Hip Hop Slam DJs on KALX and at Expo
for the Artist & Musician by DnZ
DJ News by Billy Jam
Triple Threat Bring Back 1980s To Frisco Show by DJ Pone
Bay Area DJ Profile #001: DJ CutSo
Denmark Hip Hop Report by Fresh Joyce
New Additions to The Shop (Vinyl, CD, VHS)
The Hella Broke Guide to Record Shopping by DJ Solehole
by Billy Jam
DJ Shadow has just released a limited edition (1000 copies
with each one individually stamped with a number) of his new Diminishing
Returns Party Pak. Included in this fun brightly colored party
pack are two drink coasters, two stickers (each advertising www.djshadow.com),
and most importantly two CDs (120 minutes of music "in the
mix"). CD1 or rather Part 1 is the eighty minute disk from
the John Peel/BBC Radio One broadcast that originally
aired on the UK national radio station on March 29, 2003. Meanwhile
CD 2/Part 2 is the forty minute continuation of that broadcast
plus the "previously unreleased" bonus track "War
San Francisco DJ Wisdom (of KUSF's Beatsauce fame)
has just released the reggae flavored break record Beef Patty
Breaks (Super Duck Records) which also includes some
Jamaican gangsta sound bites from the movie Belly. Wisdom
tells Hip Hop Slam that this is the first in a series and that
"The concept is to fuse other cultures in with hip-hop. There
will be 2 more beef patty breaks coming and La Bodega breaks,a
latin flavored record." You can reach the DJ by email at
or find out more about him and/or his records at www.beatsauce.com,
email@example.com, and www.soultrade.de
Wisdom's Beatsauce buddies, J-Boogie and Raw-B,
have also been quite busy lately. Beside the successful benefit
for their radio show that they threw at Milk in San Francisco
on May 10th, that all three DJ'ed at. J-Boogie has just released
a solo album on OM Records and is currently assembling
a hip hop compilation for the SF label. Meanwhile Raw-B just finished
up a two-week run of the hip hop musical Beatbox (with
members of Felonius) at Oakland's Black Box theatre.
So well received was the piece that it got invited on June 6th
to the New York Hip Hop Theatre Festival.
TRIPLE THREAT BRING 80's MOBILE DJ SETUP TO DNA
by DJ Pone
On Wednesday, April 30, the Triple Threat DJs (Apollo,
Vin Roc, and Shortkut) concluded their Many Styles
album tour with a spectacular show at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco,
CA. When the show began, the stage curtains were dropped to reveal
a massive 80's style mobile DJ setup, complete with lighting truss,
stacked Cerwin Vega "Earthquake" speakers, and wildly
spinning helicopter lights. Continuing on with the 80's theme,
Apollo began with a mind-blowing 80's quick mix featuring freestyle
and electro, schooling the crowd on how it was like back at a
Bay Area mobile party from back in the day. Vin Roc and Shortkut
later joined Apollo to rock the party with the combination of
quick-mixing, turntablism, and hip-hop music that the trio is
world-renowned for. Camera crews were on hand to record the event
for Triple Threat's upcoming DVD project.
BAY AREA DJ PROFILE #001: DJ CutSo
Name: DJ CutSo (formerly CutSoQwik)
Trademark saying: "
make history or BE history."
Hometown: San Jose, CA
DJ Crews: Finger Bangerz / distracted collective
What Music do you spin? When the situation calls for more
than just hip hop, I'll incorporate blends with rock, such as
The Zombies, Velvet Underground, The Beatles, The Cure (just to
name a few), even kitschy-type stuff like Billy Joel or something.
I've also been known to serve a nice helping of Bjork every now
and then. I also spin '80's synth pop and new wave, which I would
like to do more of. I spin alot of stuff that normal hip-hop dj's
wouldn't be caught dead spinning. Most of that sort of stuff is
what I do more with my other crew, the Distracted Collective,
than the Finger Bangerz.
Your Recordings/Releases (including solo, crew, guest spots,
battle records): NC Clothing's Hip Hop Heads Mix CD's Vol.
