafe then with whatever energy we had left, went to DJ our after part at Do With Cafe. We were taking three-four cabs to each location. It was crazy to say the least. With all that being said, I enjoyed the crowd at Osaka the most. They were so receptive to the music we were performing and very welcoming. I want to go back there if I ever go back to Japan.

Another highlight is performing at the DMC Eastern Japan Finals. The system there is different. For prelims, they DJs get three minutes. For the final round, the DJs also get three minutes. I don’t know if the rule varies from country to country but it did make the night go by fast. There were a lot of dope performances and the crowd really cares about their DJs. In the United States for instance, you do a beat juggle and less than half the crowd can follow it, let alone a complex beat juggle routine. In watching some footage I took, I see that a lot of men and women are following and head nodding with the beat juggles. I really appreciated this because it shows me the respect the little nuances and intricate things the go over a lot of people’s heads in turntabilism.

Everyone in the Positive Omen tour held it down too. Like I said earlier, it was a good balance of different but talented DJs. If we had the same styles, then I think the tour would of been a bit bland. Overall, I’m pretty happy and proud to have been apart of this tour. Being able to hang with talented DJs who are good people is a blessing or a positive omen haha! I’ve gained so much experience and I hope that the people of Japan enjoyed what we’ve had to share. Thanks to Tyron Daniels, Tomokuni Nishimura, Shux Files, Earl the Pearl (Monroe), Circus DJs, Japan DMC, DJs Quest, Alf, DnZ, and Hip Hop Slam!” – Mista B

Category : Bay Area Hip-Hop History 1990's, Hip-Hop DJ News

Hip Hop Slam Blog #7 of 8 on the Positive Omen Tour:     The Hip Hop Slam presents “Positive Omen” Japan Tour 2011 featuring DJ Quest, Mista B, DJ ALF, and DnZ , was six packed days that took the four US DJs via trains/planes/buses throughout Japan with stops including Osaka, Okinawa, and Tokyo where the turntablist tour came to a halt last Sunday, August 14th with a final performance by all four DJs at the East Japan DMC Finals. Also along for the tour was Quest’s son Alex – aka DJ Train – who not only worked behind the scenes with merch and sound but also got busy on the turntables at one of the venues throwing down a funk-fueld set. This blog 7 of the 8 Hip Hop Slam Blogs on the tour and include the above video of DJ Quest in an excerpt from his showcase set at the Japanese DMC battle. And below is DJ ALF’s report on that last day of the hectic tour in which the tireless DJs had no days off.

DJ ALF says: The final day of the tour started off on a well rested note. With plenty of time to spare before heading to the DMC Japan’s Eastern Regionals, I decided to venture out and about around Shibuya for a good portion of the morning. I wanted to kill some time and walk around because I was anxious to go to the huge roughly six floored Tower Records which opened around 10:30am I first hunted around to grab a bite to eat and ended up finding a Denny’s. Before I entered, I had a feeling that the menu wasn’t going to be the same as what we have here in the States. So I browsed through the menu and happened to find some French toast and sure enough, it was good.

Around 2:45pm we arrived at Game and did a sound check. We all introduced ourselves to new faces that was in attendance. One of the few familiar faces was DJ A-1 who I must point out right now played a nice old school hip-hop set. Earl Jones, who was one of our cameramen on the tour said that, “He almost had me breakdancing in here!” After soundcheck, we immediately took advantage of the time we had before our showcase and went and got something eat. We ended up stopping at the Yakiniku Restaurant to eat, which I ate at a lot while I was stationed in Okinawa. While we were eating Quest shows us some finger lights that he bought from somewhere in Shibuya, and says that he’s going to use them during the showcase. He also mentions that he has another surprise.

Later we show up back at the Game in time for our showcase. When we arrived, the place was packed; which of course is a good sign. Judging by who was on stage at the time, the final heat was going on. After the final heat was over DJ A-1 began his showcase set while we were hastily setting up our equipment on the stage. After DJ A-1 finished his set, I started off playing two songs from 15 minute set and condensed it down to 6 minutes. Mainly two songs that shows the displays the full potential of the Controller 1. Next, Mista-B went on and played an outstanding set. The set he played seemed like he was having a DMC Final flashback and performed it at a high caliber. Then, DnZ came up to bat rocked on one turntable and his MPD, remixing familiar hip-hop songs live. Finally Quest came on and played an amazing set. Remember the finger lights I mentioned about earlier? Well he placed them on his finger during the Electro part of his set and turned on his glow equalizer t-shirt and went to town. However, after roughly halfway through the electro part of his set, he does something with the finger lights as shown in the video at top.

