Peace to Kmel & Storyboard reppin Real street dance battle biz. Overstand and appreciate the funky evolution…
Aspire to Master Culture,
Recently watched the latest GI JOE flick with my son Paulskee and its always a great feeling to have him experience some of my child hood favorite things together. It was fresh to catch RZA (Wu Tang Clan) in the film as a blind master of Ninjutsu. Growing up in the early 80s if you werent into these 80s cartoons you def must have been in a different world. As with most youth I was heavy into Snake Eyes and Stormshadow for the martial arts appeal.
Something that GI JOE cartoons that always stuck with me growing up was the fact that there would be instances where they would kick cultural game that would eventually open my mind up to the world in terms of world history and geography. I would literally stare at maps like these (addicted) when I had any world history classes in school day dreaming of how wars etc. used to be:
This particular episode from the original GI JOE cartoon had inspired me early on to gain an interest in wanting to see the world and learn about historic leaders/conquerers -literally remember it like yesterday. @2:05 the scientist drops names like Napoleon, Ghengis Khan, Alexander the Great, Ivan the Terrible etc.
Little did i know that I would eventually go on to visit these places around the world through Hip Hop culture thanks to some of these early child hood inspirations. Blessed and Thankful I get to share some of my experiences growing up with my own son in hopes that he will also be inspired to travel the globe and live out some of his Dreams the same.
Aspire to Master Culture,
Was in Hawai’i last week and caught these mixes by DJs Funkmaster Flex & Legendary Red Alert from via the bro DJ UNE. A def sure shot that you gotta check out as the two go in HEAVY on classics from the 70s – late 80s era of what was poppin on the streets of New York City at the time. Extremely relevant for any student of the game as both Flex and Red drop their perspectives on the history of the tracks being played on a social as well as political level when the tracks were being played. EDUtainment to the fullest to say the least.
Flex had mentioned the fly part of the duo droppin history on the show was that Red Alerts’s perspective came from a DJ perspective on stage as to where Flex’s perspective was coming from a person in the crowd in the earlier days so it was fresh to see Flex pay respect to those before him and catching both perspectives. Hopefully you can pick up gems that apply and Rock the hell outta these mixes for your enjoyment, I know I did!
2011 1-4 via http://classicmixtapes.blogspot.com
2011 part 1: http://www.mediafire.com/?3fuqorpbff2vqar
2011 part 2: http://www.mediafire.com/?c8aqrq0nbyu8cw7
2011 part 3: http://www.mediafire.com/?ls7lwfrkef7vsf2
2011 part 4: http://www.mediafire.com/?yxvu5751457fddv
Love what you do!
Aspire to Master Culture,
Whilst getting things organised I came across this photo of myself and Aidan Leacy, Break DJ James Leacy’s brother. Connecting with him recently in London reminded me that this culture is so much deeper than the commercial direction much of the bboy scene is taking recently and while its good that breakin’ is growing, the culture is much deeper and knowledge can get lost in all the hype and bull. Many DJs & people only pay lip-service to Jim Leacy’s (RIP) legacy instead of really trying to build & elevate many things he (and his brother) have brought to the table. Check out http://www.leacybrothers.com/ and support!!!
Was going through some old files and ran across a great time in my life when I used to travel religiously to a club in the TL in San Francisco where on Tuesday nights from 10pm-2am you were able to witness some of the greatest DJ skills and all around Hip Hop cultural networking going on in the SF Bay Area at that time period.
When someone brings up the Beat Lounge, the first thing that comes to my mind is a smoked out basement and the rawest form of Hip Hop culture you could ever come into contact with. Peace to Profo 1 for introducing me to Derrick D., and Derrick for letting us get a chance to be involved with Beat Lounge even thoe we were young -not too many elders gave us those shots to be apart of something great growing up in Hip Hop.
The best memory about Beat Lounge was that if there was only 5 people or a packed room, you could always count on Derrick and Shortkut (as well as the rest of DJ lineup and guests who were given a chance to shine) to give their 110%. I learned from these two in particular to be mindful to do your job and rock you skills hard at all times whether its a slow or great night -your rep is everything. The random guest ghetto superstar DJ visits was crazy, seen so many of the peeps we looked up to from around the world get up and rep on the strength out of the love for music -and it was FREE. Realest shit I ever witnessed growing up, glad I was able to witness it with my friends for real (blessed).
In this clip was what went down on many of the countless nights where Derrick and Short would be on that Dynamic Duo tip, record for record just playing fire for the night. Teaching us about samples, diff musical genres, and most importantly what it means to acquire TRUE DJ SKILLS -not being sloppy. SO MUCH MORE went on in terms of Turntabling skills and other wild happenings at Beat Lounge throughout the years but I wanted to just post this aspect of what went on down stairs when Derrick and Shortkut would take us to school.
Shout out to everybody that held it down upstairs as well. I think just about everybody that came out of this era who attended Beat Lounge eventually blew up doing their own things to this day and can credit Beat Lounge as a defining moment in their career -MAGICAL energy that lives on today to those who lived it.
Here is in Derrick’s own words some info on the Beat Lounge history from a Mighty4 interview I did with him back in 2001:
Tell us about The Beat Lounge and its creation.
