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Elements CITR-FM (Radio station : Vancouver, B.C.) Jul 1, 1995

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  ll
MOCCA R
TEL: 604-986-
-   ^
mmKKtKtKKKKBm^mmtm ■r-~~~ijpr       CiTR  101.9fM
mission,        ^^^"^±.---,:r&-  mm,-..-f~TW)
..word to Checkmate1 ^fc-'wC                /
>y Dedos ;AA Graphics!         ^uiBW*^
veafuck! Elements 95 baby.
July 1995 #2                 _^f^ f
J^^^^^g^m^^            Truth is 1
m-            J&               in every Elements edit
^P*--^              Once again, Coverartw<
All-Writes reserved. We don
he
on
>rk
SPECIAL ED              8
NITWITS                12
RAEKWON             19
CIPHER                 22
MADSKILLZ           24
Word?                  5
It's On You             6
the Vinyl Konfiikt     7
MixTape              11
1 the Seen              14
1 Masterpieces         16
1 re: Views              27
Editors
] Swing
Mr. Flipout
Assistant Editor
Layout/Production
J Swing & Mr. Flipout
Art Direction
AllCity Action Team
Contributers
Checkmate
Ebony
FreeStyle Crazee
H.Ahmad
Huge Bahamonde
JosephusStreat
Kemo the Ubrat
Lilac Treger
Muziklylnzanee
Photography
Rolando Espinoza
Publisher
Linda Scholten
Elements Hip Hop Journal is back! Elements is a bi-month
Content - Elements will focus on all elements of Hip Hop cultu
international level. The magazine features interviews, music re
Editorial Policy - Elements jointly shares CiTR programming pc
822-3017 for details) and encourages submissions from all me
with the magazine's underground theme for better publishing
Submissions ■ Please forward all submissions (illustrations, flick
6l38SUBBIvd.Vancouver.B.C..V6TIZIorfaxusat:(604)8
licy
mbe
yes
22
>azine published by the Student Radio Society of UBC.
C's. DJ's, Breaking and Graffiti • on both a local, national, and
. and lifestyle issues pertaining to the Hip Hop community,
(ask Linda Scholten or Miko Hoffman ml CiTR radio (604)
rsof CiTR and the general public. Please ensure consistency
deration ('cause we don't pnnt no bullshit).
says, reviews opinions, etc) to: Elements, c/o CiTR, » 233-
364.
elementary
element- (n) any of the four substances (air, fire, earth,
water) believed to constitute all physical matter.
-or-
element- (n) any of the four substances (Aerosol art, B-boy,
DJ, Master of Ceremony) believed to constitute the Universal Hip Hop Culture.
-or-
Element(s)- (ppr. n) this magazine. Word.
This mag was created to, put it simply, SET ITOFF in this country. This country we live in is called Canada, so don't forget
it and don't front because we've got some shit here that
can twist any real hip hop head from Seattle to Tokyo. So
what we at Elements are going to do is connect the Hip Hop
community from Vancouver Island to the shores of Newfoundland. To the best of my knowledge, no one has successfully attempted the feat of joining this 9 970 610 square
kilometres of land mass for one common cause: the love of
fuckin' Hip Hop. Many have CLAIMED to be a Canadian-
wide publication butwe're here to give the real props where
they're due. So respects to RapCity for transmitting Hip Hop
for all these years, but now Elements is here to take some
weight off your shoulders and open doors that have been
closed for way too long. One of our major concerns is the
lack of recognition given to graff artists in Canada. The AllCity
Action Team (A.A. Crew) has been called in to rectify the
problem by compiling flicks from the illest Canadian writers
and displaying them in full color appropriately in the centre
of each issue of Elements.
All b-boys know that they've been forgotten about in the
past and been fronted on throughout the industrialization
of MCs. But when any hip hop motherfucker sees b-boys
goin' off, whether it's in 1985, '95, or 2014, they can feel
that shit and realize, without even realizing it conciously, how
important and powerful that shit is. So Element's is gonna
try as best we can to interview the original b-boys from New
York to any new crews representing worldwide. Just give us
time, it'll come.
DJ's have also been fronted on of late, as most DJ's are
turning producers and have lost intrest in the developement
of this artform. Ample and exclusive information will be relayed to all of you on the continuous evolution of pimping
the Tech I2's through this printed medium.
On the topic of dope MC coverage, Elements realizes that
most publications are strictly industry based, meaning they
revolve only around RAP- or recording artist/ production (as
defined by Mr. Wiggles). This is fine because MCs are finally
makin' the ends they deserve and taking control of the business and livin' lovely from it. 'Nuff power to all striving MCs,
make that loot, get that current. On that note, respect
due to The Source, Rap Pages, The Flavor, etc. Word up for
real. However, Elements realized that the business and politics has been taken care of by the aforementioned mags, so
we are determined on focusing upon all aspects in the foundation of our culture. Because without recognizing the foundation of any structure, it risks toppling from above. Moreover, this foundation is also a metaphor for the underground.
The stronger it becomes, the more weight it can support as
it keeps growing and expanding, not just higher (the next
level) but wider (more heads involved) and maintain the
strength throughout.
Hip Hop is life in essence, so respect it, learn from it, and
make it as dope as you can, because that will reflect onto
yourself and to everyone around you... and that's on the real
for real for real. No joke.
-Flipout 1
d n i
CC! Y
J
•ill
JJlA
DJ EQUIPMENT
CLOTHING   CDs   &   VINYL
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HH|^feBt^ '^NnnWbH
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MAIL ORDER SERVICE AVAILABLE
217 WEST HASTINGS (ATCAMBIE)
VANCOUVER, B.C., V6B 1H6
PH. (604) 689-7734 FX. (604)689-7781 WORD/
Tragedy has struck again in NY. with a member of The Zulu
Nation being murdered. Showbiz (Show & AG) has been arrested and is thought to be the prime suspect in this case. Rumours are flying over this one. Let's just hope that the media
doesn't blame it on "rap music". Be on
thelookoutforthe 17 date Canadian
Hip Hop tour coming to a town near
you this summer featuring Rascalz,
Ghetto Concept and Kaos. J.T. The
Bigga Figga (out of the Bay) has just
signed a distribution deal with Priority Records for his own Get Low
Records as did Bay Area artist Master P with Priority for his No Limit
label. Speaking of labels and distribution, Wild Pitch Records has lost
theirs with EMI and have shutdown.
Rumours have it that Stepsun, who
have separated with Tommy Boy, is
right behind them. The 1995 DMC
Championship is now available on
video as is the reissue of the documentary "Style Wars ".Also checkout
the "Repeat Offender" graffiti video
put out by On The Go magazine out
of Philly. The video also features The Roots as well as a showcase from X-Men DJ's Rob Swift and Sinister. Also on the
video tip, 01 D.B. wins for dopest video of the month with
"Shimmy Shimmy Ya". Honorable mention goes to TLC for
"Waterfalls" (can't front, that shit is dope). The 2nd Annual
Source Awards will be held this august in N.Y.C. Wise Intelligent from P. R.T. has a new joint out with the Nitty Gritty on
Rap Promoters?
Once bitten twice shy. What do you do when you've been bitten more than twice? Well...
Once again another Hip Hop show has been cancelled in Toronto. This time it was the biggest show of the year: Rap Fest
'95 featuring Redman, Keith Murray, Common Sense, Biz
Markie, Craig Mack, Too Short and TO. s Ghetto Concept.
The show had gone on the night before in Montreal and on returning to Toronto the promoters T&J realized that they had
no money to pay the acts, and tried at the last minute to get the
funds they needed, which obviously did not happen. They then
failed to inform the 500 or more heads in attendance, who were
left listening (for awhile anyway) to the sounds of Mastermind,
and when he stopped, the sound of speaker hum. This was the
the Dancehall tip. Special Ed is backwith "Neva Go Back" off
his forth coming album. What's this? No more Pete Rock &
C.L. Yet another dope group divides. The D&D Allstars just
finished shootingtheirvideofor" 1,2 Pass It". Where else would
they shoot the video, but of course
at D&D studios. On the independent
side of things, L-Swift has put out
"How It's Going Down" on Fortress
Records, Dr. Frankenstein (formally Delphi Oracle) comes with
"Frankenstein's Pain" on Knowledge
Of Self Records, Rascalz have released "Blind Widda Science" b/w
"Solitaire" on Figure IV Records,
Finsta Bundy's second single "Who I
Be is available on Big Willie
Records, Cipher has "Peeps" out on
Mocca Records, Shabazz drops
"Death Be The Penalty" on Penalty
Recordings, Da Grass Roots featur-
ing Elemental has just released
"Drama" on Black Employed
Records, and on Wu-Tang Records
are both Sunz Of Man and The Genius new track "Labels". Make sure
you pick up DJ Craig G's new mix tape "Sneakin' Up FT. 2" for
all the latest (or should we say earliest) joints. Everything from
new Biggie, to new Rakim, to new Smif-n-Wessun with Mary
J. Blige, to new LL Cool J with Mary, to new remixes of Junior
Mafia, to the new Crooklyn Dodgers, to new Onyx, to... oh
well, you get the point. One thing though, whatever happened
to DJ's actually DJ'ing on theirtapes. Hmmm? Out.
by Muziiily luzanee
final straw for an audience which had been disappointed many
times before, and commenced in destroying Varsity Arena,
sound board included. Even Redman & Keith Murray, who had
returned not knowing the show was cancelled, weren't spared.
Redman took a few punches and broke his hand in the scuffle
while Murray was chased around the arena and tooka bottle to
the head while he was trying to defend his partner.
This was the climax of a year Where promoters have continually
put on fraud shows, and ran off with the money. This time TO.
was not havin' it! Unfortunately, this has seriously damaged the
concert scene. We have lost artists such as Redman who I am
sure will spread the word to other artists, but more importantly
the fans have been dissed and regaining their trust is going to
be the hardest.
JULY  5 It's On You
In your opinion, whatartist(s) fell off the most?
"Somethin' that hurt was Cypress Hill.
I loved their first tape, man. They
started trippin' off that buddah and
they just used that as their gimmick.
Any group that has any gimmick gets
no respect from me."
-Primero (Furst); Nitwits
Hl don't know, man. I can't really an-
swerthat. Within every genre of music, there's only so much of a period
that musicians and artists can relate
and appeal to the masses. There's
groups that have been around for a
longtime; ones that meant a lotto me.
