HIP HOP SLAM
SCRATCH ATTACK NEWS
• Hip Hop Slam NEWS Roundup
by Billy Jam
• Bay Area DJ Profile #020: DJ Spair
• Diary of a Frustrated French Fan of Hip Hop by Matthiew
• How A Coloring Book Propelled Artist to International
Fame by Aye Jay
HIP HOP SLAM NEWS ROUND UP
Livehuman have just released the brilliant and unique
break record Breakseven which is a must-have for all DJs,
turntablists, and producers. For sale at HIPHOPSLAM SHOP.
Produced by DJ Quest with all original organic sounds by
percussionist Albert Mathias and bassist Andrew Kushin
it features great grooves to scratch to, beats for juggles, plus
various instrument sounds. But what makes this release even more
unique is that it is also a tool for a future Livehuman album
(to be released as a Japanese import. bonus to a DVD) with remixes
by other artists. All tracks will be made exclusively from this
record by such artists as Shing02, DJ Spair, Teeko, and the HipHopSlam
DJs. DJ Quest informs us that there is still space for a few last
minute remix submissions for this album. If you would like to
submit your remix made from Breakseven to be considered for possible
inclusion, do so right away. Submissions can be anywhere from
30 seconds to 5 minutes in length but must be received by no later
than May 10th. Livehuman's three members will chose the tracks
to be included on their forthcoming remix album. Mail submissions
to HipHopSlam: Attn Livehuman Remix, PO BOX 5124, Berkeley, CA
Freelancers United featuring Shing02, DJ A-1,
and G_Rantala have been busy lately performing at various
spots including their bi-weekly residency at Beat Lounge
in San Francisco and on the radio. Recent radio sets included
April 10th on KFJC during DJ Trinity's show and
April 4th on the KALX Cultural Affairs Sunday Morning
show. Also featured on that guest-heavy KALX show were DJ
Pone, DnZ, singer Tim Armstrong, and spoken-word
artists Angela Ladybug Louie, Damon, and Manny
Black. Meanwhile the KFJC live session also featured members
of the Skratch Pistolz and DJs of Mass Destruction including
Munkipunk (aka Munkifunk), 4AM, DJ Pone,
DnZ, and yours truly Billy Jam. (see
pics from KALX and KFJC in gallery)
Speaking of KALX 90.7FM recently DJs Rawman, Sergio,
and myself have been scheduling the weekly Sunday night, one-hour,
freeform electronic music show Shortwave. Upcoming weeks
will include sets from the aforementioned three KALX DJs plus
guest DJ's Charlotte the Baroness, Doc Martin, and
Marty. San Francisco mainstay Marty, who has spun at parties
such as Wicked, Kitkat, Conscious Session, Sunset, Pepper,
Roots, Musicbox, Sugar, Deep Inside, House Plant and Be
Here, will be our special guest DJ this Sunday (4/18) at midnight.
DJs Deeandroid and Celskiii will be among the talents
at this year's Hip Hop In The Park in Berkeley's
Peoples' Park (near Dwight & Telegraph) on Saturday afternoon,
May 1st....DJ T-Rock has just released a DVD version of
his second album Sikinthehed. Directed by Larry Morris the DVD
includes individual music video's for tracks with alternate angles
and alternate audio as well, plus high quality MP3's of all 24
album tracks. Also included is the short film G.E.O.B.
filmed on location in New York City. Available at: bombhiphop.com
Rock Against Bush Comp. Vol. 1, a co-production
of Fat Wreck Chords (fatwreck.com)
and Punkvoter.com, drops
on April 20th. The budget priced CD/DVD punk compilation (only
$8.98) features 26 songs (inc. NOFX, the Offspring, Decendents,
Social Distortion), several documentaries including Uncovered,
Unprecedented, No More Enrons and a piece by comedian David
Cross, and some politically charged music videos from the
likes of Anti-Flag and Bad Religion.
Best wishes to former Hip Hop Slam crew members Rocky
Hanes (who did stage management and a grip of other tasks
before moving to Hawaii), activist and all around good person
Yve-One, Joefu (who interned with us last summer),
Mars-One (who did album/CD cover art for numerous of the
Hip Hop Slam releases), and DJ Sniper (who reported on
the Dutch hip hop scene). Big shout out and good luck to all of
these great people!
THOUGHTS OF A FRUSTRATED FRENCH HIP HOP FAN
by Matthiew S.
French Hip Hop Slam fan Matthiew S. (M.S.), who
recently purchased some CDs from our site shop, wrote us to say
that "I really appreciate Hip Hop Slam productions
because they are fresh, positive, really inventive, agressive
sometimes, pollitically engaging, respectfull to man and woman....
they're the part of hip hop I like the most, the true essence
of it!" Mathiew also mentioned how "lucky" we were
to "live in the the Bay Area" - the epicenter of DJ/turntablism
- compared to living, as he does, in France. This prompted us
to ask him what exactly it was like for a hip hop fan like him
living in France. He wrote us back this indepth, heartfelt Email
on his perspective. We left the translation as Matthiew wrote
it in his English so as not to lose any of the French flavor and
authenticity. Hence it may take a moment to decipher some of his
words/sentences. But hopefully you will easily figure out when
he writes things such as "car with gunshots impact"
that he means a "drive-by shooting."
