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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Legends: Beastie Boys, MCA

I first heard the Beastie Boys on Z103.1 Sunday Night At The Rap in 1985. Their debut single on this station was “She’s On It”. I recorded it on cassette the first night they played it and brought my boom box to school with me the next day and bragged about having this new song called “She’s On It”. In 1986, Z103.1 Sunday Night At The Rap started playing “Hold It Now, Hit It”. This is the last year of B-Boyin’ in my city due to over-exposure of it and “Hold It Now, Hit It” was a favorite of mine and my crew to dance to. I bought their album “Licensed To Ill” in Nov 1986 and I became a Beastie fan for life.
In 1987, I was runnin’ around poppin’ VW emblems off of VW’s so I could make my own Mike-D necklace. I’ve been chased many times across my neighborhood by angry VW owners because their car was missing their emblem. I was also lucky enough to go to the “Licensed To Ill Concert” in ’87. One of the best concerts I have ever been to. Beastie Boys are amazing live. Their “Rhymin’ & Stealin’” video shows the basics of what that concert was like. Memorable...
Beastie Boys is one of the greatest Hip Hop groups ever. Why are they one of the greatest? At that time, Hip Hop was not that widely accepted. It was still considered a fad and not real music. When Beastie Boys released “Licensed To Ill”, that album made people pay attention to Hip Hop. It was released Nov 15, 1986 and 3 months later it was certified platinum. That was huge sales for Hip Hop in 86/87. Their second album, “Paul’s Boutique” is considered The Beatles White Album of Hip Hop. What Hip Hop sounds like. Throughout their career the Beastie Boys always stayed consistent with their albums. They always represented our culture to the fullest through their music and never selling out. Their focus was music. Not fashion, cars, guns, who’s more gangsta, or any of that non-sense that plagues Hip Hop today. They were about crafting classic albums and staying true to the roots of Hip Hop. They are creative, talented & original. That’s why they are one of the greatest Hip Hop groups in history. Over 22 million albums sold in the U.S. alone. Thank you Beastie Boys for all those years of hard work and dedication you put in for our culture. Adam Yauch aka MCA will be deeply missed...
Here is a great piece written about MCA on www.beastieboys.com
Adam Yauch • 1964-2012
It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam "MCA" Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and also of the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits, and film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Yauch taught himself to play bass in high school, forming a band for his 17th birthday party that would later become known the world over as Beastie Boys.

With fellow members Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Adrock" Horovitz, Beastie Boys would go on to sell over 40 million records, release four #1 albums–including the first hip hop album ever to top the Billboard 200, the band's 1986 debut full length, Licensed To Ill–win three Grammys, and the MTV Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement award. Last month Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with Diamond and Horovitz reading an acceptance speech on behalf of Yauch, who was unable to attend.

In addition to his hand in creating such historic Beastie Boys albums as Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, Hello Nasty and more, Yauch was a founder of the Milarepa Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and activism regarding the injustices perpetrated on native Tibetans by Chinese occupational government and military forces. In 1996, Milarepa produced the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, which was attended by 100,000 people, making it the biggest benefit concert on U.S. soil since 1985's Live Aid. The Tibetan Freedom Concert series would continue to stage some of the most significant benefit shows in the world for nearly a decade following in New York City, Washington DC, Tokyo, Sydney, Amsterdam, Taipei and other cities.

In the wake of September 11, 2001, Milarepa organized New Yorkers Against Violence, a benefit headlined by Beastie Boys at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, with net proceeds disbursed to the New York Women's Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Association for New Americans (NYANA) September 11th Fund for New Americans–each chosen for their efforts on behalf of 9/11 victims least likely to receive help from other sources.

Under the alias of Nathanial Hörnblowér, Yauch directed iconic Beastie Boys videos including "So Whatcha Want," "Intergalactic," "Body Movin" and "Ch-Check It Out." Under his own name, Yauch directed last year's Fight For Your Right Revisited, an extended video for "Make Some Noise" from Beastie Boys' Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, starring Elijah Wood, Danny McBride and Seth Rogen as the 1986 Beastie Boys, making their way through a half hour of cameo-studded misadventures before squaring off against Jack Black, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as Beastie Boys of the future.