Category : Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen Japan Tour 2011, Hip-Hop DJ News

Saturday, August 13th, was the day five of the Hip Hop Slam presents Positive Omen Japan Tour 2011. It was also the second last day of what has been a hectic intense six day tour of Japan by the touring US DJs: DJ Quest, Mista B, DJ ALF, and DnZ – who have been joined on the tour by Japan-based promoter Tomokuni Nishimura and also DJ Quest’s son Alex who recently celebrated his 18th birthday. An aspiring DJ, who goes by the name DJ Train, Alex even did a guest set on the ones and twos earlier in the week at the DoWith Cafe in Osaka spinning a bunch of funk records from his dad’s crates.

It has been non-stop for the DJs whose Saturday schedule started off with an early morning flight back from Okinawa to Tokyo via Haneda Airport. “Everybody was dead ass tired from the afterparty/session at Ottoboro. I think pretty much all of us was running on about two hours sleep. Now, I know how the recruits at Marine Corps Boot Camp must’ve felt during their final test of doing the Crucible,,” said DJ ALF adding that the DJs finally arrived at the Tokyo club Super Deluxe in Shibuya by about 5pm for the soundcheck. All were impressed with how cool looking a club it was, implying that it lives up to its name of Super Deluxe.

As for the actual performance DJ ALF reports that, “I ended doing my solo routine separate from the usual time that we did during our collective jam routine. Mista-B, Quest, and DnZ performed solo routines later as well. The collective set we performed flowed pretty nice where we did the party rocking scratched rigamarole again. The people that attended were amazed! Overall I felt really good about our set despite I was running low on fuel in terms of sleep.”

Up next is the touring DJs (after some – not a lot – sleep) is the sixth and final day which includes the final performance of the tour and in terms of turntablists in attendance – likely the most important since it will be at the East Japan DMC Finals (flyer below). Rather than doing a group routine together the four DJs will just do individual routines – edited down versions of their usual ones that will run just five minutes for each Mista B, DnZ, Quest, and ALF. Check back here over next 24 hours for a review/ update on these showcase sets and the DMC itself.

Category : Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen Japan Tour 2011, Hip-Hop DJ News

This is the fifth in a week long series of Hip Hop Slam Blogs covering the Hip Hop Slam presents Positive Omen Japan Tour 2011 featuring DJ ALF, DnZ, Mista B, and DJ Quest. It is a report courtesy of DJ ALF on Day Four of the tour which took the four visiting American DJs from Osaka to Okinawa in Japan. Coincidentally Okinawa is the very same place that ALF was based in when he lived in Japan a few years ago. The gig ALF and the other DJs played tonight (Friday, August 12th) was at a club called Salt N Pepper (no, nothing to do with the old school female rap crew Salt N Pepa) and it was followed by an after party with the DJs. “Our trip to Okinawa started off with an hour bus ride from our hotel in Osaka,” reported ALF. “The bus was very comfortable. We were checking out the different stuff that it featured. One of the highlights featured was the flip down seat which is used in case the bus gets filled up. Later we arrived at the airport and was amazed how the security check line personnel was very helpful. They help placing your bags in the bins and make sure that you’re squared away before going through the metal detector. For the most part their attitudes looked positive in terms of liking their jobs.”

“So we arrive at Naha Airport in Okinawa and traveled through very heavy traffic. The drive from Naha to Mihama, where the Salt and Pepper gig is located, normally takes about 45 minutes but this time took about an hour and a quarter to get there. Part of the reason was due to the Japanese celebrating Obon Festival. With that being said there was unfortunately a low number turnout to Salt N Pepper and the afterparty. On a positive note, our set turned out pretty good. The people that were in attendance were very pleased at our performances. Later, DnZ ripped up shop at the afterparty at Ototoro. At one point, DnZ was party rocking while Quest, Mista-B, and myself cutting over the beats. Overall, it was great for me personally to visit my second home, Okinawa. Well next we are off to Roppongi to play at Super Deluxe, Saturday.”