They're still rockin' and in a lot of peoples views, maybe they shouldn't be;
but at the same time these people
didn't love them the same way I did
back in the day."
- Clean; Cipher
"Alright, IVe got a fuckin' listerooney
for your ass right here, check it: Big
Daddy Kane, he was bad - then he was
smooth, now he just...man,
yaknowhati'msayin' though. I gotta include Cypress 'cause their first joint was
a classic, straight up. Oh yeah, Eric "I
can't do shitanymore so let megive this
rapping thing that Rakim made look so
easy a try" B fell the fuck off. His
scratches were wack anyways."
- Freestyle Crazee!
"... ya see you can't front on legends.
If you don't buy ityou gotta at least listen to it. 'Cause them nigguhz made
the shit even more interesting for all
of us. So you know, I give respect where
respect is due. But you know, the
youth man, the youth is some strong
ma'fuckersboyee!"
- Raekwon the Chef
"LL and Chuck D. Sitcoms and wack
gear. No wonder Defjam wants to sue
them for inferior material."
-Mr. Bill;KrispyBisket
"I'm not going to say any names but I
hate it when there's a good ass DJ from
a long time ago that you looked up to,
and you look at him now and he's
samplin' shit. I mean they're not
stickin' with their roots, ya know?
They're following some other shit like
producing. I mean it's cool to produce
but it's like, what happened to your
roots, your scratching, your turntable
skills? Why don't you apply that somewhere? They're wonderin' why their
shit ain't sellin' - because nigguhz
wanted to hear the scratchin' in the
first place."
- DJ Q-Bert
6 ELEMENTS The Vinyl Konf lict f / Q-Bert
by 1 Swing
What first got you interested in DJing?
I guess I started when I was 15. It just tripped
me out listening to Malcom Mclaren's "Buffalo
Gals" and "Rock It" by Herbie Hancock with DJ
DST on there. I seen some people
scratching on turntables and I was
like "fuck, that's fascinating," how
you can put your hand right on the
sound and just fuck with it. Its like a
miracle or some shit.
Where did you go from there?
I tried it out on my dad's equipment
and shit. I thought I was all fresh
'cause I could do some phony ass little basic scratches, so I was like
"Yeah, whats up? Anyone wanna battle?" So I cut school and went to
homeboys house and he schooled
me. He did some scratches with the
fader, and it was a knob fader on his
home stereo. So I said "Aw, that's
fresh" and went back home and
practiced that style. Then I thought I
was bad 'cause I learned that style so
I said "Aw shit, I can fuck up anybody
now." So all of a sudden I meet Mix Master Mike,
this was back in '8 5, and he came up and busted
some wild shiton me. He did the scratches from
"Rock It" on me. He fucked me upand I was like,
"Oh no". I was all nervous after that. That's
pretty much how I started, we were just battling
a lot. Competing a lot got me good. I was like
"Fuck, I can't let this guy take me out," cause I
would always get taken out. I lost more battles
than I won battles, to tell you the truth. I was
always like "Naw, I can't let him take me out".
So I would practice and practice and practice.
So thats how I got to where I am I guess.
Alright. So you're on the new Bomb Compilation DJ album.
Yeah, that's coming along real well. We're called
the Invizible Skratch Pickelz. That's Shortkut,
myself and Disk. We did an all... all the instruments are from the turntables. I guess you can
say its the most unique song on the whole album because everything is done from the turntables, there was no samplers.
Who's idea was that?
That's my idea. We used to study other DJ's and
be like," Let's study this guys style" and we would
get his style down pat. Then it was "let's study
this guy" and we would get his style down pat.
We would study every DJ there was and get there
styles down pat until it was like "Fuck, there ain't
nobody to study no more." So we started studying other forms of music like Jazz and Rock &
Roll a<id shit like that and figure out how they
play their shit and apply it to the turntables.
That's how I came up with the concept of having
all the sounds on a songs off of turntables instead
of using samplers and shit.
How does that work?
Well let's see, one guy's playing the beat, you
know scratching the beat. One guy can scratch
anything from a bass line to guitar sound to a fart,
anything.
Are you going to take that one step further
and do an album?
Yeah definitely, were going to do a Jazz album.
That Bomb Compilation is going to be the first
song. Strictly turn tables and nothingelse. It'll be
just the deepest, rawest Hip Hop.
When it comes to DJing, what impresses you
these days?
Originality, finesse, style, skill and composition.
You know, if he does something new that Ive
never seen before. I like theX-Men from New
York, that DJ crew out there. Roc Raider, Rob
Swift, Steve D, Sinister, the whole crew. They
impress me a lot, I really like them.
Other than the Jazz thing,
Where do you want to go from
here?
I would like to take DJing to a new
audience, but if it doesn't happen
then I'll just do my thing. A lot of
experimental stuff is whatwere going to do. Just try and create new
styles so if were dead in the year
fuckin' I million, people will look
back and be like "Aw man, these
guys invented this fuckin' this
style?!"
And what would you say your
style is?
It's a combination of a lot of styles
put into one. Kinda like you know
how Bruce Lee took a little bit of
that, a little bit of this, and a little bit of that and
put it together and made his own style. That's
like my style on the tables. You know the speed...
just all aspects of the turntables as an instrument
is pretty much what I'm tryin' to do and more.
Q-Bert's remedy for cleaning and
loosening your crossfader
- open up the mixer and take the fader
out.
- clean the fader with channel spray
- after it has been sprayed, wash the
fader
- when that is done dry the fader with a
blowdryer
Q-Bert: What makes all that static is the
carbon build up in there. Get rid of the
carbon and it's like new again. It's cool to
spray your fader once and a while if you
don't want to take the fader out, but if
you don't wash it out the carbon will stay
and it wont come clean.
JULY  7 special
Whatever happened to SPECIAL ED?
After his first two albums, Flatbush's finest went on the DL, leaving hip-hop heads
all over the world in suspense. I recently
got a chance to talk to the man himself
about the past fewyears, but more importantly, his single— "Neva Go Back" and his
long awaited third album, Revelations.... First man, where you been at an<ffhit, yaknowhati'msayin'?
We haven't heard from you in abouTfouryears, besides on the
"Crooklyn" thang. So if you could fill us in on whatyou've been
doing and all that....
Okay, well I've basically been developing as an artist and as a producer working with groups... ya know at the studio, tracks, automation , so that's no small thing, that's a big thing to be taking of on
a daily basis... and I ve been producing acts as well as my own stuff.
Dope... What are the names of some of the new groups, as far
as other artists, ya know?
Yeah, well I'm fucking with The Killing Team, Two Black Bastards,
40, Shields D. Realz. I'm working with a couple of producers such
as myself, my partner and longtime DJ Akshun, my brother Drew,
my man Ish (the big I), Moe... so it's like I'm working with a whole
bunch of people, I'm doing a whole bunch of stuff,
yaknowhati'msayin'... Yeah, I'm working with a couple producers,
a couple artists, rappers, disan' dat.
I heard y'all went back to yard and shit...
Yeah man, I went down to Jamaica to do a song with Bounty Killer.
I heard that shit this morning, that shit's fat man, Bounty Killer's large, word up...
That's what I'm sayin', I mean ya know I could have picked anybody.
I could have tried to pick some ol' platinum artist or whatever. I
figured let me go back to the roots, let me find somebody that's
true to this and do this the correct way.
Made"...
They should, that's supposed to be a classic right there,
yaknowhati'msayin'? I wanna give thanks for that, 'cause that's what
I came into this industry to do. I set out to make a mark in this
industry and be historical in an aspect, knowhati'msayin', and try
to say I did this, Ididthat. Butyo, I put put myfoot down and made
my mark in this industry and I want everyone to realize that.
I heard that your new video is supposed to be something stupendous, yaknowhati'msayin'...
Oh yeah, it's out right now. You should be seeing it ASA P. It'son
rotation now on some of the video channels. It'scalled "Never Go
Back". It was directed by Omar Epps (Juice, Higher Learning), so I
had a lot of input on that, being that we're peers, and ya know, he's
just a cool motherfucker. I basically gave him my ideas and let him
bring them to life.
Yo, you ever comin' down to the West Coast or what, G? You
know, way up in Candada, Vancouver an' shit...
Canada is live, son. Canada's one of the livest places I've ever been.
Word the fuck up!
I had a show up there in Canada and that was one of the best performances I ever had. The crowd was all with me, we was all together. That shit was live man, some emotional shit, kid. Yeah,
man, and then when I did my reggae shit, that shit just tore the
housedown. That'swhat I'm sayin', I definitely know about Canada,
no doubt.
On your single, Never Go Back,you flip some mad skills man,
like... you got that shit... damn I can't think of it right now...
("Ya rhymes is soft like fur/ oh you wrote 'em for her/ well
that explain it")... but you just spittin' some of that 'ol shit
again, man.
Yeah... "Pumpin' like Donovan, plus I'm a L'il Vicious " and all that
other shit. That's my comeback joint, just lettin' people know I
ain't gonna dwell on the past. I know what I've done, and what I
was and what I did, but I ain't goin' back, I'm a just come back, the
new shit, yaknowhati'msayin'?... Fuck the past, we gonna live the
future.
Word, that's why I thought I d askyou about the new shit cause
I'm sure you're sick to death of people askin' you about that
old shit.  You know everybody knows the words to "I Got it
:m^M;f:iMf'M:.ii
So what's up with Akshun?
He's still my partner 'til this day. I wouldn't even call him a DJ 'cause
that's not what he is. He's my partner, he's a producer, he's an
engineer, yo my man does just about everything,
yaknowhati'msayin'? He's an all around person. I've got a studio
out in Brooklyn, Akshun engineers atthe studio. We produce tracks
out the studio. Even if I make the beat, I let him engineer for me
cause he's skilled at all them things there, ya know?
Yo, that's so good to hear, yaknowhati'msayin? Two brothers
who have been down since back then and y'all still together,
knowhati'msayin. No talk about that split up shit, y'all growing together...
I'm saying, it's beo
^h, there's been a lot of fucked up times
>m:mm:m-    mvmmm:m^- and depressions, yaknowhati'msayinBand just times in general..
Not no personal shit between me ancmim, but just in life and how
it's dealt with us and you know, through our things, but we've stuck
together 'cause, yaknowhati 'msayin, we started out together. It's
just a thing where it's like real dedication there because we started
from scratch. We started from just two nigguhz cutting out of
school, going to cut up some break beats and rhymes in the basement, to no audience, yaknowhati'msayin? There wasn't no audience, we was just doing it on the strength. Now it is what it is today, so I m glad about that.