Yauch's passion and talent for filmmaking led to his founding of Oscilloscope Laboratories, which in 2008 released his directorial film debut, the basketball documentary Gunnin' For That #1 Spot and has since become a major force in independent video distribution, amassing a catalogue of such acclaimed titles as Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy, Oren Moverman's The Messenger, Banksy's Exit Through The Gift Shop, Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze's Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait Of Maurice Sendak, and many more.

Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen and his daughter Tenzin Losel, as well as his parents Frances and Noel Yauch.



Public Enemy Are Releasing Two New Albums For 2012

Chuck-D announced on billboard.com that Public Enemy is finishing up two albums planned to be released in 2012. The first album, "Most Of My Heroes Still Don't Appear On No Stamp" is scheduled for this summer & the second album, "The Evil Empire Of Everything" is scheduled for this fall. The albums will include special appearances by Brother Ali, Henry Rollins, Tom Morello, DMC, Bumpy Knuckles, Large Professor & more.
I’ll update it when more info is available.

For more on the story check out http://www.billboard.com/#/news/public-enemy-s-two-new-albums-will-talk-1007132952.story

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sha Rock, The Queen Of Our Culture

Sha Rock, The Queen Of Our Culture


Before Nicki Minaj, Bahamadia, Lil Kim, Lady Of Rage, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, and The Sequence, there was Sha Rock, the First Lady of Hip Hop.


Sha Rock aka Sharon Green began her career in 1976 as a B-Girl in the Bronx, New York. In 1977, she joined the Hip Hop group Funky 4 + 1 More. She became the first female emcee to join an all male Hip Hop Group.

Sha Rock is credited with being the First Female Pioneer to go full circle in a MC rhymin' battle. She was responsible for introducing Hip Hop Culture to various nationalities & countries throughout the world.

In 1979, The Funky 4 + 1 More signed to Enjoy Records. MC Sha Rock became the first Female Pioneer emcee worldwide, known to have a record deal. They would later sign to Sugar Hill Records. The Funky 4 + 1 More was the first Hip Hop group to appear on national television. They appeared on Saturday Night Live on Feb 14, 1981 season 6 alongside Deborah Harry of the famous rock group "Blondie". In 1984, Sha Rock made a guest appearance in the legendary Hip Hop movie "Beat Street". In Beat Street, she performed in the Hip Hop group US Girls, alongside Debbie D and Lisa Lee. If you haven’t seen Beat Street, make sure to check it out. Sha Rock is one of the highlights in the movie. She has appeared on 20/20 in the 1981 special "Rappin' To The Beat", hosted by Hugh Downs. She also appeared in the TV Documentary “Beat This: A Hip Hop History (1984)”.

Sha Rock continues to work with young women throughout the world on self-empowerment. She opened the first Performing Arts School in the Central Texas area, which services a military community of 80,000. The Performing Arts School teaches all areas of the arts to include the culture of Hip Hop and its origins. Throughout her soeaking engagements and endorsements, Sha Rock has worked in the criminal justice field for the past 16 years. Sha Rock also finds time to mentor children throughout the world and within her community.

Sha Rock stands as a Hip Hop icon, a role model, and most importantly, as the foundation of female emcees. I thank her for all the years she dedicated of her life for our culture. She's the Queen of our Hip Hop Culture. Respect the Foundation.


Discography:

Funky 4 / Funky 4 + 1 More:

Rappin' & Rockin' The House (1979)
That's The Joint (1980)
Square Biz (1982)
Do You Want To Rock (Before I Let Go) (1982)
Feel It (The Mexican) (1983)
Super Stars (1983)
King Heroin (was originally recorded in 1984 by the Funky 4, remixed & released by Jazzy Jeff in 1985).

