Elements CITR-FM (Radio station : Vancouver, B.C.) May 1, 1996

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kPROp.  Elements is back to cold blast, back to cold bbst nigguhz from the squad tower. This shit takes a whole lotta work. I'm really gtad
to see it printed. One year has passed since we started Elements and we still can't get this piece out on time. Don't really care
no more. I could care less about Chino XL. I told you to beware of the De La Virus... but you just didn't listen... Hake sure you
read that Dark Sun shit along with everything else. This magazine was printed on shit paper so don't forget to wash your hands.
Smoothe Da Hustler
J Swing
Mr. Flipout
Sadat X
De La Soul
J Swing & Flipout
Art Direction
Dark Sun Riders
All City Action Team
FreeStyle Crazee
Kemo the Labrat
Vinyl Konflict
■ D-Scratch
Mr. Bill
J. Stroud/D. Gallaway
Linda Scholten
Elements Hip Hop Journal. Elements is a bi-monthly magazine published by the Student Radio Society of UBC.
Content - Elements will focus on all elements of Hip Hop culture: MCs, DJ's, B boying and Graffiti - on a local, national, and
international level. The magazine features interviews, music reviews, and lifestyle issues pertaining to the Hip Hop community.
Editorial Poky - Elements jointly shares the CiTR programming policy (ask Linda Scholten or Mile Hoffman @ CiTR radio
(604) 822-3017 for details) and encourages submissions from all members of CiTR and the general public. Please ensure
consistency with the magazine's underground theme for better publishing consideration f cause we don't print no dibby bullsW).
Submissions - Please forward all submissions (illustrations, flicks, essays, reviews, opinions, etc) to: Elements, c/o CiTR, #233-
6138 SUB Blvd.Vancouver, B.C., CANADA V6T IZI or fax us at: (604) 822 9364.
Due to the fact that too many people got too much to say and I
don't got nothin' that's really stressing me too hard, the elementary column will now be reserved for the transcribing of the illest
rhymes. This may include recent rhymes as well as old, overlooked rhymes. Feel free to write in if you got anything to say
about my choices or if you have any suggestions. This issue, I'm
featuring lyrics from Mobb Deep's Prodigy. I don't think he's
underrated at such, but I do think heads don't realize how deep
this motherfucker's gettin' nowadays. In my opinion, he's one the
best lyricists of all time to join the likes of Rakim, Genius, Pharaoh Monch and those type of nigguhz. Peep it
Yo it's the P realistically speakin' you're left leakin'.
Reality bites back, I strike back, we're even
Ya still breathin', make sure his heart stop beatin'
Ya bleedin' on top the concrete found indecent
Blank out when I see you send shots at your cerebral
Go at your throat like a pitbull, stomp and feed you to the vultures
Like Greek sculptures, you're left limbless
From start to finish, you're whole squad get hittin' hard
I run with a foul type niggs that's war scarred resembling Vietnam
Infantry's the bomb
Your head nigguh, head quarters we take over
My snake nigguh crew strike like that of a cobra
Constrict like boas, wrapped tight your shoulders
You're closed in, trapped within the clutches of mad men.
- "Recognize & Realize" Part II
Big Noyd featuring Mobb Deep
Combine the elements: Mobb Deep/RSO crime shit
Nigguhz is left blindfolded, reminded how real shit can get
Live in [Tymet?] You would say New York City if you wanna be
A soldiers story from Queens if you look closer on the map
Reptilians taught me how to bust my gat
Mentally fucked the god then left me to take my earth back
Time for revolutionary acts
Yo Hav, you [shuff?] the track, I'll find the facts
Now we got llluminati all on our backs
Check and see if we do crimes and pay tax
The war is on no time to 'lax
Build an arsenal, got word back from apostle
Unoriginal man got plans colossal underlain'
Nigguh get your shit straight
Fuck a pearly white gate all that bullshit is fake
The only gates I see is if they send the god upstate
Never that, I here to show the world where my head's at
Forever fed. To the Aryans on their death bed: a rebel
I wear the universal flag symbol
The positive and negative war will soon kindle
Buckin' at the government like Terminator 2.
Almighty RSO featuring Mobb Deep This months column was inspired by the Rascalz joint"Clockwork".
Time and the clock. How do I slow it down? I can't stop it I'm
getting closer to death, but I want to drink of Time's colors - the
prism of my existence.
(Kemo's intro) I dread time's passage and my squandering of the
gifts and secrets of the universe. Time pays me no mind in it's
endless cycle and expansion leaving me to my own peril. Conscious or unconscious, it goes on.
*l wake up*
(Checkmate) 3pm. Another day. Gotta get paid. I love this game.
I live this game. I gotta get what's mine. How do I exist and grow
in the grip of the beast called Capitalism. I can't front Straight up,
this is the real kid. No sellout. No doubt Time to get my shit on.
(Red I) 6pm. Into the day. At my disposal I have power. Power
comes from energy. Energy came from the unseen. The unseen
houses my soul. When this bullshit is over the unseen and my soul
will become everything. In the meantime my soul will become everything and harness energy from the unseen into thought and movement But in order to get my shit tight it's bootcamp kid. Straight
up discipline harnesses my thought and movement to the birth of
(Flipout) 9pm. Revelation manifests the unseen into the physical.
The clock and my sruggle with time are one of revelations forms.
Analog, digital, circuitry, gears, electron movement - shadowy interpretations of all ruling time.
(Misfit) 12am. Beyond time. I can play gatekeeper opening and
closing the darknessjcause I can run shit like a motherfucker through
the power of thought The challenge is keeping the darkness, the
demons at arm's length. Time reminds me of the hour. They are
strong and I am weak. I have not fully defined myself in the physical
yet I don't yet have enough discipline, my revelations are not yet
fully focused. The darkness is still at the game. Tomorrow begins a
new cycle and I'll take all comers.
(Kemo's outro) Harmony or balance unravels the physical. The 5
senses unravel time to a nothingness - textures, light, darkness,
shadows within shades, shades within shadows. Unspoken, all play
across my senses - sunsets, twilights, gaseous horizons and va-
pourous atmospheres.
Natural law's rhythmns have a built in balance. I attempt to find it
within Time's structure and rules. I get a shot at "it" everyday.
Peace to Checkmate for the real. Peace to Red I for the game
plan. Peace to Flipout for the science. Peace to Misfit for the
journey. Peace to Kemo for the unspoken. Much love to that
nameless shorty who inspired all this to begin with. You all are a
part of the "Clockwork" that is the structure of life.
Pos of De La Soul axes, "Whatever happened to the MC?!
4     elements Sadat X andTheWild Cowboys at the "Hang Em High" video shoot
Mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad respects to Rap Pages for
their all DJ issue and for putting Premier on the cover. The issue is dope all the
way through no doubt (and a crazy ass belated shout to Rap Pages for featuring
Elements- this shit you're reading right now- in their underground 'zine section)
Word the fuck up... Nasty Nas Escobar is in the studio finishing his upcoming
album ItWasWritten. Guests include his Firm Team (AZ, Cormega and Foxxy
Brown) and a duet with Rakim produced by Dr. Dre. What?! No shit?!
Word!?... The Dynamic Duo aka Method Man and Redman are gonna release an album together which is should be out later this year... Slick Rick is also
finishing up work on his upcoming album... Ice Cube, Mack 10, and W.C. will
be releasing an album together under the name Westslde Connection... Common Sense didn't appreciate the comments Ice Cube made about his song "I
Used to Love Her" so he took the subtle approach and recorded a song called,
"The Bitch In You" dedicated to Oshea Jackson... RZA has just signed a major
label deal for his Razor Sharp Records with Epic. The first release will be
Ghostface's solo debut Iron Man. Others signed to his label include Capadonna,
Inspectah Deck and vocalist Blue Raspberry... Eastwest is releasing the America
Is Dying Slowly compilation featuring tracks about fuckin' and dyin' by De La
Soul, Sadat X with Fat Joe, 7 and Diamond D, Mobb Deep, Biz Markie
with Chubb Rock & Prince Paul, Pete Rock & the Lost Boys, Organized
Konfusion, Buckwild & O.C., Goodie Mobb, Wu-Tang Clan (Rza, Rae &
Ghost) and more... At the Rock Steady 19th Anniversary there's going to be a
battle between the X-Men and the Invisible Skratch Pickelz If you've never
seen these two crews do their thing there's a couple of videos to check out; Fat
Beats presents X-Men - In X-Ercize #/ which features the current World D.M.C.
Champion Roc Raider, Rob Swift and Mista Sinister, and Turntable Wizardry
Stage I featuring Q-Bert, Shortkut, Rhettmatic, Babu and Melo-D (which
is more of an instructional tape)... Master Ace has left Delicious Vinyl and is now
on Big Beat. His crew the I.N.C. have all recently released some underground
joints. MastaAce has a record out called "Top 10 List" b/w "Turn It Up" featuring
LeShea (which was originally released on Delicious Vinyl, but will be re-released
on Big Beat), Lord Digga changed his name to Man Digga and has "Man Digga Coming Through" on the flip side of the new Artifacts record "Art of Facts" (also on
Big Beat), and Paula Perry has out "Paula's Jam" on I.N.C. Ent... The Mash Out Posse aka M.O.R are also on the move, leaving Select for Relativity... A Tribe Called
Quest has released a promo only record called "Classics" as an appetizer for their upcoming single "I nee Again". Their album, Beats, Rhymes & Life is scheduled for a
mid summer release... House Of Pain has added two new members, Divine Styler and Cocni-O-Dire. The flip side to their new single, "Pass The Jin", features Sadat
X who drops one of his dopest guest appearances, no joke. Shit is called "Heart Full Of Sorrow"... Rhyme Wrecka from the Nexx Level click has signed to the
independent label Loose Cannon... Son Doobie of Funkdoobiest is in two porno's, not as an extra or a bullshit part but as the star... Too Short is saying he's gonna
retire after his latest album, Gettin' It (Album Number 10), and become a preacher. Word?... In the latest Vibe mag, Bobbito gets Premier to reveal his old b-boy name:
WaxMaster C on the floor and on the wheels... Fugees, Beastie Boys, De La and Tribe will be in San Fran June 15 to help raise money and awareness for the Dalai
Lama's nonviolent effort to free Tibet from Chinese rule. Word?... And as if you didn't know by now, BootCamp Clique's Smif N Wessun was forced to change their
name by some gun company.  Go figure.  So in the future keep a look out for Coco Brovas.  Word...   Summer albums to check for include Heltah Skeltah's
Nocturnal, Sadat X'sW/'/d Cowboys, Shyheim's The Lost Generot/on.The Lost Boys'
Legal Drug Money, Outkast's Atliens, Real Live's The Turnaround, De La Soul's
Stakes Is High, Whodini's Six, and Above The Law's TimeWill Reveal... New 12
inch's to keep an eye out for are Artifacts' "Art Of Facts" on Big Beat, Heltah
Skeltah's "Operation Lockdown" b/w "Da Wiggy" on Duckdown/Priority, Trigger Da Gambler's "Hitman For Hire" on No Doubt/Def Jam.AboveThe Law's
"100 Spokes" on Tommy Boy, Blahzay Blahzay's "Pain I Feel" on Mercury, De La
Soul's "Stakes Is High" b/w "The Bizness" featuring Common Sense on Tommy
Boy, Sadat X's "Hang Em High" b/w "Stages And Lights" on Loud, Bahamadia's
"I Confess" b/w "Three The Hard Way" on EMI, I n I's "Fakin' Jax" b/w "Props",
Camp Lo's "Kill Em Softly" on Profile, House Of Pain's "Pass The Gin" b/w
"Heart Full Of Sorrow" on Tommy Boy,Xzibit's "Paparazzi" on Loud, The Roots'
"Sections" b/w "Clones" on Geffen, Dark Sun Riders' latest is "Time to Build"
b/w "Vibes of the Pro Black" on Island (which is not available on the LP Seeds of
Evolution )... Independent singles out are PMD and the Hit Squad with "Rug-
ged-n-Raw" on Boondocks, Whoridas' (Saafir's boys) "Shot Callin' and Big Ballin"
on South Paw, Hi-Tech's "Book Of Life" on Mass Vinyl, Al Tariq aka Fasion
(BeatNuts) has a record out with his new crew God Connection called "Do Yo
Thang" b/w "Spectacular" on Correct, the Jigmastas' "Beyond Real" on Beyond
Real, East Flatbush Project's "Tried By 12" on 10/30 Uproar, Constant Deviants' "Compitition Catch Speed Knots" on Vestex, Mr.Voodoo's "Lyrical Tactics" b/w "Shine" which features his crew Natural Elements on Fortress, Ak
Skills' "CheckThe Flava" b/w "Nights Of Fear" on Criminal, and Pop the Brown
Hornet with "Black On Black Crime" on Smoke. WORD.
