The Birth of Hip Hop Music

On August 11, 1973, Clive Campbell aka Kool DJ Herc told me that his sister, Cindy aka Queen Pep, asked him to deejay a party for their apartment building on Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx. This jam came to be known as the galvanizing event that led to the Hip-Hop…

Shout Out to Hip Hop Nerds

(originally published Feb 2, 2016) To be clear, rappers didn’t create Hip Hop. They used to speak for it though. Deejays didn’t create Hip Hop either; neither did B-Boys/Girls or Graf artists. Hip Hop was galvanized by all those groups together and also by some groups that have gone unnamed….

Hip Hop and U.S. Politics Have a Similar Problem: The Media

With a little insight and knowledge one can see parallels in the state of American politics and Hip Hop music (hip-hop music). What has become popular and mainstreamed is a dumbed-down, pre-school level of intelligence and discourse. The traditionally accepted qualifications for excellence in either category, has been shitted on…

November: Hip Hop History Month

Since November is Hip Hop History month, a time in the folklore of Hip Hop when we celebrate the intricate history of the culture we all dwell in, let us reflect on the past. Many Hiphoppas talk about old-school vs new school and tradition vs evolution, but it is not…

The beat is better than the lyrics

I wrote in a recent blog that the state of rap music’s beats are much better than lyrics (ORIGINAL POST JAN – 2013). I joked that since this isn’t the new age of the instrumental, rap lyrics still mean something. However, it could be the new age of the instrumental…

Hip Hop and Adult Learning

As I study Adult Learning, I see more and more how it relates to my life in Hip Hop and how the culture itself, in its True School aspect, is a blueprint of learning. Hip Hop in its best aspects as a cultural expression of Hip Hop elements like Breakin,…

Some Examples of Golden Era Video Remixes

As I explained in the last post about DJ Cheese, the remixes we collaborated on were done on analog equipment. I remember spending hours fast-forwarding and rewinding through numerous tapes to overdub specific frames of video into a particular piece. The process was not only time-consuming but tedious, meticulous and…

Who is the 1st World Champion Deejay?

DJ Cheese from Plainfield, New Jersey, my hometown. The remixes DJ Cheese and I worked on for Shades of Hip Hop volume 5: CDS, and Shades of Hip Hop volume 6: Da Goodness were done in a unique way for remixes. Since Shades of Hip Hop is a video mixtape,…

Rappers just look like emcees

Rapper Mac Miller was quoted on Vlad TV as having said Golden era music is similar to 2013. His full quote from thestar.com stated; “Artists right now are making some of my favorite music in Hip Hop that’s ever been made, I think that in many years this year will be…

8 other things Hip Hop added to American culture

…And no I’m not talking about twerking! When we think of the cultural influence that Hip Hop has on American society and even the World, we think mostly in terms of the elements; Emceein, Deejayin, Graffiti Art, Breakin etc. In fact, True Schoolers tend to think of Hip Hop Kulture…

What has Deejayin come to?

Is this what some deejays will do to get attention? Who knew that the professions of deejayin had gotten so theatrical. It’s one thing for deejays to be talentless, no skill-having, top 20 playing sell-outs. We don’t even expect deejays to break new music anymore. But this is kinda ridiculous,…

How my suburban town changed Hip Hop forvever

Introduction In this essay, the importance of our action or inaction as human beings in society, is discussed to remind us that even if we think that we are insignificant, the things we do or don’t do in life have ramifications that we can’t possibly foresee. In this discussion, we…

The next level of mixtape promotion

What are the challenges you face as an artist trying to live through your art? Whatever you think they may be, most of those challenges aren’t new. There is no question that the internet has made it much easier for creatives to promote their music, artwork, beats, manuscripts etc. This…

Classic video from the Golden era of Hip Hop just added

The Shades of Hip Hop video archive just added some more classic Hip Hop video to the 24/7 livestream feed on shadesradio.com These behind the scenes clips feature the Boot Camp Clik members, OGC, Heltah Skeltah and the Coco Brovas (aka Smif n Wessun) from a show in NJ circa…

Jay-Z reactive PR fails to boost sales

A November 20th launch party for the new Jay-Z line at Barney’s New York was cancelled for undisclosed reasons, even though they still went ahead with the deal. To be clear, it is not technically the new Jay-Z line. In fact, the brand is the second time Sean Corey Carter…

Highest paid Deejays in the World

Where is the art of deejayin today. There’s turntablists who have deejay skills and can perform tricks and professional transitions. Then you have mixtape deejays who promote unsigned rappers. Next you have radio deejays who play popular music. But most importantly you have club deejays who make all the money….

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Hip Hop Appreciation Week 2013

Happy Hip Hop Appreciation Week! Take time to observe the principles of True Hip Hop Kulture; Peace, Love, Unity and Safely Having Fun. Watch an old-school movie like Beat Street, Wildstyle, or Krush Groove. Check out a classic episode of Shades of Hip Hop or research an artist or pioneer…

Adrian Younge: The Concept Art of Beat-Making

Over the past two years, hip-hop music has become an ever-increasing wasteland of desolation, lacking originality, concept and skillfully crafted lyrics or soulful beat production. Not only is the lyrical prowess as low as it has ever been in Hip Hop Kulture, but the beats too are dry, robotic and…

Classic BBoy Track – Davy DMX

When I was young, this track used to get all the bboys and bgirls amped. This was one of the tracks made specifically for the breakers and up-rockers. The cuts are sharp like a Samurai sword. Kurt NiceKurt Nice aka Kurtiss Jackson is a behind the scenes pioneer in the…

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The Lies Hip Hop Told Me pt.1

There are a number of myths and outright lies that have been perpetuated in Hip Hop Kulture that poison the minds of novices and old-timers alike. Some of these lies have mistakenly become part of the false identity ascribed to Hiphoppas. Lie #1 Rappers Speak for Hip Hop As many…

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