Posts filed under ‘1’
Take a peek at some of the people who have been in and out of Beat Bungalow recently:
Fresh Daily, Oddisee, Freestyle / arsonists, Thaione Davis, Ohmega Watts, DTMD, Access Immortal, Jon Phonics, Suff Daddy, Paul White, tight_face, Cloudy October, Mystro, Tranqill, Krispy, The Herbaliser .. and many more. enjoy peeps..
Having a new name is great. Depending on the reason I guess haha. I think for many people, weather a name change comes from Marriage, Divorce, or a personal emotional decision, like myself, can be beneficial. I have many female friends, one being my mother, who often keep last names of men who have done horrible things. All so they can have yet another connection to their offspring. I heard that Flying Lotus used to be called the Piano Overlord or some shit. Switching names probably allowed him to break away into some new sound.
For me, being a black man without a eurocentric name gives me all sorts of extra room in my day to inform people about the importance and meaning of a name when my current title raises interest. There is so much history in our names, interesting and painful shit. I have had many rhyme names as well; Kid Hype, Kwondo The Red Eyed One, and Pineapple Jack are a few.
Read the full interview with Cloudy October here…you better 😉
It is the capital of the USA, but it’s never been the capital of hip-hop.
Washington is famed for White House politics and Martin Luther King’s Million Man March for civil rights. But when it comes to music, the sounds of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and LA forever drowned those from D.C., also known as the Diamond District because of its octagon shape. This multi-faceted area is like a diamond in the rough that has not had a chance to shine – at least not recently.
In the 1970s and 1980s, two sounds were born here that could not be more different from each other: rugged hardcore punk à la Minor Threat and the syncopated go-go jams played by Troublefunk or Chuck Brown & The Soulsearchers. In fact, go-go music has arguably been Washington’s biggest musical export, alongside bluegrass from the 1950s.
But that’s about to change, if you ask homegrown hip-hop beat smith and MC Oddisee. The Sudanese-American wants to secure his city a place in the cultural hall of fame with help from the Low Budget Crew and his group, Diamond District, also consisting of rappers yU and XO.
“We’ve got a lot of stories that need to be told about the district and there are a lot of different perspectives that the masses are not aware of,” says XO.
“We’re a very unique city and now is the time for us to be acknowledged. Back in the day, all the music that we fell in love with came from outside of our region. Now we have something more to be proud of. We’re not only go-go, we’re hip hop too.”
Diamond District spread the word about their home turf on a recent European tour with dates in Italy, France, Austria and Germany. Among the things they experienced were a drug bust in Berlin, gigs in Italian squats and carnival in Cologne.
Their first album ‘In The Ruff’ is a record that continues in the vein of 1990s Golden Era hip-hop veterans such as Pete Rock or EPMD – of course, with a D.C. edge to it. But tracks such as ‘I Mean Business’ and ‘Make It Clear’ show that the group are after more than just making a retro album.
Oddisee, aka Amir Elkhalifa, explains: “We’re not necessarily against titles like ‘Golden Era’ or ‘BoomBap’. It was a theme record and we designed it to sound like a Golden Era record for the District of Columbia Metropolitan area.
“Because when that sound was popular and dominant in music, we didn’t have one of those records. So it was almost like ‘What if you had a time machine and go back, what would a D.C. Golden Era record sound like?’. That’s why we did one and we’re going to keep it moving.”
The 2006 Red Bull Music Academy participant is multi-talented: he makes beats, writes lyrics and also has a knack for photography. He first blew up in 2002 when friend and fellow Low Budget member Kev Brown passed one of his tapes to DJ Jazzy Jeff in nearby Philadelphia. Jazzy Jeff liked it that much he used one of the beats on his ‘The Magnificent’ album and helped to promote Oddisee’s first longplayer ‘Foot in the Door’.
Collaborations with artists such as Talib Kweli, J-Live, Finale and Parliament / Funkadelic guitarist Gary Shider are part of his back catalogue.
More recently, the jet-set producer released an instrumental album entitled ‘Traveling Man’ on which he slipped in inspirations from cities including Tokyo, Philadelphia and San Francisco and made his version of the sound from each of these cities.
“I’m a real big fan of regional rap and regional-specific music,” he says “Music that sounds like London, or the way Kardinal sounded like Toronto when he came out. I’m a big fan of putting a song on when I’m in a city while I ride through because the cities make more sense. I love that.