The INC.- Masta Ace, Man Digga, LeShea & Paula Perry
may/june     5 VINYL KONFLICT
interview by J Swing
Why don't you give a little history on
I started cuttin' in 1989-90. Hearin' people
cuttin* on records listening to college radio
shows kinda got me hyped up and I wanted to
learn how to do it. Ever since then I've been
working hard like any other basement DJ, trying to get the equipment 'cause it costs mad
dollars to get into that stuff, and just working
on the skills in the basement That's where all
the talent and all the ability comes from ya
know, it's from hard work. Just being on the
tables as much as you can.
Who's all in your crew?
We're calledTurnstylez. It's myself, DJ Grouch
and LiT Jaz who is my cousin. We're like the
main members and then you got Son of Soul
who's down and some other people who we
haven't hooked up properly. But us three and
Son of Soul are basically the ones that make up
the crew.
What's Turnstylez main focus?
To bring back the DJ element of Hip Hop,'cause
that's taken a back seat to all the MCs. The
dancers and graffiti writers would have to say
that they are takin' a back seat to the MCs
too. It's not about the MCs or the rapper it's
about all four elements and we're just trying to
keep our element of Hip Hop alive. We want
it to be appreciated just like a Method Man, or
a Biggie Smalls, or a Saukrates. We want everyone to appreciate us just a much as the MCs
'cause the art has grown since spinning behind
your back and stuff. It's gotten very funky.
How do you approach DJ'n, as far as
learning new things and how much of an
influence are crews like the X-Men or
Skratch Pickelz?
Well, you can't help but pattern yourself after
them because they are the ones leading the
way. They're the ones going first and the farthest and leading the path. They are the innovators and you can't help go where they've gone,
but in a sense what I try and do and what
Turnstylez try and do is not go out and take a
Roc Raider trick or take Q-Bert trick ya know.
It's like you see it you learn from it then you
make it a D-Scratch style. You make it a Grouch
style. You make it a LiT Jazz style. Were all
different people and we're not going to do everything exactly like what we see.
1996 D.M.C. Canadian Champion D-Scratch at the Canadian finals
Speak on the DJ scene in Toronto for a
There are a lot of DJ's who have mad skills. In
terms of this type of DJ, the battle and showcase DJ's, there are a lot of people who have
the ability to move forward but they don't have
the knowledge. Maybe they haven't seen all
the videos to learn different styles and stuff to
move forward. "ItTakes Two" by Rob Base and
DJ E-Z Rock's"! wanna rock right now" was all
they were exposed to so that's all they can raise
their level too ya know. But there are a lot of
cats out there who have skills and they just
have to be knowledgeable about the art. They
have to know where the scratch came from
and they have to know who's doin' this now
and who was the world champion before Roc
Raider. Not a lot of people out here know
who DJ Q-Bert is and that man's the bomb. If
people out here saw Q-Bert behind two turntables they would say "Who is that?" That's
pretty sad. People can name all kinds of MCs
off the top of their head, but they don't know
everything there is about DJ'n. Sometimes
people get confused about body tricks and stuff
like that, which I'm all down with that 'cause
body tricks are great, I have them in my act
too, but it's sound not sight.
So there aren't really any other crews in
Toronto that can test?
I wouldn't think so. I wouldn't think so. Not
that I know of.
You mentioned the video thing, did you
rely heavily on that when you started?
In the beginning yeah, when I started the videos were very important because I didn't really have nobody to look at and I didn't know
what to do. What was the new thing? I didn't
want to go into a competition and start doin'
body tricks when that's not really what's goin'
off. At the beginning, but once you get a certain base your basically on your own to learn
everything else. Nobody can show you how
to do the flare, it just gotta happen.
How would you define your style.
I like the word funky. That's how I would like
to come off. With my beat juggling and the
way I make beats and the way I cut I think it's
kinda funky. To me if you can move your head
to it, and even if he's doin' a trick and it makes
someone say "Yeah, that was a funky trick",
that's how I want to come off.
How often do you compete and how
many battles have you been in?
6     elements I've been in many. Whenever there was one around
the way I would make sure I was entered into it.
You don't get many chances to get up on stage ya
know. All those times when you were up in your
basement and all those hundreds of hours you spent
on your turntables, you don't get much chance to
showcase your skills other than to your crew and
your boys. So I tried my best to make sure I was in
How did you do in them?
My very first one I came third. Then after that
there was a string when I didn't lose. Then a couple of summers ago was when I didn't really do
that well in the Zulu Nation battle and that kinda
set me back to the point where I wanted to prove
myself. Then the DMC's came about and I took
second in the Toronto eliminations, and then God
blessed me and I was there to win the Canadian
nationals in March.
How do you feel going into the D.M.C.World
I'm not going to fool myself and say that I can beat
Roc Raider even though a lot of people have been
saying I have a chance to but... that's going to be
tough. I'd like to qualify to make it into the main
group. That's my goal. My first goal is to qualify in
the top 8 so I can go onto the world group, and if
I'm there I have a chance to make some noise. If I
finish top 3 I could see that happening too.
For any more info on D-Scratch call (416) 638-7979.
"The Shit"
"Mind Frame"
"Blowin* Up Worldwide" Vol. I & 2
"Spring Time Stick - Up '96"
S&S/Craig G
"Niggas Don't Give A Fuck"
Mister Cee
"Getta Grip Muthaphuckas"
Tony Touch
"Hip Hop #50"
EQ w/ Rob One & Q-Bert
"The Master Mixes"
"Underground Flowz"
"Rap #14"
To get a hold of these tapes check your local Hip Hop
spots or call Underground Mix Tapes at (206) 609-3347
1996 D.M.C. Canada Finals
by DAY
It's 1:35 in the pm on a Sunday afternoon in Toronto. I'm standing outsideTHE
OZ, located in Toronto's downtown core, waiting to get inside where the
D.M.C. Canada Finals started about a half hour ago. Luckily another organized
Hip Hop function ran behind schedule (approx.an hour and a half) and I didn't
miss a damn thing. Thank God cause Canada hasn't been included in the D.M.C.
Competition since 1989 (#@!). John Bronski, from "Flava Street" (530 AM
radio in Toronto), was the host of this year's D.M.C. Canada Finals and the
turnout was phenomenal. The first contestant to impress me was this kid LiP
Jaz. Fast as a mutha.no doubt. Beat juggling back and forth and gettin1 down
on it, this kid definitely got the crowd hype. The next cutmaster to bless the
name Technics was DJ Grouch. From tricks to disses to makin' beats, Grouch
rocked the house. And you can't forget his cuts, his shit'll blow you out the
box (check the Saukrates "FatherTime" remix for a taste of his skills). There
were six contestants in all at this years competition which also included DJ's
Tedious, Kid Koala, and Groove, all from Montreal. But as dope as these five
DJ's were, they weren't enough to take first place. So going to Italy in June to
represent Canada in the DM.C.World Championship is Toronto's D-Scratch.
Closing his eyes and playing his turntables, D-Scratch blew the crowd away
giving his show soul. There was no question who the crowd favorite was this
year. Along with clean cuts and ego trippin' (for good reason), D-Scratch had
it locked down from top to bottom. Later on, after talking to D-Scratch, I
found out that he, LiP Jaz and Grouch are all part of the same crew called
Turnstylez, "We're tryin* to keep the elements of Hip Hop alive, some people
have forgotten about cuttin' and scratchin'". If you watch these guys in their
element, you definitely won't forget it, these guys just took over the whole
show (LiP Jazz placed second and Grouch placed third). After the competition
was done, last years DM.C.World Champion, Roc Raider from the X-men,
made a guest appearance representing lovely on the I200's with fellow crew
member Total Eclipse. Butta's. But as far as Canada goes... tight with the Bag
a' Tricks crew (as they say, birds of a feather flock together),Turnstylez definitely seem to be Canada's finest in their field. If you disagree, you have a
whole year to practice.
(l-r) Total Eclipse, D-Scratch and Roc Raider after the D.M.C.Canada Finals
may/june In '95, after spending most of his
youth in the streets of
Brownsville, New York, Smoothe
Da Hustler decided it was time
to turn his focus away from the
street life and apply what he knew
to the music industry. So, like
many artists before him, he
skipped the "Please Listen To My
Demo" routine and took matters
into his own hands. The first step
was releasing "Hustlin"' on his
crews independent label, Nexx
Level. This resulted in major label interest and eventually a
record with Profile Records. The
next move was putting the now
classic joint "Broken Language",
which featured his brother Trigger Da Gambler, on the flip side
of the "Hustlin"' single that Profile re-released on a national level.
Not only did that track blow the
spot and have heads from coast
to coast trippin' for a second off
the new "weed style" that they introduced , but it put him and his
boys on the map officially. Now,
after making all kinds of guest appearances on other artists tracks,
Smoothe has finally released his
own album, Once Upon A Time In
America, and is out to prove that
he's not just another hustler
turned MC.
- interview by J Swing -
What was life like before you started taking making records seriously?
The average fuckin'... the drug dealin*. the con
game, the credit card joints. All that shit, everything man. I was trying to do everything.
Anything I could get my hands on at the time,
or anything I can get into at that time we was
doin' it.
What made you decide to concentrate
on rhymin'?
Well, it took a while for me to really devote all
my time to music. When I started recording
with D.R. Period I was still goin' back out there.
Rappin' was secondary and money was neces-
sary,"Until I got incarcerated!" That shit is real,
yaknowhat'imsayin?   And that's exactly what
8     elements happened man. Then like when I came home,
we started recording but I was always out there
and shit. Then I started getting shows, and the
shows kept me off the street for a minute. Then
when we signed with Profile, and threw "Broken Language" on the b-side and it took off like
that, I didn't really have no time to stay in the
streets. So it was kinda gradually.
How did the "Broken Language" style
We used to freestyle like that back in the days
and shit when we were high or whatever. It's
just like a real short way of a sentence. Instead
of going all around the world to make one statement you just make the statement direct. The
whole"Broken Language" thing we wasn't even
concentrating on using that as no record or
none of that shit That was just how we was
gettin' busy, but when we got the track from
D.R. and shit and we started vibin' to it we was
like "fuck it let's do that" Do it real hard, make
it street and take it back to the Hip Hop essence with no hook and none of that shit. But
the "Broken Language" style, we been doin' that
So initially you did the independent thing,
releasing your own record.
Yeah, it was a double flavor joint. This group
the Punishers, now there's only one of them,
RhymeWrecker, but Punishers was on one side
and I was on one side with "Hustlin"'. It was
called "Double Flava" and it had this... it looked
like a pack of gum and was put out on Nexx
Level and shit. That was like the independent
vibe. Also before I had been incarcerated I had
done two joints with D.R. Period. He was like
"Yo, when you come home it's going to be on."
Then when I came home it was like open arms.
We started layin' tracks and it was over.
Why don't you break down Nexx Level
and your whole shit.
Alright, boom! It's like this. Nexx Level is the
company. Then we got Hill Players and that's
my shit That's like our whole clique, that's the
name of our organization, Hill Players. In Hill
Players is me, Trigger the Gambler, D.V. Alias
Christ, Mad Pain, Retsam, and RhymeWrecker.
We gonna make a ruckus, we're doin' a Ruckus
album. That's our thing and we been doin that
for the longest. From before D.R. was even in
the picture we was callin' ourselves Ruckus so
that's gonna be in the makin' after everybody's
album dropped. S.M.G., that's our get money
mode cause it stands for Sex, Money and Guns.
That was the code of the law when we was out
on the streets, so we still keep that. Then we
got mad little camps and shit cause everyone
got there own little things jumpin' off as far as
bringin' people on.
What and who influenced you growing
My pops and his homeboys. 'Nuff nigguhz who
drive they big Cadillac's and all that shit That
shit looked prop back in the days. Like boom,
I'm bringin' it from the mentality part to the
actual doin'. All that shit looked good. Nigguhz that was hustlin', that was gettin' the fast
money with all the jewellery on, that was the
influence. I started bein' out on the street due
to the fact that Ma Dukes was on welfare and
shit, and she was hittin' me and Trigger off
keepin* us dip, but she was spendin' all her
money on our shit We was like fuck that. We
had props, we wasn't no punks so we started
applyin' that shit to the streets. Plus we had
nigguhz that we grew up with that wasn't pussy
that was just like "let's make it happen."
What MCs influenced you growing up?
Everybody. I'm a fuckin' fan. Just'cause I rap
and all that... I'm a fan. From Melle Mel and
them, the Furious Five and Grandmaster Flash
all the way through Rakim, Big Daddy Kane,
KRS One, Public Enemy on up to the Wu,The
Firm, Busta, Biggie, Junior M.A.F.I.A., I listen to
all that shit. Das EFX,Jay-Z, I listen to all that
shit. Just to be around that and in that environment,'cause I was performing with them
when I was running on an independent label. I
was blowin' up shows and shit. All that shit
was mad love and I fed off that shit. Nigguhz
gave me props yaknowhati'msayin', you gotta
give a nigguh his props if he's dope
and nigguhz was giving me my props so I was
like "Yo, I know where it's at."
Speak on thealbum for a minute.
Once Upon A Time In America. It's a 14 cut album. It's pretty much an everyday livin'. Like I
hit topics like how would it be without the
dollar bill, how would it be in this world if there
wasn't no money and everything was credit I
got this joint called "Murderfest" that's on some
straight up gettin' down shit. The overall album is pretty much about like how everybody
depicts hustlin' as negative and it ain't. Everything you do is a hustle.