Beat Lounge started at Club Deco in SF and it originally spawned from dj Apollo’s original Tuesday nights called ‘Many Styles’ back in 95′-96′. In his night, the resident djs were, Q-bert, Shortkut, and himself. His guest djs included Mix Master Mike, Disc, Myke One, Flare, and little ole me. Not a lot of people came to check it out but for those who did show up, they witnessed some of the dopest dj shit ever. For those who missed out, Club Deco had two floors, a main dancefloor for party animals and an underground basement downstairs for djs to flex their skills. On any given night, not only can you see Q-bert scratch his ass off in the basement, but you can also see him go upstairs and rock a crowd. Seeing those guys just inspired me to reachfor newer heights. Then one day, it all ended. Apollo had to go on tour and Q-bert wanted to focus his attention on his newly formed group called the ‘Invisible Scratch Piklz.’ Apollo asked me to continue the legacy. Without knowing much about running a club, I took it. In order to run a successful club, I knew I needed dope djs and a promoter who understood djs. Short helped me out in assembling the djs and I got dj Tonga kid to promote the night. We also took on a new name, The Beat Lounge, as suggested by Justin Torres. I took the strong aspects from Apollo’s night and implemented some of my own, like the ‘open-turntable-format.’ The open turntable format basically gave the dj a chance to flex his/her skills. I gave everyone a chance, even Paulskee. Yea I said it, Paulskee, Mr. Mighty4 himself. I wanted to create a forum where djs could learn from one another in a fun, relaxed, dj-friendly environment. I knew every dj had skills in their own right and I wanted to give them a chance to express themselves. Eventually, their skills transformed the club from a sparse, 10-person crowd, to an all out, standing-room-only, event. Fools from all over the world came. It was one thing to hear a fool say h! e was from Utah but it tripped me out even more to hear a fool say he came from Russia, Japan, England and Denmark just to see us perform. Even djs from different cities came by to say hi. Most notably, the Beat Junkies, the X-Men, A-trak and of course the Piklz. And they all peformed for free! Where else can you see all these superstars for $5? I think the night was also successful because of the pure hip hop aspect it offered. Besides the superstar djs, there were also B.boys, MCs and graf artists. When these folks started to come in, they not only heard the usual hip hop sounds, but they also witnessed live scratching, juggling and break beats from different djs. I had so many djs down to spin for me, that I had to schedule them on different nights just to keep everyone happy. But that only meant a better variety of skills for the fans to watch and enjoy.
How have things changed for the Beat Lounge since its move from Club Deco to Storyville?
The changes were unbelieveable. First off, Deco was like a small, dirty garage and it was the perfect atmosphere for underground djs. Storyville, on the other hand, was a nice, rich jazz club that was perfect for a live band, not for djs. Second, most of the dope djs had either moved away or went on tour. Only party/commercial djs remained to do the show. Third, the crowd changed too. No longer did they come to see the scratching and beat juggling, they actually came to dance. As much as I tried to keep the tradition going, I couldn’t stop the club from being commercialized. Sadly, on July 4, 2000, I decided to pass on the torch to my promoter, Tonga Kid. I wanna say thanks to all the djs who help supported Beat Lounge throughout the past 4 years and I hope they got as much out of it as I did. Beat Lounge was founded on fundamental dj skills and all though it may not be present these days, it still lives on for the people who witnessed it.
for the full Derrick D. Mighty4 interview (FEATURES – Derrick D):
with Derrick D 2013. Look out for a future Master Culture/Derrick D. mix coming soon! =)
Aspire to Master Culture,
Peace to all the True mentors that give back with no hidden agendas or expectations & Peace to the students that play their position honorably & carry on tradition by passing on what they’ve learned when the time is right to the next deserving person. Keep the circle flowing in these Hip Hop / Street cultural art forms -the next generation seriously needs it.
Aspire to Master Culture,
“Dont hate practicing, Love practicing, you should be practicing anyway. Most of the people who I think who have made it and have been successful were people who would have been doing this anyway. So if you go into it with that frame of mind of “I just Love it” so much that im going to be doing it and if i get successful great, if I get paid great, if I get X Y & Z great, but if NOT, im STILL going to be doing this…If you want the success of being known and all the rewards that come with it, you have to not worry about it, because thats when it comes.” -DJ Z-TRIP
Becoming successful in this technology microwave age has become distorted to a point to where the love of being seen through social media (regardless if your skills you put out there are really half ass) have taken away from the love of just doing the art just because -losing sense of time getting lost in the art form and having no worries of seeking to be validated online, thirsty for props.
There’s a phrase I learned a long time ago, from a Boston BBoy Legend named Leanski of the Floor Lords Crew -he said, “WE LIVE THIS, (HIPHOP culture and its art forms) this is what we do, whether were getting paid or not from it, this is what we LIVE.” Later on down the road I caught up with also Legendary BBoy Kmel who also was a student to Leanski’s art & philosophy (and many other great artists) and it was the same phrase that guided him to where he was at today in the game. Nothing more then just Living the art forms you are into just as you wake up and brush your teeth every morning (for the ones that do that lol). Its just as natural as that, whether your clockin dollars that day or just another day in the lab creating on your own.
Through the “We Live This” mind state i’ve found that artists (of all genres) with this mentality are not only some of the illest artists of all time, but most passionate, whether they were famous or underground, and that in my opinion commands a level of high respect and is the epitome of success to me. Everything else, fame, money, travel, etc, thats just icing on the cake that eventually comes in due time if youre Truly passionate about your art and organized personally to the best of your ability.
Aspire to Master Culture,