Monday, November 10, 2008

//Freestylin' on Yall...

Beyond The Limit DJ'ing at St Rose High School. Circa '87

//It is not widely known that the roots of Filipino American Bay Area DJ scene goes as far back as 1978 with the formation of the mobile crew Sound Explosion at Balboa H.S. in the Excelsior/Outer Mission ...and is a lineage that gave birth to our great Pinoy turntablists Q-Bert, Apollo, Mixmaster Mike, We really gotta ask the homie Oliver Wang/DJ O-Dub about all this cause he wrote his doctoral dissertation on "A History of the Filipino American mobile DJ scene in the Bay Area, 1978-1995."
There was actually an exhibit a few years back called "Tales of the Turntable: Filipino American DJs of the Bay Area" at San Mateo County History Museum. In addition, here is a photo gallery of old school flyers, business cards, and photos (including the above images) compiled by DJ Slammin Sam and posted by Patrick De La Cruz. The heyday of the mobile scene in the 80s with more than 100 active crews in existence...and guess what, most of the records in the crates were not hip hop, but freestyle!! I mean it was the 80s, and they were all about rockin the house...and it was hella Filipinos at the parties that were all about blowin up the dancefloor like it should be!
According to Wikipedia, "In Miami, the freestyle name evolved after confusion between Tony Butler's track "Freestyle Express" by Freestyle and Debbie Deb's "When I Hear Music", a slightly older but more popular track that was produced by Butler. The sound became synonymous with Butler's production, and the name of the group he was in, Freestyle, became the genre's name." Here is a longer essay about the history of freestyle music if you feel like reading it (it was interesting to me), it gives a lot of credit to some guy Lil Louie Vega. Whatever the case may be, Freestyle is the missing link between Afrika Bambaataa and the Triple Threat DJs, the connection between Filipinos and the two turntables.
So it is with profound gratitude and great humility that Zita and I dedicate a special GOLDEN Midnight Mix to the sounds of '80s Freestyle. Much respect always to the pioneers. 1neLuv.
Here's a couple freestyle flavors: