Monday, October 27, 2008

//The Freaks Come Out in The Town..

We Love The Town, even though fools will pull a moving van up to the side of the house when you are at work, break into the bedroom window, dump all the contents of your drawers and closets on the floor and the bed, take your laptop, jewelry, turntables, dj equipment (packing it all into your dj bags), try on your jacket and throw it on the floor, take a bottle of champagne from your fridge, tag "Sticky Bandits" on your wall in toy writing with a red paint marker…

Yup, We Still Love The Town because not everyone in Oakland is shady. In fact, we got to see just how big people's hearts are after the shadiness went down. Big up to all the neighbors who came out and had an impromptu neighborhood watch meeting on the sidewalk, the friends who came through and kept us company, the family who helped us make the house more secure, and of course to the Bay Area DJ community! All the DJs that offered to loan and give us equipment and spin if we have a fundraiser, and the friends and family and who continuously show love. We'll keep yall posted about that fundraiser.

We're extra excited because We Love The Town (aka The Black Panther Party *wink*wink*) this month falls on Halloween and we've got true Oakland legend Pam The Funkstress with us. Pam is a pioneer, one of the first female djs in the Bay and a veteran since the late 80s. As The Coup's DJ alongside another Town legend Boots Riley, she has put down classic hip hop albums Kill My Landlord, Genocide & Juice, Steal This Album (with my alltime fave "Me & Jesus The Pimp in a '79 Granada Last Nite"), Party Music ...the artwork of which was pulled as it was being printed the day of Sept.11 because it featured exploding World Trade Center Towers, and Pick A Bigger Weapon.

It's going down in The Town for Halloween!! Costumes are not a must but they would be really dope, plus there's prizes too, and giveaways from Oaklandish, Oakbook and Scion. We Love The Town yall, 1neLuv.

The Coup - "Me and Jesus the Pimp in a '79 Granada Last Night" (Dogday, 1998)

with Oakland Legend
PAM the Funkstress
(The Coup/B.A.S.S.)

and resident Town selectors
(Golden Soundscapes)

Friday, October 24, 2008

//Sticky Bandits in the House..

So these clowns broke into our house on Wednesday morning after we left for work and took all of our DJ/home studio equipment (4 turntables+), laptop, cameras, cash, jewelry.. And they had the nerve to tag "Sticky Bandits" on the wall in that weakass writing. My middle school students have waay more style. But these were probably some kids too because who does that type of immature, stupid shh? Are you serious?

Turns out a house nearby was hit the morning before by the Sticky Bandits, and OPD has taken several reports with the same m.o.  I also heard that there's cats in the area that rock black sweatshirts with their "crew" name printed in white. As my boy K.S. said, "thats pretty brazen to sign off on multiple hits and be hanging around he same streets wearing the hoodies." Times is hard, but daym...fools are just asking for it. 

Well, thank you to everyone who showed love, called and emailed, all the djs who offered to loan/give us equipment, and of course the neighbors for having our back (too bad everyone was at work).  Many fam have suggested throwing a fundraiser to help replace what they jacked. We'll see what's up. 1neLuv yall.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

//The Remix Though..

//I began djing in the era when the Remix was not 50 million guest rappers +2 R&B singers +1 pet poodle on your same beat (although if you put Andre 3000 on it I won't be mad). A proper remix was usually a B-Side on the 12" single and featured another producer, a reshaping of the beat, and altered or completely different lyrics (sometimes all of the above). Some fat 12" singles even had multiple Remixes on the same record.
A handful of my favorites:

1. A Tribe Called Quest "Bonita Applebum (Hootie Mix)" (Jive, 1990)
The Isleys loop is irresistible for this sequel, which was the soundtrack to Q-Tip making out with Janet in the opening scene of Poetic Justice.

2. Black Star "Respiration (Flying High Mix)" (Rawkus, 1999)

My favorite Mos/Kwe cut...while the claustrophobic LP version remains one of hip hop's transcendent moments, they did the right thing and enlisted the mighty Pete Rock to breathe fresh air into the mellowed-out remix. First Mos channels Marvin Gaye's "Flying
High (In the Friendly Sky)" on the chorus, then Talib's talking about Tip-toeing through the corridors of your mind / with candlelights, then Mos comes back in and kills with a verse of his own where every word he says should be a hip hop quotable: When the nighttime covers the city like a cloak / I approach / and assemble my hopes / into notes. The Black Stars shine so vibrantly that even Black Thought comes off as a tired and lackluster afterthought on the cleanup verse.