Other recordings by Sha Rock:

Us Girls - Us Girls - Beat Street Soundtrack Vol. 1 (1984)

All The Ladies feat. Big Daddy Kane (1999)
Legends Of Hip Hop - Fifth Element (2002) Features 34 Hip Hop Legends
Where Are They Now feat Nas
A Hip Hop Odyssey (2011) Produced by Marley Marl

Movies:


Books:

Luminary Icon: The Story Of The Beginning And End Of Hip Hop's First Female MC - By Sha Rock with Iesha Brown


More on Sha Rock visit: http://mcsharockonline.com/index.html




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shout out to the legends

First off gotta give respect to Kool Herc. The man who started it all on August 11, 1973. Who would have ever thought it would grow to what it is today.
 Graffiti artist, B-Boys, Emcee's, DJ's. The clothes, dances, and language of the inner city.
Artists like Melle Mel, Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, Busy Bee, The L Brothers, Grandwizard Theodore, Treacherous Three, Cold Crush Brothers, Sha Rock, Run-DMC and Jam Master Jay.
If it wasn't for these pioneers there would be no Hip Hop today. However many of todays artists have forgotten that.......
Back then Hip Hop wasn't about who had the most money, the most expensive car, the biggest house.
It was about the lyrics, getting people on the dance floor, showing your skill on the mic, entertainin' the crowd, and if you had a beef with someone you either took it to the stage or put it on wax.
Epic battles between artists like Kool Moe Dee vs Busy Bee, Boogie Down Productions vs the Juice Crew, made people want to listen to and buy the music just to hear who had the best dis.
Lets not forget the Crews, like Juice Crew, The First Priority Family,The Hilltop Hustlers, legendary DJ'S like Mr. Magic, DJ Red Alert, Chuck Chillout, Brucie B, the list could go on and on.
I can remember as a kid listening to groups like Tuff Crew, Audio Two, De La Soul, Public Enemy, EPMD, Beastie Boys, Fat Boys. The best thing about them? They were all different, none of them sounded the same they all did their own thing. Tuff Crew was raw Hip Hop. Audio Two had their own unique style of production & rhyming. De La Soul with ground breaking music and style definitely outside the box. Public Enemy bringing the message of history and knowledge. EPMD wow what a perfect match between Eric and Parish. No two Eemcee's could flow together like them. Beastie Boys broke hip hop to a wider audience & no group has ever been or ever will be like them, much love to M.C.A. (RIP). Fat Boys with their feel good, clever and sometimes funny rhymes.
And lets not leave out the most perfectly matched Emcee and DJ ever, Eric B and Rakim. No other group has ever had such a perfect blend, Rakim in my mind is one of the all time greatest.
Remember DJ's....true DJ's?  Talking about DJ Jazzy Jeff, Cash Money, DJ Too Tuff, the almighty Jam Master Jay, Grandmaster Flash, Scott La Rock, Grand Mixer DXT,  they used to be the beat, the heart, the soul of the groups. Scratching and mixing, a true forgotten talent in the mainstream.
To sum it all up...much love to the innovators, the originators, the best ever, THE LEGENDS........

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Who remembers true Hip Hop

Hip Hop used to be about "keeping it real", not selling out.
These days it all sounds the same, artists don't care about the culture, only about getting on radio and TV, making that money. The focus has turned away from the music.
I can remember growing up listening to Hip Hop/Rap music from the  early days. It was about having fun, and your skill on the mic. Not about how many times you've been to prison, how many bullet holes you have in your body, or how quick you can get rich. It makes me sad to see some The true school was about the culture, positive images, breakbeats, scratching, mic skills, & telling stories from the streets.
It makes me sad to see the true school artists getting disrespected, forgotten, and treated like garbage, even though they were the ones that made it all possible for todays "artists". Old rock groups are treated like gods, but not true school artists.
Todays mainstream "hip hop" is garbage & we allowed it to be stolen from us. Now Hip Hop is considered to be people like Justin Bieber & Lady Gaga. Beyonce being called a great Hip Hop dancer. What the hell is a Hip Hop dancer? Do they mean B-Boy, B-Girl? I'm still waiting to see Beyonce do the windmill in high heels & a skirt. Ice Cube said it best back in '91, "Pretty soon Hip Hop won't be so nice, no Ice Cube, just Vanilla Ice, and y'all sit & scream & cuss, but there's no one to blame but us". And that's exactly where we are today. So if you feel the same way lets bring it back to what it should be. Hip Hop Culture - The 4 Elements..............