The video below is the four DJs on the bus (also Alex – DJ Quest’s son is on board the bus) with “flip seats” and video at top of blog is of DJ Quest at Salt N Pepper club.Check back here on the Hip Hop Slam Blog Saturday (USA time) for another report on the Hip Hop Slam presents Positive Omen Tour of Japan 2011 with a report on the Saturday night (Japan time) show in Rappongi at Super Deluxe. Then on Sunday will be a review/report of the touring DJs (Quest, Mista B, DnZ, ALF) group showcase performance at the East Japan DMC Finals. Thanks for reading and for supporting the turntable arts.

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Category : Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen Japan Tour 2011, Hip-Hop DJ News

Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen 2011 Japan Tour: Day 3 at Japonica In Kyoto

Friday, August 12, 2011 posted by Billy Jam 12:06 am

Thursday, August 11th was Day Three of the ongoing Hip Hop Slam presents Positive Omen 2011 Japan Tour featuring DJ Quest, Mista B, DnZ, and DJ ALF who reports from Japan that it was another good day on the tour. “We played at Japonica which is located in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan. Kyoto in general has the “traditional” Japanese culture displayed throughout the city. The Western influence isn’t as big as it is in Tokyo,” reports ALF. As for the unique cafe meets record store location ALF says that, “Japonica is a chill jazzy type of spot intertwined with a hip-hop feel which is displayed by the record record store which at the back of the cafe. Pretty much Mista-B started off the gig playing some laid back funk music, and some rNb. DnZ remixed some vibing hip-hop beats, including some Dilla, on his MPD for his set. I played two melodic tunes using the [Vestax] Controller 1 that are part of my original set which lead into a Q and A with DJ Quest who played some old breaks and doing what he does best with them in terms juggling and mixing.”

The set was well received reports ALF who said that afterwards, “We caught the last train back to Osaka. The trains in Japan shut down at midnight. A thing we all noticed on the train ride back to Osaka was that they have “Women Only” train cars on certain lines. The train we were on had that. DnZ told us all that Japan must have just started that because he remembers that while he was staying out there last year he remembers a lot of reports of women getting groped on the trains. One of the YouTube clips below shows us on the train ride back to Osaka and if you notice there was a guy in the “Women Only” car who continued to sit in the car after he was told not to sit in that car. Also take note that all the women sat at one end of the car. In the video clip, he’s the guy that was sitting in the other car on the side where Alex was sitting.”

In case you missed yesterday’s Hip Hop Slam Blog on Day Two of the tour, for which DnZ contributed his report, ALF weighs in on his impression of the busy day that included three gigs in one day. “We first played at an in-store at Manhattan Records in Chuo-ku in Osaka around 7pm. We all roughly played 10 minutes sets each,” recalled ALF of the Wednesday, August 10th dates. “Then from there we went to Slow Land Cafe located in Kita-ku in Osaka and opened up for a local Japanese hip-hop band called Insist . During that particular open set, we (Quest, Mista-B, DnZ, myself) freestyle party rocked, playing mostly old school hip-hop; layering scratches and samples over the top of the songs. The crowd was really digging the 30 minute set. Then after Insist we played our “Positive Omen” hour long set. From there we went to a spot called Do With Cafe and played for the after party from roughly 12am until about 3am then we crashed back at our hotel.”

There’s just another couple of days left on this tour including a special showcase performance by all the DJs on Saturday (August 13th) at the  DMC East Japan DJ battle finals. Check back here over the next few days for more reports. Thanks for reading and supporting turntablism and skratch music!

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Quest + Misat B at DoWIth Cafe, Osaka, Japan – 2011

Wednesday, August 10th was day two of the Hip Hop Slam presents Positive Omen 2011 Japan Tour with visiting US DJs DnZ, DJ Quest, Mista B, and DJ ALF and it featured three events for the hardworking DJs.