That's good to hear, brother getting on and all that. Incidentally, how old were you when you first came out?
I did "I Got it Made" and the first album when I was fifteen. When
itcameoutlwas 16. Then throughout the years, today I'm 23... So
it's been awhile.
So you're still young, but you're like a veteran in this game,
yaknowhati'msayin'?
Well, that's what I'm tryin' to show nigguhz, I'm trying to show,
well...
You've got some O.G. status up in this game.
So he's still rollin' with y'all too, huh? That's some crazy shit.
Well, he's doing his thing as a producer too. He's back and forth
between New York and the west coast doing his thing, so he's a
very busy man himself. So ya know, we've always got to pay our respects and get some input from the man, and make sure that he
got his piece stable, yaknowhati'msayin'?
Word up! I seen you up in juice, doing a little cameo and shit.
You gonna get into the movies?
Only if it's meant for me. I ain't gonna read for no part against a
hundred actors and see if I get a part. I'm into music. I make records,
albums and videos...
mostly    just     the
records, ya know? All
the videos and that
come with   it.     If
somebody offers me
apart, I'm gonna take
it. I'm not gonna run
around like no ham
sandwich trying to
get a part.
Yaknowhati'msayin'! At that time, when I came out, I was the only
thing like that goin' on and it just set the trend for mad heads to
come follow...
Your new album is called Revelations, with fourteen tracks...
so this is the thick album, then!
This is it. This is no commercial, no gimmicks, no bullshit and no
jokes. Straight up song after song, fourteen joints.
With production handled by yourself, Akshun, and...
Howie Tee, Mark Sparks, Father Shaheed and High Class from
Brooklyn. It's like, me and Akshun did half of the album and then
we said alright, the other half we II split up amongst respected producers that we felt we wanted to give props to. And no doubt, of
course Howie, you know, who started me off in the industry.
Howie Tee's responsible for puttingyou on, right?
Yeah. He gave me my first beats, he put me on my first tracks and
you know, I got my deal from that. And he is also the producer of
the first single, "Neva go Back".
CiTR 101.9 FM
THE SHOW sat 6 pm-8 pm
AWARA HOUSE tues 6 pm - 7 pm
THE YACHT CLUB wed 11:30 am - I :I5 pm
HIP HOP HABIT every 2nd mon 7 pm - 9 pm
CFRO 102.7 FM
"KRISPY BISCUIT' tues midnight - 2 am
NO MERCY ON THE GROOVE mon 4 pm - 5 pm
BEATS 2 DA RHYME tues I am - 7am
CJSF 93.9 CABLE FM
STRAIGHT NO CHASER' fri 7 pm - 9 pm
STRAIGHT OUTTA NEWTON wed 7 pm - 9 pm
e 10 Mix Tape
A— DATE/TIME
NOISE REDUCTION _ ON _OFF
0
DATE/TIME
NOISE REDUCTION _ON _OFF
Sugar Hill -AZ
360°-NltWIt*
The Riddler - Method Man
Who IBe - Flmta Pundy
P°e In Advance - tengstarr
Frankenstein's Pain - Pr. Frankenstein
Extra Abstract Skillz - MadskWz     Crazy - Special Ed
Keep On - frand Fuba
Up North Trip - Mobb Peep
Criminology - Raekwon the Chef
Terror - Masta Ace Inc.
Shades Of Black - Raklm
Let Their Brains Blow - HeHa Skefta
AhYeah-KRSOne
Coast II Coast - Tha Alkaholiks
let Me At Em - Wu-Tang Clan
Masta I.C. - Mic Oeronimo
Tribute - Jemini the Wfted One
labels: Oenloi/ftZA
e&zfuisite threads
for OZittfs and (Si ueens
k
incfiaries 604.5^^808
JULY I I Latin funk: Since day one, Latino brothers have been helping form the universal Hip Hop landscape, but their contributions take a consistant back seat
on the flavor bus. Now, two Brown-skins enter the Hip Hop metro.
Ding...next stop...the Nit Wits.
fc>y  ROLAND^
SPIN
:xv
It's 1995 and Vancouver city is experiencing its largest Hip Hop
surge since 94's DJ SoundWarfestival/contest. The introduction of Tremor Record's- Nit Wits, brings a whole new bilingual vibe to the city's underground rap scene. Probably first
introduced to local heads via last year's opening act performance at the bunk De La No-Show gig, the Nit Wits have matured to the next level. Their new single titled, "ThenThere's
Nada" incorporates Nit Wit fusion of English and Spanish languages: Spanglish (flavorless true English translation = "Then
There is Nothing"). "We always kick Spanglish flavor- that's
for you mi Raza- just to kicka different slang and show that we
got our Brown pride in there" explains Amazon; part one of
the Nitwit duo.
When first hearing the Nitwit's lyrical skills, you immediately
realize the difference between part one and part two; for each
MC carries his own unique Hip Hop baggage. This contrast in
past experiences makes for a tasty recipe...mmm, que rico.
Part one: Amazon's style is best described as a lyrical reflection of the jungle and great river of the same name in the heart
of South America. His family brothers OG Eugeneo and DJ
Kemo (Labratz Production, Rascalz) introduced '83 Hip Hop
into their Vancouver East-side household and things haven't
been the same since. "I gotta give large respects to my brothers, 'cause they always hooked uptheHipHopforme. When
people couldn't get that shit, my bros hooked me up. They
taught me everything. I remember being six years old and doing backspins on our tile floor in the backyard. They even got
me to enter a breakin' competition in some West Van mall...
that's real Hip Hop." confesses Amazon.
Parttwo: Primero(Furst)isthe knowledge of thegroup. Old
school is in session when Primero rocks the box, unleashing
12 ELEMENTS Latin pride as if it were no thing. "I'm writin' lyricsfor all peoples , but especially our people, 'cause there's alot of sleepy
heads out there... there's not enough strong Latino voices
representing...especially in Hip Hop." he states. Primero's
Hampstead, Long Island stomping grounds gave him a unique
perspective on the emerging culture that would be called Hip
Hop. He recalls, "I used to be the little shorty sniffing arm-
pits,
checkin'
out the ci-
p h e r ;
dudes
freestylin'.
I used to
try to get
in there
and see
what was
happening. I remember
walking
home
from
school
scratching
the vinyl
of my
notebook, saying' Yeah!
mom,
look at
this... listen
to this!
My mama
was a real traditional Latina lady... she didn't give a fuck about
my notebook "scratching" shit, (laughter)." He went on to
tell us about his pre-pubescent run-in's with U.TF.O's Kangol
Kid,, and how his cousin used to live across the streetfrom them
in Long Island. "I used to watch him, (Kangol Kid) play the
drums and freestyle with the kids around the way...Roxanne,
Roxannc.all that! All that- That was the shit that got me
started, man." recalls Primero.
The lackof inertia in Vancouver's growing Hip Hop scene dominates various conversations, including the one we had with the
Nit Wits on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Amazon
stated, "It's hard to create quality Hip Hop in this city, man.
My boys that are around me just push us. My mentality around
me is pure Hip Hop, even if I don't see it outside my immediate window...! don't care what the fuck's around me. We just
wanna grow a nice foundation with all the real heads that we
have up in here... all the real heads, and we'll start this shitfor
real." On that note, Primero also had some things to say about
the young state of the Vancouver rap scene saying, "This city is
so brand new, we can do that, (create quality music.) We can
go back to the essence of Hip Hop, 'cause we don't have to
worry about the other bullshit that other folks deal with,(in
other major cities)."
As our conversation continued, it eventually got on the topics
of freestyle mics, and what interesting experiences had come
out of that
whole
thing.
When
asked
about war-
fa r e ,
Primero
paused
and then
said "You
gotta have
respect for
the crews
you battle
against. If
you want
to battle,
let's battle
and if you
want to
scrap...let's
throwdown
afterwards.. In
this city,
people
want to
hide behind their freestyles, thinkin' that if something goes
down...we'll just battle it off, then forget about it. Naw, man.
It's like this, if your gonna come insult me, then we're gonna
battle; then after that, we're gonna throwdown, forreal. That's
the way that shit goes."
So it's official. Vancouver is ready to finally come out and make
it's mark on the Hip Hop nation. After years of watching the
east (Toronto) dictating the flow of the (Canadian) industry,
people like the Nit Wits sat back, perfected their craft, and
waited their turn. If
you thinkthat these
brothers aren't
gonna come correct, you're living a
fantasy, and "The
fantasy your dreaming will go poof,
Then There's
Nada."