I noticed half the album is on some"Bro-
ken Language","Murderfest" street shit
and then the rest is on some radio, almost borderline R&B type shit.
You know what? You can't be on just one thing
'cause you limit yourself. I don't have no limit
to my skills so I'm like fuck that, my shit is universal man. I'm trying to touch motherfuckers
in Ethiopia somewhere. I got the skills and all
that shit is real to me, through the skits and all
that. You don't hear no guns bustin' or none of
that shit. That's Ma Dukes and my sister and all
that. That's real shit Everybody yelling keep it
Trigger Da Gambler
Occupation: MC
Label: No Doubt/Def Jam
Single: Hitman For Hire
Prod: D.R. Period
Crew: Hill Players/Nexx Level
Where did you get your name from?
I'm sayin' all my life.straight up life was nothin'
but a 50/50 gamble. Triggers a reaction, I use
Trigger for my life. My reaction is always quick
'cause I'm always on point
yaknowhati'msayin'. So gamblin' is just my
other life style yaknowhati'msayin'. What I
like to do on the street gamble to get doe.
Hustle, whatever. That's how Trigger the
Gambler came about.
How did you get with Def Jam?
I got the deal off of "Broken Language". I'm
on No Doubt/Def Jam. It's Dante Ross' shit.
He also manages Sadat X, DV Alias Christ.
What type of vibe are you on?
I'm on some old mafia, back in the day shit.
The black gangstas. I'm basically on that more
than anything.
What's the first single?
"Hitman For Hire", but I got a song on the
Nutty Professor soundtrack called"My Crew
Can't Go For That." That's like one of the
singles that's coming out for the soundtrack
But "Hitman For Hire" is going to be the original single. We pressin' it up now so it should
be out in May sometime. The album will probably be out in the summer, July or August.
I'm probably gonna have Keith Murray on it,
'cause he's the only one I be workin' with.
Keith Murray, Raekwon, Ghostface, those are
the main heads that will be up on the album.
What about other people's shit?
I did stuff with ONYX, the "Purse Snatchers"
remix, Blahzay Blah's "Danger" remix,
Shyheim "What Makes The World Go
Round", SWV" Your The One For Me" remix,
Heltah Skeltah and Eric Serman off one of
his compilation albums. Doin' other songs
with other people is just keepin' me out there
until my thing comes. Then when my thing
comes I already got a buzz and people will
already know all around. Catch everybody
else fans and just push it from there.
How do you want to be remembered
when It's all said and done?
I want to be remembered as a straight up
brother, real to the game, that's just out here
to do my thing and give the message to a lot
of these people out here that's not waking
up and realizing. These streets are nothin'
but homicide thoughts, straight up. That's
my message. I'm just tryin' to get out to the
world so they'll wake up and realize what's
goin' on right now.
may/june     9 real, keep it real, but that's as real as you can
get. Shit stems from the household and that's
what I'm taking it back too.
What's your definition of a hustler?
A hustler is a nigguh, well I don't want to use
the word nigguh, a hustler is anybody who busts
their ass to make things happen. Anybody that
can turn a dollar into 10 dollars, and 10 dollars
into 100, and 100 into 1000 and so on and so
forth is a hustler. You gotta make your money
work for you. You hustle and bust your ass to
make money, but you don't want that to be
your continuous everyday thing. Doin' the same
thing over and over and it don't work, that's
not a hustler. A hustler makes shit happen. A
hustler let's his money make him money. He
don't work for his money, his money works
for him or her. Dedicated.
Smoothe Da Hustler
Once Upon A Time In
D.R. Period
Hill Players/Nexx Level
Brownsville. NY
D.R. Period
Occupation: Producer
Crew: Nexx Level
Home: Brownsville, NY
When did you start makin' beats?
I've been producin' since I was 12, but on the real,
I didn't start makin records until I was 14.
What got you into producing when you
were 12?
Well, my brothers and them had a band. One of
those bands that be in the basement practising
for their weekend gigs. They had a group called
Common Sense with BT Express and all of them.
They used to be performing in my crib when I
was younger.
What was your first record?
The first record that people recognized was Freedom Williams. That was my first record,"Groove
Your Mind". It got big reviews on Billboard, cross
over radio and all that. Then came Positive K's
"Ain't No Crime", his second single. After that it
was "How About Some Hardcore" and M.O.Ps
album. Then after that it was Flatliners, "Mo
Money, Mo Murder" by AZ, Shyheim, "Broken
Language", I mean kid, the list goes on. Right now
I'm just working on a lot of Nexx Level stuff/cause
everybody in the clique got these deals now.
How do you go about makin' records?
You know when you do stuff so long it's just a
natural situation? That's how it is. My format is
basically depending on my artists. What ever my
artists are good at that's what I try and focus the
music to. The artist got to have these three things
that I look for and that's attitude, charisma and
character. Those are the three main things that I
look for in an artist. I can build the rest out of
that. The rest is like minor. Those are the major
three things I bok for.
Who was your biggest influence on a musical level?
My boy is like Quincy Jones. He's like the man to
me, on a music level 'cause Hip Hop is not all I da
I play keys, I play instruments so I do R&B too I
got a R&B group that I'm comin' out with in a
second called Destination. I write, play and also
arrange music too. The way he did music, and the
way he formatted music and the longevity he has
in the music industry... the visions he had, that's
what I'm seein' now that I want to do. Do my Hip
Hop thing, do my R&B thing and then do what
ever else that's in store for me next.
And what's that?
In the future Nexx Level Entertainment is mergin'
into a record company. We got a merchandising
company, a promotional company. We got different divisions in Nexx Level,so that's the next thing.
Friday June 14 GMAN & Rizk present
From the Rock Steady Crew
on 4 Turntables
Universal Party DJ's
From Los Angeles
(Freestyle Fellowship)
(Top 2 Bottom)
niWTEu ?»EnnE5     r
(Immortal Records)
Special guest performance by
Local DJ's
wedn.sd.ys At the Starfish Room -1055 Homer
(Th'.'Ridu'unge)        Tickets only $12 advance - Available at:
Bassix 217 - W Hastings & FWUH - 542 Beatty
Limited capacity - Buy tix early!
Wednesday June 26 at El Famoso - 818 Richards
50th Night Celebration
PHONE/FAX 604-739-7796 SAI>AT X
"The Wild Cowboy gotta a lot a style boy..."
In 1986 a sixteen year old kid named Derek Murphy aka Derek X was rhymin' around his block in the
sections of New Rochelle aka the Now Rule, New York Bronx area. He was dreamin' of rockin' shows
and doin' nothing but kick rhymes all day for a living ever since he first caught glimpses of Bambaata,
at the infamous Bronx River parties and Harlem World functions. On top of those early hip hop
experiences, Derek was also influenced to rhyme from watching another local New Rochelle
MC already had made a name for himself, the Grand Puba Maxwell Dixon, who was making noise with Dr. Who and Don Barron with their group Masters of Ceremony. When
that group went their separate ways after one album,Puba left and began working on his
solo project. Around the same time, Derek X and another New Rochelle MC by the
name of Lord Jammar were doin' the same. Around '86/'87 all three were working on
separate solo projects so Puba took the initiative and suggested the three of them
"come together and make a jam" and that's what they did. After that first song, which
was never released, they flipped another track together and just kept going from there.
So when Puba got his own record deal he put down his two counterparts and they
formed the Brand Nubians and produced one of the most innovative albums ever,A//For
One. That 1989 debut album opened doors for many artists to follow as all three MCs
lyrically were on some for real next shit along with beats that equally fucked with the
lyrics, perhaps closing the now extinct "righteous era" of Hip Hop. The first single off All
For One was the title track backed with Derek X's first solo joint calle4»"Concerto In X
Minor." As well as those two tracks there was a remix of "Concerto" in which Derek X
officially told the world to "never call me Derek cause it's not a righteous name" and
thereon to be referred to as Sadat X Allah. He's still known as Derek around the Bronx
and continues to follow the 5% but is quick to state that he also follows life. "Sometimes
the teachings in the 5% don't coincide with what I'm doin'. I see a lot of the gods sayin'
one thing and doin' another thing. That's not to say anything against the 5% because I
love the 5%. I'm still involved with the 5% but it's just that I see a lot of the gods do
different things."
OtOHt 4tytc
wild cowboys!;
n «fMp»
; Ismn mwsi #tti§tAi:ftiJ g
A_*i mimmmmmmm.;. #*#» #1 §
With as much acclaimed Brand Nubian received at the time, Puba left the group very
shortly after their last release,"Slow Down" to pursue a solo career of his own. Something he always wanted to do. Puba went on to record two solo records, Reel to Reel
and most recently 2000, both on Elektra, while Lord Jammar and Sadat released two
albums as Brand Nubian,In CodWe Trust and the disappointing Everything Is Everything,
also on Elektra. in God We Trust quickly diminished any thoughts that Sadat and Jammar
couldn't hold their own without Puba. It built from the followings of the 5% and basically continued on from where the first Brand Nubian album left off. Both X and Jammar
cooked beats and rhymes that are classic to this day such as the Diamond produced
"Punks Jump Up","PassThe Gat" and "Steal Ya Ho." After In God dropped, they, set off
to tour all over the US with some dates in Toronto and overseas then returned to the
Now Rule to work on the third Nubian release, Everything Is Everything, in which Jammar
handled most of the production. For loyal Brand Nub fans, the album was a bit confusing because the production didn't really correspond with the lyrics, especially Sadat's
flow. One track on that album that undoubtedly shined was Sadat X's solo joint, "All
Adat" featuring the mighty infamous Busta (who was just chillin' in the studio at the
time) on the chorus and D.I.T.C. member Buckwild on the beat Needless to say, Lord
Jammar and Sadat went their separate ways after Everything dropped, Jammar went on
may/june     11 • wm
12     elements to work with his group Dead Presidents out in
Brooklyn and Sadat X paid a leaving fee to Elektra
and joined the all-star Loud roster.
In late 1995 "Loud Hangover" came out as the first
project Sadat got down with on on Loud, which had
him partnered with the vocal terrorizer, Akynele
(who apparently has been dropped from Loud).
"That was an idea the label had since I had just got
down with the label.Akynele just got down.Yvette
Michelle also. And Rex, he had that mix tape concept goin' around so he just asked us if we wanted
to get down and we was like,"cool." And we just
did it." FunkMaster Rex went on to remix the song
utilizing an old Brand Nubian beat,"StepToThe Rear"
and the joint burned up the clubs.
We now move to the present. 1996 is the year and
Sadat X is ready to dropped his debut solo album,
"Wild Cowboys." The album is guaranteed to dispel any notions that Sadat couldn't pull it off as a
soloist as his latest work proves to outdo any of his
counterparts solo attempts to date. Being a soloist
seems to be the best arena for Sadat as he declares,
"I get to control solely, what music I want to do. I
don't have to ask anybody, I can do whatever I what
to do." As far as lyrics go, ever since Sadat's introduction the Hip Hop soundscape as one third of
Brand Nub, he's been schooling the heads with super fresh styles and rhyme cadence that other MCs
wouldn't think to try. "When I rhyme," the bald
headed one reveals,"l think about what people would
expect me to say and try to do the exact opposite."
As far as lyrical content,"! basically just try to rhyme
by what I see and what I deal with everyday. I don't
try to make it nuttin' more that it is cause it ain't
nuttin' more that it is. Word up."
The Wild Cowboys is originally the name of the notorious drug gang that ran the streets of New York
around Columbus, Manhattan Avenue, Amsterdam
Avenue all the way to Broadway. They existed from
around 1989 to just under two years ago, most of
them now either met their maker or have been incarcerated in double digits. The new Wild Cowboys are a posse of MCs consisting of some unknown but soon to be well known, rhyme slingers
including Cool ChuckTech and Sadat's protege, Sean
Bliggety aka Sean Black who is all over the album
droppin' shit like the cattle all over the tracks. Sadat
also rolls with some other crews such as,"Despera-
dos", and his Bronx posse, "High Plains Drifters"
and another crewfrom"around the corner","HDM."
A relatively unknown crew from uptown known as
the Money Boss Players, stroll into town and accompany Sadat on one joint,"Game's Sober" for a
lyrical shootout, simply adding to the overall potency of the project. As far as production on the
album, the backdrops for Sadat and company's
rhymes are provided by some of New York's finest
tracksmiths, including himself and also D.I.T.C. members: Buckwild, Diamond D, ShowBiz and OG; his
childhood partner Alamo (who's family has known
each other datin' back to their grandmothers, he's
got baby pictures with Alamo); Minnesota; Father
Time and a last minute piece with Pete Rock as the
icing on the cake. Overall, the album depicts a wild
western mentality against the prairies of the South
Bronx, essentially entailing the necessity to acknowledge the excessive lawlessness and gunplay going
on throughout the uptown areas of the New York
City and beyond. While Sadat chose to use this
scenario for the basis of his album,some may recall
the Fugees track,"Cowboys" which one cannot escape the question of, "are they dissin'?" Sadat is
quick to point out.'They know who it's directed to
and who not to. I've know the Fugees for a long
time and I ain't got no beef with them and they're
not directin' it towards me in no way. I know that.