In France hip-hop wasn't born in "block parties"
like in NYC. At first French hip hop would only mimic the American
style. But then, by about the middle of the 1980's, we began to
develope our own hip-hop style. But please notice that there are
some very vast cultural differences. First the idea of car with
gunshots impact even if there are problems with guns and
drugs. We don't have so much (or not at all) free radios who broadcast
small labels because administration is a French invention so everything
is controlled by officials/ It's very difficult to built your
own projects if you don't have family in the business even if
your talented. French are more intellectuals passive than active
and positive people. It's true that the censorship is not so extreme
here because we don't feel the weight of religion so much (here,
Marilyn Manson or Eminem disturb nobody...). But
the censorship is more vicious. We are in a country where we are
sleeping feeding of everything we (don't) need, and we think we
are free and democratics but it's fake. Here human rights are
only paper. So no small labels and most inventive hip-hop crews
had pressure from politics and they have to sign on majors to
continue their art but it becomes shit because of big money and
they now talking only about fuck chicks on big cars with goldchains!
Which is bad example for kids and you need your models when you're
a kid, no? So the "engaged" lyrics become demagogue...
I've heard a politician ask to a famous band (N.T.M) who
talks about ghetto and violence, "Why don't you talk about
a flower growing?" , "Because it' s not the reality
of my days you destroyed all the fields with your supermarkets..."
But now rappers talk about violence and insecutity and it' s what
the government is talking about to put the police and the cameras
in the street. But in reality it's not so dangerous. 90% parnoia.
They broadcast fascists and sexists principles from beautifull
artform like hip-hop and people change of sidewalk at night when
they see kids in hip-hop dresscode. It's very complex problem
which I'm not sure to talk about very well. Hip-hop is different
too because we are very close to Africa. So you can see in the
street a lot of women in traditional dress, beautiful & colorful
textile, and people like a mix of hip-hop and Zouk music from
West Africa where there are interesting hiphop crewz. In France
I've never heard good scratch deejays maybe in few years. The
most known DJ from Bay Area is Mixmaster Mike because he
worked with Beastie Boys. Q-Bert is known but not
so much and not particulary by hiphop fans but more people who
are interested in avant garde culture (because of course we can
compare hip-hop to the writings of William Burroughs and
maintain! peace . M.S.
BAY AREA DJ PROFILE #020: Spair
DJ Name: DJ Spair
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Trademark saying or philosophy toward your music/your life:
Don't let no one get you down no matter how many times they tell
Groups (if any) that you have been a member of:
How would describe the music you spin?
Old skool uptempo beats.. I.E.. Hip Hop,Funk.Soul, Disco
Is there a style to the way you put your music together?
I usually group my records in BPM so if i start a set with a record
thats 100 Bpms most of the records I have in that crate are around
that tempo. Also I make sure that the records flow with each other.
DISCOGRAPHY: Cue's Hip Hop Shop Vol 2 -Oakland Faders
Dope Music, Oakland Faders-Fader Beats Vol 1. Turntables By The
Bay-Typical Skratch Song, Bas One- For The Mentally Astute Vol
(Cuts for 2 Lp tracks) Streets SF-Judah Skateboards(Beats), DJ
Mere & DJ Spair -Dope Mixtapes For Dummies Vol 1-3
DJ Mere & Dj Spair The After Party Vol 1-2, Dj Spair &
Platurn-Flea Market Treats, Dj Spair -The Spair Mix Project, DJ
Spair -Live From Cybertron(Won Hip Hop Category in URB Magazines
1st Mixtape Comp.), Dj Spair & Dj Icewater-The Spice Channel,
Dj Pone & DJ Spair-Hits From The 90's, Featured On Dj Qbert's
D.I.Y Vol 2, Compound Elements-Confused & Stranged (Cuts),
Dj Spair -Hip Hop Best Kept Secret (The Old Skool), solo on "Turntables
By The Bay Vol. 3" (Hip Hop Slam)
DJ Battle History: 1st Place in 1999 URB Magazine Mixtape
1st Place in Zebra Records 1999 Monthly Battle.
The first record you ever bought: EPMD-Unfinished Business
(when it first came out)
Most influential record(s) in your life: Too many to
name, but a few are Public Enemy-It Takes A Nation, Too
Short-Life Is Too Short, Ice Cube-Amerikkas Most Wanted,
De La Soul-De La Soul Is DeaD, The Beatles-Magical
Mysterey Tour..the list goes on.