2-5, FingerBangerz Untouchable Breaks, Flight 162, Fuse
One's Metamorphosis mix cd, Finger Bangerz/The Meloists
Used Soul, Finger Bangerz full-length LP (coming
soon), Cutso's Wake Up Honey, We're Here EP (coming soon),
and of course Scratch Attack Vol. 3!
Your DJ Battle History (solo and team): DMC SF Regional
'99 (top six), ITF US Teams '99 (3rd place), ITF Western Hemisphere
Teams '00 (Big Winners!!!), Zebra Records DJ Finals '99 and '00
(finalist), People Magazine's Most Sexiest DJ (Singapore), and
numerous Car Show, High School, and Swap Meet mixoffs
The first record you ever bought? Michael Jackson
Most influential records in your life? Beatles
Abbey Road, Herbie Hancock Rockit
(no, really, it is.... not 'cause everyone in Scratch the Movie
When did you first DJ? at a birthday party full of gansters
I got shot 9 times in my mouf. That's the biggest
part of my DJ ability.
What made you want to be a DJ? my lack of direction towards
a serious career, and seeing Jam Master Jay on the Christmas in
What is most memorable performance of your DJ career?
ITF Western Hemisphere Teams in '99. We battled (and beat) Top
Rawmen and the Trooperz in a Las Vegas hotel room at, like, 7
in the morning. It was cool....heh heh....
How do you transport your records and/or gear to gigs?
my maroon 1987 Dodge Soccer Mom
Do you play CDs ever at gigs? I did a wedding a couple
of months ago, and they had me play fuckin' Jimmy Buffet and George
Strait. Apparently they don't have George Strait on wax, and I
didn't want to shell out any kind of money on a Jimmy Buffet album.
In your opinion who is best DJ of all time? Grandmixer
DsT and Jam Master Jay. They were responsible for my start.
Best website or way for folks to find out more about you?
(coming soon. everything I do is coming soon.)
Denmark Hip Hop Report
by Fresh Joyce
Hip Hop Slam member and UC Berkeley architecture grad
Fresh Joyce writes us from Copenhagen, Denmark where she
has been studying for past year and is just finishing up her studies,
currently preparing her portfolio for grad school and entering
some architecture competitions. Fresh Joyce reports:
"The hip hop scene in Denmark is just beginning to gain
a foothold here, not counting Nik & Jay, a duo that
is a cross between NSYNC and Vanilla Ice with an
Eminem edge, I'm serious (I'll try to bring back a Pepsi
label with their picture). Otherwise hip hop culture is more interpreted
here as a way of dressing than perhaps a deeper appreciation of
what it really means. I think part of it is due to the fact that
although young Danes are fluent in English, it's still their 2nd
language. When I went to the Roots concert in March the
call-and-response sequences led by Black Thought didn't
quite work, maybe such direct audience participation that is a
part of the communal nature of hip hop is somewhat foreign to
Danes, who tend to be more insular socially (maybe I'm generalizing
here, but that's what I think).
However there is beautiful graffiti in Christiania, the "unknown
Amsterdam" right by the heart of Copenhagen. On an afternoon
you can see youths spraying an old wooden fence right by a public
street and no one bats an eye, but that's due in part to the history
of Christiania which is a whole other story. However it's interesting
how to see how Scandinavian sensibility extends to graffiti here
as well; along Christianshavn Street the fence slats mark the
dimensions of each piece so that one lines up neatly next to another;
it all looks planned but being Denmark it's hard to tell if it
Well that's the short bit of my experiences here I guess. Of course
I'm looking at things from an American point of view, but being
here really makes me appreciate the rich hip hop/art/culture scene
of the Bay Area.
All right well I'm off to studio, our finals are next week so
there are plenty of all nighters waiting for me. See you soon,
HIP HOP SLAM on KALX Berkeley and
at EXPO for Artist & Musician: San Francisco
Report by DnZ
May 4th was one hell-of-a-day. The day kicked off at KALX
in Berkeley at 10a.m. and thats pretty early for me since the
night before was a night of drinking til' 6a.m. and i had to be
out their at like 9:30 but it was well worth it. First to hit
the 1's and 2's was DJ Pone who is dope and is a big inspration
to me cuz when he gets down im just stuck, this man can "Cut
Like A Guilatine" on turntables or on a CDJ 1000. He just
did a basic scratch routine and just laid down background beats
durring mic breaks. Next up was myself, DnZ, with a WACK
routine which is only due to the lack of sleep, practice and alcohol.