JULY 13
"My mentality around me is pure Hip Hop, even if I don't see it outside my
immediate window... I don't care what the fuck is around me. We just wanna
grow a nice foundation with all the real heads that we have up in here... and
we'll start this shit for real." - Amazon
ARTIST:
NITWITS
iabei:
TREMOR
RElEftSE:
THEN THERE'S NADA 12"
PRODUCTION:
djkemqUabratz)
MEMBERS:
AMAZON
PRIMERO, (FURST)
HOMETOWN:
VANCOUVER, BC The Seen
Send photos to: ELEMENTS c/o CiTR, 233-61 38 SUB Blvd,
Vancouver, BC   B6T IZI, Canada
14 ELEMENTS MAJOR WRITERS MEETING IN
NEW YORK CITY
IN THE YEAR 2000
TOYS LISTEN UP/ THIS IS A JOKE/ THIS IS NOT A REALITY CHECK/ READ THIS ON SUBSTANCE
THE ULTIMATE ONE YEAR MEETING WILL BE HELD IN NEW YORK CITY TO:
RETRIBUTE FORGIVING BIRTH TO THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD CRIME. TO GATHERTHE MOST POWERFUL MINDS IN
THE GRAFFm HIP HOP CULTURE TO TALK ABOUT UNITY IN GRAFFm. TO FIND OUT WAYS TO NOURISH THE SOULS OF
MAMYWHOARESAUVATINGFORAGROWTHOFABRANCHOFFTHEHIPHOPTREE. UNITETHROUGH UNDERGROUND
ILLEGAL MEETINGSTHROUGHOUTTHE CITY, SO ALL GRAFFITI ARTISTS OFTHE WORLD GETTO COLLABORATE AND PRODUCE THE FINEST GRAFFm ART EVER SEEN BY MAN. TO BRING OURSELVES OUT OF STAGNATION AND FIGURE OUT
HOWTO BRING OURARTTOTHE NEXTLEVELAND STAYTRUETOTHE GAME. EUMINATION OF NEGATIVE IDEAS BYRE-
EDUCATING WRITERS WHO TEACH HATE, RACIAL SEGREGATION AND SELF-IDEOLOGIES AND TO TEACH THE IMPORTANCE OF STYLE SO TO BRING UP NEW GENERATIONS WITH NO RULES BUT RESPECT. TO INTERGRATE MANY CRAZY
GRAFFITI IDEAS AND CREATE ANEWONE. TO TRAVELWTTH OTHERS THROUGHOUTTHE UNrTED STATESTO BOMBAND
CREATE LARGE SCALE GRAFFITI WILDSTYLE BURNERS TO SPREAD A NEW AND MUCH MORE CONSCIOUS HIP HOP. TO
LEARN FROM THE PAST AND NOTTO LIVE IN IT AND TO CREATE A NEW MOVEMENT OUT OFTHE OLD. 5 YEARS IS NOT
FARAWAY. THIS GATHERING WILL BE UNWANTED BY CITY, COUNTY, STATE AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. THIS GATHERING IS DANGEROUS. ENTER NYC AT YOUR OWN RISK. THE NEEDS OFTHE MANY OUTWEIGH THE NEEDS OFTHE
FEW. IMAGINE A GRAFFITI WORLD. IN THE NEXT 20 TO 30 YEARS THE PEOPLE WHO HAD FUCKED US UP
WILL HAVE SHRIVELLED UPAND DIED ANDTHE BABYBOOMERS GENERATION (THE ROCKAND ROLL/ HIPPIE/YUPPIE/
YOU NAME IT) WILL BE SLOTTED INTO POWERANDTHEYTHINK GRAFFITI ISCOOL? GRAFFITI ARTIS GOING TO EXPLODE
BIG ENOUGH TO OUTWEIGH EVERYTHING YOU DREAMED ABOUT AND THEN SOME. THE SPRAY CAN REPRESENTS A
SYMBOLOF OUR GENERATION. ITISANICON. ITIS AN AWAKENING EXPERIENCE. ITCHECKSALLOTHERFORMSOFHIP
HOP. IT IS AN ART FORM WITH SO MUCH SOUL AND INTEGRITY THAT IT WILL CRUSH THE ART WORLD INTO EARLY
RETIREMENT AND SHOWTHATTHE ART ON THE STREETS ARE THE REALUFE GALLERIES. THE ART GALLERIES WITH DEEP
CONNECTIONS WITH THE ART MAFIA, HAVE BEEN SLAVING YOU FORTHE PAST 50 YEARS OF YOUR PRECIOUS UFE, FINALLY GETS TO SAY YOU'RE THE "FLAVOR OFTHE MONTH" AND HAVE FORGOTTEN YOU WITH THE NEXT. MOST ART
SCHOOLS HAVE A DEEP CONNECTION TO THIS HIDEOUS IDEA FOR ART, NOT ENTIRELY, BUY FOR MANY IT HAS BEEN A
BREEDING GROUNDTO CONTROLART. SOCIETY WANTS TO CONTROLTHE ARTS AND GRAFFITI IS UNCONTROLLABLE.
ART CREATES A NEW LEVEL OF INTELLIGENCE AND DESTROYS AND CREATES SOCIETIES. ART IS VERY, VERY, POWERFUL
AND ART SHOULD BE FORTHE MASSES AND NOTTHE ELITIST. HALF OF THE YOUNG GRAFFITI WRITERS UVE IN THEIR
OWN LOCAL FANTASY WORLD THEY'VE CREATED AND DO NOT HAVE ANY INTEREST IN PUSHING THE GRAFFITI ART
MOVEMENT EXCEPT FOR PUSHING THE LOCAL SELF. NOTTO DISRESPECT AND MUCH PROPS TO THE O.G.'S BUT MANY
WRITERS FELL OFF IN THE PAST BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING NEW COMING IN AND THEY SAYTHEYVE GROWN UP
BUT IN RACTTHEY HAVE GIVEN UP ON THE ART. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS GIVING UP ON GRAFFITI, ITS JUSTTHAT
YOU ARE IN ONE OF MANY TRANSITIONAL PHASES GRAFFITI WRITERS GO THROUGH BECAUSE OF PRESSURES FROM
THE OPPOSITIONS OFTHE TIME (MAY IT BE FROM WRITERS OR SOCIETY). WHERE ARE YOU MUTHAFUCKAS? WE THE
GRAFFITI NATION NEED YOUTO REPRESENTTHE PAST ANDTHE FUTURE, BECAUSE ALLTH IS IS STILL VERY NEW AND ITIS
AN ART MEDIUM FOR UFE. SO LOOK FORTHE REAWAKENING OFTHE MOST POWERFUL ART FORM IN THE WORLD. WE
DONT HAVE TO REACH FOR A GOAL BECAUSE WE ARE THE GOAL AND WE ARE THE MOVEMENT!!! WE ARE A MASSIVE
UNCONTROLLABLE ILLEGAL FRENZY THAT QUENCHES THE THIRST OF THE ARTISTIC CRIMINAL MIND TO VIEWING THE
WHOLE, AS A CONTROLLED MOVEMENT. THIS IS THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGAIN CHAOTIC THEORY. THE DRAWINGS
FROM THE BEGINNINGS OF MAN MATCH THE GRAFFITI IDEOLOGIES OFTHE PRESENT DAY. WE HAVE COME FULL CIRCLE
IN OUR WORLD HISTORY OF MAN. WE HAVE BEEN IN A SITUATION WHERE THE BUND (SOCIETY) HAVE BEEN LEADING
THE BUND (GRAFFITI). WE MUST BREAK OFF FROM THE ART WORLD AND CREATE OUR OWN SEPARATE ENTITY. SO
FUCK THIS POST-MODERNISM, BULLSHIT-FUCKCRAP! WE DONT EVER CROSS OVER, THEY CROSS OVER TO US! THE
GRAFFITI WRITERS ARE THE URBAN SHAMANS AND THE STREETS ARE OUR MODERN DAY CAVES. WE WILL ONE DAY
SERVE A VITAL PURPOSE BY EXPOSING THE MASSES OF A COMING OF A NEW (ART) REVOLUTION. THE REVOLUTION
STARTS IN THE YEAR 2000 AND IT WILL BE ON EVERY SURFACE EXCEPT YOURTELEVISION. THE PEOPLE IN THE UNITED
STATES ARE NOT HAPPY. IFTHIS ULTIMATE AND UNIQUE MEETING DOES NOT HAPPEN IN THE NEAR FUTURE, GRAFFITI
ARTWILLGETMORE EXPOSED BYTHE WRONG INTENT AND PURPOSE AND ULTIMATELY GET SOLD OUTTOTHE HIGHEST
BIDDER. DONTBE AFRAID OFTHE OLD WRITERS, MEET AND LEARN. TOME, KNOWING THAT I'M GOING TO DO GRAFFITI ART FORTHE REST OF MY UFE IS THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE IN GRAFFITI. ^r **^( --•I ,; 3VH
PIN SEC
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Mr.           Mrs.
Miss
Mrs.
Name
Address
Postal Code
Phone:
Fave Radio Show
Age:
Rave Magazine  ELEMENTS
After the Enter the 36 Chambers operation, the
Clan continued to keep the industry under lock
by allowing individual swordsmen to organize and participate in their own missions in
order to accumulate additional current for iheir
respective families. The most well known of
these individual jobs were: #1 - Bobby Steeles,
who recruited outside help (Prince Paul,
Fruitkwan, Too Poetic) to form a sub-organization called the Gravediggas. Their specific
goal was, for the most part, misinterpreted and
overlooked. Debates still arise concerning the
methods used in that particular hit; #2- Johnny
Blaze took the first solo plunge backed by
Steeles as usual, with his hit on the industry
called, Tied; #3- Ason Unique took matters
into his own hands and returned to the original 36 Chambers, only he used the Ol' Dirty
Version. It was confusing at first but very, very effective; #4- The most recent attack, Onty Built for Cuban Linx Nigguhz
is yet to be put into action. Sources say that Lou Diamonds and Tony
Starks have once again joined forces. You might remember their previous successful jobs: "Can It Be So Simple", "Heaven and Hell", most
recently, "Glaciers of Ice", and the official release from "Only Built..."
entitled, "Criminology". As for the remainder of the swordsmen, Rally
Fingers and the Gza, it's been rumored that they are working on their
own projects. In fact, at press time, Rally Fingers had made a hit on the
Tales from the Hood soundtrack called, "Let Me At 'Em" and the Gza
organized a small underground job targeting major labels, called "Labels" on the Wu-tang label.
The four titles of the aformentioned hits by tag team Diamonds and Starks
have their own philosophies attached to them. Reports show that "Can It
Be So Simple" was actually a testimonial to the early days of these professionals' lives. Being born and raised in the projects of New York,
Diamonds went through plenty of difficulties before gettin' to where he's
at now.
"We were just tryin' to tell you that it wasn't that simple. If you listen
to the song, the lady's sayin', "Can It Be So Simple?" but we're jertin'
her know that it wasn't all thot simple for us. The shit that we were
on, you know. It was just all about survival, trying to eat,
yaknowhati'msayin'? Havin' dreams and shit cuz everything wasn't
comin' to light right away, until we started doin' somethin' positive.
Nowadays though, it's a bit simpler. As far as nigguhz is political, we
got more knowledge on shit, we doin' something positive. That's something that be makin' it simple. Yaknowhati'msayin1, but that song was
just to let you know that we ain't forget what wasn't simple to us
though. As far as living in the jungle and all that shit. So it was never
simple, we were just explainin' to you how it wasn't that simple, you
know?"
Glaciers of Ice was the unofficial first release from Only Built... It was
actually a B-Side put out to the media only as "a piece of bread to feed
the hungry." The track featured Diamonds and Starks of course but it
also featured relatively new Wu member Noodles from Bushwick on the
second verse. Noodles was first recruited to take the place of Lucky
Hands (aka Goldenarmz) while Lucky was locked up. Even though Lucky
Hands has been released, Noodles has already been officially initiated
into the Clan and will continue to hold his position. Noodles was also
involved in Ason's project on the track called, "Snakes." His style of
Shaolin Island serves as the headquarters
sible for approximately five major jobs to
Their initial hit on the industry in 1992
novices involved in the game at the time and
sting operation effected every b-boy on the
increasing the standard of excellence for
eration, known as Enter the 36 Chambers,
thinking of entering this lucrative business:
tactics is more devious than other clansmen and he has been overheard
stating to an ill-timed adversary, "Proceed with caution as you enter the
symphony, degrees of punishment increase intensely...Mysterious movement,
thoughts run down the shaft of the brain, violent temperaments left continents
dented. Poison vintage wine rhymes I invented. Struck by the drunken punches
that puncture the heart; vital sparks from the arteries stop."
