A Homage: Marley Marl, Juice Crew & Cold Chillin’ Records Legacy

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During the ‘Golden Era of Hip-Hop’, innovative producer/DJ Marley Marl and DJ Mr. Magic (1956-2009) formed the legendary Juice Crew. Groundbreaking artists that were a part of the Juice Crew created music with Marley Marl on the Cold Chillin’ Records label, which includes Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Masta Ace, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Roxanne Shante, and MC Shan. The collaborative music team helped usher in a new era in music, and of course…there was the well-known ‘beefs’ with the Boogie Down Productions. The famous ”Bridge Wars”, which partly started when lyrics were misinterpreted in MC Shan’s ”The Bridge” and then KRS-One/Boogie Down responded with ”The Bridge is Over” and ”South Bronx”. Not to mention the ”Roxanne Wars” series started by a then 14 year old Roxanne Shante (which influenced at least 100 response songs about the ”real Roxanne” created by different artists). The Juice Crew created a distinct collection of songs that are timeless and a great reference to the ”Golden Era”. Some of my personal favorites includes Biz Markie’s ”Vapors” and Big Daddy Kane’s ‘Long Live the Kane’ album. Marley Marl produced a variety of classic projects, which includes L.L Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ album, and Marley Marl’s first album ‘In Control Volume 1’ introduced one of the most influential and recognized songs in classic rap…”The Symphony”. Some of the legendary artists who consider Marley Marl an influence are Biggie Smalls, RZA, DJ Premier, and Pete Rock. When paying homage to those who helped create the ”Golden Era of Hip Hop”, it is important to always remember innovator Marley Marl and the Juice Crew. Their music still sounds amazing and refreshing.

 

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Boogie Down Bronx:Classic Photography

1520 Sedgwick Avenue and D.J Kool Herc are names forever synonymous with a part of the origins of rap music. In 1973 on August 11th, Kool Herc hosted a back to school party for his sister at the recreation room of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue apartment building. At the community house party, he introduced a technique that involved two turntables, a mixer, two copies of the same record, and playing another song at the beginning or middle of the record while focusing on ”the break” in each one. With D.J Kool Herc presenting his technique, his friend Coke La Rock began to rap and many legendary rappers like Afrika Bambaataa and Grand Master Flash all claimed to have witnessed this historic significant event in music history. In honor of The Boogie Down Bronx, here are some truly amazing and influential photos that shows why  The Boogie Down Bronx will always be considered a birthplace of the rhythmic poetic art we call Hip Hop.

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80s Fresh: The Classic Jamel Shabazz Photo Collection

Jamel Shabazz, a fashion/fine art/documentary photographer created a book called Back in The Day in 2001, and this photography book has some of the best photos of everyday people in the 80s. His other amazing photography books includes A Time Before Crack, Alex Fakso, & The Last Sunday In June. The significance of these classic photographs are a major part of fashion, culture, music, lifestyle, and art. These people were living and a part of a golden era and innovative time in music and lived in New York City, a place that is home to Boogie Down Bronx/ 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. If anyone loves old school rap and knows it’s history/birthplace, then those locations/references are significant and means a lot when it comes to music history/culture. It is interesting seeing photos of everyday people who were in the midst of it all. Here are just some of my favorites.

Ain’t No Half Steppin-Big Daddy Kane’s Classic Revisited

The Golden Era included legendary rappers like this one. Big Daddy Kane not only created classic songs like ”Ain’t No Half Steppin” and ”Raw”, but he is also a man whose style/hair cut is often imitated and the inspiration behind many popular looks.  Classic rap (80s and 90s) & the culture/trends of these eras will never get old or go out of style.

New Jack City: The Classic Movie With A Cautionary Message

I feel as though too many times great movies like New Jack City, Paid in Full, and Scarface are celebrated and glamourized for all of the wrong reasons Yet, all of the movies share some of the same consequences & negative aftermaths….. and no one really had a happy ending….except for Ace Boogie (Paid In Full)  if you count him being alive & out of the drug game. But, if you seen the movie then you know it came with a hefty price & a lot of messed up stuff happening to people.  Nevertheless, New Jack City, Belly, Shottas, Paid In Full, New Jersey Drive, and so forth are classics that will never get old. New Jack City is one of my favorite movies & I love the fashion/style, music & club-dance scene that was apart of the New Jack Swing era. I also love how Mario Van Peebles wanted this to be an entertaining yet cautionary tale during the infamous Crack Era in the 80s.  While some like Belly actually have a more positive ending, I notice many don’t. I’ve also noticed some people are still in love with glorifying a Nino Brown or Tony Montana type persona…but was it all worth it?

 

New Jack Swing Era: Oh How I Love Thee

The New Jack Swing era was full of people with high top fades, colorful clothing like Kwame the rapper, and dancing to classic songs like this one…which is from the classic movie New Jack City. I love Guy, which is a legendary New Jack Swing era group with the amazingly talented Teddy Riley. Besides Forrest Gump, this movie use to be my favorite until I saw it for the millionth time….now I just know all of the words & act out the scenes with my sister. It’s still a good movie, I’m just tired of seeing it lol. Anyways, I love the New Jack Swing era & the club scene seemed really cool in that era. I can imagine myself with one of those elaborate 80s hairstyles ( fly but not too much going on lol), big bamboo golden earrings, a cute colorful outfit, & just dancing to this song. Like I said, in a previous post, the club scenes in the 20th century just seemed to be more fun & more about dancing.

My Guitar Riff Goals: AC/DC Back In Black

Pretty soon I will be getting me a new electric guitar & one of my ”guitar goals” is to play one of the greatest guitar riffs of all times…”Back In Black” by AC/DC. I mean, look at Angus in this classic concert footage. His moves & the schoolboy uniform is so legendary.  Matter of fact, look at everyone…this is a great definition/description of what it means to be a Master Of Ceremony. Amazing concerts & entertaining. Most importantly, that guitar riff.

No, This Song Was Not About Weed…Pass The Food.

If someone looks at this video & actually listens to the lyrics, then they can clearly tell that ”passing the dutchie” is not referring to marijuana. Yet, many people have associated this song to weed because it is a cover version song of another song that was referring to it. However, Musical Youth put their own spin on the song. This song was deeper than talking about herbs, and the subject matter is actually referring to children being hungry & wanting food. In their version, the dutchie is actually referring to a cooking pot.  I think with one line from the song, Musical Youth really touched on a sensitive subject and proved their point. ”How does it feel when you got no food?”

I have a special place in my heart for children & it bothers me that there are kids around the world that are starving or suffering because all kids should be loved & nurtured. I love reggae music of all styles & Musical Youth’s Pass The Dutchie is one of my favorites. I think that even though they are considered one-hit wonders…this song is a beautiful song.