But if you ever see me on the street, please don't hold this one
bad set against me...just show me love. After was a call in from
DJ Disk, reportedly from South Africa, and who did he have
with him but the always crazy, and most of the time drunk Shiggar
Fraggar who was obviously (from his hooting and hollering)
happy to be back on the air. Then we had DJ Platurn get
on the M I C and do a little interview about how were going to
be teaching at the Music and Art EXPO in SF and on his new 7"
record. Next was the infamous Frisco 4oneFunk crew members
Teeko and AlesOne who did a banging routine. Now
as the KALX show wound down like in the last 10 min. or maybe
less Shing02 and his Freelancers United partner
A-1 busted out with a routine using Shing02's new invention
the Faderboard desinged for Vestax. Unfortunately
their routine got cut short cuz of the damn sports show that wanted
to go on early (little bitches).
KALX showed us much love by letting us get on and do
our thing but now we're ready to hit up SF and get down on a funky
scratch. Now I had fun at KALX but what I was about to get into
is nothing compared to what went on at the radio show, so lets
begin. At the EXPO we where there to teach scratch lessons
for those that wanted to learn or just get down. We had about
8 or 9 people who in the end got alot better which is good. After
Shing02 and A-1 come through and started to set
up their stuff like the Faderboard and another mixer so
that it would be two turntables, two mixers and the Faderboard.
They got down and did their thing and let me tell you, those two
are fuckin' dope, not just dope, fuckin' dope. Shing02 also demoed
his Faderboard and gave some lessons on how to use it. A special
guest who dropped by was DJ Disk (must have taken the Concorde
back from No. Africa). Aw Shit, I never thought that I would get
to meet a fuckin' great turntablist from the ISP while
teaching classes. Disk just came down to kick it and also to get
down on a session and that was dope cuz I've never saw him get
down in person before.
Also in the house at KALX and the EXPO representing Hip Hop
Slam were DJ Stoic, Lee, Billy (Dont Give
A Damn What Your Moma Sayz) Jam, Timi D
Funk (who was tricked into taking a FAT shot of DnZ'
magic water), Vannessa, and Quinn.
The Random Record Review
by DnZ (T.F.S. DJz) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here are some mini-reveiws of a bunch of new hip hop 12"
singles recently sent to Hip Hop Slam. The labels include Warp,
Coup d'Etat, Quannum Projects, and (Peanut Butter Wolf's label)
Stones Throw Records.
1) Prefuse 73 Extinguisher (Warp)
I dont get it!?! It's like this synthy R&B crap, and I see
why it was just the beats and not like a whole song with a singer
or rapper or anything but I wouldnt think they'ed be able to do
anything cuz they would be to annyoed of the sound. Just my thoughts.
2) Akrobatik (A) Remind My Soul (B) Livin' In
The City (Coup d'Etat)
Remind My Soul was a dope song, The reason I liked it was because
it had this dope spanish guitar and it made me think of some fine
ass spanish chicks dancing around, plus the rhymes were tight.
Livin' In The City was ok, I mean it did have some koo cuts and
all but i just thought it was missing something.
3) Lateef & The Chief Present Maroons Lester Hayes
my overall thought on this track was that it's dope. I mean if
I say it's dope then that means you should go get it. I liked
the production and it did have some dope flows.
4) JayLib (A) The Red (B) The Official (Stones
The Red was ok, I was sorrda looking for something tight from
JayLib but was let down and the same goes for The Official.
5) Wild Child Secondary Protocol EP (Stones
Now this was a good record. My favorite cut on this double record
was "Operation Radio Raid" which featured LMNO, and
this was a dope song talking 'bout fuck a t.v and radio, stright
open up a book one time and read. I even liked how after some
of the songs there were like these breaks of beats and it like
mixed into the next song. This one you should get..
