Okay, this is an excellent way to end the workweek: A tribute to Paul’s Boutique by DJ Cheeba, DJ Moneyshot and DJ Food.
3 years in the making, 3 DJs working with over 150 tracks to recreate one of the seminal sampling albums of all time, at last Cheeba, Moneyshot and I can reveal ‘Caught In The Middle Of A 3-Way Mix’. Our tribute to the classic Beastie Boys album ‘Paul’s Boutique’ remixed and re-imagined from all the original samples plus a cappellas, period interviews and the Beasties’ own audio commentary from the reissued release.
Here are some pages ANIMAL exclusively obtained of a short Wu-Tang comic book that was based on the clan’s Wu-Massacre album featuring Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. It was never published and never released, until now. The characters were co-created by art director/designer Alex Haldi and comic book illustrator legend Chris Bachalo. There’s one thing missing though, the dialogue, which is unfortunate, but makes for even nicer visuals. Or just add speech bubbles of your own.
MF Doom is one of the most respected rappers and producers in hip-hop. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for “his” live “appearances.” I say “his” because quite often MF Doom, aka Daniel Dumile, doesn’t even appear at his own shows.
As has been reported a number of times over the last few years, Doom has a history of sending imposters to perform at his live events, all hidden behind his trademark metal mask. After various reports of this happening in the past, including this from The Kaos Effect, the latest non-sighting of MF Doom comes from Livin’ Proof in London. A statement on the collective’s Facebook wall reads:
To everyone who came down to our Livin’ DOOM event on Saturday and are questioning whether that was the real DOOM - we are in the same position as you. We had a legitimate contracted gig from his official booking agent and were in contact throughout the booking process with his US management, and label. We were even talking and working with the promoters of DOOM’s forthcoming London live shows in October and November.
As far as we were concerned, the real DOOM was going to appear… we received news from DOOM’s management on the morning of the gig that DOOM wanted more money or he would not show up. This show was done and intended as a very special and intimate show which was not about making money but putting on an incredible party in a very small capacity venue. As we wanted the show to go ahead and was left to ransom to this extortionate request, we agreed this even though this was a breach of our agreed contract. In hindsight, we should have cancelled the show then and there…
At 9.30pm after we had open the doors, we were told by management that he would appear but would not DJ and was just going to sign autographs. We said this was unacceptable as we had agreed and paid for a DJ set… 10 minutes later we received a call saying that he would DJ… Or that’s what we were led to believe.
As many of the people in the venue noticed, there is a very strong possibility the person that was finally sent down was not DOOM himself.
Doing this show has taught us a lot about how some artists operate and how they feel they can treat others and, most importantly, their fans. As fans of DOOM ourselves, this has left a very sour taste in our mouth.
Anyone who has been to Livin’ Proof parties always know that we do our utmost to provide the best quality show and we are so sorry for anyone who came down and were disappointed by the DJ set from the artist supposedly meant to be DOOM.
We will do our utmost to make this up to anyone who purchased a ticket for this event. We paid the fee upfront to Daniel Dumile’s bank account and have the receipts to prove this. We will be seeking legal advice and are doing our best to get his show fee refunded from DOOM and his management and will then take suitable steps after this action.
All the best,
Livin’ Proof Crew.
There is some doubt in the thread that accompanies the statement as to whether the person in the picture above is MF Doom or not. Anybody reading this have any ideas?
Some people are now suggesting fans boycott MF Doom shows, and even stop buying his records. There’s also a lot of talk about this all being part of MF Doom’s notorious “super-villainry.” Bullshit. Super-laziness and disrespect for fans is what this is.
MF Doom needs to take a leaf out of GG Allin’s book, who was a REAL super-villain. Sure, you may have got pissed on or kicked in the face at an Allin show, but at least you could be guaranteed the guy defecating on your head was THE REAL GG Allin.