[People] are lookin' for beef but there ain't no beef.
Naw, I won't even let it escalate to no beef like that.
In fact I was supposed to a joint with Lauryn but
we couldn't ever hook up. Yaknow, we were supposed to knock something out together' The whole
situation could be easily summed up to any over
zealous beef seekers, don't believe the hype. When
asked what he does have beef with he responded,
"Basically it's the east coast/west coast. I mean, it's
perpetrated by a few. It's not the general consensus of the masses, it's just a few from both coasts
that perpetrate this negative thing and try to keep it
goin'. To me, it's totally bullshit but it's more of a
young mentality thing I think. And just hope people
grow outta that, yaknow."
Sadat X is definitely on the verge of dropping a classic Hip Hop album to add to the others he has already offered. This could be his last album or it
could be the start of a new beginning. Almost ten
years deep in this rap game Sadat has not only made
his mark but opened doors as well in the next few
years we all wait to see what's to unravel. Sadat
feels that Hip Hop will survive whatever it has to go
through and perhaps go back to the consciousness
that Brand Nubian helped shine when they first came
out. "I think rap is here to stay but everything comes
around again. There'll just be a next phase of rap...
something that'll come around again. It might be
back to a righteous phase again, yaknowhati'msayin',
cause that was one phase in '88,'89,'91. There was
Blackwatch and this and that and everybody was on
some cultural awareness. Then it shifted to the
gangsta mode, then the player mode. So I don't
know, maybe it'll shift back to the righteous mode."
Sadat X
Wild Cowboys
D.I.T.C, FatherTime,
PeteRock, Minnesota
Wild Cowboys
New Rochelle, NY
>l£AUr''-J_iiJ__.v _.j_U> j>] -f L
saio Ja^ijjyiJteJS^ii** *&&
may/june     13 by Flipout
Plug One, Plug Two, Plug One, Plujj Two.
Yd, y'all got three pages to do what y'all gotta do.
So speak as free as possible...
14     elements De La Soul Is in the house once again. With three
Innovative albums under their belts since their
debut in 1988, they're ready to release Stakes Is
High for 1996. The trio came to Vancouver in April
finally, after being a no show over a year ago that
left a bad taste in some Vancouver heads mouths.
I got the opportunity to chill with Dove, Pos, Mase
and their road manager Miguel In their hotel room
at the Grandvllle Chateau, Best Western. Here's
what's up with De La AND the Native Tongue situation and lots of other fun tid bits...
What       hap.
Dove: Yeah. We
ing between
selves,  the
and obviously the
T   h   e
we always done, we should do it our way. So it was a
good album.it was a cool out album. This album is more
or less on the same route, you know cool out, relaxation, enjoying album, not too much of, "what did he say?
I gotta write that down so I can decipher it" So it's a
little a bit more understanding,we brought the tone down
on the metaphoric sense.
You especially right?
Dove: Yeah yeah yeah. Right?
(Dave chuckles a bit then there's a little pause. Then Pos
and Mase crack up in laughter)
You guys seem to have such long intervals between your albums...
Posdnuos: We usually don't wait long though. It's just
that we're very fortunate enough to do a lot of touring.
O our-       So, a lot of times when the album come out we on tour-
7 0  ^/i not on'y 'n tne United States but we're very fortunate
-^ 5/^ "V* tnat a 'ot °^ different countries are really into De
^/|o»- *y /%^     g La Soul. We'll be in Japan.Australia,Ger-
O WeC        » ***/!/ 4. g manv-wnere nave y°u- So in-
FI34. *    C/r>   / ^ht*  - stead of doing two
pened last time?
got stuck at the border. Big
Mtm misunderstand-
'9//y^   *Ve ,7**e^
big shows
weren't set there for us
when we got there so we got stuck
waiting to see what was happening, tryin' to
make the show actually. But when we got there we kinda
found that people was on their way out so...
They got maced and all types of shit...
Dove: Yeah. I heard, I heard. So we're finally back today
to do it right this time.
Word. So what's the new album gonna be called?
Mase: (very well rehearsed) The new album is entitled,
Stakes-ls-High . It will be released June 18th in a store
near you. The first single is entitled "The Bizness" featuring Common Sense.
Mase: Mmm hmm.
Why is It called Stakes Is High!
Dove: I guess we've always had a whole storyline intertwined with what the albums stood for but I mean, this
time around we're just doin' some songs, just feelin' it.
The title is basically just sayin', time is runnin' out It's
time to take things a bit more seriously and do your thing.
And for us, Stakes Is High meant we need to get into
doing our album the way that we feel we should do it.
We recorded the album by ourselves this time Prince
Paul didn't do no production on this album. We got some
outside producers, we got a brother by the name of Spearhead X out of Atlanta; a brother named OG. whose down
with the Diggin' InThe Crates crew.J.D.who is managed
by Q tip, he's outta Detroit; and Skeff Anslem. We got
four outside producers and the rest of the album we did
ourselves. Like I said, it's a cool out album, just listen to
it and just chill kind of album, It got songs touching bases
on every angle;freestyling kinda thing; a song about girls;
got another song touching on the atmosphere in Hip Hop
music today; we got a song with Common Sense which is
called 'The Bizness", that's the first single that's comin'
out; we got the r&b group Zhane, they did a song with
us; we got two new brothers, one by the name of Most
Def and the other by the name of Ain't No Lie who's on
two separate tracks on the album with us.
The last album, Bahloone Mind State was a kind
of cool out album too though...
Dove: The last album was like a confident album, just
doin' our thing, just relaxin' and doin' songs, we felt like
i ■ etfn   ,    3"S
say,   Europe, *? f*  t
we'll really hit a lot of un- *»_J"Lr
derground areas and big shows. So 6
we try to give them just as much love as much
as we give the states love so that's why it usually seems
like it's taking us a long time for us to come out with our
album but it's really not We're just really bustin' our ass
around the world and then we'll come home and then
you know, do the album. So that's really the deal.
When you went to release the second album and
kill your whole D.A.I.S.Y. age Image, did Tommy
Boy trip and stuff?
Pos: Tommy Boy never tripped as far as like, "What are
you doing?!" They'd give their little subliminals, "Well
look, you know if you do this, it's not going to be as
visually appealing as..." And we were like,'Yeah well whatever." That's what really what happened from then on in.
So you really felt like you need to kill that shit
Pos: Well I mean, it had to be done. In a lot of respects,
the D.A.I.S.Y age, if you had taken it to mean DA Inner
Sound Y'all, that's what our music is now. It's still like
that cause everything we do comes from within ourselves
but the whole visual aspect of it all, with the whole daisy,
we just put that to a cease. Because, you know, I thing a
lot of people is understanding the plan: it shows you
that De La Soul has stayed around for a very long time
and I think that really couldn't have been too possible
with an image like that. Any image really. So that's why
we took the chance in doing it and I think it's paid off.
But If people had listened they would have heard
you say all of that in "Me, Myself and I."
Pos: But people don't listen. They hear. They don't
So what happened to Shorty?
Dove: Shorty is... her campgrounds more or less moved
on.  She definitely was one of the extra added attractions on the last album. You know, we tried to do a little
something with her, it really didn't work out so she more
or less moved on to a different amp and started working with some other producers. Actually, she's working
with the BeatMinerz and what I understand something is
supposed to be happening with them but she's pursuing
her career, doin' her thing. So you know, best of luck to
What about China and Jette?
Dove: They're chillin'. I not too sure if China was in
college or she was going to school or if she finished school
or what but she's still around the neighborhood, I see
her all the time. Jette is still around the way, workin'
doin' her thing. So everybody's just chillin'.
Word. I heard KRS One say that "Image sells
records" or something to that effect and that
sounded strange...
Pos: Well, in a lot of respects an image does sell records.
Regardless of how dope Method Man is and ODB is and
how ill he is, it's his character- even though that's his
natural character- you're buggin' off of ODB's character,
not his lyrics. So that's why when you get the whole
image of whole WuTang comin' together to present you
with the whole Shaolin and the whole karate thing, that
helped build on to the fact when you just put that aside,
you can really go, "Method Man got skills." But you
got a lot of people who wouldn't have paid
^ attention as quickly without the im-
9  Of+» De  La  Soul.
..,     Ln&  Am We
we can do "• really
good production but maybe  a
lot of people wouldn't have paid attention
to us as quickly as they did if they didn't see the
whole D.AI.S.Y.age image. So in that respect.1 can't dis
that whole image that naturally came around us like that
Right, right. So I heard Prince Paul Isn't involved
on this album.
Pos: No, he didn't do any tracks for the new album.
How come?
Pos: It's really not nothing bad or anything. It just turned
out that way. At one point he was very hectic with his
whole Gravediggaz things... it's realty where Paul wanted
it to go in a lot of respects. If I can recall back from the
second album, there was times when he was like, "Yo
man, I really want y'all to know what y'all are doin' so I
can just do what I gotta do in this." But we were really
like, "C'mon, get down with this album." It wasn't like,
'Yo! We movin' you out." It wasn't even on that level, it
was something that he wanted really cause... you know....
(laughing) he's gettin' old! So, he wants to just chill but..
it was cool.
On "Ring ring ring" Mase said, "Yo Pos does the
producin'" So how is it actually divided up?
Pos: Well, we all produce. If you can just go through
favorite joints...
Okay, who did "Eye Patch" who did that one?
Pos: I did "Eye Patch." It's like, "Oodles of O's", Dave
did;"Shwingalokate" Mase did; "Afro Connections" Mase
did; "Potholes" we all did together; "I Am I Be" Paul did;
"Ring Ring Ring" Paul did; I mean, there's always different
levels, with the group you know, Dove will do a track, I'll
do a track, Mase'll do a track and we'll all add our little
may/june     15 <«
bits and pieces to it I'm just sayin' that it was always like
that with Paul. Unfortunately a lot of people thought
maybe Paul was just doin' all the producing. But we all
do the producing.
Was "Millie Pulled a Pistol On Santa" a true story?
Pos: Yeah. Not the actual story, in it's sense of how it
went down but it was from a situation where a friend of
mine went through it and from me buildin' with Dave.
He also knew someone who went through that whole
situation, so we just made a song out of it.
That was a 111,111 song. Why do you make songs of
that nature?
Dove: It's life. I think people just always tend to... I
guess if "life" right now in Hip Hop is about shooting and
killing, that's what everybody'll want to talk about If life
in Hip Hop is about bein' a rebel and talkin' about the
revolution then that's what everybody's gonna do. For
us, we like to touch topics that other people aren't. So it
was like, "Why not? Why not talk about someone in the
family gettin' raped or incest or whatever kind of situation.
Right. And was "Tread Water" an environmental
Joint? \
(Mase starts laughing)
Dove: That was just some zany... nonsense about ani-
mals...Yeah, we was smokin' air at the time so...
The whole question with killing \
your image- you went on
to say on your f *_0
second al- -t *
'Tommy V
wants an-
Say No?
thought "Say
Dove: Yeah, we realized that It's no big deal, it's just a
statement. Just like sayin', "Arsenio dissed us, but the
crowd kept clappin'." It's not a disrespect to them it's
Is that when you were on his show and he introduced you as "the hippies of Hip Hop" when you
guys had done told everybody to not call you that?
Dove: It's not even that it's...
Pos: Naw. We started perfomin' and the credits start
rollin' and the show was goin' off air.
Dove: It was just a lot of things. I guess Hollywood
period, is you know, "Let's get the job over with" and
you know, "Hi, how ya doin'? Okay, get the fuck outta
here. Next act" So it was that kind of a treatment
behind the camera, so we felt kind of offended knowing
that we respected what he did and knowing that we
watched the show every night as possible. But it was like
we felt like, "Okay, we've come to do your show, maybe
you could just say whassup..." and not chillin' with him
or hanging out with him, going nowhere with him like to
a club or nothin' like that, just him giving his respects.
He more or less brushed us off. So it wasn't disrespectful even in sayin', "Arsenio dissed us" it's just sayin' what
he did. And just the same like sayin' that Tommy Boy
wanted to hear another "Say No Go'V'Me Myself and I"
type of song from us. In anyway it's not a dis to them, it's
just statin' the facts.
(At this point Mase, (who's been relatively quiet since he
did his "part" at the beginning of the interview), turns up
the volume on theTV as something strikes of interest to
Yeah right."   I
No Go" was a good
How have your record sales been?
Dove: They did definitely decrease each album. The
first album went platinum. In the states it went platinum
so obviously, throughout the world, including Canada, it
must be like, three times platinum or whatever the ase
may be.
Are you guys feelln' that?
Dove: Yeah, I mean that's cool. We've been travellin'
abroad since day one, so it's, kinda cool to sell records
out of the states, just to know people appreciate it. De
La Soul Is Dead went gold. Rahloone Mindstate supposedly went gold but I'm not sure of the exact number so I
mean... it's not a platinum 3 Feet High And Rising record
but we're just pleased that people are still lovin' us.