6) DJ Marz Press Record (Records To The Neck)
DJ Marz of the Bullet Proof Space Travelers sent
us this advance test pressing of what seems to be his next EP.
His scratch skills bless a wide range of beats, from jazz, to
old school breaks, as well as some electro shit as well. Once
this comes out you should buy it and peep the style that he brings
email Marz @ email@example.com
7) H.O.P. 40 Ounce Breaks
I just heard H.O.P. on Beat Sauce on KUSF
claiming that this record is some "new techology" -
an inovative DJ tool that scratches on its own! Huh? Now if you
made a scratch record that scratches itself why the hell would
a DJ want it? But after getting my hands on a copy I see that
it doesnt scratch itself so I don't know why the producer would
claim that. Guess it was meant to be a joke.....Regardless, lets
talk about the record. 40 Ounce Breaks has some dope beats.
And there is also a beat done with just farts and burps. The one
thing I think is different about this record is that it has alot
of cartoon samples which is dope cuz sometimes I might want to
cut wit some old loony tune tones and bonks. Now you should go
and check this out and fuck with it cuz it fun...to drink 40s
HIP HOP SHOP
Check out the shop for
five new VHS arrivals this week. These are some videos that we
didnt know we still had in stock and are limited in quantity.
So we have priced them at $8.98 so as to clear them out. Unfortunately
all but one of the videos are in NTSC format only (not PAL). These
videos include the titles: Shiggar Fraggar Vol. 3, Shiggar
Fraggar Vol. 4, Shiggar Fraggar Vol. 5, Pirate Fuckin Video,
and DJ TV Vol. 1.
A new vinyl addition to the shop
this week is the 7" single by Cat Five American
Military Operations. The title track side A (currently #1
on KALX radio's Top 50) is a brilliant war commentary that samples
Dubya Bush and others. Note that a remix of this track
will appear on CD on the next Hip Hop Slam compilation All
That Bombing is Making Me Bitch by the DJs of Mass Destruction.
The B-side of the single is a montage (battle record style) of
sound bites tailored for DJs titled Tools for The Mind.
The single which is only available here, and at Amoeba
and Aquarius sells online for $4 plus S+H.
Another new addition to the shop
this week is Eddie Def's Wax People CDthe
first in two CD volumes which features highlights from the DJ's
legenday and extremely rare Hemp Lords cassettes (Vols.
1 & 2). They pack in tons of records and sample. "I like
to keep it moving real fast with just little bits, like bam bam,
hitting you from the left and the right like a Mike Tyson fight,"
says Eddie whose style is in the tradition of the 1980's megamix
records. "I'll take a horn, a snare, a scream, a guitar,
a moan, a cartoon, or I'll flip an orchestra backwards. I love
sounds and I love manipulating them or using them out of their
original context," enthuses Eddie.
THRIFTIN' FOR A SCRATCH: The Hella Broke-Ass
Style of DJ'ing
by DJ SoleHole
If I eat cheese sandwiches and ramen soup for the next week,
I can probably go hungry for just one day before the next paycheck.
Dont front and act like you dont know what its
like. For many DJs, scraping by is the cost of vinyl addiction
and equipment upgrades. And in the post dot-bomb wasteland of
maxed-out credit cards and pragmatic labor (if youre lucky
to find it), how can anyone afford the hip-hop lifestyle? Welcome
to the Hella Broke-Ass Style of DJing.
This first installment of "Thriftin for a Scratch"
focuses on the relationship between your values, time, money and
record buying. Future stories will focus on consumer advocacy
specific to DJs. Most of the suggestions below are common practices
borrowed from the conscientious consumer; ideals, which Ill
admit, may run counter to the DJs culture of must-have collectibles
and impulse buying. But, if youre reading this, youre
probably as fed up with mindless consumption as a sucka with his
ass cheeks sewn together. Ka-Plow!
THINK TWICE BEFORE YOU BUY:
While at the record shop, here are some things to consider before
you get to the register. At the end of each item is a suggested
action to further clarify your principles, wants and realities.