“I’m like a sponge. I just absorb the cities I’m in and do my best to always marry what I see visually with music to try and give the cities a sound.”
He’s definitely succeded in doing just that.
While we’re at it, here’s some more good stuff from Manchester: the peeps at development have done a wicked interview with DJ Spinna, who is playing their fourth birthday bash alongside Osunlade this weekend (at Sound Control).
Exclusively (yeah, that’s right), we’re quoting some of the best bits here. For your fix of phonic tonic, head back to their blog.
Nice1 deep cats!
You recorded the hip hop album ‘Sonic Smash’ last year, which was fantastic. How much of your time in the studio is devoted to Hip Hop these days?
It’s hard to balance the two but I would say I’m doing more dance records these days as it pays the bills and there’s also less politics involved in that scene. I also enjoy the end result much more, from the studio straight to the dance floor. With hip hop it’s just not the same.
Hip hop has changed a lot over the last few years with a very different sound making it through to the mainstream, what are your thoughts on the genre right now?
As for the mainstream it’s pretty bad, not much innovation there. I’ve always remained underground because of this. With that said I feel like the realness is dead in the mainstream world. There’s still good hip hop out here but most of it remains underground as usual. I miss the early 90’s when quality hip hop like Gangstar or Tribe were mainstream. Those days are over. The genre has made too much money and the soul is gone.
J Dilla or Michael Jackson?
No comparison. Two different kinds of legends for their own reasons. Michael being the greatest entertainer of all time and J Dilla being the most innovative and progressive thinking producer of this generation. There will never be icons like these again in this lifetime.
Your style always seems to cover a lot of genres, from Stevie Wonder to Sade through to Hip Hop to Techno etc……. what music don’t you like?
I don’t like Death Metal, makes me want to slit my wrist and it gives me a stomach ache.
Tell us about Stevie and what he means to you?
Stevie is the ultimate humanitarian artist. His music reflects love and peace, and his voice is golden. But in the 70’s he was super funky and his production was innovative and way ahead of it’s time for that era. If you listen closely to some of his recordings you can hear everything from the talk box, to Hare Krishna choirs, apregiating moogs, sick drum programming and sampling before the general listener knew what these things were. The water drops instead of finger snaps on “Overjoyed” for example, who thinks of this? And that was 1986!
New York seems to have lost a lot of record stores over the last few years, where are your favorite digging spots in your home town and what is the most treasured 12″ in your vast and highly respected collection?
My two favourite spots to dig are Academy Records and Big City Records. One of my most treasured 12″‘s is Stevie Wonder’s As. It was only legitimately pressed as a German Motown Promo with a picture sleeve. It was never commercially released as a 12″ in the States or any where else in the world and it’s stupid rare and expensive.
Tell us something we probably don’t know about you…
I am a home body. Don’t go out much these days. I’m not impressed by much and I prefer to be home working or chilling with the fam. Sometimes my wife has to give me a swift kick in the butt (figuratively speaking) to get out and live a little.
Yes, it’s been half a year since Beat Bungalow first opened its doors to vinyl lovers, hip hop fans and music freaks the world over – and boy, what an exciting ride it’s been so far. I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading the posts as much as I have writing them. Please keep comments and feedback coming, the philosophy hasn’t changed: it’s your bungalow, you can do whatever you like.
I know it’s not the time to pop open the bubbly just yet, but let’s put some Nas on in the background and take a trip down memory lane: since September, we’ve had chats & interviews with Tranqill, Suff Daddy, The Herbaliser, Paul White and tight_face.
Vinyl addicts Supafly Records gave a lodown on what’s happening in Portugal, Zimbabwean MC Kuda talked African politics & music and DJs Paul Pre and Supreme dropped by with crates full of wax goodies. More recently we hooked up with producer Handycat from Oslo, Washington DC’s DTMD, Diamond District and Oddisee (full interview & podcasts still in the works) and got an insight from Mr Thaione Davis from Chicago (one of my personal favourites on here).
You can still listen to J-Live and Woody Madera on the podcasts over on mixcloud. In the coming months, there will be more interesting people, records and videos passing through these doors. In the mean time, tell your friends, tell your mother – everyone’s invited.
If you’re a DJ, vinyl fanatic or recording artist, or even want to write on here, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org – always looking forward to new sounds. buddah bless.
More supreme rebel music from Roots Manuva & fam here