I’m a Mobb Deep fan, but would be pretty surprised to discover that I regularly listened to music made by anyone essentially dafter than members Havoc and Prodigy, whose twenty-year alliance is currently in the throes of messy dissolution. The end began a few months back, when usually silent partner Havoc – often rumored to enjoy a drink a little too much – hit Twitter at a suspiciously early hour one Monday morning to accuse Prodigy of being both gay and (wait for it) a pussy! The next day the group attempted to backtrack with a transparent cover story concerning lost phones and hacked accounts, but in recent weeks Havoc has admitted responsibility for the rant and resumed his attack in two [rubbish] new songs. Havoc, by the way, is 38 years old.
Now I couldn’t help noticing that in every outburst Havoc always mentioned Prodigy’s memoir, last year’s My Infamous Life. I’d been meaning to take a look at this for some time: as well as having once been a truly great emcee, its author is incapable of getting a glass of water without embarrassing himself (it promised to be funny). Havoc’s indignation tipped the scales. I chewed through it the other day – finding many likely sources of the intragroup bitterness, and plenty of general ridiculousness besides…
Take Prodigy’s portrait of Havoc’s late brother, “Killer Black,” whose 1996 suicide resulted in his practical canonization in subsequent Mobb recordings. In the book, Prodigy relates how Killer staggered home drunk sometime in the early nineties, carrying a revolver and a pair of Walkman speakers – he had, he said, just killed someone for them! In later years, Black would reveal to Prodigy that he had been “having conversations with the Egyptian King Tut,” a bombshell that is apparently received at face value.
“I listened real close because even though he did some wild shit, Killer wasn’t crazy at all, he was very intelligent. The only time he shot someone for no reason was when he shot that guy for his Walkman speakers, and he was extra drunk that night.”
When Killer does get around to blowing his own brains out – tormented, perchance, by guilt – Prodigy is flummoxed. “This was totally out of character,” he insists. “Killer wasn’t mentally crazy or suicidal.” Which is debatable, but then My Infamous Life raises plenty of questions about Prodigy’s own mental health. There is the incident, for example, when some strange lights outside their bedroom window wake him and his wife up.
“I knew what it was. A UFO was hovering over our crib, shining light beams into our bedroom. Holy shit. After three or four minutes, the night sky turned black again (…) I got the shotgun from the closet, woke the kids up, and brought them to our room.”
A memorable moment in any childhood: Your drug-addled, rap-star dad, shotgun in fist, shepherding you out of bed because the house is under attack by UFOs.
My Infamous Life enters especially amusing territory around 2005, when, just as Mobb Deep were getting stuck into what looked exactly like a terminal commercial and creative decline, long-term fan 50 Cent – then busily frittering away his freshly minted millions on a number of harebrained schemes – snapped them up to his G-Unit Records, handing over in excess of a million dollar advance and a pair of top-notch Porsches in exchange for what would amount to a single ropey album, Blood Money.
Prodigy quickly developed the world’s biggest man crush on his new boss – and the rest of his book reads like one protracted love letter to 50 Cent. Or better yet a longwinded attempt to flatter him into not dropping Mobb Deep from G-Unit Records, which he did anyway last year, citing Prodigy’s needless three-year conviction on a gun charge around 2008… Mind you, Prodigy had already been verifiably “dick-riding” 50 Cent for some time prior to the writing of My Infamous Life. During a 50 Cent tour Mobb Deep tagged along with as support, Prodigy even had the on-tour tattooist (don’t ask me) tattoo “G-Unit” across his hand, a gesture of debatable maturity for the then-31-year-old, but one that was to result in his memoir’s sentimental apogee.
“Later that night after the show, I was wandering around the hotel looking for everybody but they were all ‘busy’ in their rooms. I took a walk to the studio truck but only the engineer was there. So I walked over to a tour bus with a light shining through the windows and climbed inside and what I saw shocked the hell out of me.”