When did you first DJ? 1994
What made you want to be a DJ? I always had a strong passion
for hip hop ever since I was young. I use to watch Soulbeat
religiously and watched the very first episodes of Rap City
with Chris Thomas. I got my first glimpse of Dj'n from videos
like Supersonic and So Watcha Sayin. My parents
asked me if I wanted Turntables back then, but I guess I suffered
from lack of confidence being that I was only 12 years old at
the time. Around the age of 16 I was doing alot of graffiti..I
was never that good at it: meaning that I couldn't do pieces or
throw ups and I knew I would never go as far then tag on a bus
window. Around that time (1994) a cafe called Ya Mama's
opened in North Oakland. Ya Mama's was pretty much the hang out
for all the local graff writers. The cafe had turntables, and
a resident Dj by the name of 2 Black who was more then generous
to help any young kid at the time get there start. He showed me
a few basic tricks,and told me to come back anytime I wanted to
practice. Right then and there I knew this what I was placed on
this earth for.
Most memorable performance of your DJ career: I would
have to say me and Platurn opening for Mix Master Mike
@ DNA Lounge. The crowd's vibe was best I ever felt especially
with that many people.
How do you transport your records and/or gear to gigs?
In the egg.
Do you play CDs ever at gigs? Only at
my Country gigs
In your opinion, who is the best DJ of all time?
Thats hard to say but I would have to say me. Just kidding
=) I Like too many, but a few are.. Melo-D, 45 King,
the defunked ISP crew, Beat Junkies, Oakland
FAders, 4 One Funk, DJ SKRATCH, etc
Best website or Email to find out more about you:
How A Coloring-Book Propelled Smalltown Artist
Aye Jay To International Fame
Based in Chico, CA, graphic artist Aye Jay Morano (who
contibuted art to the Hip Hop Slam release Wax People
Vol I by Eddie Def) lived and worked in virtual obscurity
as an artist for the first ten years of his career. Then one day
about a couple of years ago he was inspired to draw up a childrens'
styled coloring book filled with pictures of some of his favorite
gangsta rappers. He titled it the Gangsta Rap Coloring Book
and was as surprised as anyone when it went on to become an international
smash hit, making him somewhat of a celebrity in the modern art
world. Since then the artist has been in big demand, doing art
shows, and having his work published in such European and American
publications as Muzik, Marie Claire, New York Times, GQ,
Hip Hop Connection, Vibe, Jane,
Thrasher, Black Book, Grand Slam, Mass
Appeal, Elemental, and XLR8R. He
has also contributed his art to such recent projects as Danger
Mouse's Grey Album and Livehuman's Breakseven.
HipHopSlam.com NEWS asked Aye Jay to share this
whole experience of his rise to fame: from the book's inception
to today. Here is his story:
On the idea: Coloring with my son, Cohen, I wondered
why there were no Hip Hop coloring books. Being a freelance artist,
and doing it for a decade plus, I thought it would be good promotion
to get work outside of my town, Chico, CA.
Then: Put it together pretty quickly, consulted friends
who I considered experts in the genre on who should go in it.Drew
it up, layed it out, took it to the copy shop, then sent one sheets
to record store, got a few orders. Turntable lab and Dusty
Groove ordered it. I sent them to magazines, got reviews,
got picked up by a few distributors, word spreads. Sold a lot,
lot of photocopied books.
After that: As I worked on my next book,
Indie Rock Connect the Dots, I decided to pitch
the coloring book to publishers for an expanded edition. The kind
folks at Last Gasp,
who distributed the book, were helping me edit the pitch, and
a few days later asked if I would like them to publish it. So
now I'm on the same press with Crumb and Kozik,
all time favorites. So now my mind is blown.
On putting it together: For the new gangsta book, I wanted
to have a foreword and afterword, as well as an established designer
to work on the cover. Shepard Fairey from Obey Giant
was kind enough to cut his fee to work on a smaller budget project,
as did rapper/producer/gangsta rap expert J-Zone and Ego
Trip's Sacha Jenkins. I am a huge fan of their
work, so it was a honor that they would want to participate.
The whole idea of Janky Industries (my fake business name)
is the work not having to be perfect. Janky is California
slang for something broke down, crappy, etc. so I was trying to
take the name back, to show that art doesnt have to be perfect,
as long as it has feeling.
On the benefits: With the coloring book getting a fair
amount of press, I can approach art directors and editors at magazines
and have them sometimes be familiar with my work. The book got
me work with a few magazines I really like (Mass Appeal, Chunklet,
Gum) and some great freelance projects (Danger Mouse's
Grey Album). Ive also been able to meet some of my
art heroes through the book, which may sound cheesy, but going
from enjoying someone's music or art to talking with them about
it has been mind blowing.
On the future: I have been able to balance freelance
work with working on my own art and music. I am starting to work
on a new activity book, the heavy metal fun time activity book
and the country music drinkin board game. As far as I can
see, even if no one is interested in putting out my books I can
do it myself. I love what I do, and I hope that comes across in
the work. I really feel lucky!
For more stuff, please visit www.ayejay.com