3. Nas "It Ain't Hard to Tell (Large Professor Remix)" (Sony, 1994)

Extra P produced the o.g. which sampled MJ's "Human Nature", and re-fli
pped it hisself loading Biz Markie's classic line I'm highly recognized as the king of disco-and from "Nobody Beats the Biz" into the SP and banging it into Nas, Nas, Nas, Nas is the king of disco-in'. Hip Hop vision at it's finest.

4. The Fugees "Vocab (Refugees Hip Hop Remix)" (Sony, 1994)

It's uncanny how the original versions from their first LP were forgettable but the remixes were career turns. Lauryn goes in on this one and Wyclef goes a little out of his mind.

5. Casual "Later On" (Jive, 1994)
and "Later On (Casual's Low Down Remix)"

Wow, '94 was a really good year for remixes. The best of both worlds on these cuts (gotta include both here for the contrast): the original is cruising on a sunny weekend by Lake Merritt after waking up late, and the remix happens even later on, scraping late night down Macarthur Ave deep in East Oakland looking for trouble.
While the ubiquitous Lil Jon version was both the peak and the end of the now-dead hyphy era, this astounding remix is worth another look. Alameda born-and-raised AfroFilipino guy Trackademicks became a brand with this relick, which transformed the song into an entirely different beast: more Hiero than hyphy, but still futuristic rather than Telegraph Era-nostalgic. Track's got a ton more remixes and beats from the future on his blog, go there.

//I also come from the era when mixing an acapella from one record on top of the instrumental of another live on two turntables was called a Remix or a Blend, not a Mash-Up, and djs have been doing them long before there were hipsters and Ableton Live. A dope blend put
s the vocal in a different context that still works sonically.
I will say no more and refer you directly to this tape (yes, cassette) from the mid-90s for advanced blend science:
DJ 1st Klass - Butter Blends
I thought the Phil Collins "In the Air Tonight" over Deep Cover was a nice touch, take that hipster nation! Big up to who's got a nice collection of "
tape rips." Big shout to everyone who ever made a mixtape using a 4-track recorder! I might just have to go in the garage and get my DJ Apollo and DJ Kiilu mixtapes... and of course gotta throw in one o' my own creations, off Golden Mixes Vol.1 - Soul Sisters & Brothers:
//This all of course leads up to Saturday's GOLDEN, where myself and birthday girl DJ Zita will be selecting the dopest remixes from our shelves as well as concocting live two-turntable blends before your very ears. Say REEMIX!! Also joining us is the homie Bency from San Diego, who is a good dude and one slick deejay. 'Til next time, R.I.P. to rocksteady/reggae pioneer and musical visionary Alton Ellis. 1neluv.^^Me & Bency reppin the fedora/metallic t-shirt set. No we didn't plan that.
Golden Soundscapes wedding photo on the flyer? Yup planned that!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

//D's Super 3 for Wall Street

WaMu went under in the biggest bank failure in US history. Them fat cats on Wall Street want zamillions of taxpayer money to keep the
<---bullshh flowing smoovely? Let my man
Zulu break it down. Here's the soundtrack to the stock market nosedive:

1. Cocoa Tea "Mr. Neck Tie Man" (Xterminator, 1998)
I wanna know what is your evil plan.
2. El Michels Affair "C.R.E.A.M." (Truth & Soul, 2006)
Get the money, dolla dolla bill yall. The Amerykhan Promise.

3. The Roots f/ Amiri Baraka "Something in the Way" (MCA, 2002)
In retrospect Phrenology was a pretty dope LP, especially with this track that Pharrell suggested (tongue-in-cheek) The Roots should make their first single.
Imagine an alternate universe where this was a radio hit. This is the sound of the United Snakes economy crashing and burning... Watch this phenomenal independently-filmed video, it's worth 8 minutes of your life.

And of course, this classic (did I say CLASSIC?) jam from The Coup. I remember watching this video on CMC! 1neluv.