Word. How more albums are you going to record?
Dove: We have a seven album deal with Tommy Boy. To
say if we'll be doin' all seven, that's for the future
yaknowhati'msayin'. I don't know what that's
gonna hold for us.  We're on our *^
fourth now.  If anything, we ^A     V
plan on puttin' outa _/%€>
Greatest cO^ O^
^W Hits, maybe
like the sixth album
or something like that. We
was talkin' about just doin' some of
bugged out shit, maybe like a kiddie album or
something like that.
For real though?
Dove: Yeah, just tossin' things around, you know...
You guys each got kids though right? How many
each do you have?
Pos: One. One daughter.
[Pos] You're daughter talks on "I Am I Be" right?
Sayin' "I be a little sista."
Pos:   Naw, naw, naw. Actually that was her little aunt
What about Mase? (Still watchln'TV) Whassup
Mase? You got kids?
Mase:  What?  Oh sorry man, it's one of my favorite
shows... yeah I got two sons.
So for real. A kid album?
Dove: Yeah, we've been talkin' a lot about a lot of things.
Definitely a greatest hits album; a kiddie album; a rap
instruction album; we don't know...
KRS One has got that book out now...
Dove: Oh yeah.The Greatest Book in the World.
(Laughing) Is that what It's called?
Dove: Naw, that's just what I called it...
Pos: Science Of Rap. It's a must. Musty. Musno...
You all under the same stage names still?
Dove: Yeah.   Everybody got their different aliases.
Yaknowhati'msayin'. Mase went from P.A.Scratchmaster
Mase to Maseo to Baby Huey to...
Pos: ...to Mr. Burnstein.
Dove: ...to Mr. Burnstein. (with heavy emphasis on the
Is that what he Is now?
Dove:  Everybody just basically knows us as Plug One
and Plug Two
Pos:  Everyone always knows it's De (referring to himself) La (lookin over at Dove.)
Mase: De La and Soul (himself) (Starts laughing like a
Pos: Word.
Dove: Or we're known as ATribe Called Quest
Dove: Yeah! Uh.just in like, Colorado.
Mase: I'm Phrfe Dawg.
Who rhymed on "Blttles" with you two?
Pos: Oh the girl? That's LeShaun.Almond Joy.
That's LeShaun, LeShaun? "Doin* It" LeShaun?
Pos: Yeah.
Was that "Blttles" scenario some true life shit too,
like with theTracey Chapman shit?
Dove:  Oh yeah. That whole setting of the song was
from an experience that Mase had our first
day out on the LL
I think he
tour back in '89.
went   to    a
or a Burger
King     or
like that and they
weren't givin' him any light or
nothin like that to take his order. And
then when somebody pointed him out as De La
Soul, they were like, "Oh yeah!" Mase was like, "FUCK
you!" and splashed water in they faces.
How did you hook up with Teenage Fan Club to
do, "Fallln"'?
Dove: That was cool. It just like any other project that's
thrown in our faces, "Do you wanna do a soundtrack?"
sort of thing. Teenage Fan Club, we didn't know anything
about them and it was just like, 'We wanna pair you up
with one of these bands." And we had a choice. At first
we picked Living Color but they said Living Color wasn't
doing it and then we found out Living Color was doing it
they just didn't want us to do it with Living Color
Pos: They wanted Living Color with Run DMC.
Dove: Naw, I think it was more than that too-
Pos:   They wanted us with Teenage Fan Club.
Dove: I think two forces wanted us with Teenage Fan
Club definitely... So when we flew over there we went to
Gladscow I believe and just hung out with them for two
days and did the song.
So here's the question of the decade, what's up
with the Native Tongues? Pos, I heard you state
In an Interview that It was all about not seeing
each other ever or something...
Pos: I mean, yeah at that time that's what it was all
about, between Afrika [Baby Bam],Q tip and myself and
even beyond that yaknowhati'msayin'. A lot of people
who I felt., you know, they'll come through and we'll put
them down cause we always try to help other out and
then when they get down and they go off and shout out
their little crew that they was waitin' to put on. Ain't
nuttin' wrong with that but... it's really just about us being regular human beings makin' mistakes and whatever,
and us being young, growin' up- we all down... I mean, us
and Quest always stayed more intact but now Jungle has
come back more into the picture and I'm really happy
about that. Even before we came on the road, we been
meetin' together and trying to figure out what we trying
to do together and hopefully do some touring together.
Cause us and Quest is definitely droppin' at the same
time and Jungle's in process of finishing up their album as
well. So that's really the essence right there, of the Native Tongues.   Us, Jungle and Quest, cause that's who
16     elements we're naturally around and we don't have to be staged.
What happened to Black Sheep?
Dove: Their album came out man, and it just didn't, just
didn't do it
Pos: I heard they pretty much parted, I guess. I think
Dres is gonna do a solo album or something like that?
Pos: At one point I heard Dres was gonna do a solo
album and then Lawnge was gonna do some of the beats
but I don't even know if that's really happening- as far as
Lawnge doin' the beats- but I think Dres is doin' a solo
I don't think Lawnge really should've started rapping, In my opinion...
Pos: Well... it happens...
Did you have to ask permission to do "EgoTrippIn'
Part II"?
Dove: Naw. Ukramagnetic was one of our favorite
groups, Mase did the track and it was just an idea that
had of borrowing snippets from everybody else's rhymes
and compiling them to make a song... So it was, I mean
for us it was just a tribute to people we admired
You two have done that a lot In your songs, like
splicing In other peoples lyrics...
Dove: A lot of Run DMC stuff most of the time. For
me.that's like who made me wanna get into rhymin' more
not doin'
do, period.
Like a Dj
Run DMC for being like ourselves,
what we do, just doin' what they
and two MCs.
Dove: Yeah exactly. Ukra and Run and them was, for
Pos:  Ultraaa... magnetic... Ultraaa....
Have you heard his new shit?
Pos: Octagon?
Dove: Naw, I haven't heard it yet.
He's a strange man.
Pos: Oh he's very.
De La has been around for a long time,and probably you've been around a long time before you
came out right? So for you guys to have gotten
so far, the goal isn't really about sellln' crazee
records, cause to really get your props, that
doesn't matter really, at ail.
Dove: Right right I think that's the part of basically, the
over saturation of Hip Hop, as far as MCs comin' out
It's like everybody just waniw do it for the hell of doin' it
cause they see people being successful at it. I think a lot
of MCs who are up and comin' are like, "I wanna rap!"
and that's it I think you gotta live with it, love and know
it to an extent to really get far with or even just to contribute to it. For a lot of brothers to come out is like, "I
just wanna rhyme because I know L.L. lived -two blocks
away from me so I can do it to." So it's definitely a part
of the demise of Hip Hop in this day and age. Everybody
thinks that they can just rhyme.
Part of the demise? So it's goin'down?
Dove: Yeah, I mean, Hip Hop is definitely goin' down,
you can tell... It's not just by the outside working in, on
breaking up Hip Hop,it's the inside actually doin' it themselves, yaknowhati'msayin'. It's like, other groups tryin'
to battle each other, the west coast sayin' this or that,
the east coast., and it's like, it's become nonsense. When
at one time it was community and what you did was just
chill out in the basement or partying just rhyming, it was
friendly battling. So, like I said, not only is the forces on
the outside trying to break Hip Hop up, a lot of assholes
on the inside are doin' it themselves.
Being from New York,does It make you upset that
some people are dissing the place it was born?
Dove: I mean, I wasn't there in the days, I don't know
but as far as the history of rap goes, it probably did start
in the east But I'm not going to say that it's supposed to
stay there. Anybody who does Hip Hop is just doin' it
Hip Hop isn't territorial, it think it just becomes inside
of you and what you do and what you make out of it is
what it becomes. I mean, I think there are people who
are destroying it but., it did start in the east, from what
I know. If it branched out, so be it
De La Soul
Tommy Boy
Stakes Is High
De La, Skeff Anslem,
J.D.& Spearhead X
Strong Island, NY
may/june     17 £XTKv4   NEW,
summer 1996 catalog available now
retail inquires only call 604.253.8601 or fax 604.254.1232 DARK SUN RIDERS
'In the valley, in the seas, I can hear it in the breeze...
........................ ' ' f  MMy^.
Dar|c Sun Riders firmly handle it..."
"lllftlflll: 111!! ,:;|lllllp!-:':
Brother J is serious. Serious about lyrics* Serious about beats. Serious about
Hip Hop. At a point in time where Hip Hop is a multi-million dollar industry
handing out platinum records left and right,the content and quality of 90% of
these platinum groups is garbage and lyrical content and originality are at a
low level. Sound absurdly ironic? Maybe. Or it could be extremely predictable and intentional. Whatever it is, shit's deep. In fact it's "deeper, deepest
Atlantis sub basement" deep. Brother J aka the Vi|al Magus of Evolution
aka the universal god Tehun is back to shed light and start
raw and rugged"   So put
jimmy hats and ^gUP^        1^ dust off those old thinking caps
cause we |f|, headed back to the east my
brother, ^t        teach in* gods to be.
Back when I originally hooked up with the X Clan in probably about '88, something
like that. I joined as part of the security team on Blackwatch and that's where I was
payin' my dues and you know, layin' it down. I had the verbals and everything but it
wasn't about a record deal for me even then, you know. So from there, hookin' up
with them I demonstrated my talent and continued on in the group called X
Clan which was originally me and brother Shaft and then we took in the
members, Professor X and Architect
idlence, do you feel today's rap audience are really listening to the quality of lyn
The people are not keeping a good ear nowadays,. They're not
checlon* for lyrical form anymore Ya gotta keep a good ear The/re
checkin' for where you come from,"if you come from hon|eboy
Biggie or homeboy.you know, Wu or whatever then I'll take you
in but ff you're not down with a name then I'm not with you," If
you're not doin' the same music that they've been listenin' to for
the past... whatever amount of.years,when die music switched
over [W92] it's like you can't even come with anything new,
they're:not putttn' their ear to the music anymore. When
you're sayin' lyrics that burn half of those simpleton lyrics
that are playing on your rotation.'on your radio dial and you
don't get no respect for that then something's wrong, It's
may/june    19 So where was that turning point or the "switch over" In rap music, when did
the "righteous" era end?
I think the turning point was where the companies and the artists realized that doing
musk with some kind of "message" attached to it -1 can't always say "message" cause it
makes the musk seem so corny, yaknowhati'msayin'. It's not like "message" is something that bore you or dull you. One thing that gave us more audience when we were X
Cbn was like 'Well damn! Yall talk all that shit and /all are freaky! Y'all are usin' funk
musk and /all just don't care. It's not like /all have a religion attached to /all shit but
/all are very serious guys." But a lot of positive artists were bumping into like,"Yo man,
when I speak the message I don't know what kind of music to do cause I can't rhyme like
that to the Hip Hop beat." But why not? It's supposed to be naturally in your bloodf
When I flip any kind of lyric. Anywhere. Freestyle whatever! It's always on a level. I|i
never gotta be like I gotta talk about fifty history books or explain how a pyramid v
built in order to be on a level. You know just sayin' poetk lyrics that don't Insult t
listener, is positive enough. And that's where it's all backward now, people have i
And now that you're back on the scene, I've read some reviews for Dark Sun!
and this one cat straight dissed It. Talkin' about how the music is boring, n<
like that old X Clan shit with the George Clinton shit and whatever...
Look you know what the beef was before. Now, they would tell me like,
should keep samplin' George Clinton and samplin' beats that people have used I
was like,"Yo man, FUCK that, I'll sample what feels good to me" That [X Ctah]
what I was rhymin' to at block parties and goin' freestyle and shit like that;! didn't care.
So now that I come with all original music.you ask the person who disses it and say,"Can
you find a sample on that that you can go and .-rin7 (chuckling) You
can't find none of my shit. I don't give a fuck if you're a break collector I got break
collectors here who go insane when they hit towns. And you can't find one break on
there. Unless I give it to you. If I don't give it then you can't find it So that's original,
that's like, half the beats that I find on the radio station...Yo, I could listen to the station
for ten minutes and go find each one of the original records, [pause] And play ft. {pause]
Instantly. You can't do that to my music, bro That's why I say."What « originality and
what truly is the fuck up?" You know, they want me to fuckin' sample one minute, the
next minute they don't want me to. What do they want me to do? They wanna puppet
me now and make me like a bitch? Yaknowhati'msayin', for sampling and shit I gotta be
fucked up now? If the music is wack then say it's wack. But if it isn't up to your expectations of me doin' somethin' with the Doobie Band or some shtt 'yaknowhad msayin'
then don't dls me. You know, that's why people don't do the music that I do because you
always gotta receive fucked up comments in the background.
So tell me who's all In the Dark Sun RidersT
The Dark Sun Riders are the council that rides with me. it's an organization that we have
labelled The House of the Eclipse -The Dark Sun House. These are the Dark Sun Riders.
