LET’S TOAST TO…THE D.J.

DJ PREMIER: Who in my opinion is…The GREATEST DJ/PRODUCER of our time.

CHEERS!!!

In hip hop, there is no HIP-HOP without the dj. And for those of you that need a little history in that department, YES….HIP-HOP started in the BRONX 40 YEARS ago.

Here’s a little more history…WHO is The GODFATHER of HIP-HOP?

*COOL HERC- He is responsible for taking a sound system (speakers, etc.) and bringing it out to the park and throwing on familiar records.

WHO is THE FIRST hip-hop dj?

*GRANDMASTER FLASH- He is responsible for playing records “on time.” His music blended perfectly…the song selection made sense. He is also responsible for taking the break in the record and extending it; which ultimately gave way for “rappers” to rap in that space. In fact, Flash used to bring out COWBOY (from THE FURIOUS FIVE) to talk over those “breaks” so some haved credited COWBOY as being “the first rapper.”

WHO invented scratching?

*GRAND WIZARD THEODORE- He is responsible for the “scratching” technique that EVERY SINGLE (real) DJ has done or will try to do at some point. And let’s not forget, GRAND WIZARD was in the group…THE FANTASTIC FIVE that was featured in the movie “WILD STYLE.”

That being said, last week on SWAY IN THE MORNING we had DJ Legends Week. Every day a LEGENDARY dj came up and did a special mix that was INCREDIBLE! Take a look at who came through…and find out some of their history:

JAZZY JEFF! Yes…the same guy from the “FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR” that was always getting “thrown out.” I had NEVER met Jeff (in person) so I was SUPER excited to talk to him. Alot of folks don’t realize that he’s also a producer and has been credited for bringing Jill Scott&Music SoulChild to the music world. Also, He&Will (Smith) are THE FIRST rap duo to win a GRAMMY.

He told us “The movie people HATE to see me around Will…because I wanna talk about making music.” “They want him FOCUSED on making movies, but me&him are
STILL friends.” As a fan of Jazzy Jeff&The Fresh Prince (“Summer Time” is one of my FAVORITE hip hop songs ever)….I danced the entire time Jeff mixed that day. He even threw on my song “ALL GLOCKS DOWN” which prompted me to jump on the mic and perform it LIVE while he dj’d! I’m saying…when ELSE is Will Smith’s dj, gonna be MY DJ? I HAD TO DO IT!!!

PETE ROCK! From Mt. Vernon, NY and the cousin of the late, great HEAVY D (Hev got him in the music biz) Pete is one of those triple threat dj’s! (He’s also a producer&he can rhyme.) Some would argue that the greatest record Pete ever produced was T.R.O.Y. (They Reminiscence Over You) which was dedicated to Trouble T-Roy (Heavy D’s dancer) who died in 1990. My FAVORITE Pete produced record is “DOWN WITH THE KING” a song he did for RUN-DMC, which also featured Pete’s group member CL Smooth.

Over the years Pete&I developed a great friendship and for the LIFE OF ME I don’t even remember HOW: One day we just started talking…And haven’t stopped since. What I love about Pete as a dj&a producer (which he also included in his mix) he has one of the most distinctive sounds in the game. And speaking of game…his wife invited me&Horse to their house to eat, drink, and play cards: However, Pete must learn HOW to play spades because right now he’s the self professed “UNO-KING!” LOL!!!

DJ EVIL Dee! So check THIS out. DJ EVIL Dee is a member&the dj for the group, “BLACK MOON.” He&his brother “Mr. Walt” produced the ENTIRE first album “BLACK MOON” put out which was titled, “ENTA DA STAGE.” One of the singles, (“HOW MANY MC’s”) sampled my hip-hop mentor (KRS-One) and his song, “MY PHILOSPHY.” Ironically, KRS’s brother (Dj Kenny Parker-who is also a producer) ended up sampling “HOW MANY MC’s” for my song “ALL GLOCKS DOWN” and thanks to sampling&paperwork…we became (hip-hop) family. LOL!

Not since “The Bomb Squad” (with brothers Hank&Keith Shocklee) who produced the legendary rap group “PUBLIC ENEMY” has there been brothers with such an impressive hip-hop discography. Folks say family&business don’t mix…and sometimes it doesn’t, but I can truly say that Dj Evil Dee has been able to… rock the club, rock the radio, and rock the studio with is brother by his side.

DJ SCRATCH! Is probably THE GREATEST battle dj of ALL TIME. And I say that because way back in 1988 he won the New Music Seminar (DJ) Battle For World Supremacy. And just in case you think you can’t teach an old-dog new tricks…In 2010 he won the Master Of The Mix World Champion Contest&the last year at the 2012 Global Spin Awards he was named Turntablist Of The Year. Honestly, what Scratch can do on the turntables there are NO WORDS for. OH! AND….He’s also a 3 Time Grammy Nominated Multi Platinum Producer.

For folks that followed hip-hop back in the 80’s&90’s we know Scratch from the Legendary rap group “EPMD.” EPMD were the stars, but the way Scratch has been able to have his own identity outside of the group has been INSPIRING. The day he was in the studio, EVERY DJ&even producers that worked on other shows came in to JUST WATCH him in action. What was also inspiring is that he told us he has a dj school for up&coming dj’s and the cool part is that established dj’s like Jazzy Jeff, Red Alert, and Kid Capri all come through to teach classes.

KID CAPRI! Is…THE most LEGENDARY party DJ of ALL TIME. He is also the father of the “modern” mix-tape. I say “modern” because mix-tapes weren’t a MUST until Capri started doing them. His ability to mix records&rap at the same time had NEVER been done before AND the unique screech in his voice literally became music on it’s on.

You know how “Martin” (the tv show) opens up with someone saying “Mart-innnnnn” “Mart-innnnn”…THAT’S Kid Capri! See, he was also the DJ for Def Comedy Jam (Martin used to host that) so Martin decided to use Capri’s voice when he left that show&went on to do his own. Like Pete Rock, Capri ALSO produces…so I must give him the TRIPLE THREAT title as well. AND just in case you’re wondering WHO he’s produced? His discography ranges from KRS-One to Jay-Z!

IF there is ANYthing or ANYone in this post that you are not familiar with…LOOK IT UP! Hip-Hop in now 40 years old and as much as folks said it wouldn’t last…it’s safe to say, that hip-hop&the DJ is here to stay.

CHEERS!
HB

cheerssway

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