50 Cent fellating an alien? Unfortunately not – he was, instead, getting a tat’ too: the Mobb Deep logo, on his wrist. I know. Prodigy, lost for words, returns to the hotel.
“As I lay in bed trying to drift off, I thought about how glad I was that I got the G-Unit tattoo first without telling anyone. The next day, Havoc got a G-Unit tattoo when I told him that 50 got Mobb Deep.”
Dry your eyes and note that last sentence. The book’s full of spiteful Havoc-asides, and their bitterness and regularity intensify during its interminable coverage of Mobb Deep’s 50 Cent tours, where the man Prodigy would like to be wedded to – 50 Cent – provides a brutal contrast with the man he is – Havoc – depicted as “swimming in liquor like a tequila worm.”
“We gave him the nickname Mr Minibar because he would drink all the liquor in his room, then come back to my room and scheme on my minibar liquor. At first I’d think, Wow, Hav came to kick it with me. Five minutes later he would discreetly make his way to my minibar, then leave the room. He did that to everyone on the tour, including 50.”
Including 50!? Prodigy’s almost pathological contrasting of the two climaxes during the book’s closing pages, where he describes Havoc and 50’s respective (and respectively solitary) prison visits. 50 arrives, and is supposedly looking forward to Prodigy’s release “so they can start work on the next Mobb Deep album” (“it was a great visit”); Havoc, on the other hand, cuts a sheepish figure, apologizing for not having answered any of Prodigy’s letters (!) and wondering aloud if 50 was going to drop them.
You don’t need x-rap specs to see right through Prodigy’s projection-screen prose and make out the resentful, reluctant Havoc on the other side, exhausted by his partner’s borderline personality, and furious with him for getting himself pointlessly locked up and thereby sabotaging their G-Unit pensions. But, given that Havoc himself is something of a Charisma Bypass, he had obviously decided to suck it up and get on with business…
Then came the My Infamous Life.
Here, though, is the group in happier times, baby-faced and performing two of their precocious hip hop classics, “Shook Ones” and “Hell on Earth.” It’s pretty damn good, despite the ropey sound. M-O-B-B!
In this fantastic excerpt from the legendary Dutch TV documentary about old school hip hop, Big Fun In The Big Town, a young Grandmaster Flash displays his “turntabilism” techniques—“backspin” “punch phrasing” and “scratching”—for the camera.
Today is the eighth of the eighth, the official day to celebrate all things to do with the Roland TR-808 drum machine. And what better way to spend the day than with LA’s own king of the beats, and undisputed pioneer of both the 808 and hip-hop music, the Egyptian Lover.
This in-depth interview, by Redefine Hip-Hop for Fifth Element Online, stretches to 25 minutes over two parts, and covers everything you could possibly want to know about Egyptian Lover, aka Greg Broussard. From the origins of his moniker, to his introduction to the 808, from some of his most memorable productions to his extensive djing background, this covers all bases.
The 808 is a staple of modern music making, as influential a sound source as anything produced by Moog or Arp. I fuckin’ love it, as my Bang The Box mix from a few months back proves. There’s just nothing that compares to those massive kick drums, those sharp snares and that iconic, ringing cowbell. As Greg states in the interview, the 808 is never going to go away, and even Madonna has name dropped the 808 recently, in an attempt to gain some cred.
Of course, Egyptian Lover beat Madonna to rapping about an 808 by almost 30 years, and the great news is that he hasn’t stopped rocking. He’s still touring, and playing to more people than ever, all over the globe, as successive generations get turned on to the 808 sound. He’s a real dj’s dj too, mixing and scratching with original vinyl over his trusty 808’s live rhythms, and of course it wouldn’t be an Egyptian Lover show if he didn’t take to the microphone to deliver his classic raps. Check the 70 minute live recording from last year, after the jump. That, brostep kids, is a REAL dj.
The Egyptian Lover is a legend set in stone!