Now these are gentlemen who specifically are here to council me while I travel. If I'm
planting the seeds of evolution, if I'm going to present myself on * speaking e
shit like,"Fuck it fuck it fuck it'" It wasn't like that for us. That's something that a lot of
radio people are coming back sayin'.'look man this album is strictly play quality man."
It's radio friendly but it's just to get the response from it. If I'm not shootin' under the
table money at these radio stations and shit then I'm not gonna get the play they say I'm
gonna get. That's why the industry has become very backwards like that now because it's
about a lot of play right now, as far as "rotation" is concerned. People are paying for that.
That's why a lot of independent music gets played right now because they can spend
straight dollars off the street to get assured play on the station. Shit that you see that
should never be a fuckin' hit in the fuckin' world and I can't even understand it but after
a while, you keep hearin' that shit, it has to be a hit somewhere so you go and buy it.
Some people are gullible like that. But I'm not gullible like that, I know the game. I know
the fact that if you take money from the streets - drug money cause half the rappers are
I tellin' you what they do, they husde- if you give a hustler $200,000 and you talk about
"produce a album," he'll take fifty and make two hundred more. Then he'll take twenty
I to a radio promotion guy and say, "Look I got a salary for you. Five g's a week for the
I next., whatever., to get mvjecord on rotation and keep it there. And don't move it.
I Leave me a space so everyone I bring an artist from my label, I have another five g's for
| you " You think he's gonna say no' He'll say,"Aw, I love this record! This is a hot record!
it!" And then the higher people in the radio stations will say
record but he says it's hot on the street so keep playin' it"
don't fuckin' care. As long as their station stays number one and
and they make that paper man- nobody gives a fuck man.
u listen to nowadays?
I listen to everything man because I can't listen to rap music all day because all that shit
is strange I that shit is strange. I listen to rock music, I
listen tor ing bro. But when I wanna lock down into the
music that I'm in, as far as a participant, only a few artists right now are comin' up. But
a lot of people are learnin' their grounds. As far as, a lot of artists that were talkin' a lot
;:.. of shit are now comin' up like dance groups, providing dance music for clubs stricdy. I
•mean even the first single that Tupac put out was a club song. He's gettin' off of a lot of
that crazte shtt and leaving rt Ofl his album. So they're changin' up shit a lot of people are
changin up shit. And that other sMt is strange. I heard a kid sayin' the other day,"Yo I'll
fuckin' roll up in your house and kill your kids..." and all kinds of shit On MAIN PLAY
RADIO. And then they fuck with me! I'm like "Yo man fuck that!" I feel funny when I
curse to /all motherfuckers! Y'all gonna make me believe that a nigguh'll come over
here, tell me to lay on the floor and shoot my kids?! And /all gonna play that shit? A
'■female {rhymer] was talkin' about she laytn' all motherfuckin' types of drug dealers and
give 'em pussy cause she don't give a fuck, all kinds of shit man. The girl [rhymin' about]
"I'll come down a nigguh throat,fuck it" It's like,"Whoa! You feel you got it like that on
your first record? You feel like your sales are gonna be so deep that you can come out
and say anything off the top of your m|uth." And she said, "Yeah, fuck that. I'm right"
: And she sold. That's fucked up. But I don't call names. I let them see their actions from
where I'm seein ft I'm seem* Jikfc,"Look.:'tf I didn't know your name, I'm a all out what
you did And you tell me if it's right or wrong" You gonna come out with a group of
motherfuckers, you gonna come out with one nigguh who's in the middle of controversy,
you gonna tell all kifld of shtt on th«s record about cummin' on a nigguh neck and pullin'
or anything. Master China, my instructor for years, you know instead of walking around       guns with him and all kinds of shit   givin' 'em a female aspect of the nigguh who's fame
with a buddah priest monk who teaches me kung fu or some shit, I walk around with a       you're riding, like a
brother who's been with me through wars. Yaknowhati'msayin'. And then I have Ultraman.
I don't have a producer just to make me some beats, I have a cat that's with me at all
times who understands like,"Look when I make a beat for him, I can't make no ordinary
shit." And he's also a break fiend. Yaknowhati'msayin', he goes and searches the depths
of hell for the rarest shit to say like, "Look man, music like this was disrespected. We
need to bring music like this back and we can have Influence." Not to take it and say,
"Well, let's redo it and use the chorus so people will understand that we can get down
and shake our booty too." We're not with that. Yaknowhati'msayin'' It's like,"Give me
something to get influenced off that's ruff and rare." And they'll find it DJ Mate is the
engineer. He's the brother that take the frequencies and does another thing with them.
Word. I just realized that you don't have any curses on your whole album...
except In "Bro J's Theme" right? "Ain't no hocus pocus fake ass shit, I'm
payin' dues. So skip impressin' chart charts for my hits. Abnorm will form,
will sight the deal. Underground invasion tell me shit ain't stinkin' real."
farne dick You gonna ride that dick into the industry and say,"Fuck
it! And leave me established as one of the monumental women of Hip Hop!" Now what
the fuck is that?! That means that I can take a hooker off the street who lives the shit
for real bro.. I could put a funky beat under her ass and talk about her everyday livin'
and make a platinum seller. Word! You see where I'm comin' from? Now what I'm
supposed to be sayin' to you is,"positive message." And now when people don't wanna
hear that, I say"Well damn,y'all deal with the reality everyday,why can't you face it?" So
they'll put my fuckin' music at the bottom of the barrel to say "Dark Sun, I love you J
man- and all that other shit man- but right now, the 'Big' is sellin'.... um the 'Doin' It' is
sellin'... the such and such is sellin'" I'm like,"Fuck that, let me step into the arena and
battle for mine cause I guarantee you that once these people see my lyrics on a video
scale and once people really pick up my album and understand where I'm comin' from
and really get to see and read interviews, I think all that [other] shit'll change I've got a
stem feelin' for that
Tell me about the other groups that are comin' out from Dark Sun.
It was referring to the industry as shit. It was refering to something, instead of just talkin'        Verbal Gnostics is like many groups in one place. I got groups on there like the VoidMen
20     elements and then Mother Nature and all kinds of different heads that are goin' to be comin' up.
Earthcore productions will be producing the whole legion of Verbal Gnostics. There's a
bt of planning involved in the whole situation, this is just the first presentation of what
we want to do. I mean if I can't do it for myself then I can't push any artists.
True, true...
I have to pay dues for myself, like Andre Harrel wouldn't be who he is unless he had
Jeckyl and Hyde. Yaknowhati'msayin' so I know I have to go back into mine and say,
"Well, I can't do it all of just bein' down with X Clan, I gotta be able to dive into the new
age industry and make this musk work." And then I can bring other artists or I'm jusf
gonna put everybody in a boat that's gonna sink. And that's stupid. I see too many artisi
do that. I watch them... bok at the way they just dissed Guru. He came out with
Jazzmatazz, doin' shit with Chakka Khan and shit- and that's good music]
Yaknowhati'msayin' and his shit didn't get the acclaim for what it was but international!;
he's the shit. But here, it's like peopfe look at him funny. So when he brought hi
production crew, they dissed the whole shit. They just dfcfc^'the whole crew, it wa:
something that people didn't even hear. Some III Kid Recoi ds or some shit. And the;
just dissed it One kid dissed it like,"Aw man, this is wack. I've never heard something!
so wack in my life" They just went all out on him. You never heard no more from theiif
crew. They just took the girl, Bahamadia and just blew up. Premier cook Her and said,
"Fuck it. Just let the female go." She's gonna pick up instantly cause female Dj's and shit
like that are gonna pick up on these females. Females will stick together The female
of your project don't have to worry'bout shit. And that's deep. I mean, you gotta look
at it... Dogg Pound- when they come to rock, the two people that rock the most are
Snoop and Rage. Not Dre. Not any of them other motherfuckers, they allfome off but
yo- Rage and Snoop come off. Especially here in New ,      omes off b. I never
heard nobody sing that shit so loud. They [     ' "ere tryin' to boo
their whole west coast shit but Snoop come on- they went crazee When Rage came
on- they went crazee kid! "RAGE!" Everybody was singin' that shit kid. It was crazee.
I was like.'To man, look at what's happening. They'll take the hypest part of your group
and the female and support it and say'fuck everybody else.'" Where's 45 King man? Why
isn't he the best fuckin' producer in the fuckin1 rmsk industry. Everybody was dancin' to
his shit. They took Latifah. And was gone You don't even see him anymore They just
took the entity and left. Whatever she says, goes. "I say Naughty By Nature," so Naughty
By Nature is the shit You didn't even hear their album and they got a Grammy. What the
fuck? It's like,"Yo man, what's sacred and what isn't." You know, that's my question to the
whole rap industry. "What's sacred to you and what isn't?" What is truly good Hip Hop?
What makes you say, "Yo that's dope." Is it just that everybody says it? Is it that it's a
party tune? What the fuck is it? I wanna know. What the fuck is the chemistry of good
rap music made of? Cause obviously I don't know. I thought it was about lyrics. I
thought it was about having lyrics... and beats that mesh with your lync
about water, the beats should be movin' like v#ler. So I thought it was about that. But
the way the industry is now any fuckin' nigguhcould get on a video man, sing
else's lyrics and go on to be the hit of the century and they don't even know who's
responsible. They've never heard him go freestyle. They haven't heard shit Theyl just
take it and go with it. They don't give a fuck man. I'm like,"Yo man fuck that" Look b,
I'll tie nigguhz up to do lyrics correcdy bro. I'm a start carrying lighter fluid and a match
to light nigguhz books on fire and shit. Nigguhz are gonna be buggin' man. Nigguhz ain't
gonna like me god. They ain't gonna like me man They're gonna be like, "Yo that nigguh
is crazee. That motherfucker came on stage and put lighter fluid on the stage and then lit
it and ran that kid offstage. Word up. Ran that whole shit outta there." Cause I don't
care. You can't care cause those motherfuckers think the/re bullgaurdin' the industry
with that bullshit Pm not havin' it And organized people think twice as much as a lazy,
over blunted kid. If a kid drinkin' four quarts steppin' to me talkin' 'bout he wanna fight,
I'll knock all of them quarts out his ass. You can't even move around with that type of shit
in your system. You can't even stand up straight with all that urb blinding your fuckin'
eyes. They don't even know how to calm that shit down and fast from that shit and be
cool for a minute. Like when you go on the road, you don't carry a thousand pounds of
urb with you because they'll roll on you on a drug charge when you get into a town. You
gotta think. Every town doesn't think the same. But nigguhz think,"Yo I'm paid, fuck it
it doesn't matter. If I get in jail I'll just pay my bond." But yo man,a record is a record and
sometime the/re gonna change that law on your ass and lock you down. Because of the
influence that you have on people Look at all the top artists in the industry now caught
up in controversy. Some of them just start up controversy purposely because if your
name gets centered in a newspapers or something- people'll buy your records
How much has shit really changed from the Chuck D, BDP days and how
much has stayed the same?
With me being down with the original Clan, I know what it's like to roll in a show with
thirty to fifty heads on the stage. I look at the Wu Tang and I see the same thing. I look
at the Dogg Pound and see the type of organization they have, I know what I had when
I was with Blackwatch. We had our own Rage, we had a Isis. We had all types of other
artists in the backlog. We had our main group which was X Clan, which was like their
Dogg Pound or whatever the case may be. I see what's happening nowadays. I can see
how people take what we've done and make it happen for themselves. So when you all
people from back in the '88-'90 era, the mentality was different. The way we paid dues
was different. It was like,"Yo man I don't wanna hear you rhyme, get up on stage right
now and we'll do some mad freestyle shit. And your DJ better be funky too cause I'm
not hearin' none of that DAT shit" Back in '88 and '90 it was forbidden to do R&B with
your rap musk. It was forbidden. It was called crossing over. It is now the law of the
land to sing with an R&B ar|£|; or else you don't have a hit on the pop charts. This is the
type of bullshit you gotta go through. I thought the game was don't crossover. Now
you're tellin' me I gotta get a gii I to sing my name, I an't make some, "DJ's and MCs!!