Diamonds enlightens the "Glaciers of Ice" philosophy:
""The treasures are in Glaciers of Ice." To us, our careers are based on like
a piece of ice. It's like a fat diamond that we caught that's worth alot of
money to the people. So it's like we the treasurers of our shit you know?
We makin' sure we're holdin' down our fort regardless.
Yaknowhati'msayin*. Because "that's the power to hold g's, guns, and
grands." Yaknowhati'msayin'? It's like ain't nothin' in this world to stop
us from doin' what we wanna do. It's just another way of sayin' the
masters of ceremony, the treasurers, yaknowhati'msayin'?"
Diamonds and Starks were raised just down the street from each other in
Parkhill and Stapleton respectively. In their younger days they would run into
each other frequently and they eventually formed an alliance in rhyme because of their mutual respect through experiencing the same affects of living
in the jungle. Because of this connection between the two, even though
Diamonds cut a distribution deal with Loud associates, Starks will still be
involved in 80% of the operations. Although Starks participates without
monetary gain in mind, the inclusion of him in Diamonds's project will inevitably reap plenty of benefits for the two of them. Furthermore, take into
consideration mat Starks will sooner or later be approached himself by a
distributer, and his product will feature Diamonds in the same manner.
"It might take the listeners a year
cuz there's alot, alot of shit. Learn
cally and the beat's is just sick. All
nightime. Play my shit at night,
and just enjoy the shit. It's definitely
20 ELEMENTS RAEKWON
are today. The act of turning one's back on the
for the merciless organization that is respon- ^^° ^ v°» <<>••who r F*is a
° ■ result of one becoming "industrialized." Many
date. The organization is the Wu-tang Clan,
marked the beginning of the end for all the
for all future novices. This classic eight man
map while re-establishing and appropriately
masters of ceremony hereinafter. The op-
served as a reminder to all half steppers
They best protect they neck.
becoming "industrialized." Many
suffer from this disease and the result is usually
loss of appetite or hunger because of an over-
zealous pursuit of the bi-product of Hip Hop,
C.R.E.A.M. Although the ultimate goal in the
game is to get paid in full, one must not forget
to recognize the difference between rap and Hip
Hop. As for those who enter the business with
only money on their minds and no regards to
creativity, respect and originality, they most often fail at their attempts because real Hip Hop
heads detect fraud immediately.
"Yo man, we gonna be like the new EPMD man. Yaknowhati'msayin'. We
bringin' the east coast back to life for real for real, yaknowhati'msayin'.
I'm lookin' at it tike this, like yo: Before the world conies to an end, y'all
gonna know us as being legends you know, as far as being a tag team
and flipping mics. We just gonna play our part. That's how it's gonna be,
man."
The Wu-Tang discipline runs deep in these two swordsmen. They are very
focused and more than adequately trained to knock out all unprepared adversaries while gaining world wide respect at the same time. Although Loud's
marketing program is exceptional in the game, Wu-tang took it upon themselves to present the Clan in its highest potential. Through 500 shows they
are yet to displease an audience. With platinum plus status, and a newly
formed Wu-Tang label rest assured that the Wu will always have a means of
supplying the consumers with their potent product.
"My team is definitely the Mike Tysons of this rap shit. Like I said, this shit
is from the heart, we gonna keep makin' fat joints regardless of what.
You'll never be able to stop a hit from comin' out the camp,
yaknowhati'msayin'. Because you got nine different mentalities, and nine
nigguhz is gonna make sure the shit is right before it hits the streets. It's
like havin' the best product, you know. If the fans are fiendin' for the best
product, we gotta make sure the chemicals are strong enough to get them
high. YAKNOWHATI'MSAYIN'?"
The Wu-tang Clan will continue to be based out of the same temples where
all of their years of training took place. Although many seek escape from the
jungle, these individuals have realized that the situation in which they were,
raised and the people around them are part of the reason they are who they
to learn all the lyrics on my album,
the lyrics. We definitely comin' lyri-
I can tell you to do is listen at
drive fast, have your seatbelt on
gonna be worth your money."
"...I ain't turnin' my back on people in the
projects that I know were down with me from
day one, yaknowhati'msayin'? When all I can
do is, you know, show my love, come through
and still buy shit out of the regular corner stores. Smoke blunts with my
peoples you know, keep it real like that. I'd rather be around nigguhz
that I've known all my life than be around nigguhz I don't know. [At the
same time] you could politic a nigguh though. You know. If a nigguh
know you know what's goin' on and he respects that then you gotta
respect that and stay away from corny nigguhz that be gettin' caught up
in this shit."
Through all of the solo projects and guest appearances, the Wu-tang Clan
will always exist. Any tight knit crew knows the formula to an unbreakable
bond with your blood brothers: full respect for one another through a
knowledge of each others up bringing as well as from sharing mutual
experiences. The bottom line is, you must be able to relate and grow from
one another. The Wu-tang Clan have earned a level of respect from their
peers and listeners alike that is simply a sign of gratitude for supplying
them with the "best product." So in New York, when foreigners have to
make sure they exit the train lines one stop before they enter parts like
Crooklyn, the Clan members can comfortably roam throughout all the
boroughs- solo, if so desired- because of the love for their people they
emit so vividly through their work. Keeping it real never meant more.
Many other artists also deserve and receive this calibre of respect from
their peers and followers (Nas, Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, Too Short, KRS-
One etc.) but no single squad has ever had the concentrated effect on the
industry that the Wu-tang Clan has.
"Wu-tang ain't never gonna break up, you know, just based on the fact
that everybody keepin' it real with each other. Knowin' where we came
from and all of that. Shit'll be aiight though man. So don't ever think in
your life that we gonna fuckin' break up man. We just gotta eat, cuz
everybody grown
men and they got
they own families.
The whole key is
that we need to live
you know?   Like
that. We're makin'
this shit work man,
by us bein' real with
ourselves and bein'
real to the people
we  be around."
Word.
JULY 21
ARTIST:
RAEKWON THE CHEF
IABEI:
LOUD
AtBUM:
ONLY BUItT FOR
CUBAN LINX NIGGUHZ
PRODUCTION:
m
MEMBERS:
Ul& GHOST FACE
HOMETOWN:
SHA0tlNr NY CIPHER
STEP INTO THE CIPHER
Cipher's entire album was recorded,
mixed and digitally mastered in their
basement in-home studio known to
them as The Jungle, which they personally built themselves over the last
two years. I've seen the jungle and all
I've gotta say is, "very impressive." The
hard work certainly paid off and is
definitely put to good use because if
it's not Cipher laying down tracks,
then they're busy producing other
MCs. I even got to witness G2 on the
Tech 12's-the kid's got skills. "On the
two turntables I would say he's nice."
So what can people expect from
the new album, 360 9? What vibe
are you trying to get across in your
music and your lyrics?
There's some new flavor in town and it
goes by the name of Cipher. These two
brothas known as G2 and Clean are ready
to let people know they're comin' full cir
cle with their rookie album entitled
"360 °." Although Cipher calls Vancouver
home, they attribute much of their influence to their years spent in Boston.
Clean: I mean, I think the first single basically tells it all. It's just for our peeps,
ya know? Just so you can roll around.
It's not a party album. It's not a save
the world album, yaknowhati'msayin'.
It's just about the group. It's about
what's going on, ya know?
Givin' props to your homies?
C: Yeah, givin' props to the homies,
givin' props to the industry. Just
talkin' about every day shit.
For people who don't know what
your name means, do you want to
explain it to them?
G2: It's mostly east coast type of slow head-nodding beats and pretty
complex rhymes... mostly it's just skills. Nothing really deep, a lot of
metaphors... just comparisons and flav like that. It's not really a big
message record or nothing, it's just basically kickin' it over dope beats.
G2: If you want to get the deep meaning, it'd be like, whatever circle , everything's connected, 360 degrees, what comes around goes around. But
it's basically just kickin' it in the cipher circle with my different boys
who are on the album. Just like whatever, passin' mics, it's just the
Cipher.
BY   HUGE   BAt-IA/V*C>r*sl tZ> E
22 ELEMENTS CIPHER
C: The Cipher clique runs deep.
So you guys are originally from Boston?
C: Well originally I' m from here and we hooked up when we was down
thereat school and stuff, and then we got back here a couple of years
ago and set up the studio and basically started rockin' all the beats up
here. So I mean, yeah, we're on the west coast and everything, but
most of our vibe and flavor is all east coast.
So everything's home made, you do everything right here?
C: Yeah, exactly, everything's done right here.
Did you learn to make beats just from listening to stuff or did you
actually study music in school as well?
C: I played jazz and classical trumpet for like 15 years and I went to
Berkeley College of Music and graduated with my degree. I majored in
commercial arranging and minored in music business and management. The studio stuff I was doin' outside of school and I worked at 3
different studios within' Boston. I did work in Atlanta and New York
and stuff, I like all sorts of music like jazz, classical, but yeah all soul is
ill.
G2: We got mad soul crates over here too.
C: You defiantly have to put together your skills from everywhere for
Hip Hop. A lot of the R&B and stuff all just revolves around Hip Hop
beats.
What was your first experience with Hip Hop?
C: The first time I went to New York, in 1983. friends of the family
were listening to this new shit. I picked up the wax and still have it in
my collection. Thatwasthebeginningforme. I ran to the movie theatre when Breakin' came out, when BeatStreet came out... that was
the shit, man.
G2: First time I really new that I was going to commit to Hip Hop was
when I saw that huge concert called ummm...Fresh Fest Summer Jamlike shit. In one show, I saw Biz, BDP, Ice T, Doug E. Fresh, Kool Moe
Dee and Eric B. Man, Eric B came out with a huge pyramid an' shit. I
had no idea back then that these groups were makin' history
C: After I peeped the original Malcom Mclaren & the Supreme Team
LP, I walked around this city for about a month straight; to every fuckin'
record store, every electronics store I could...pointing to the cover
photo which depicted two 1200s and a PMX 9000. Finally, somebody said, "yeah...we can do that...those are good turntables, man".
That's the original shit, man.