Soundcheck pic by DnZ

These included an in-store at Manhattan Records Shinsaibashi in Osaka, and club gig at Slow Land Cafe in Osaka, followed by the late Wednesday evening 11pm (to 5am) dubbed “Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen After Party”  at the DoWith Cafe – a video clip of which, featuring Mista-B and Quest getting busy on the ones and twos is featured above. Below is a quick video report on the earlier “dope party rockin’ set” at Slow Land Cafe gig by DJ ALF outside the venue with Tomokuni who is organizing this tour in Japan.

It was only Day Two of the tour and the DJs have had little time to get much rest (after a long journey over from the States) but still that didn’t stop them from enjoying every moment. “Yeah it was crazy,” agreed DnZ who broke down Wednesday in Japan as follows, “We got in from the train and right from that moment in Osaka it was go time; hit the hotel, dropped our stuff off, and then went to a place called Slow Land Cafe which was the spot we were going to rock after our in-store. It was just to setup and make sure we had enough room and good sound. After we hit up Manhattan Records West for the in-store. After it was back to Slow Land Cafe to start our actual club gigs for the night. We started off with a dope little team mix set which was all freestyled and that was fun! We only did 30 minutes to use for warm up. After this dope hip-hop band got on. They were our openers I g uess you can say? They rocked for a while and then we got back on at around 10:30 or 11pm. We turned that place out! It was packed to where no one was coming in or out of that place!!!

After our set we had to hurry and pack up so we can rock the after party which was about ten minutes away (in a taxi that is) which was dope too! Really nice spot and a lot of room! There we just rocked mix sets, and we didn’t end up leaving until 4am or 5am. At that point we were all tired,” reported DnZ from Japan where it is about a half a day ahead in time. He also said that next it is off to Kyoto to see all the temples and castles and “then rock an in-store there.” Check back here on the Hip Hop Slam Blog tomorrow for news on Day 3 and updates on the Hip Hop Slam presents Positive Omen 2011 Japan Tour with DnZ, DJ Quest, Mista B, and DJ ALF.

Category : Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen Japan Tour 2011, Hip-Hop DJ News

As you know the Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen 2011 Japan Tour with DJ Quest, Mista B, DJ ALF, and DnZ is officially underway with the first main show, Tuesday night at Dommune with Circus DJs opening, was a big success according to all involved. Over in Tokyo where it is 5am Wednesday (or Tuesday 4pm in NYC and 1pm in California) DnZ reports that the Dommune concert, was, “MADD FUN!!! Pretty crazy watching Circus DJs (DJ Top Bill (Tsuyoshi Kono) & DJ Kou) since they were on first because I’m always in awe when I see their sets. Two of the coolest homies and DJ’s I’ve met and kicked it with in Tokyo! Even when I lived here they’ve shown me madd love and showed me around Tokyo and all the dope music and record spots. It was also crazy watching the stream live as they were performing because they caught close up’s on the faders and records so it looked like the fingers dancing and not those perspectives you always get of DJs with a full setup/body shot.”

As for the touring Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen DJs’ premiere set on the Japan Tour for which an estimated 10 K viewers caught on UStream, DnZ happily reports. “Being the first on the tour it was pretty good too. A few bumps but we were able to cover for them pretty quick and make it seem like nothing happened. No one knew anyways so thats always a good sign [laughs],” said DnZ adding that, “The folks at Dommune we’re very helpful and very nice to us! Nothing but good words about them!” And it seems nothing but positivity everywhere the touring DJs go. Also in tow with DnZ, ALF, Mista B, and DJ Quest is Quest’s son Alex (aka DJ Train) who just turned 18 not that long ago. He is pictured here left along with his dad and Mista B outside Manhattan Records – not far from their hotel.

Below is pic of the Circus Djs and above is pic of those Japanese DJs and the visiting US crew at end of Tuesday nights show after the Dommune gig. Check back here on the Hip Hop Slam Blog for periodic updates on the Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen 2011 Japan Tour. And note that coming up on for Wednesday, August 10th is an in-store at Manhattan Records Shinsaibashi in Osaka, and club gig at Slow Land Cafe also in Osaka, followed by the late Wednesday evening 11pm (to 5am) Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen After Party @ dowith cafe 06-6312-1778 大阪府

Category : Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen Japan Tour 2011, Uncategorized