Can't touch Brother J! J! J*" I an't make no shit like that, I gotta have some female singin'
[in his best r&b div* voice] "Oooh Brother J... you're die best... rub me down... da da da
da..." That's corny Yaknowhati'msayin'? That's corny. I gotta have somebody sing my
s and shit and rub her pussy on the fuckin' film and shit in order to
Man FUCK that' I'm not with none of that shit man. They can
T that shit all day but I'm a have me some Brides of Funkenstein type shit
I'm a have me some next level Parliament type band on my stage and they ain't gonna be
singin' r
expecting Dark Sun to be the contlnua-
So what al
i It's like, if you're lookin' for me to come with Clan then you're gonna be waitin' a long
Irime and you gonna be missin' a bt of good music. Cause we're puttin' out the shit right
now. But the album Is hard for the people to get so I had to get wrth my record
company. People didn't know the album is out to demand it. Because it's caught up in
the rest of this bullshit, it's like you've gotta fight a double war when you're goin' out right
now with this type of music that I'm doin' because people don't know. The generation
that buys music now might not have been Clan fans so they may not know who the fuck
I am all together. So you can't go and say.'X Clan, X Clan, X Clan" Cause some people'll
say."Who the fuck was that?** or they say.'Oh it's the wild nigguhz with them earings in
their nose" [laughter] or that's,"To the east' To the east!" That's all they know. Yaknow
and "sisseeee!" and all that shit and I'll say yo man, fuck all that. I ain't no sissy and this
time for no crossroads, I left the crossroads and I'm not with no Clan no
more It's now a different era. I'm nevel gonna switch. You'll never atch me in no forty
id ho Prince butt jeans, yaknowhati'msayin', flippin' no r&b shit. You'll
never catch me doin' that. You understand, never. I don't give a fuck what happens. If
they do that to me. I'm drugged and I'm bein' puppeted yaknowhati'msayin'. They know
to trust me "I know that kid right there is gonna come off with some lyrics of death and
I know his production is gonna beon tifrie and I know Pm gonna get a quality cut when
I buy his shit. Everyume." That's all they gotta know brother. That's the guarantee that
I wanna give the audience that listens to this music. That all. [humbly] I don't wanna do
no more or more less I don't wanna go platinum in a minute. I'm just like,yo man know
that you're guaranteed to get your quality piece of music that says,"yo, I could get into
this, one way or the other." That's it. I'm not gonna give you no wack shit man. Yaknow,
that's how I feel, I don't know how the audience feels man. Yaknowhati'msayin' I don't
know what the fuck they think about man.
"From verb to vibe,
from dark to sun,
it's the freaky
deekytones of the
god Tehun. If the
mortals don't get
it and it don't seep
in, resurrect me
with my mic and
I'll go at it again."
Artist:      Dark Sun Riders
Label:        Island
Album:     Seeds Of Evolution
Prod:       Beat Ass. & Soul Katz
Members: Bro J, Ultraman, DJ MATE
& Master China
Home.     Flatbush, NY ,
may/june     21 VTme*Value+V/ntagel
^ARES / 60's PANTS / CORD<i
Uffi/"■""•«*« JEANS
710R0BS0N SI
ft MON 11-7
\ TUES 11-9
WED 11-7
THURS 11-9
FRI 11-9
'   SAT 10-8
SUN 12-6
\  f Collingwood comes the
most hated rap group
in Vancouver...
n stores
June 7
'96 is time
to bubble
3     SDs
Tonce a day for complete dietary assurance.J
Debut album
essential mental
in stores
SDSD's Busta Rhymes
The Coming
I didn't believe Busta had enough skill to go beyond that "dungeon dragon" style. Much to my enjoyment BR delivers the "ruckus" with limitless energy, acute focus, versatility and tight ass production.
Aside from some irrelevant skits, intros and outros and a couple of fast forwards, the album has a lot of
big time strengths. The album begins strongly with "Do My Thing" and "Everything Remains Raw" which
he brings a new flow style to the world. The Zhane track is an immediate fast forward and "Hot Fudge"
is way too "gaseous", not able to ground itself at any point. On "III Vibe" Busta kicks freestyle like lyrics
over a track produced by the Ummah (Q Tip, Jay Dee, and Shaheed Muhammed) that's stationary but
vibrating and humming. QTip joins Busta and kicks his vibe and doesn't give a fuck. Another track to
mention is "Still Shinin'" which he uses as a reference point to earlier "Leaders" work. The Leaders
feature of "Keep It Movin'" proves (as did all LONS material) what can actually occur when egos are in
check and focus on group prevails. Themes built on solid chorus concepts, different views of that
theme by vocal embroidery, solidify what a crew
track could be. This track feels right. Everybody's equal, working together and you can sense
the fun and the energy. This hardly ever occurs
on Hip Hop tracks. Busta Rhymes is an elemental force of immense talent He has proven himself as a groundbreaking soloist, promising producer, astute judge of talent and a team player.
This is a powerful piece of work; many heads will
be caught off guard (myself included). Rhymes
flips shit with an identity very few have naturally,
very few understand or very few cultivate.
-Mr. Bill
Smoothe Da Hustler
Once Upon ATime
In America
Straight representin' Brownsville, Brooklyn,
Saratoga Ave, Smoothe is straight hustlin' his
rhymes to the ears of listeners, who have been
awaiting his debut album since he dropped the
classic, "Broken Language." On the album, songs
like. "My Brother My Ace" and "Murderfest" build
on that shit and on "My Brother..." Smoothe and
his brother Trigger take that shit to the nexx level,
bustin' line for line like few if any, have before.
The album is tight on a whole but may turn some
ears off and receive straight disses for songs like
"Only Human" and others which are straight r&b
tracks. Not to dis Smoothe's flexibility or DR
Periods creativity by any means, but I strongly
feel that if he had come with more tracks like
"My Brother..." and the others mentioned, it
would've been somewhat of a classic but we'll
never know. By compromising for assured radio
play, Smoothe may have even lowered his chance
of high record sales because to the average listener, some of the shit sounds either mad corny
or generic, which Smoothe is neither. DR Periods beats are tight no matter what type of shit
he's cookin', showin' he has mad experience behind him and a prosperous future ahead.
Smoothe's lyrics are on point on every joint and
some of his doper rhymes are on those dreaded
r&b tracks but I gotta say it again, those r&b beats
that are gonna fuck with some heads dispellin'
him as just another corny nigguh. Interludes with
may/june     25 his moms talkin' some real life shit to him and
litde shorty's askin' him questions about some
other shit give the album a personal vibe, leavin'
you feelin' like you've known Smoothe since he
was a shorty. I'm sayin'... besides those r&b joints,
every other song is bomb, including "Fuck What
You Heard" and the other bomb ass track I need
to mention, for it's concept and the whole shit is
"Dollar Bill" which features DV alias Christ flowin'
some of that Ticalesque harmonizin' shit that
makes me high! That joint is my joint Straight up
and down, Smoothe the Hustler gets respects
from Elements, riiiiiiiiiiiiight!
-Freestyle Crazee
Sadat X
Wild Cowboys
"This solo thing I'm doin' here is real to me. The
most serious thing in my life I could say up to this
point.." No joke, Sadat's back. Serious and phat
only this time with the Wild Cowboys on his debut solo album of the same name. Sadat aka Derrick X, of Brand Nubian fame, flows over some
phat ass production handled mostly by the Diggin'
In The Crates team and plus a fly track supplied
by the Beatminerz and Pete Rock amongst others. If you know Sadat's flows, you'll know his
shit is one of a kind and this nigguh be sayin' some
shit "Move On" is probably the tightest track for
me but ShowBiz's joint "Stages and Lights" is the
shit too. "I never been gold but I got the platinum
fame." Yaknowhatimean. The other track to look
for is the Beatminerz joint where Sadat freaks an
interview X style. Word. Not to forget "Game's
Sober" featuring the Money Boss Players- their
shit is ill. The album is about eleven or twelve
songs deep and ain't nothin' too shabby about any
of the tracks. Puba and Sadat freak the chemistry
on one joint and needless to say, it's fly. I like it
when Puba rhymes more serious cause he comes
off witty rather than comical. All in all, this is a
good solo effort by Sadat and I gotta say I like it
better than Puba's solo's. The cuts he uses are
fresh too (e.g. "I been doin' my own thing" by
Groove Theory on "Lump Lump" which was cut
up by Roc Raider) and his new posse members
rhyme tight too. Buy it and bump it
(P.S.- my ratings may vary according to degree of
highness at time of review)
Kwest the Madd Ladd
This Is My /^~*\
First Album (60%)
American Records V_J/
Word.  Lemme start off by sayin': This cat is on
some other shit yaknowhatimean.  I first heard
his shit a couple of years ago when he released
the single "101 Things To Do While I'm With Your
Girl." Two years later and amazingly still with the
same label, he hits us with his whole album... and
I gotta tell you- not much has changed. You gotta
admire Kwest for stickin' to his style and all, in an
extremely trendy Hip Hop world. However,that's
where my admiration ends... Basically, this kid
raps a whole bunch about sexin'... sexin', sexin'
and more sexin', all with a comedic flare. It's like
the Fresh Prince crossed with Luke usin' witty
one liners on toy beats! I ain't gonna dis too much
cause there's obviously a market for this shit somewhere, I'm just sayin'... it ain't for me. As a matter
of fact I couldn't get through the whole album
myself. To my man Kwest, I hope you get over
cause for that type of shit- it's pretty funny and
all, in a kick it kinda way- but to all the heads
lookin' for that hardcore ill shit- this ain't for
Afrika Bambaata
Warlocks and Witches,
Computer Chips, (gjf
Arlicroch/ps and You
There are very few people, let alone heads who
have the respect from their peers and the credentials to match it Afrika Bambaata's impact on
the birth growth and maintenance of the culture
are monumental. The compilation/project is an
excellent reference for what Barn's contribution's
exactly are. "This Is Time Zone" begins the album with that "Oh-so-familiar-oh-so-good" horn
loops and Bam flippin' shit Vocoder style. "Funky
Beeper" drops bombs again with simple recipes
of vocal, guitar and beeper beeps. "Throw Your
Hands Up" marks the first profanity I've heard on
Bam tracks. Queen Asia rips shit without being
on that frontin' female shit you can at times get
sick of. Boom! She just rips, doesn't give a fuck,
has hella confidence and mic control with a deep,
thumpy track and dope vocal sample "Can't Hear
Ya!" The wheels begin to fall off here with the
"Funky Worm" outro to "...Hands Up", marking
some inconsistency to follow in successive tracks.
Overall, Bam touches everything (musically) but
Jungle and trip hop (hmmm). There's brilliance
and disaster. But Afrika Bambaata's mission of
uniting all people takes another step forward.
No one it the culture showcases such diversity in
musical influence with such true humility, reference to the original source and reverence to the
original source. There are no "flava's of the month"
here production wise, which is both refreshing
but also dated ( and critically risky.) This is one
of Hip Hop's original cornerstones - "Give credit
where credit is due!"- Don't be embarrassed! You
26     elements bite! Whether or not those 80's sounds become
invaluable to future 2000 heads is open to debate. Until then, you must learn grasshoppers!
-Mr. Bill
De La Soul
Stakes Is High
Tommy Boy
How many Hip Hop groups still exist in '96 that
came out in '88 and before? You can use one
hand to count On Stakes Is High, De La Soul
keeps it realer than any body who ever screamed
"keep it real!" How? They keep it right. They
are contributors, innovators, commentators and
most importantly fans of this Hip Hop shit.
Sounds like I'm about to go off on them huh? Well
hang on, here we go... Let me start out by naming a few of my favorite cuts on the album: "Intro"
which is some ol' freestyle shit; "Supaemcee"
which is retarded; "Sunshine" the '96 summertime
anthem; "Dog Eat Dog" a referral to the world;
"Wonce Again (Long Island)" Pos' solo joint!;"Betta
Listen" some shit about girls; "The Bizness" featuring Common Sense; "Big Brother Beat" also
retarded, featuring Most Def; "Island Degrees"
nice, nice; "Brakes" some ol' real life shit;
"Itzsoweezee (Hot)" summertime anthem #2; "4
More" the Zhane track that's way better than
Busta's; "Baby, Baby, Oohh Baby" some more retarded shit; "Poni Ride" with the ill "DJ break it
down!" loop, true genius; "Stakes Is High" social
commentary;"Dinninit" summertime anthem #3;
and finally the last track "Down Syndrome" which
is... well... retarded. Overall, Pos and Dove and
Mase (who doesn't really do too much on this
album) are the epitome of the ideal Hip Hop
group- Over eight years, a platinum debut album, three more gold albums, respected to the
hilt by all the "real" heads and keepin' the shit real
without ever sayin' it It's like Prodigy from Mobb,
he ain't never gotta say in his rhymes that he's got
ill rhymes, he's just got 'em, yaknowhati'msayin'?
De La ain't gotta say shit except put out sickening
album after album, while changin' with the
times but they're in a whole other time zone.
Maybe a couple hours ahead of everybody else.
Anyway, the shit is the bomb, production, lyrics,
concepts, whatever! De La was my favorite shit
before Wu came out. With this shit I think De
La's bumped them out as top seed. You may still
be listenin' to this album in '98 thinkin', "Man those
were the good ol' days." That is if De La has retired or something. On the real, this is De La's
tightest album yet and if you sleep, then you might
as well listen to Green Day. De La Soul= Worry
free Hip Hop.
-FreeStyle Crazee
Ruck & Rock of
Heltah Skeltah
Heltah Skeltah
"Operation Lockdown"
The madness has begun. The year is the ninety-
now and not too many groups represent the real
with an original flavor. Heltah Skeltah is not one
of those groups by far. Big Rock and Ruk, the
power forward and the center of the Fab Sive,
have come forth with some marvellous shit. "Operation Lockdown" is an ominous, dark, shady
track courtesy of E-Swift of the Liks which embodies harp vibe, making the track some of that
"yo that's that shit" type shit. Ruck and Rock stay
consistent building off each other while killing any,
"they just sound like Black Moon" stupid shit, with
contrasting but complimentary laidback/aggressive
deliveries that compliment the beat "to the tits."
