Street Space Dance 2010

DJSpock

Thanks to all the rubberfans and funkateers who came out for (the last?) MUM this weekend! Brother Cleve, DJ Flack, Wayne&Wax, DJ Axel Foley, Dziga, Tdogg, yours truly and all the other people who volunteered their time and gear cooked up a proper P-Funk tribute all slathered up in rubbery bass, screwy syths and more bounce for your flashlight. There is nothing like dancing in the street with a few hundred of your new best friends to make you feel good about the world. Here’s some video of my set that gives you a sense of the vibe this year.

DJ Pace @ MUM 2010 from Carey Foster on Vimeo.

Thanks to the Somerville Arts Council for getting the community together to dance in the street.Those from funkier locations may think this sounds insane, but up here in the brainy Northeast, its often hard to get people dancing period. Forget about throwing a legal family style p-funk tribute dance party under a highway overpass. Despite the odds, that’s what we have done for the last 5 years.

This year the bass was so heavy and the funk so stanky that it made me want to take the show on the road. I kept wondering, “could a traveling caravan throwing outdoor electro-boogie-disco-breaks parties unite the country? The world?” Under a bridge in Somerville, MA this weekend, it sure seemed like it could.

Although the video clip above does not make it so clear, every year we rock together. Here’s a clip from last year with all of us on deck.

One nation under a groove. Under a bridge.

Lecco’s Lemma Trove Two

prime box close

When I got to visit Magnus and the original Lecco’s Lemma tapes I was honored and humbled. Here were the raw materials of one of the oldest rap shows in the country (September 1985) and a critical one in the history of Boston hip-hop. In all of the wonder of that discover there was only one problem…Magnus didn’t tape his own show (or at least not that often). It makes sense. Listening to these tapes it’s clear he was juggling a lot already. The problem is, he did lots of on air stuff. Without the tapes of the shows the record would always be incomplete.

So I began asking around. Lots of people claimed to have tapes of the show. I have a few myself. But when it came right down to it, there just weren’t that many around. But there was one person on my list who I never quite connected with…until recently. I guess I just assumed when he said that he taped the show a lot it was the same as all of us…a lot less often than we remembered. Well. In this case I was wrong.

I finally connected with him this past weekend. As I walked up to the house with my backpack, he stood up from the stoop where he had been waiting and said, “Where’s your truck”. “Truck?”, I replied already taken aback. “What do you mean? How many tapes do you have?” “Like I said, I have boxes, man” was his only reply as he disappeared up the stairs to the archive. I still didn’t quite believe him until he opened the closet door. Then I had to sit down to keep from falling over. He has boxes man.

Lecco's Lemma Trove 2

I left with one box containing 64 tapes of the show. He still has two more. Rounding down, lets say there are 60 tapes per box. That’s 180 tapes. Two tapes per show on average is about 90 shows. Since the show only ran for three years, that’s more than half the shows EVER! With this and Magnus’ original tape collection we will be able to compile a pretty complete picture of 80s Boston hip-hop.

Needless to say, there will be much more to say (and more importantly hear). I’ll be putting stuff up here and on the new Lecco’s Lemma soundcloud account all year. After all, September 2010 is the 25th anniversary of the first Lecco’s Lemma show in 1985…so bust out the tape decks people as we run it down for y’all.

Peace to Magnus and DJ Spin (the first Lecco’s archivist) and all the Lecco’s Lemma alumni out there!

Lecco's Lemma Show Tapes Close

Mastermind Monstamix: Boston’s Ragamuffin Hip-Hop History

Hey all. Last week I got a short notice request to join flack and wayne at Beat Research tonight. I decided I’d use the night to showcase some of my favorite local ragamuffin hip hop. And when you are doing that, you are basically playing stuff from Jr. Rodigan’s Mastermind Records. Everyone knows the classic ragamuffin hip hop sounds popularized by Bobby Kondors via Massive B Records. Lots of folks also know the collection of stuff on Profile (including the seminal Daddy Freddy and Asher D track) not to mention all the stuff on Nervous. What most people don’t know is that in the mid-90’s, Boston was putting out raggamuffin hip-hop as good as anyplace!!!! Believe it. Like all things hip-hop, Boston’s contribs have gone less recognized than some other places. Until now.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Mastermind Monstamix

I offer this Mastermind Monstamix to prove that the Bean was rocking the ragga sound as hard as anyplace in the mid 1990s. As usual, its pretty much unedited and done live with two decks and included here warts and all. Its also clearly not ALL mastermind stuff and veers into a little paid in full mini-mashup by the end complete with Wayne flowin’ over a PM dawn IM (which always makes me smile).