The Hip Hop Slam presents Positive Omen Japan Tour 2011 featuring DJ Quest, Mista B, DJ ALF, and DnZ with stops from Tokyo to Okinawa, which runs through August 15th, is officially underway and today features a concert at Dommune in Tokyo Japan. This benefit tour, to aid victims of Japan’s devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami five months ago, will last a week with and include concerts, in-store appearances (including Manhattan Records in Osaka and Japonica in Kyoto), plus a showcase at the East Japan DMC Finals to be held Saturday (August 14th) in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

Today’s show at Dommune is important because it sets the tone for this Positive Omen tour whose goal is, as the participants all stated, “to help those in Japan that have suffered in their difficult times of devastation as a benefit and inspiration. It’s also a tour that is meant to send Positive Omens with a Hip Hop Slam appeal to it.” This gesture on behalf of the four participating Hip-Hop Slam DJs is one of true sincerity since each has some ties to Japan and its people; either good friends living there or else they have lived in Japan themselves. For example DJ ALF lived in Okinawa, Japan until a few years ago while DnZ was living in Tokyo earlier this year. The tour, which runs through Sunday August 15th and will no doubt (due to demand) feature some last minute appearances and showcases, has a pretty hectic schedule lined up.

Each day this week through August 16th – the day after the DJs leave Japan to fly back to the US – there will be reviews and updates on the Hip-Hop Slam Positive Omen Japan Tour 2011 with reports and quotes (and photos and videos) from such participants as DJ ALF and DnZ and Japanese tour organizer Tomokuni Nishimura. Check back on the Hip Hop Slam blog over the next twelve hours for report on today’s Dommune show (NOTE these blogs are been updated EST, NY USA time)

Category : Hip Hop Slam Positive Omen Japan Tour 2011, Hip-Hop DJ News

Bay Area rap history circa 92 – one of the earliest Peanut Butter Wolf related productions before he  was called Peanut Butter Wolf (PBW) was in 1992 when a young (pre Charizma affiliated) “Chris Cut” was doing engineering production for The Siggnett Posse from San Jose. In the video above DJ Marz talks about getting the crew’s tape back in the day that also had a vinyl release. Marz also recalls many legendary Bay rap spots in the reminisce clip that should make ol skool Bay fools smile in recognition. As far as the music (all good) among my faves is the opening song on Side A of the tape “Get Right To It (J-Wa nz + D-Flat)” which has a a funky distinctly Bay Area sound (a little APG and a little RBL sounding), The release was on Both Sides of the Bay label. It was recorded in Venus Studio San Jose. Talking with PBW recently he recalled that, “the lead MC from the group was the nephew of the lead singer of the Village People.” And will there ever be a Siggnett Posse reunion with PBW in the mix? Anything is possible. Start a FB petition and make it happen.

Category : Bay Area Hip-Hop History 1990's, Hip-Hop History 1990's

Classic Chuck D 1992 Interview

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 posted by Billy Jam 2:55 pm

It was eighteen years ago. November 7th, 1992 – the Saturday after the Democrats had won the election – and Chuck D and Public Enemy were in Oakland performing at the Coliseum opening for U2. After the show I had the opportunity to sit down with Chuck D who was rap’s most consistant social/political observer at the time. I asked him if he thought that there would be any real changes with the (then) new changes in the US power structure with George H Bush out and Bill Clinton in and many other topical subjects for 1992 including his thoughts on Ice Cube, the Malcolm X movie soundtrack, and his old (pre PE) group’s music being used in a film without his blessing. The interview was originally published in the BOMB Hip-Hop magazine. Here is the interview exactly as it was conducted.

Billy Jam: Will there be any change with Bill Clinton as president instead of Bush?

Chuck D. I think it could’t get any worse .The Bush administration has been in effect for the last twelve years Reagan, Bush whatever you want to call it. I think that right now you got a person that made a lot of promises. so I think there’ll be pressure on him to live up to his promises so that’s got to be better than somebody that just basically said, ‘well, nah we ain’t gonna do that’.

Billy Jam: With homelessness, AIDS and everything getting increasingly out of hand do you think that a nineties revolution is quite likely?