After the jump, part two of the Egyptian Lover interview, and a live set recorded in Athens last October…
Here’s a video/music mix celebrating New York City in the 1970s - street scenes and music you’d hear in the downtown clubs.
Of course, despite the animosity directed at New York City by people who didn’t “get” it, the City survived. We didn’t drop dead, we dropped beats.
1. “Jet Boy” - The New York Dolls 2. “Piss Factory” - Patti Smith
3. “X-Offender” Blondie 4. “Born To Lose” - The Heartbreakers
5. “SuperRappin’” - Grandmaster Flash 6. “Darrio” - Kid Creole
7. “The Mexican” - Babe Ruth 8. “Pop Your Funk” - Arthur Russell
Ronald Reagan, that evil fuck President who willfully destroyed working class communities to give tax breaks to the rich. Reagan was happy to do it so long as it was African-Americans that bore the brunt.
Reaganomics left half the Black population on welfare. Reagan had no conscience about it. He had a money lust which hit hardest on those who were weakest and least able to fend for themselves.
Stopping poverty wasn’t on Reagan’s tick list. Rather it was cut corners and take, take, take from the poor - which stooped as low as having the tomato base on pizzas reclassified as fruit to ensure he could slash the cost of school dinners. He even tried to do the same with tomato ketchup but failed.
Reagan’s policy was simple - if you were poor: fuck you. If you were sick: fuck you. If you were dying of cancer: fuck you and get a goddamn job.
For young African-Americans in the 1980s, it seemed the hard-earned achievements of the sixties’ Civil Rights movement had been too easily betrayed and forgotten. And when crack cocaine hit the inner cities, it seemed any hope of a future was gone.
Against this background arose a culture of music that was to redefine Black America. Hip-Hop and Rap reflected the poverty, despair and violence of life in the ghettoes. It also railed angrily against the indifference and cynical exploitation by successive Presidents, whose only interest was to help themselves and help the rich.
Letter to the President is a fascinating over-view of the rise of Hip-Hop and Rap, and their importance in bringing a community together against a common enemy. Narrated by Snoop Dogg, and with contributions form Quincy Jones, KRS-One, David Banner, 50 Cent, Chuck D, Ghostface Killah, Nelson George, Sonia Sanchez, and Dick Gregory.
Roger Ballen’s haunting black and white photographs of people and places in South Africa possess some of the same dark poetry as those of Diane Arbus’s New York City photos and Shelby Lee Adams’ Appalachian portraits. They’re beautiful and disturbing - rich with stories real and imagined. The empathetic eye of the photographer keeps the shocking nature of many of the photos from being exploitation. Within the squalor and twisted flesh, souls are revealed like a punch in the face.
Ballen’s photographs have inspired and influenced the imagery that appears in the videos of Die Antwoord. The look of the video for “I Fink U Freeky” is particularly informed by Ballen’s art and in this short film the photographer addresses the connection between his work and that of Die Antwoord’s.
I don’t want to be a middle-aged guy commenting on “the youth,” but for fuck’s sake does Hopsin’s rap take no prisoners. And I can’t comment either on if this is some sort of ironic thing, or semi-ironic thing that he’s doing. Is there a level of “Stephen Colbert-ness” to Hopsin’s shtick? I can’t really tell to be honest, but the sheer ferociousness of his message did cause me to sit up, pay attention and to listen until the very end (which, again, I recommend doing here).
Fascinating stuff. “The Ill Mind of Hopsin 5” really knocked me for a loop. Today is the guy’s birthday, too. Follow Hopsin on Twitter.
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
I'll repeat that: We're not necessarily endorsing everything you'll find here, we're merely saying "Here it is." We think human beings are very strange and often totally hilarious. We enjoy weird and inexplicable things very much. We believe things have to change and change swiftly. It's got to be about the common good or it's no good at all. We like to get suggestions of fun/serious things from our good-looking, high IQ readers. We are your favorite distraction.