Monday, September 29, 2008


So Big Brother, I mean Blogger, in its infinite wisdom, deleted the post I had written up last week to big up the two Obama fundraisers I was going to DJ at and be a part of, last week's 40 DAYS TIL CHANGE (which raised upwards of $Three Stacks to go toward voter outreach in the swing states) and this week's BARACK THE VOTE 2. In my email notification, it says they were alerted that there were links in the post that infringed on copyrighted material. I wonder which one set it off...was it the reggae Obama tribute? The spoken word Obama tribute? The DJ mix Obama tribute? The militant rapper Obama tribute? The video of David Letterman roasting John McCain on Late Night? Or was it really the YouTube video in which a 17-year-old African American emcee from LA explains that he is, indeed, Bristol Palin's baby daddy (look it up for yourself...this election takes the cake for comedy)? Such blogospheric mysteries may never be understood nor revealed in our lifetimes.

Whatever the case may be, we will keep bloggin til the wheels fall off and wheelin til the blogs fall off. We will also keep riding for Barack Obama, because as was shown in Friday's debate, he is not going to base his administration on fear and anti-Islamic hate-mongering like that other dude who kept saying that Obama "just doesn't get it." Get what, divide and conquer? Anyway, see you this Friday at Poleng Lounge with a whole host of the Bay's brightest who "get it." 1neluv.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

//Keep 45s Alive!!

The 45, aka the 7 inch record. Introduced by RCA Victor company in 1949 as a big middle finger to Columbia Records' 33 1/3 vinyl LP.
...Check the math: 78 - 33 = 45!
The o.g. vinyl format spun at 78 rpms...RCA wanted to subtract the 33 LP out of the market and crush it with this little, portable, jukebox-friendly 7".
The Goldmine Price Guide to 45 RPM Records further breaks it down:

The size and format of the disc and its center hole was based on the size of the average human hand, giving most users the ability to grasp the record’s edge while placing the thumb in the center hole to avoid the handling of the grooves. Not only did RCA tout the convenient seven inch size of the disc for handling and storage, initial releases were color-coded based on the genre of the music. In their scheme, Pop Music was black, Country Western green, Children’s yellow, Classical red, Light Classical midnight blue, Rhythm & Blues cerise, and International sky blue. By 1952, however, all RCA’s 45’s were black.

I first grew fond of the 45 because of reggae is the format of choice for Jamaican labels because so much reggae and dancehall comes out on riddim singles. There's nothing like a fresh riddim set to juggle 5-6 tunes from different artists on the same instrumental with matching labels! Any reggae dj worth his or her salt has a toolbox of 45s...some cats even color code their sleeves.

I remember hitting up VP Records and Original Records in Jamaica, Queens. They were like no other records stores I'd been to..just a long counter with stacks and stacks of fresh 7's. The selector behind the counter would run tune after tune, and us customers would throw up a hand when we wanted a copy. Later on, the homie I-Vier opened Wisdom Records (RIP) down the street from my grandma's in t
he Outer Mission with the same format. The first time I went there I dropped hellla scrill! Went home and recorded this dancehall mix that same day: which is about half new 7's I bought that day, half favorite 7's from my crates, and ALL 45s (except one 12" R&B acapella on the first track) all the way live in one take on 2 turntables with no editing:

DJ Dmadness - Knowmadic Hi-Power Sound presents Winter Riddims 2004

Big shout to DJ RED-i in Manila who periodically throws down all-45 nights at his Thursday weekly Rouge. This Saturday at GOLDEN, me & DJ Zita are throwing down a special Midnight Mix of strictly 7" vinyl in homage to the dope little record that could...KEEP 45s ALIVE!! Come thru, you know how we do!

One last of the illest displays of 45 turntable destruction of all time:

DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist
Brainfreeze (1999 Sixty7 Recordings)

Part 1

Part 2

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

//If We Really Want our Schools to Get Better..

OK, this is not specifically a DJ-related post but whatever, for me it's all related. If you're not interested you can p
roceed directly below to the music...

I have not read a book this important about addressing racial inequality in schools, which is a DAILY REALITY. It is frank and practical, and has the potential to be extremely powerful. It is well-written, and like most work that is revolutionary, is full of love for our kids and the future. I don't say that often about a book not authored by Paulo Friere or bell hooks or Jonathan Kozol. Credit is due though, the authors borrow much from two of my other favorite books relevant to the education of students of color: Lisa Delpit's Other People's Children and Beverly Daniel-Tatum's Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? Now, to many educators of color the stuff in here is not new, but it is phrased in a way that makes sense especially in terms of communicating with White teachers and administrators...and once understandings of the institutional racism and White privilege in schools are made the authors address what to DO about it in schools. Peep an excerpt:

Key to closing the racial achievement gap is increasing teacher effectiveness with students of color in the classroom. Studies have shown the dramatic long-term effect on achievement when students consistently have effective versus ineffective teachers....

The racial achievement gap cannot be closed without talking about racial achievement disparities existing between White students and most student of color populations. But we cannot effectively talk about raci
al achievement disparity without first learning how to effectively talk about race.

A major barrier preventing change in the racial predictability of school performance: educators, especially White teachers and administrators, do not know how to talk about race...and educators of color grow weary and disengage from the conversation as well. For both groups, if we cannot talk about how race effects our schools, we cannot change our schools. This book gives practical tools for how to keep that conversation going. This is not only relevant for educators, but also community organizers, policymakers, parents, people with family members in public schools, and anyone who cares about improving public education.

Big up to my school administration for giving every adult a copy at the beginning of the year as required reading. And big beginning of the year shout to all my teachers.
Check this book out for real...I'm down to pass my copy around too.

We now return to our regularly scheduled musical selection, already in progress. 1ne luv.

Barrington Levy "Teach the Youth" (Joe Gibbs, 1980)

2Pac & Nas f/ J.Phoenix "Thugz Mansion" (Sony, 2002)