Chuck D: Well I think it’ll get a lot worse before it gets better, because you got all the momentum from all that BS in the past so right now what the Clinton administration has to do is really like roll up their sleeves and get down to the nitty gritty and tell people that ‘ There ain’t gonna be no overnight fix’. – definetely not in this system. It got too many holes in this system. If there was really a revolution, what kind kind of revolution is it gonna be ? Is it going be for the better or is it going to be for the worse?So basically everybody got to be able to get to the table and that’s what I guess maybe the Clintion administration will offer, is that more people will be at the table trying to think out the situation rather than it be a little closed circle of elite for the elite and keep the money for the elite.

Billy Jam: Do you think that racisim in America will ever go away?

Chuck D: I don’t know I’ can’t predict the future right now. Will it go away in the next ten years? No, but people have to be educated. Right now people are trained and education is the next step. We’ve got to erase the training process People are trained pretty much like dogs, you know what I’m saying? So right now education could really turn a lot of people’s beliefs around and also you have to have a situation where the money is overturned from the rich down to the poor so everybody can have something and it just can’t happen just in this country , it has to be a worldwide thing too. People of color are catching hell all over and when they revolt there is usually a lot of death and bloodshed involved in their revolution. One thing that this administration offers is hope that everybody getting to the table and everybody airing out their problems so people could begin working on the solutions.

Billy Jam: Do you think that hip-hop culture, including rap and movies such as Boyz In The Hood and the recent Malcolm X are educating middle America?

Chuck D: Entertainment and the arts has been the thing that made white America 25 and under aware of a lot of situations that we have . That’s the difference, when before the arts and entertainment of Black people was limited in our anger. Now the arts and entertainment that we express has a lot of anger in it so it’s that combination of the Malcolm X and the Panther parties of the sixties that basically took it to the pulpit into speeches and now you’re
basically hearing it in entertainment which goes around the world so that that voice has to come out and it’s coming out by whatever means necessary.

Billy Jam: Speaking of Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. You were asked to do the theme song first, before Arrested Developement, true?

Chuck D: Of course, very true but because the was a conflict between Spike and the Nation (of Islam) I didn’t want to be in the middle of it. I didn’t want to get in a conflict of interest – nothing against Spike but I have my priorities and I have my own rules So when I finally got clearence I was like – well damn , what should I do? But I didn’t have enough time so I didn’t reach the deadline. I will say this though, me and Spike are still close as we ever can be. That was just a whole creative situation and I would say that when Spike made his selection with Arrested Development that he couldn’t have made a better selection. With us it would have been like ‘ yeah,here we go again’ but with Arrested Development it shows that Spike is on the cutting edge of what’s happening now . I like whatever they do because I think that they are one step ahead of a lot of other groups out there and I think Spike couldn’t have made a better choice even if he picked us. I’m just being a man and saying that as it is.

Billy Jam: Now a movie soundtrack that you, or rather your original band Spectrum City, are on is South Central. How do you feel about that 1984 recording being out there?

Chuck D: It was stupid. It was a just a record company that went and bought the rights of something that I did before and just wanted to sell a soundtrack and try to exploit me and I don’t know if I should sue ‘em or not but I would love to get a chance to sue ‘em when I get some time. When I stop touring I’ll start suing!

Billy Jam: Do you like Ice Cube’s new single “Wicked”

Chuck D: Yeah, I like it a whole lot. I like his album a whole lot cos he’s takin a step in another direction and people have got to understand that this is a music that will be judged later. It can’t be judged right now. It’s a music that’s too big to be judged now. Too many people are judging it for it’s present and forgetting about it’s past and always trying to guess it’s future and no music should have to go through that. The present should be enjoyed. The past should be appreciated and revered and the future should always be like – okay it’s only nothing but more exciting things to happen…..Hip-hop has to always be able to last, to always be able to try different things, to go in different areas, and still it must be able to bring people up. The problem is is that if it doesn’t bring people up it’s going to push people down. And if it push peoples down, people going to push it out.

Billy Jam: What about the future for you? What’s next?

Chuck D: Well, it’s been six years. We’ve continually been travelling. We’ve been around the world four times, 36 countries, 22 tours going on another one after this one’s over and I got to stop touring!…..What I want to do personally is a talk show similar to Larry King. That’s what turns me on. Maybe that or broadcasting sports or something like that.

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