After checking out their promo tapes, I can definitely feel the creative
influences comin' from all over. Cipher is self produced and handle all
their own business personally. Their first single "Peeps" will drop
anytime soon, if it hasn't already, along with the video of the same
name. Make sure you peep the remix, "Peeps- the Sequel", which
reminds us that there's, "no space to hestitate." Point blank, Cipher
aren't new to this, they've been deeply invovled in Hip Hop since about
the age of 13. So with years of
experience and skill refining,
G2 and partner Clean are now
ready to display to the public
that when it comes down to
it, your best product comes
out when you're chillin' in the
Cipher with your boys. 360",
it's come around. Get ready.
JULY 23 ad Skillz
Nowadays it seems like the only way to get
by who you're down with, but out of the
ia's Hip Hop scene comes an MC to dispell
that came out of nowhere and gained the re
people that inspired him. An MC that is now
people not because of who he is but what he
he posesses. An MC that is fresh off of
Artifacts "Dynamite Soul" remix
and is about to set it off with his
own debut album appropriately titled "From Where?"
VA baby.   Don't forget it
'cause  "the names Mad
Skillz and the year's '95."
a record deal is
depths of Virgin-
that myth. An MC
spect of the same
down with those
is, and what
th e
So what was It like trying to come up
outta Virginia?
It was hard, 'cause we don't have much of
a hip hop scene, like in NewYorkorsome-
thing like that, 'cause it just ain't there.
People don'tembrace it like they should.
How did you get yourself noticed?
My man had this college radio show, and I
used to co-host it with him, so we would
let heads up there on the weekends, and
just, you know, getting open, just freestyle, just whatever few people we had,
just like some Stretch and Bob type shit.
And I got into this seminar, I got accepted
into the New Music Seminar MC battle in
'93, and I came in second place in that.
That was that Supernatural one, right?
How do you feel about that battle?
I mean, I felt like I beat him, and a lot of
otherpeopledid.butl'mgladldidn'twin,
because after a while I actually sat back
and researched it and found out that the
winner never does anything anyway.
Have you ran into him since then?
Yeah, I've seen him, we've talked, but I'm
not really sure if he's ever going to come
out.
Afteryou came second in the Seminar,
what happened?
That same year, I went to a convention in
24 ELEMENTS IttJ
u
Atlanta, and I met Q-Tip from Quest, we
kept in touch, and later on in the fall when
they went on tour with De La, I would go
outwith them and do spot dates and stuff,
and sometimes just jump on stage and get
open, whatever, and that went on for the
rest of the year. Then the followingyear me
and Tip went up to Stretch and Bob's one
night and did this freestyle shit that came
off.
That's that shit Stretch put on his freestyle record, that shit was ill. Was that
written or was Itfreestyle?
That was freestyle.
Word? All of it?
Not the whole thing. Not that shit where
I was going through all
the MCs, where I was
going   through   the
names of songs and shit
like that, kind of that
"Hip Hop vs. Rap" shit.
I had wrote that.  But
the beginning where I
started off, and at the
end, I was just going off
the dome.
duced stuff. Clark Kent did some stuff for
me after the seminar, but they didn't really like that stuff, so they claim, but I still
got the deal.
So they signed you off that stuff they
didn't like?
I think they signed me off that freestyle at
Stretch and Bob's. Yeah, I think I could say
that they signed me off that shit.
Who did the production on the album?
The Beatnuts. Urge Professor. Buckwild,
he did three. This kid named Sean J did
three. I did one, and this kid named JD that
Q-Tip manages, he did two. This nigguh's
incredible kid, this nigguh'sin-cred-i-ble...
yaknowhati'msayin'?
Was that your first
trip up to...
"I just wanted to make
sure that even if a head
didn't like me lyrically, he
can't deny those beats"
Yeah, that was the first time I had ever
been to Stretch and Bob's.
What was that like?
It was real... odd, because I knew it was a
lot of people listening, you know, and I
knew I couldn't fuck up. Stretch and Bob
show me love now, but backthen I was nobody, knowhati'msayin'? I knew I had to
prove myself, but it came off pretty nice
though.
What happened after that?
After that I got a deal on Big Beat.
Did you cut a demo for that?
Yeah, I had a demo, I had some self-pro-
So you've just got mad producers on it.
Yeah, I've got 'nuff heads, 'nuff heads with
the beats.
How much freedom were you given
with this album?
I was given a lot of freedom, I mean, I think
I got over pretty well, knowhati'msayin'?
I mean, they wanted certain things that
they could take, you know, whatever, but
in the process I never lost skills, I never was
not representing who Mad Skills was during the whole duration of the album, I was
myself. And that was the best album I
could make at that time so I'm proud of it,
I'm ready for nigguhz to hear it.
What are your favorite cuts off the LP?
This shit called "Get Your Groove On",
"The Nod Factor", this shit called "It's Going Down".
To me, "Extra Abstract Skills" is some
shit...
Oh yeah yeah yeah, I was about to say that.
How did that come about?
I mean, Paul (Extra P) was already doing
two beats, knowhati'msayin', and he had
already done "Skills in '95" and I wanted
the next shit that he did to be different
from anything that I had got from him,
knowhati'msayin'? And I didn't want the
second beat to sound like anything he ever
did before, so we really dug for that shit. I
didn'twantitto be a regular beat, I wanted
it to be some out of
here, psycho crazy
shit. And we was at his
house one night
fucking around and we
came across the loop
and he just started
freakin' and I was like
"Yo that's the loop,
that's the loop I want.
Just put some drums
to that shit and let's
putafuckin'tubainit,
and all kinds of shit."
And he did it. And I
was like "Yo, you should rhyme over this,"
and he was like "Yo, whatever, kid." So
then I asked Tip "Yo, Paul got this dope
beat, I want you to rhyme over it, and I
want to call it 'Extra Abstract Skills'". He
was like "Oh shit, that shit is raw, alright".
So it took a while to get done but we got it
done and it came out dope. It hits you real
hard, and real fast, knowhati'msayin'?
That shit is tight, I love that shit.
What are you trying to bring to the people with this album?
It's not like any hard ass shit that's going
to go overyour head,yaknowhati'msayin',
just what nigguhz are going to be able to
get with. Just a little something for everybody on there. From what I've heard from the advance
tape Big Beat sent us, it sounds like the
lyrical content is your main focus. Lyrics are number one and you let someone else worry about the beats.
I just wanted to make sure that even if a
head didn't like me lyrically, he can't deny
those beats, it just can't happen, he can't
not like one of the two. So for the beat
heads, I got nigguhz on there they should
be checking for, and for the lyric heads, I
know they gonna be checking for it'cause
I'm on some next shit for real.
How would you describe your style, and
don't say mad?
My style? Real conversational, very witty,
and thought provoking type shit. I know
a lot of times nigguhz
don'tfeel like thinking,
theyjustfeel like hearing that shit,
knowhati'msayin',
which is cool with me
'cause I'm a lyricist and
I can do it all lyrically, so
it's just a little something for everybody.
knowhati'msayin'? They puttin' like
fuckin' Salt 4n Pepa on, and shit like that. I
feel like we make records for the skill of
it, yaknowhati'msayin'? Like we try to be
great MCs on this side, I think that's the
difference between us and them,
knowhati'msayin'? So instead of me having an album, and talking about the same
things that fuckin* Jeru or O.C. talked
abouton theiralbum, I try to distance myself and try to establish my own identity. I
feel like they talk about pretty much the
same thing.
Being from Virginia, what were your
earliest experiences in hip hop?
Before I lived there, I lived in North Carolina. I was really into it then,
knowhati'msayin', way back in like early
What MCs have influenced you?
"We try to be great MCs
on this side, I think
that's the difference between us and them."
Definitely
Quest.
Rakim,
How about MCs that are coming out
now. Who impresses you?
I like Mic Geronimo, knowhati'msayin',
Mic Geronimo's cool. The Liks, Mobb
Deep, The Roots, I love The Roots. Wu
Tang, the whole Clan. Biggie of course. I'm
just glad the east coast nigguhz are coming back a little more, 'cause we've really
been on some representation shit in like
the last year, knowhati'msayin'?
True. What was it like in the days when
everyone was focusing on the west?
Itwassad. Itwas real sad. Especially when
you're living over here. You watch TV all
day, east coast nigguhz is getting no love,
BDPdays, Kurtis Blow, I mean I had access
to it, knowhati'msayin', but I was so much
into other shit, but as I grew up I gota hold
on it, and I started collecting tapes from
BLS and old shows and shit. I embraced it
real early, knowhati'msayin'? But I never
thought I would be an MC for some reason,'cause I used to DJ.
Word!?
I was DJing before I was rhyming.
Do you do the cuts on the album, or did
you bring in someone else?
Nah, nah, I didn't. I got Roc Raider, he
did some cuts. I also got DJ Riz from the
Flip Squad...
Damn, so you just got the superstars
up on the tables!
(Laughs) I went all out, kid.
Finally, Where do you see hip hop going with number one, yourself, and second, in general?
With me? I want to get more on the beat
side, yaknowhati'msayin', and start producing more, 'cause I do beats and shit.
But I want to get my shit tight and establish myself asa producer. That'swhy I only
did one joint on this album. Just so people would know what my flavor was like.
Then I'll get a little feedback and see if
heads be like "Yo I like that shit. That shit
was tight!". I want to establish myself
more on the production side. As far as hip
hop in general, I'm
hoping that kids start
to control their own
shit more. 'Cause if
they don'tthen we just
going to be lost.
Nigguhz need to start
getting their own companies together, their
own labels and get
more creative control
over their shit, instead
of just being told what
to do and just running
into the studio and doing it. Nigguhz need to wake up on the
business tip. It's like ninety percent
fuckin' business and ten percent music.
Cool. Is there anything else you want to
speak about?
Yeah, I just want nigguhz to keep supporting the real shit. 'Cause that's what's going to be around when all that other shit
is fuckin' faded and gone.
ftRTlST: MAD SKI1LZ
IftBtt BIG BEAT
AieuM: FROM WHERE?
NODUCTION: VARIOUS
HOMETOWN: RICHMOND, ¥A
26 ELEMENTS re: Views
Long May
Grand Puba
2000
Elektra
(J^
nigguh" you'll grow bigger as a rap figure.
But that's still black on black, welcome
back(Cotter). It's time to graduate from
that." After listening to that one, you start
to believe that, Moses really did ask Puba
how to part the Red Sea. Buy it.