1) Is this record worth my hours of labor? If a shop at
the mall asked you to work a half-day stocking shelves in exchange
for just one break record, would you do it? Well, in California,
the average entry-level job pays $7.76 an hour before taxes (according
to a 2001 state labor report). If thats you, then each new
12-inch record equals about an hour of your labor. Up to three
hours of your labor for just one battle record. Add more labor
hours if you pay with a credit card. At that pay rate, a $1,000
credit balance would take an entire months earnings of full-time
labor to pay off and thats without interest.
ACTION: Calculate your per-hour wage after taxes and find
out exactly how much of your time is spent laboring for a new
12-inch single or battle record. If you have a fat credit balance
due largely to DJing costs, calculate how many days of full-time
labor itll take to pay it off.
2) Can I find it used? Diggers know to hit the used bins
and $1 stacks at thrift shops. In a recent flip through the used
section at Amoeba Berkeley, I found near pristine copies of the
Beastie Boys License to Ill, Azeems excellent Craft
Classic, Aesop Rocks Labor Days and a reprint of Sly Foxs
"Lets Go All the Way" from 1986 all at
a fraction of some of the unopened versions just one aisle over.
I passed on a few battle-break records I already had. Theyre
all not old thow-aways, either; some shops will sell promos of
brand spankin new releases at discount prices. Places to
look: used record stores, swap meets, garage sales, used bookstores
and rummage yards.
ACTION: Get to know the small and independent new and
used record shops in your town. Create a list of retailers and
make a point of checking them out.
3) Do I really need this record? Theres a saying
in marketing: "People dont know what they want, until
you show it to them." Sales floors, vinyl shops included,
are designed to exploit impulsive behavior. If you didnt
need that record before you got to the record store, then why
alluvasudden is it something you cant live without?
ACTION: Commit to staying within your record-buying budget.
If over budget, place selected records in order of most need and
use. Put back those records that make up the rear of your stack.
4) Do I support this artists values and record label?
Yes, you can contribute to hip-hop by refusing to purchase certain
records and by supporting artists and labels making a difference
in the culture. Hell, if you worked hard for your scrilla, then
why give it to a no-skill, wack bastard whos living in the
Hamptons? In these hard times, independent labels often
the only outlet for underground artists like yourself are
falling like wads of cash in a jiggy video.
ACTION: Support your local hip-hop scene by buying locally
produced records and CDs.
5) Do I have the storage space? As much as you own your
records, your records also own you. Anyone with a moderate vinyl
collection will tell you that proper record storage is a constant
life issue. Finding living space thats large enough and
safe to support a growing collection often means more labor hours
going to higher rent, mortgage or a storage facility. Or living
at yer mommas house forever.
ACTION: Make space. Go through a section of your records
and donate or sell those you dont need. Developing a normal
donate/sell schedule will also help keep your records in order.
6) Can I get the same use via Internet download? For example,
non-scratching beat makers: The downsides of vinyl are higher
costs, loss of sound quality and quirky storage. If all you need
is a sample that doesnt need to be scratched, might as well
download a clean version off the Internet.
ACTION: For music saved on computer or CD, invest in or
download a wave-editing and/or MIDI sequencing software program.
Conceivably, you can create an Endtroducing without ever leaving
your home or paying anything more than the electricity bill.
7) Is my money/labor/time better used for something else?
Whats a better feeling: financial freedom or worrying weather
that check you wrote for pizza delivery is gonna bounce?
ACTION: Flip through a few crates of records at home and
pull out the ones youve played only once and those you likely
wont play again. Be honest with yourself and your role(s)
as hobbyist, party-rocker, producer, battle DJ or whatever. When
youre done, consider how much of your money/labor was spent
for those records. Could it have been better spent elsewhere?
If so, in what ways?
Okay, enough introspection for the day. Do whatever suggested
actions you feel comfortable with and check back here (www.hiphopslam.com
- where this article originally appeared) occasionally for additional
tips on how to save money. We all love vinyl and theres
always better ways of getting it. The Hella Broke-Ass Style of
DJing is not dogma; just awareness of ones purchasing power
and how it can be used to better oneself and the hip-hop community.
(Note: this article by DJ Solehole originally
appeared in liner notes of Scratch Attack Vol. 2)