Respect to Rodigan and his collaborators including the prolific Bingy Twins who co-produced many of his hottest raggamuffin hip-hop dancefloor burners! I’ll be rocking Boston Raggamuffin Hip Hop Classix tonight at Beat Research for anyone in town.

Bigup to the beantown massive. Stay tuned for the Monstamind Master Mix that will be highlighting some lesser known scientifikal rappers from MA.

peace

P.S.

Last night, I had the honor of meeting Jr. Rodigan and playing a set of his classic 90s track while he sat and listened. Talk about pressure. He shook my hand at the end of the night though, so I guess I did it proper. Listening to his verse on One in the Chamba while he sang along next to me has to be one of my all time best musical moments! More on that track in a minute but for now, keep those Boston beats bumpin’.

GuRumors

The strangeness gets stranger in the world everyday. I was reading Faraone’s tidy summary of the Gurumormill in the Phoneix this week and realized I needed to remove the “glad Guru recovered” P.S. from the webprayer post I put up when the news broke about his “coma”. Wtf? This would have been a total and unmitigated downermindfuck except that it got me rereading Brian’s thoughtful reflections on the passing of one of hip-hop’s greatest (imho). Anyway, since reality seems to be pretty much up for grabs at this point, I decided to do a little historical audio reconstruction myself. Here’s a little Boston scratch track I made that ends with a “lovingly corrected” version of Place Where we Dwell”.

Guru’s first tapes

Insane news of Guru’s coma today threw me for a loop. I thought there would be a lot of people out there in shock and figured it might help to hear some of the old tapes from before things got complicated. For those needing an update, the whole history has been recounted today by Dart Adams.
keith gangstarr spine
Here again (but this time set to video Ken Burns style) are the tapes Keith sent to Magnus at the Lecco’s Lemma show on WMBR in Cambridge in 1986. Among all the tapes in the boxes, he had the most by far (maybe next to DJ Prime – a strange coincidence actually). Its a sad day in Boston hip-hop whenever one of our own gets felled for any reason. Hopin’ for good outcomes and listening to these tapes is helping. Hope it helps you too. We know Guru always had Boston in his heart and recent years proved it. Peace.

Here are two of the tracks

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Epitome Spree

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Take a lesson

P.S.
SUCH great news that he pulled out OK. Man, I was praying hard in my way over here and I know a lot of others were too. Hopes for a fast and full recovery and many more years of dopeness! 🙁 WTF?!?!?

Get your beard on

Todds beard

Todds beard

I’ll be spinning a rare afternoon set at Precinct in Union Sq. Somerville tomorrow, Feb 13 from 3-6. Its a facial hair party/competition, so expect plenty of classic beard rock (ZZ top, Allman’s, Steppenwolf, etc) sprinkled into my regular sonic salad. I’ll be getting itchy and scratchy all afternoon.

I know some of my local people just culled, but come represent even if you are bald faced by choice or necessity. Whatever your follicular situation, come give the hirsute among you some love! In this age of increasingly plastic people, you know we need it.

Get Your Beard On Saturday
Saturday, Feb. 13, 3-6pm
Precinct, 70 Union Sq.

Sponsored by the Somerville Arts Council

A contest & party sure to tickle your chin. Previous contests have been held in other parts of the world but nothing like this has happened in your own backyard. Jimmy DelPonte will emcee; a panel of bearded judges will issue the verdict; and DJ Pace will create the scratchy sonic backdrop. We will nibble, drink and hob-nob within a roomful of artistic facial hair. What better way to spend a winter afternoon? Contestantswill vie for prizes in 5 categories: natural full beard, free-style full beard, free-style moustache, free-style partial beard, (which includes goatees, sideburns and any other creative combination of the above), and for follicle challenged, best fake beard. To register/questions: GetYourBeardOn@gmail.com Co-produced with Todd Easton.

Here’s a little youube to get you in the mood. Reminds me I might want to bring some classic Greek Orthodox tunes too.

DJs for Peace

DJs for Peace Party

Short notice but I wanted to shout about a benefit tonight for DJs for Peace (a new initiative being brought to you by local peace/hip-hop activist Cindy Diggs). As a local DJ/Peace and Global studies graduate and Cindy fan I am definitely there. Not only that but the lineup looks amazing.

Here are the deets. But even if you can’t go, send some love Cindy’s way. She is doing amazing work as always.
______
Every year since 2006, Peace Boston has premiered their promotion for the year in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday dubbed by Peace Boston as The Ultimate Peace Weekend. This year is no exception.

On Thursday, January 21, 2010, The DJs for Peace – seventeen of New England’s best – will light up the wheels of steel, demonstrating the art of DJ battle and old school tribute as a benefit for youth fundraiser and danceoff The Beantown Bounce IV!