-FreeStyle Crazee
AMG
Ballin' Outta Control
Select
^
Yes, Grand Puba's something special.
Sounds corny as hell but the Grand man
makes a phrase like that sing. Literally. It's
the man who will "make your stinkbox
wet." You might trip when you first listen
to this album but by the time you get to
"2000" you'll forget about the first 4 or so
songs. It's not that they're wack, but they
need to grow on you. Puba is a fuckin'seasoned professional at punchlines and delivery, so play that shit over and over and
just chill with your crew oryourgirl or even
yourfuckin' moms on Thanksgiving. Well,
maybe not ifyourgrandma is at dinner because Puba is like the Tom Jones of Hip
Hop. He chills with his homeboys while
swooning the ladies at the same time.
Yeah. The cover of the album features
Puba maxin' beside a jet black Lamb. So
he's obviously gettin' paid because, you
know how it go, "Romance, without finance is- you know the rest, baby." The
beat's are some smooth-ass r&b&hip hop
beats. You know that shit, that
"SugamillMaryJwrmMethSun/^^
type shit. Naw but listen, he's still got
those bounce tracks givin' me flashbacks
of, "Cmon honey don't front!" that gets
you outyourseat like Millerstepping back
behind the line to hit that tre for that
come-from-behind game winner.
"Backstabbers" will have you smilin' at
Puba's reaction when he finds out his best
friend is tryin' to boof his girl while he's on
tour because it's a thin line between love
and hate. For real though, Puba's shit is
just plain enjoyable shit, some shit to listen to anytime you've heard to much flavor
of the month shit. As always, Puba ain't just
talkin' about skins all the time. First time
around he dropped "Wake Up", then the
second time he exposed the "Soul Controller" . Now in the 2000, I heard the
Kronkite on "Change Gonna Come."
"...But as long asyou're talkin' about, Yo'
I'll blast this nigguh and I'll blast that
PumpYaFist
Music Inspired by
the Black Panthers
Avitar Records
@
This LP was inspired by the Black Panthers
movement and recently the movie about
the Black Panthers directed by Mario Van
Peeples (which will not be in theatres in
Canada). Many tracks stand out like "Ah
Yeah" by KRS One, "Frustrated Nigga" by
Jeru tha Damaja, "Family Day" by Grand
Puba, "Recognition" by the Fugees and
"Shades of Black" by Rakim. KRS One is the
baddest teacher ever and I couldn't wait
to get my hands on this compilation just
forhistrackalone. Let me tell you that "Ah
Yeah" is the bomb. The brothers rhyming
style is the illest and I can't say enough
about his brilliance. "This is not the first
time I came to this planet/ but everytime
I come only afewcan understand it...they
tried to lynch me/ burn me/ starve me/
so I came back as Marcus Garvey..." etc.
Unfortunately, THEY are still around. On
the much too real topic of lynching, Mumia
Abu Jamal is about to be executed August
17 for being a part of the Black Panthers
movement (he was the Education Minister in Philadelphia). What are you gonna
do about it? Write to the facist governer
Tom Ridge at the Main Capital Building,
room 225, Heresburg, PA, 17120 or call
(604) 322-6461 and get involved in a local Third World Alliance campaign. Jem's
"Frustrated Nigga" is also busting out with
pure knowledge. Psychoanalyse this! My
only complaint is that there isn't enough
sisters representing on this album. Overall, the album contains the essence of Hip
Hop and it's worth the money. So check it
out and stop being a pawn in the game.
-H.Ahmad
Outta control is right cuz this album ain't
tight! Yo, what was AMG thinkin' releasing this sophomore effort? Whatever it
was, he's just guaranteed himself a place
in The Museum of Hip Hoppers Who Fell
Off. Firstof all. the whole album isstraight
boring with eleven songs all about the
same thing, himself and bitches. I wish I
neva listened to the whole tape cuz once
you've heard one song, you've heard em
all. The production is mediocre and full of
extremely played out samples (i.e. "Juicy
Fruit" by Mtune); the lyrics are of substandard demo quality; the flowsare all the
same in every song; and the actual subject
matter is repetetive and played as hell.
This opinion is comin' from a nigguh who
tripped off his first album. Remember
"Vertical Joyride", "Janine" and all that?
That shit was dope. The difference between this album and his debut album is
the absence of DJQuik ItseemsthatQuik
andAMGhadabitofafallingout.solguess
Quik went his own way, taking all the soul
and creativity with him. With all this in
mind, lemme tell you my people: I
wouldn't take this one for free let alone
buy it from the store. I hate to dis but:
Truth is the mission in every Elements edition. Checkmate-rate: 30%.
-Checkmate
ed note: Checkmate don't give a fuck.
Funkdoobiest
Brothas Doobie
Immortal
(^
The triple x-rated porno king is back, along
with his two brothas Tomahawk Funk and
that Mexican, Ralph. Yo! To start with, I
thought their first album had some funk
on it like "The Funkiest" and rocksteady
to the "Freak Mode" /all and whatnot. It
was a young bunch of Cali b-boys buggin'
out and having mad fun. I can hella relate,
ya know? That was 1993. Now in 1995
we need to see who survived the oversatu-
JULY 27 rated days of two years prior and who
emerged from the shit clogging our ears
with more mature material and actually
TALK ABOUT SOMETHING. Alright,
Brothas Doobie is a definitely matured
Funkdoobiest. I don't know who did the
production but it's tight, a little too tight
though cuz on some cuts they used drum
loops that have been overused to date.
BUT HEY! I like most of it anyway. They
get priggety props for the "Style Wars"
intra, "THIS IS MIT!!! THIS IS HIT!!!" followed by their first single, "Rock On". I
don't like this version. I like the Buck remix
and the version my man Kemo hooked up
even better. "What the Deal" is dope and
is followed by "Lost In Thought". I don't
know about you but that shit sounds a bit
like "Half Time". It bounces though, regardless. "Dedicated" would be an example of sampling an overused loop but the
remix on the twelve isfresh. "Ka Sera Sera"
is a dope b-boy jam at it's best. The beat is
raw boyee. Yaknowhati'msayin? "Pussy
Ain't Shit" is some shit they should've left
in '93. The remainder of the album loses
momentum and by the time I got to "Who
Ra Ra" I got the feeling that they put all
their dopest cuts on the first side because
the second side had too many "jams" as
opposed to "songs." The difference? Listen to the album two years from now. Let
me end this off on a good note by quoting
Son at his best "...bond is my word butfirst
do the knowledge. If your soul loves the
sun, money rock on...".
- Freestyle Crazee
Special Ed
Revelations
Profile
($
He didn't fall off. He came back, fat. If you
don't know who Special Ed is then keep listening to Green Day. Still representing
Flatbush Ave, Ed has returned 5 years after the release of his last LP, Legal. Remember how he was always smilin' in his pictures? Some people think he's turned
"hardcore" for the 9-5. The truth is, his
label always picked those pictures to create that image, he hated that shit. How
do I know? I read that shit in an old-ass
Word-Up magazine interviewfrom 1989.
Basically, if you used to like him, liked him
on "Crooklyn" and on the first single "Neva
Go Back" then buy it! As Ed states, "I'm in
the mix but I'm not diluted." Dope ass
jammies include "Freaky Flow", "Everyday
is a Gunshot" and my personal jizz track,
"Crazy". Remember, Ed is still the world's
greatest liar and he proves it on that track.
I must admit though, after a few listens I
had to fast forward a couple of joints to
get to the illy ones. Oh yeah, I never really
liked "Hoedown" back in the day. Special
Ed is magnificent, so bring the ruckus, the
motherfuckin' ruckus.
-Flipout
Twelve Inch
Madskillz
From Where??
Big Beat
@
Who the fuck is this guy? Where did he
come from? Read Swings interview and
find out all that good shit and more. All I
can tell you is that Madskillz is an individual
with madskills. Directfrom Punchline Ave
and Metaphor Metropolis, Skillz brings
skills back in to 95 while teaming up with
some of the illest producers in modern day
Hip Hop. How does Extra Large Professor, Q-Tip and the fuckin'Beatnuts sound?
Dope as fuck if you ask me. The Beatnuts
hooked up a crazee fat-ass loop for the
track, "Nod Factor." Holyshit! This track
feels like you're listening to Skillz spittin'
out his dopest freestyles while a live DJ
goes back and forth with a dope break. I
must admit that a few songs outshine others, but I'm sure when I listen to thisshita
yearfrom now, they'll all sound nice again.
Yaknowhati'msayin'? Madskillz definitely
knows howto make people like hisshit because he comes super raw with lyrics
everytime. From Where?? also features a
couple of guest appearances but I'mma
save that surprise for you. I will tell you
though, that some Virginia nigguhz jump
on a joint and fully -sorry I gotta use the
word- represent. Thefunnythingis.even
though Madskillz representsVAto thefull-
est, you'll realize sooner or later, that he's
actually representing Hip Hop so hard that
it almost makes me cry tears of joy. Well,
maybe not cry but maybe bust my own
freestyles, dance, then -in no particular
order- drink beer and smoke some bud.
Oh yeah, and later maybe grab a girl...ah
fuck it you get the idea. Buy it or forever
be wack.
-FreeStyle Crazee
The Notorious B.I.G.
One More Chance (remix)
b/w The What
Bad Boy
(2)
Yeah, mm-hmm, sure B.I.G., you get all
the honeys and they all wanna get-wit-
cha, mm-hmm... not this one. Anyhow,
ain't nothin' changed, Biggie still ego
trippin'over a variety of beats. Some are
for the radio like the first remix version
of "One More Chance", you know the
kind of beat that Jodeci and Brandy fans
could easily get with. Then there's the
2nd "Hip Hop" remix where he jacks the
"Droppin' Science" break that can move
anybody from the clubheads to the break
boys. When you hear "One More
Chance" you know it's B.I.G and Bad Boy
proceeding to give you whatyou need in
the "9-5 muthafuckers". Although "One
More Chance" was somewhat commercial, Biggie was easily forgiven by the underground gods after they heard the B-
side, 'The What". It's just dope. What
more can I say except you really can't go
wrong these days puttin' Meth on your
shit. Don't get me wrong though, apart
from his fellow clansmen, this is the
dopest guest appearance the Meth has
done to date, not taking anything away
from Biggie though, who does his fair
share of damage too. With the easy listening track on the A-side and the fresh
remix on the B-side, this 12" has something to offer everybody. And if you're
just a brainless "trick", then maybe you
should check for Biggie himself.
