I am beyond excited for this. If you know me, you know that Large Professor is pretty much my hero when it comes to hip-hop, so to get the chance to share a billing with him–spinning all 45s, no less–is an incredible honor for me. This is gonna be serious business, y’all. Do NOT miss out!
Friday, May 25
Mighty (119 Utah St. San Francisco)
Spinning all 45s all night.
Plus: Free BBQ!
This is gonna be great. We’ve got my favorite Bay Area DJ, the one and only DJ B-Cause, coming through for the 45 Sessions this month. B’s got a seriously deep collection and phenomenal skills when it comes to playing them. You really don’t want to miss out on this one.
Friday, April 20
Disco Volante (347 14th St., Oakland)
E Da Boss, DJ Platurn, DJ Enki, and special guest DJ B-Cause spin funk, disco, hip-hop, rock, breaks, boogie, and all sorts of great tunes on nothing but 45s
“EDM is, to me, firmly ensconced in its ‘Arena Rock’ phase — much like in the way that rap music has both feet firmly planted in terrain too similar to the harmless and entertaining yet vapid realm of ’80s hair metal. Yet one must understand that such progression cannot continue without the eventual backlash. The physics law of for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction applies here, and with such vehement corporate co-opting we can all expect to see the rubber band snap back. Rap and dance music both need their 1988 or their 1991, and it will happen.”
-Cosmo Baker, hitting the nail squarely on the head
One from the hard-drive archives: This cut from 2008 was originally meant to be the follow up to “Kung Fu Kwaku,” but somewhere along the line, it got lost in the sauce, and I pretty much forgot about it, except that it occasionally pops up on my iPod. I also made this track in order to take on two technical challenges:
1. Simulate stereo sampling with the SP-1200
2. See if I could freak a bass line to make it do things the original record doesn’t do at all
It was kinda cool to figure those things out as I went along. Hell, I’m not even sure if I could do that bass line again–I’d have to go back to the Pro Tools session and see if I can figure out what I did.
The song: “Build and Destroy’”
The producer: Kenny Parker
The science: For a crew with the word “productions” right there in its name, Boogie Down Productions doesn’t get talked about too much when we get to listing the best producers or the best beats or what have you. That’s understandable when the real driving force of BDP is arguable the greatest rapper of all time, KRS-One, but still, the beats on those BDP albums don’t get talked about too much (save Criminal Minded because of the whole Ced-Gee-jacking-Marley-Marl’s-reel-of-drum-sounds business), which is kind of a shame.
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If you’ve been sleeping on the best party in the East Bay, it’s time to wake up. What we have here is big things: The homie DJ Doc Fu coming through to bless us with a set. Doc’s a San Francisco legend — an institution, even. He’s been slaying crowds for years with his killer record crates and top-notch skills. We’re excited he’s finally able to come bless the 45 Sessions with a set, and you should be, too, because much like Poor Righteous Teachers, he’s gonna rock this funky joint.
Friday, March 16
Disco Volante (347 14th St., Oakland)
Doc Fu and DJ Enki spin funk, disco, hip-hop, rock, breaks, boogie, and all sorts of great tunes on nothing but 45s
So here’s a really cool project: My good friend Tara Zanzig–now located in Chicago, but who I first met back in my college days in Greensboro, NC–is a very talented artist. Comics, sculpture, all kinds of good stuff. She contacted me about an interesting collaboration: She’s part of a group that makes 3-minute movies based on various themes, and she asked if I wanted to do the music for her next movie.
Hell yeah, I’m down for that!
The theme for this round was “release,” so I mentioned a few ideas for the track, she refined one of those ideas, and I sat down and started working on a beat–one with a different feel from what I usually make. She shot some footage based on the concept we worked out, and then we went back and forth, tweaking the beat and her filming ideas until I finished off the track, and she was able to edit her footage to fit it. It was a really great creative collaboration with lots of good ideas and feedback flowing in both directions, and the final result is, I think, really cool (she did a great editing job on it). Check it out and see for yourself.
My man Headnodic gave me the acapella to the song “Red Line Radio” (featuring Raashan Ahmad and Moe Pope) from his album, and, well, you know what that means. Reeeeeeeeemix! I knew I had to come aggressive with this one because of the way the guys were rhyming, so I chopped up some drums, grabbed an energetic loop, and, well, everything else fell into place. Check it out!
The song: “Shadowboxin’”
The producer: The RZA
The science: It’s one of the most timeless and fun-to-discuss, never-to-be-resolved hip-hop debates out there: “Which Wu-tang solo album is the best?” People will argue all day about it, and based on the many, many conversations I’ve had about it, Only Built for Cuban Linx… gets the most nods. But my choice is GZA’s Liquid Swords, not just for GZA’s rhyming (which is top notch), but for RZA’s production.
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