This year’s spin-a-thon will take place at Club Choices, 379 Somerville Ave, Somerville MA and is 21+

The event will feature special guest performances by DJ Act One’s breakdance crew The Krazy 88’s; Boston Music Award winner Lisa Bello; and a Run-DMC Tribute with DJ Cruz featuring Big Scythe and Visionary Da 3rd. Other DJs on deck for this occasion: DJ Black, DJ Daz-One, DJ Def Stef, DJ Dex, DJ Dru Nyce, EJ Spin, DJ Greg G, DJ Inkognito, DJ Jon Jack, Killer DJ, DJ Knucks, DJ Lil Nes, DJ Nestle Quick, DJ Val Beatz, and DJ Vixxx. Chip Greenidge will host.

The first forty-five patrons will receive a free gift from Peace Boston.

The Day of the DJ Meet & Greet at 7PM (for DJs only)

Guests are encouraged to dress for the occasion to win the Best of the 80’s Dress Contest and to participate in the 80’s dance competition.

Doors open for the public at 7:45. Show starts at 8:01 PM.

Admission is just $10. Guests may also purchase a copy of Peace Boston’s youth and anti-violence programming benefit CD PEACE IN THE STREETS for an additional $10.

Presented by The Knights of the Turntables and Peace Boston

For more information contact:
peaceboston@gmail.com

Boston Scratch Classix Vol.1

BostonScratchClassix

Happy holidays all. Here’s a new mix of Boston scratch classix to help you ring in the New Year. While I don’t normally include so many other people scratching on my mixes, that’s kind of the point with this one. You can probably hear the ones I added because they tend to stick out rhythmically (OR at least, that’s how I hear them). The thing begins with a Ronnie Ruff track “It Comes From Boston” which I only found a few months back.

Ronnie Ruff

Its already a future scratch classic for sure! I can throw up a set list, but maybe its more fun to guess and dig?

Here’s to more peace, love, unity and havin’ fun with the Beantown massive in 2010!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Boston Scratch Classix Vol. 1

Def Rock at Beat Research

Thanks to everyone who showed up on Monday for the Beat Research Rep Da Bean Night. Amazing to hang with 7L, Karma, Lyrical, Nomadik, Polecat/Brick Casey, Def Rock and the Megabug crew and many others while we listened to unreleased Lecco’s Lemma tapes, TDS Mob, T-Max and so much other incredible Boston hip-hop! We all agreed we need to do it more often.

We ended the night with a surprise appearance by Def Rock and Dr. Dooriddle (of Megabug/Monstamind fame) and DJ Richie Gambles on the decks. Check them out rockin’ through a hole in the wall using the random breakbeat records I happened to bring along.

Peace to the BEANTOWN MASSIVE!

Hip-hop in the hub

Its finally here. The day the book drops. I am heading over to Beat Research soon to celebrate with the Beantown massive and wanted to put up the article before I do.

There is so much to say about this piece of work that I can’t even really begin. It took longer and was harder than I ever could have imagined. But it was also the highest honor to be asked to write the first real academic piece on Boston’s hip-hop history. What would you say? Its a complicated tale to say the least. Well, this is what I came up with.

A few words of introduction are clearly in order. First, thanks to everyone who opened their lives, collections and memories to me. I could not have done it without you. Second, I know there are certainly going to be some errors, omissions, thoughts about other angles to highlight, etc. I welcome your suggestions (post them up here) and hope I can update this in a second version, later works, etc. This is certainly a first pass at a lifelong project. Finally, you may notice that the article leaves a lot of the recent history (and people) out. That’s not because I see it as less important, interesting, etc. Just that I had a chance here to tell some tales that have not been told, reach some people that are harder to reach, and dig a little deeper into the past. I also wanted to celebrate a scene that I have loved and been around (but not quite in) for my whole life. So, that’s what I did.

There are lots of things I would do differently if I could. But most of it, I would do the same way again. Visiting Rusty and Spice at Touch. The trip to Maine to see/hear the Lecco’s Lemma archives and talk to Magnus my old friend. Checking in with Skippy at his last remaining store and asking him about his first memories. Reconnecting the electro sounds coming out of Boston in the early 1980s to the birth of hip-hop. A lot. Anyway. I hope you enjoy reading it half as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Here it is with respect to all of you who lived it the first time around.

Hip-Hop in the Hub: How Boston Rap Remained Underground

For those of you who can afford the $165 price tag (nah, I don’t get any) its also available in the massive comp Hip Hop In America: A Regional Guide.

Thanks of course to Mickey for all the hard work putting out this massive compendium and inviting me to be part of it.