- Ebony
GZA/Genius
Libels
Wu-Tang
(fy
Nowadays, it seems like we've got Wu-
Tang comin' at us from every direction.
But for the hard-core heads out there,
this doesn't bother us one bit. "Labels" is
the newest joint from the scientist of the
clan, The Genius. After hearing this cut
for the first time, it gave me flashbacks
28 ELEMENTS oftheKRSOnejam"HipHopvs. Rap". I
remembered the way KRS mentioned
dozens of groups and artistsand rhymed
them into verses and made it dope. Well,
this time the GZA takes it one step further by using the names of Hip Hop
record labels and weaving them into a
complex web of words and phrases that
takes aim atthe record industry. GZA lets
us know first off, "You gotta read the label. Ifyou don't read the label, you might
get poisoned." (Referring to the shady
label big-wigs that try to lure them into
a trap.) It's fun to try to pick out every
label name that the GZA spits out and
twists into a rhyme. "Tommy ain't my
muthafuckin' Boy, when you fake moves
on a nigguh you employ/ I'll Death Row
an MC with mic cables/ the Epic is that I
Rush Associated Labels/from East-West
to Atco I bring it to the Next Plateau/
but I keep it fat though." As you can see,
the brotha says what he feels while displaying nice mic techniques. He's
speakin' about some serious business.
The production is the standard, exceptional, Wu-Tangesque fare that we've
come to know and love. All and all "Labels" is tight and on the money. Maybe a
lil' short, but it leaves you wanting more.
-Huge Bahamonde
AZ
Sugar Hill
EMI
©
What you want kid? Ill production, lyrical superiority, tight flows, Miss Jones
blowin' some soul. What? "Sugar Hill" is
all of that. On his debut single, AZ is just
pickin' up from where he left off on Nas'
"Ufe'sABitch". Production is handled by
DJ LE.S. comin' with some Premier-
style, fat shitthat'sgonnabangata party,
when you blazin', when you sexin, whatever! Miss Jones handles the chorus with
that soulful voice of hers and when AZ
sets it off- nigguh it's on! "I wanna villa in
the Costa Rica/so I could smoke a little
reefer/enjoy how life's supposed to treat
ya..." Word up! Check the Checkmate
rate: 100% no doubt! Sugar Hill, baby,
Sugar Hill, baby - buy it!
The Grass Roots feat. Elemental
Drama
b/w Living Underwater
Black Employed Records
($
Raekwon The Chef
Criminology
Loud
^
The good news aboutthe Chef is thatab-
solutely nothin's changed! He's still raw,
the RZA's tracks still bang, Ghostface is
present and still mashes -yamightas well
protect ya neck all over again, kid! Rae's
on that reality, criminal fly shit and this
sophomore single is appropriately entitled "Criminology". "Extravagent, RZA
baked the track and it's militant/ then I
react like a convict, and start killin' shit."
What more can I say other than it's dope!
If you're a Wu-Tang fan I suggest you buy
this shit. Time for that all important
Checkmate rate: Yo, I get so hyped when
I hear ill Hip Hop that I wanna give this
the whole pie too! But because I think
there's gonna be even better shit on his
album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Nigguhz
(Wu-Tang never releases the best tracks
as singles) I'm gonna say 90%.
Dr. Frankenstein
Frankenstein's Pain
b/w Peace & Quiet
Knowledge of Self Records
(^
Elemental, coming out of the Toronto
area, have released a nice sounding debut twelve inch. I like it. Both songs
"Drama" and "Living Underwater" are on
the vibe tip (production wise), which
gives itthatsmooth oceanic flowthatyou
canbugoutto. G-Knight's on the knowledge tip to some degree while displaying
an MC style that I can't compare to anyone else. That impressed me. It's wery
rare in this day and age for Hip Hop artists to come with originality. Be it beats,
lyrics, style, whatever. Plus, production
was done by the Grass Roots who also did
shit for Juno award winners, Ghetto
Concept. Elemental is definitely worth
checkin' in my book. In fact, I'd like to
peep the up-coming Grass Roots EP. This
crew is definitely on the right track and
I'm curious and anxious to hear from
them in the future. But for now, check
the Elemental 12" because I said so.
-Ebony
Speakin' for myself, I think this kid got
lyrical skills. His shit is mad original with
the style that he spits. He got this sick
sing-song flow and besides that - he be
sayin' shit that makes sense. I think he's
comin' out of Toronto but I hear definite
New York influences, Brooklyn maybe.
Anyway, I wanted someone else's opinion so I played it for my homeboy from
LA. and he thought itwas total garbage,
but here's the Checkmate rate: Dr.
Frankenstein's dope. His production is
tight, and his lyrical delivery is solid.
Straight up this kid can rhyme!
-Checkmate
Sunzof Man
Soldiers Of Darkness
b/w 5 Arch Angles
Wu-Tang
O
Sunz Of Man is the next shit branching
off the Wu-Tang tree. This crew is representing some eerie mystical flavor coming like supernatural spirits walking
through walls and shit. 'Nuff people compare them to the Gravediggas' stylo, but
me being the Wu-Fanatic that I am, this
12" sends me to another mind state.
Actually, two of the Sunz of Man kicked
averse each on, "Diary of a Mad Man" but
nobody knew who the fuck they were.
And we still don't. The B-side "5 Arch
Angels" features three more members,
the 60 Second Assassin (who sang background vocals on C.R.E.A.M. and
Glaciers..."It's beenalongtime..."), Hell
Raiser and the Holy Psychiatrist. The
production is well taken care of by the
4th Disciple. I must attach a warning label: These songs aren't for the weak
hearted or minded. You asked for the
rough shit and Wu-Tang is givin' it to ya
live and direct, but only for the select
few. That's probably why the single only
came with dirty versions, no radio
friendly shit here. The shit is definitely
for real.
-Checkmate
-Checkmate
-Kemo the Labrat
JULY 29 Mobb Deep
Survival of the Fittest
Loud
($
"Survival of the Fittest", the next offering by Mobb Deep, is as deep as the first-
"Shook Ones" Parts I and 2. I love this
remix. The music creates a mood which
crystalizes the lyrics of these two QB soldiers. The words reflect their hard reality, that living in the projects "...only the
strong survive..." Prodigy and Havoc
rhyme tight, their voices and style echo
cold pain. "If worse comes to worse/ my
peoples come first." The remixed beat
is mellower than the original and definitely still ill. The additional vocals by
Crystal Johnson are nice and smooth but
sound kinda out of place. It took me a
few listens before it really hit me in its
full dopeness. The track is a profound
and innoccent commentary on life in
Queensbridge, NewYorkand reflects all
of the places where the raw effects of the
system shows up- and it don't make you
feel good- it makes you do some stupid
thinking and that's always worth it. "Survival of the Fittest" remix will surely be
added to Mobb Deep's bag of classics.
NitWits
Then There's Nada
b/w 3 60°
Tremor
-H.Ahmad
(^
Nit Wits have dropped their first single
and video in the form of, Then There's
Nada." With Kemo the Labrat on the
production end, these two Latino brothers, Amazon and Primero, have some
shit they want to get off their chest.
Theirfirstsingleisjustatasteofwhatthe
NitWits are going to bring the Hip Hop
game in the '95/'96 season. Although
they're rookies to the industry, they've
been working on their shit for many
years now. So unlike others who think
the world is one big freestyle, the Nit
Wits prefer to fill their listeners heads
with some real insight on their experiences and views on life. Sure, these two
can kick dope freestyles and whatever,
but they know that listeners don't want
to hear them talk about how dope they
are for a whole album. The B-side,
"360°" features Radekwon, who left
Vancouver about four years ago and
moved to Brooklyn. You can hear the
Brooklyn influence in Kwan's verse, as he
dictates an intricate tale about a "hustlin"
ass nigga from the streets of New York."
Primero and Amazon tell their own stories about different individuals who talk
the talk but don't walk the walk. Primero
made me crack a smile when he ended
his verse with, "...a role you portrayed.
You're lyrics never ended this way."
Overall, Nit Wits are just one of the
more mature groups from the city of
Vancouver. Other crews should recognize, realize and not fantasize, that
they'll be forever segregated from the
rest of the world if they don't start thinking about this shit seriously.
-Flipout
Subscribe to ELEMENT S
Take out a I year subscription to ELEMENTS at $8.00 (Cdn. funds), or
$ 15.00 (Cdn. funds) for overseas orders. The first 5 orders will receive a
free, limited edition chrome vinyl copy of MastaAce Inc. Sittin' On Chrome
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"What set you from, fool/"
by Paul Beatty
In the nineties Black is a religion with
no ecclesiastic grand poohbah but
plenty of clergy persons and missionaries. Friday nights the urban contemporary Reverend DJ's lead the congregations and proselytize the backsliders. Sistren and Brethren, tonight's
sermon concerns com muni cation. Let
us turn to vinyl scripture. A Tribe
Called Quest. Rap apostle Q-Tip
sayeth unto Phife-dog in freestyles,
"Checkthe Rhyme: song9,Verse 6, "If
knowledge is the key, then show me
the lock." Although Hip-Hop sermons
are thematically black, many faithful
radioland parishioners are white. Ardent believers who say their "Amens",
"True Indeeds", and "Parley Parleys" at
the breakbeats in the benediction.
White listeners should be ever mindful of EPMD's hardcore admonition,
"Don't get to close or else you might
getshot" TipperGoreandtherestof
the censor police are also wary of angelic white youth adopting radio/
street values - afraid their naive progeny might emulate a cool ghetto stutter and in the process develop a permanent stammer...
Nowadays, I run into would-be Todds.
Fab Five Freddy Frankenstein creations
outfitted in the expensive accoutrements of young blackness. The fashions are exact. The colloquialisms
forced, but passable. Thestreetsaun-
ter pops. The stitches concealed by
adopted roughhouse attitudes.
"Wassup, nigga?" Thefirst "nigga" flies
out of their mouths, a test pilot on reconnaissance for any queer looks and
reactions. "See niggas don't know me.
Even though I'm from around the way
and back in the day. They can't see
this. Knowhati'msayin'?" No.
Appreciation for culture is cool, but I
am skeptical that it will lead too significant change in the status quo.
Excerpts from editor Eric Liu:
NEXT- YOUNG AMERICAN WRITERS ON THE
NEW GENERATION.
I 194. W.W Norton -Company, NY, New York, USA
30 ELEMENTS Located at: 1979 Lonsdale, N. Vancouver - Phone: 986-7474 

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