Tag: old school hip-hop

Throwback: RIP Prince Markie Dee

As a child of the 80s, I grew up listening to — and of course, admiring — the acts that helped hip-hop achieve mainstream success domestically and internationally. I was a huge Run DMC and LL Cool J fan. (Queens in the building after all, right?) Sadly though, you don’t hear a lot about The Fat Boys. But they were instrumental in hip-hop’s ascendance and global dominance: they were in the preeminent hip-hop movie of its time, Krush Groove 1987’s Crushin’ went Platinum while three others went at least Gold — and they were the first hip-hop act to actually star in their own movie, Disordelies. And they were fun. Watching the videos now, I’m reminded of a New York that I can’t get back.

I actually saw Disorderlies in the movie theater. Admittedly, it’s not a classic of cinema but I’m not sure where hip-hop would be without its release. When I heard the news that Prince Markie Dee died, it was heartbreaking. It’s a sign of aging — and of your own mortality — when your childhood favorites and heroes begin to die.

Thanks for the music Prince Markie Dee. Rest in beats.

Throwback: Black History Month: Run DMC

February 18, 2021 is the 18th day of Black History Month. The month has been rushing by — but throughout this past month, I’ve been featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styes. Hopefully, this may be a bit of a primer on the Black experience and on Black music.

Of course, I hope that these posts will serve as a reminder of these very important facts:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

Run DMC was among a batch of hip hop acts to have crossover/mainstream appeal in the 80s. And as a child of the 80s, who was born and raised in Queens, it was easy to be proud of them: they grew up in Hollis, where my father grew up — and in those brothers, I could see myself, unlike say, Metallica or Tears for Fears.

When I was small, I begged my folks for a pair of Adidas, because my heroes wore them. So my folks went to Modell’s and bought me a pair. Sadly, they fell apart in a few weeks and I was heartbroken.

We have to give love to the pioneers, who helped made hip-hop the global phenomenon it is today.

Throwback: Black History Month: A Tribe Called Quest

Time has been flying by: Today is February 14. It’s Valentine’s Day and the 14th day of Black History Month. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been proudly featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styles with the hopes that these artists can guide you towards further understanding of the Black experience.

As the month goes on, I hope that you’ll be reminded of these urgently important facts:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

There are few acts in hip-hop that are as unique, inventive and beloved as A Tribe Called Quest. If you’re a child of the 80s as I am, you’ve probably awkwardly slow-danced to “Bonita Applebaum” at the school dance or at your prom. You also probably know every single verse of The Low End Theory, too.

New Video: Public Enemy Teams up with Run-DMC and Beastie Boys’ Mike D and Ad-Rock on an Animated Visual for Boom Bap Anthem

Earlier this year, the legendary Public Enemy — Chuck D, Flavor Flav, and DJ Lord — released their critically applauded 15th album What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down? The album which features guest spots from a who’s who list of just about everyone who’s truly dope — including Nas, YG, Rapsody, DJ Premier, Black Thought, Questlove, Cypress Hill, Run DMC, Ice-T, PMD, Daddy-O, Jahi, The Impossebulls, Mark Jenkins, the S1W’s Pop Diesel and James Bomb and Beastie Boys‘ Mike D and Ad-Rock — marks the act’s return to their longtime label home, Def Jam.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of this year, you may recall that I’ve written about two of What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?singles:

“State of the Union (STFU),” a righteous and much-needed DJ Premier-produced tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap condemnation of the Trump Administration. Naturally, the track continues their long-held reputation for boldly speaking truth to power with teh track urging the listener to get involved and fight systemic racism, injustice and oppression with their voices and through collective action — but most importantly, through their vote. So far about 1 million New Yorkers have voted in early elections, but you still have election day. If you haven’t voted or thinking about not voting because you think that your vote isn’t important, think of it this way: if i’m not mistaken, Trump won a state by less than 100,000 votes. So go out there and vote like your life depends on it — because it does.
“Fight The Power: Remix 2020.” an updated version of their seminal 1989 anthem “Fight The Power” that features inspired guest verses from Nas, Rapsody, Black Thought, YG and JAHI. The original may have been released 31 years ago but it still manages to be relevant and necessary until there’s equity and equality for all.

What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?‘s latest single “Public Enemy Number Won” is a much-needed blast of tweeter and woofer rocking, old-school boom bap featuring guest verses from a Hall of Fame crew of beloved, hip-hop legends: Run DMC and The Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock and Mike D. The track should serve as a much-needed reminder that the pioneers of the music we love so much are still as relevant and as important as ever.

“The song is an homage to ‘Public Enemy No. 1 and that moment in time,” Public Enemy’s Chuck D explains in press notes. “The Beastie Boys and Run-DMC were playing it all the time and Rick Rubin kept coming at us to sign with Def Jam. So it’s my way of bringing it all back together again.”

The recently released, official video for ‘Public Enemy Number Won” features an animated version of each emcee spitting bars paired with archival concert posters, photography, footage and more as some amazing visual easter eggs.

Lyric Video: Public Enemy Teams Up with Run-DMC and Beastie Boys’ Mike D and Ad-Rock

Earlier this year, the legendary Public Enemy — Chuck D, Flavor Flav, and DJ Lord — released their critically applauded 15th album What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down? The album which features guest spots from a who’s who list of just about everyone who’s truly dope — including Nas, YG, Rapsody, DJ Premier, Black Thought, Questlove, Cypress Hill, Run DMC, Ice-T, PMD, Daddy-O, Jahi, The Impossebulls, Mark Jenkins, the S1W’s Pop Diesel and James Bomb and Beastie Boys’ Mike D and Ad-Rock — marks the act’s return to their longtime label home, Def Jam.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of this year, you may recall that I’ve written about two of What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down? singles:

“State of the Union (STFU),” a righteous and much-needed DJ Premier-produced tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap condemnation of the Trump Administration. Naturally, the track continues their long-held reputation for boldly speaking truth to power with teh track urging the listener to get involved and fight systemic racism, injustice and oppression with their voices and through collective action — but most importantly, through their vote. So far about 1 million New Yorkers have voted in early elections, but you still have election day. If you haven’t voted or thinking about not voting because you think that your vote isn’t important, think of it this way: if i’m not mistaken, Trump won a state by less than 100,000 votes. So go out there and vote like your life depends on it — because it does.
“Fight The Power: Remix 2020.” an updated version of their seminal 1989 anthem “Fight The Power” that features inspired guest verses from Nas, Rapsody, Black Thought, YG and JAHI. The original may have been released 31 years ago but it still manages to be relevant and necessary until there’s equity and equality for all.

What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?’s latest single “Public Enemy Number Won” is a much-needed blast of tweeter and woofer rocking, old-school boom bap goodness featuring guest verses from a Hall of Fame crew of legends: Run DMC and The Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock and Mike D. And for that added blast of nostalgia, the hip-hop legends released a lyric video featuring classic 80s Def Jam footage of all of the artists.

Along with the release of the video, Public Enemy announced their support of Election Super Centers’ Make History Here initiative. The non-partisan group has been working with local election authorities and more than 70 NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL and MLS arenas, stadia and teams, as well as prominent artists and athletes to inform communities that their local arena or stadium is open as a polling location, ensuring safe, socially-distanced voting.