The B-side track,"Da Wiggy" is a Beatminers standard instrumental with Ruck and Rock freakin' the
lyrics back n forth making for a good duo joint but
the a side blew me wide open, so... No need to
go too much into, their shit is correct.
Large Professor
"Mad Scientist"
I'm a come right out and say it. I'm upset with
Extra P on this 12 inch. It's bangin' still, don't get
me wrong, it's just that after the very long ass anticipation and calibre of guest appearances (like
Tribe, Lord Finesse and that "Git Off the Bullshit"
song) I thought his first single would be "da shit."
"Mad Scientist" is cool but it's just cool, the beat is
dope but the lyrics weren't too there and to top it
off his third verse is really his first one. That shit
right there is weak to me but maybe the label had
something to do with that. But whatever, it was
done. The beat is his own creation and with no
question is the joint as are all his beats. The shit
bumps. The flip side features a song called "Spacey"
where Large gets a couple of unknowns to join
him on the mic (perhaps Selo and Van?) and a kid
named Tony Rome who hooked up the beat. Shit
is fresh from start to finish and the beat is obviously the inspiration for the title. There's also another cut named, "Listen (Blast Off)" which is really just a filler beat. Not too necessary on a 12
inch if you ask me. Overall, it's his own fault that
the Large Professor has made my expectations of
him so high and if his soon-to-be-released LP, "The
LP" lives up to them then we'll have ourselves a
Hip Hop classic, no doubt.
-Kemo the Labrat
may/june     27 Blahzay Blahzay
"Pain I Feel"
This east New York duo blew the spot with their
debut release, "Danger" and all it's remixes and
have returned with a follow-up single. "Pain I Feel"
is their second attempt to "blow the spot" and
not to say it's not good or anything but it's not as
heartfelt attempt for me as the "Danger" single. I
expected something a little more underground,
more raw elements involved. Instead I received a
"bouncy", "cluby" type track with lyrics that don't
shine very bright over the instrumental. It sounds
like I'm dissin' but I'm just sayin' it's not classic
material, mostly cause the lyrics aren't all there.
The chorus is cut by P.F. usin' a classic Extra P line
"You don't know the pain I feel" and another classic cut, Channel Live'sTuffy "Cause there's all these
fake rappers makin' steady hits, fuck that!" Overall Blahzay knows how to make enjoyable, feel
good,club jams without relying on that other bullshit like singing choruses etc. The most interesting part was at the end when the DJ does his
thang. Their LP "Blah, Blah, Blah" is about to drop,
so we'll soon see if they can bring some good food
to the picnic or if they just bring the napkins. I'll
probably be let down but hey, that would be nothing new.
- Kemo the Lab rat
Camp Lo
"Kill 'Em Softly"
Who the fuck is Camp Lo you askin'? Two cats
from New York who are about to bring their shit
to the arena. 19 year old Geechi Grace and 21
year old Cochese are from New York and you may
have heard their track "Coolie High" that was supposedly supposed to "get you wide" but it didn't
do much for me. The beat was kinda wack but the
rhyme flows were kinda nice, I didn't really notice
until I flipped the acapella on another beat then
it's like their lyrics just jumped out at me and I
said, "Damn. I think they're on some shit." Word
up. "Kill 'Em Softly" is a better demonstration of
these two mc's potential but I have a feelin' it's still
not their best shit. They've got an ill flow that
they call the "Donald Goines" style, now I don't
know who the fuck that is- excuse me- all I know
is that they got me wide on their shit. "Kill 'Em
Softly" needs to be checked, don't be thrown off
by "Coolie High" and I heard they're on the new
De La shit. Word? I think Geechi says it best
when he says in the bio, "Camp Lo is straight from
the heart, no gimmies. We are really 'Coolie High'.
People with short eyes try to sleep on you, doubt
you, take you for less than your really worth. People with short eyes better look out for Camp Lo."
Yo, my eyes are like, seven feet long. I'm awake.
-FreeStyle Crazee
"Once again it's the Likwitation crew and we return for you like this..." Word! We all heard of
Xzibit by now, he's guest appeared on several
Alkaholiks and King Tee tracks ("Damn", "No Hand
Outs" and "Freestyle Ghetto".) So what can we
say 'bout this cat 'cept that he's from the west and
he could rhyme regardless. This is the first single
from Xzibit who undoubtedly has an album in the
works as we speak. The song itself isn't bad at all,
with my man flippin' some shit... "It's a shame!
Nigguhz in the rap game, only for the money and
the fame. Extra large!" Word, we heard it all before but it's something that ain't been said enough.
The production is bangin' and features an opera/
Raekwon style loop of some strings and singin'
and shit. Xzibit himself flows a bit likeTash except
with a deeper voice - what you expect - same
clique. All in all, the song's dope enough to get
rotation on my box however, this nigguh probably
got fresher shit lurkin' on his album. Keep lookin'
for Xzibit...
The Roots
"Section" b/w "Clones"
This llladelph crew is known for makin' live beats,
not just live beats but live beats with a live ass
band and anybody who's been to a Roots show
knows how live the shit can get. The newest work
from the Roots is "Section" and "Clones". The a
side has Black Thought flowin' over butter production, that sounds like they've sampled themselves this time around, givin' it that phatter feel. I
thought "Sections" was alright but the b side? Now
this is some shit, no doubt. First things first, the
beat is sick! When I first heard it, I was trippin'.
This track lands somewhere in the land of all time
remarkable jams, production wise and lyrically, no
doubt. The flows are super tight, constructed by
M.A.R.S., Black Thought and Dice Raw. The track
is put together so nicely with a sort of "breather"
between each rhymer to get you ready for the
next rhymer, but you're never really that ready.
I'm sure a lot of heads will pick this shit up and
bug off it for a while so needless to say, I can't wait
for their next shit! For everybody who's ever slept
on the Roots because of the "live band" ignorance,
open your eyes or else dope Hip Hop will just
keep passin' you by...
28     elements PMD
"Rugged N Raw"
Boondocks Records
Live from the Squad Tower, Parrish Smith is about
to blast off takin' shit to the next century.Through
his evolution, it seems the mic doc has taken himself back to the core of hardcore. I know a lot of
peeps who were disappointed with the last joints
PMD released but I guarantee you, "no more music by the suckas." This joint, "Rugged N Raw" can
only be described as "swoll." To a hardrock such
as myself, I feel a sense of relief to hear Parrish
bustin' them old classic "slow flower" flows straight
up and down, "that b boy shit!" Not only does P
come back with tight skills but yo! the production
is where it should have been on his last album. I
see now that he's been settin' motherfuckers up
for a fall. "Rugged N Raw" possesses fat basslines
and bangin' ass beats and PMD sounds nice like
curry chicken on rice with some hot sauce on top.
I'm lookin'forward to an album from Parrish Smith
and remember, "approach with caution cause
brothers pack jammies."
Royal Flush
"Worldwide, worldwide, whenever beef is startin'.
Keep ya mind on Queens when the dogs start
barkin'..." Yeah, Royal Flush from the Wastelandz
family and representing Queens seem to be dissin'
right here. Some more of that east vs west type
shit. Flush seems to be responding to Dogg
Pound's "New York, New York" I guess. Damn,
DPG got them New York nigguhz trippin' huh...
Anyway, the song itself is aiight but Flush sounds
like Nas without the same level of skills. Production on the track is pretty dope and as a whole,
the shit is nice but nuttin' to get me too excited.
Odds are however, if you listen to it you'll like it.
It's got a catchy chorus and nice melodies. Best
look out for Flush later though, I've got a feelin'
he'll be back with the next shit.
AboveThe Law
"100 Spokes"
Tommy Boy
"As I floss my 100 spokes it's no joke." For all of
y'all who don't know, these nigguhz is talkin' 'bout
rims - 100 spokes. Then again, if you know wuzup
you probably know all about Above The Law, who
are now on Tommy Boy. They first crashed on the
scene around '89 with "Murder Rap" and since then
have seen mad success on their last two albums.
However, underground gossip has it rumored that
their newest shit is extra tight... we'll see. "100
Spokes" is the first single and it's a I'il something
to ride to. Production is handled by Cold 187um
and features this sista takin' it to the bridge (I don't
know her name.) The song's dope and all buy not
what I appreciate ATL for. However, I also recognize that it's their first single so they probably tryin'
to get some widespread play. I know the album is
gonna be raw though, so look out. Other than
that, it's good to hear K.M.G. and I87um again.
So floss them rims if you got 'em and bump some
ATL no joke.
- Checkmate
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Pi U Sou!
Stakes Is High
Jay-Zw/Fowy frown
Ain't No Nigga
The Lump, Lump
Royal Flush
Pay You Pie
Money low Playeri
Smoothe Pa ftostier
Phock Whatcha Heard
Preaded Fist
Operation lockdown
Wu-Tang Cla* (Cap tU tad)
If it's Alright With You
Po Yo Thang
la, la (Marly Marl remM
torta Rhymes w/ Rampage
Abandon Ship
Shybehu w/ Smooth* Trigger f
P.V. alias Christ
What Makes The World Go Round
Camp lo
KaUm Softly
The Roots w/ MARA * Roe Raw
House of Pain w/ SadatX
Heart Full of Sorrow
Rugged Ruff
may/june     29 ♦♦♦
by Upski
"What is the funk and how will I know if I'm faking it?"
- Del the Funky Homosapien (1991)
Two years later, people are still talking about "faking the funk" as though it
meant something, as though Del had never even posed the question.
Funk is an aesthetic, a sensibility.
Funk is not something that is possible to fake.
It can be mocked or misrepresented. It can be harnessed to create products
(such as recorded music) which are bought and sold. It can be attacked and
ridiculed - aren't these what we really mean when we say "faking the funk"!
Haven't we just been using the wrong verb?
And if so (here comes the bigger question), what do we really mean by the
whole REAL vs. FAKE campaign in hip-hop? Crazy Legs wearing a "True Skool"
t-shirt...KRS-ONE asking"How many REAL hip-hoppers in the place right about
now?" Aren't these just our attempt as a community to pass moral judgment -
"to separate the good stuff from the junk" - without sounding corny?
There's no problem with that. No one doubts that KRS-ONE is a real hip-
hopper, whatever that is, or that Crazy Legs is from the True Skool, whatever that
is. The only problem:What the fuck is it?
The only problem, as Large Professor says:"We've got to be more precise." It's
like Moses coming down off Mount Sinai with The Two Commandments: "Stay
True," and "Don't Fake": Unless we can agree on what they mean in an actual
situation, what's the point of even bringing them up?
Some will say that phrases like "fake" and "real" are intentionally vague and
undefinable, that "We know what we mean" when we use them and defining
them will scifle hip-hop by placing restrictions on it.
"Okay... Alice Walker, about this book title... it's so exact, are you sure you want
to limit yourself to purple? You could be sufling your subject matter. Why not just
call it The Real Color - real readers will know what you mean... Oh, Mr. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet? But this is a universal story. You don't want people to
think it was limited to one couple! Let's call it Real Love... Mr. Haley, Mr. Haley,
Mister Haleyl Why are you trying to label this as an autobiography1. It's so much
more than just a life story! The Real Malcolm X - that's what you should call it..
The creative side of hip-hop should never be stifled. Using more precise language doesn't stifle. It let's us say what we mean. If hip-hop is going to have a
moral side, it must be specific enough to be useful. Otherwise, every time we
say something like "Be true to the game," what the fuck are we even talking
And how can we begin to protect "Real hip-hop" from exploitation if we can't
say exactly what it is that we are protecting? If we can't answer Dels question
about how to tell the difference between real and fake, who are we to say that
we ourselves aren't fake?
That's why authenticity is such a dead-end street If we're gonna talk morals,
let's keep the discussion in this atmosphere: Word is bond; pay your dues; don't
front; don't bite; don't stop; don't forget where you came from; peace, unity
love, and having fun; give credit where credit is due; show and prove; stop the
violence; freedom of speak; don't wish on a four-leaf clover; do for self; it ain't
where you're from it's where ya at; and give back to whoever made you what you
are... (And it ain't always easy. Contradictory morals, such as "It ain't where ya
from, it's where ya at," and "Don't forget where you come from" need some
sorting out.)
But most morals just need to be brought down to Earth with specifics: What
exactly are my dues? How must I pay them, in what form and to whom? When do
I have to start paying them, and when do I get to stop and have other people
paying dues to me? How are my dues different from someone else's of a different
race or class? From a different city? At a different time? In a different hip-hop
art form or in more than one art form? Why do I have to pay dues in the first
place, and who's to say whether I'm in debt?
Until we begin posing and answering our moral questions at a more practical,
precise, and specific level, what we're really mocking, misrepresenting, buying,
selling, stifling, attacking, ridiculing, and yes, faking, is the whole conversation of
what we believe in and how we want to live.
"FakingThe Conversation" was taken from the Subway and Elevated Press book
BombThe Suburbs by William "Upski" Wimsatt. For more information or to
order your own copy of BombThe Suburbs write to:
The Subway and Elevated Press
P.O. Box 377653
Chicago, II.
30     elements historical, april tnwo, ntoie-sii. 


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