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Grandmaster Flash: Resolve Around Science*

Flash, Bam & Herc

Flash, Bam & Herc

The good Jake Paine asked me to connect with Grandmaster Flash for a feature on HipHopDX and I readily obliged. It’s not often you can speak to a rap godfather, something Flash no doubt is. Even if there were DJ’s before him.

I remember picking up this November 1993 issue of The Source (pic above) around my way and greedily reading it cover to cover. I wasn’t too pressed about particular bylines back then but looking back, this issue was just sick. You got Herc, Flash and Bambaataa on the cover of The Source being interviewed by the legendary Nelson George no less. The first few reviews alone broadcast The Source’s weight: Black Moon’s Enta Da Stage (written by Cheo H. Coker), Casual’s Fear Itself (written by the homie Brett Johnson) and Leaders of the New School’s T.I.M.E. (written by dream hampton) all received 4 mic ratings (as did KRS-1’s Return of the Boom Bap).

Not sure how this issue sold when it was released, but any editor pitching the idea of placing these legends on a mainstream magazine cover would be considered a lunatic. The reality is that a greater respect for Hip-Hop’s elders and the culture’s history are sorely lacking in many of today’s fans and artists. Sad, really.


Hip-Hop, Before The Bronx?

*Yes, that’s the correct title. Read The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash and you’ll know he’s been through some ish.

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Aqua's Clips, Freshness, Hip-Hop, The Boogie | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hip-Hop, Before The Bronx?

“The story is not just we’re saying that Hip-Hop didn’t start in the Bronx, we’re just saying it pre-dates the 1974 ‘cause Pete DJ Jones, this guys in his 60s and he was playing music in the Bronx in the late ’60s.”—Hasan Pore

Blasphemy you say? Yeah, I’d readily agree. No need for full disclosure since those that know me know very well that I represent The Bronx all day, every day. But, when I heard that Hasan Pore and Amen-Ra Lawrence were putting together a documentary [Founding Fathers] spotlighting DJ’s from Queens and Brooklyn that were rocking before the Holy Hip-Hop Trinity of Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa, I had to see what was up. [via AllHipHop]

Upon interviewing the two friends for, it became clear they’re not out to disrupt the established Hip-Hop zeitgeist. Instead they’re looking to bring some well deserved shine to DJs from around their way, and beyond, that only get passing mentions in most Hip-Hop history texts. From their knowledge of the culture and the clips floating around the Internet this Founding Fathers documentary looks like it will be a must see.

UPDATE(s): The NY Times mentioned my story in City Looks, good looks to BoogieDowner.

“The Real Hip Hop is Here (No Wait, Over There)” (via  NBC New York)

March 10, 2009 Posted by | Aqua's Clips, Hip-Hop, The Boogie | , , , , , , | 3 Comments