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This book is part of the CROSSover collection by Blue Note RecordsTM © Blue Note Records 2012, either visual or text content. TM

Edition: John Madwitt for Taschen Publishing GroupTM Content supervision: Andrea Stain Art direction and concept: Claudio Gutiérrez Meza Printed and bounded in Buenos Aires, Argentina. United States and Canada dealers: Indigo Books and Music, Toronto, Canada. www.indigo.ca Europe dealer: Waternstones Books, London West End, England. www.waterstones.com Latin América dealer: El Ateneo, Buenos Aires, Argentina. www.elateneo.com.ar The information provided in this book is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. References are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement of any websites or other sources. Readers should be aware that the websites listed in this book may change. All rights reserved ISBN: 978-987-24718-4-2 This book was finished on June 24th 2012


CROSSover

i MIX t!

WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

jazz hip hop

5


CROSSover

table of contents MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

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CHAPTER I

CHAPTER Ii

THE PRECURSORS

11

Back in the hard days

12

A brief introduction on the social and political context. By MosDef

The Watts Prophets Things fall apart.

The Last Poets Donec mauris odio, pellentesque semper eleifend ac, facilisis eu lorem.

Gil Scott-Heron Donec mauris odio, pellentesque semper eleifend ac, facilisis eu lorem.

THE BEGINNING OF A TREND

23

the jazz messengers

24

Special Delivery.

14

ROY AYERS

18

the next movement

20

GANG STARR

Everybody loves de sunshine

The Roots

Don’t weep for me.

26

16

26


CHAPTER iii

CHAPTER iv

CHAPTER v

NATIVE TONGUES

33

JAZZISTS COME TO HIP HOP

53

A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

34

THE EMIGRATION

54

41

MILES DAVIES

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De la soul Donec mauris odio, pellentesque semper eleifend ac, facilisis eu lorem.

MILES DAVIES Donec mauris odio, pellentesque semper eleifend ac, facilisis eu lorem.

ERIK TRUFFAZ Duis dictum bibendum lacus, eget rutrum tortor aliquam quis.

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HERBIE HANCOCK

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ERIK TRUFFAZ

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Duis dictum bibendum lacus, eget rutrum tortor aliquam quis.

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‘90s TO PRESENT

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FUNK & SOUL COMPLICITY

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MADLIB & J dee Donec mauris odio, pellentesque semper eleifend ac, facilisis eu lorem.

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J RAWLS

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THE ROOTS

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GURU’S JAZZMATAZZ Duis dictum bibendum lacus, eget rutrum tortor aliquam quis.

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prologue by wynton marsalis


music shall set us free

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Jazz-hip hop (also well know as “Jazz-Rap”) was an attempt to fuse AfricanAmerican music of the past with a newly dominant form of the present, paying tribute to and reinvigorating the former while expanding the horizons of the latter. While the rhythms of jazz-rap came entirely from hip-hop, the samples and sonic textures were drawn mainly from cool jazz, soul-jazz, and hard bop. It was cooler and more cerebral than other styles of hip-hop, and many of its artists displayed an Afrocentric political consciousness, complementing the style’s historical awareness. Given its more intellectual bent, it’s not surprising that jazz-rap never really caught on as a street favorite, but then it wasn’t meant to. Jazz-rap styled itself as a more positive alternative to the hardcore/gangsta movement taking over rap’s mainstream at the dawn of the ‘90s, and concerned itself with spreading hip-hop to listeners unable to embrace or identify with the music’s increasing inner-city aggression. As such, jazz-rap found its main audiences in places like college campuses, and was also embraced by a number of critics and white alternative rock fans. Afrika Bambaataa’s Native Tongues posse -- a loose collective of New Yorkbased, Afrocentric rap groups -- was the most important force in jazz-rap, including groups like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and the Jungle Brothers; Digable Planets and Gang Starr were other notable early artists. During the mid- to late ‘90s, as alternative rap moved into a wider-ranging eclecticism, jazz-rap was not often pursued as an exclusive end, although the Roots frequently incorporated it in their live-instrumentation hip-hop.


CROSSover

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So if rascality is going to get us what we want, we will use it; because we are dealing with corrupt people, we have to be rascally with them.� Fela kuti


THE PRECURSORS

11

CHAPTER I

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Back in the hard days a brief introduction on the social context by Mos Def

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Marvin Gaye’s career “spanned” the entire history of rhythm and blues from fifties doo-wop to eighties contemporary soul.

ur music, and it is truly OUR music, is our foundation.. How many of you can remember listening to “Say it Loud.. Im Black and I’m Proud”..and walking down the street with your head held a little higher..a lot more confidence in your step.. and what about..“Young gifted and Black...the music and the message within...we were told by Bob Marley to “Get up Stand Up, Stand Up for Your Rights”. At no time before the Civil Rights era and the 70”s and sadly enough at no time after have we come together on one accord as a people ,as a community, and really as “one”, as Curtis Mayfield says on his latest “Its a New World Order” and “We Need ToGet Back To Livin Again”. We must also remember that Marvin Gaye wrote about the struggle of the black man then and now. In fact most of Marvin’s music was the future being told. When he sang about save thebabies he was not only talking about the Babies whose mothers are on welfare but the babies that are being killed now not by the hands of strangers but by their family members, are being molested by family members and are sufferring abuse at the hands of society. He also sang about war. The wars are still being fought. It was not just about the war inVietnam but the wars that are still being fought all over the world. The wars that are being fought right here in our own country. war against crime, war against drugs and the war against poverty. These are battles that are being fought here in our countrry and are not being resolved because the people in power have so much control over all of this. They gave us crime to

get us off the street and or to have just cause to assinate us, crime to help us kill one another instead of loving one another. They gave us the drugs to help eliminate us. They don’t sell them they give them to us ang let us sell them to each other and at some point we eliminate someone through drug overdose or just some bad drugs. Again we are destroying the black race for them, they gave us poverty to keep us down and out, if we can just sit home and live in slums as they want us to then we will remain out of their way, they are fighting the war on welfare. They have to now because statistics show that there are more whites on welfare than blacks. So that battle has to be fought and won and they know it will be. You know the worse enemy of the white man is an educated black man.

shouts from the soul

Soul music played such an important role in our lives. Like myself and so many otherswe only listened to the music. We didn’t bother to understand it. We never realized that they were singing about the injustices that were happening to us then and now. Music has always been our way of expressing how we feel even back to slavery days. Civil Rights leaders listened to the songs that were being sung. So many of them marched to the beat because they knew what the struggle was all about. But as Dr. Martin Luther King said in his famous speech. I have been to the Mountain Top. He had seen the promise land. We are struggling to see it. In the fu-


CHAPTER I THE PRECURSORS

ture when the civil rights movement has been concluded we will be joining hands with people of races and nationalities and saying to them we are “free at last! thank God almighty, we are free at last!”.

A MOVEMENT IS TAKING SHAPE

fEla kuti and the black power movement

Fela Kuti’s music did not become political until the late 1960s, when he visited the United States and was exposed to the black power movement. Influenced by the teachings of black activist leader Malcolm X, Fela began to realize the implications for Africa of white oppression, colonialism, PanAfricanism - the unity of African nations - and

revolution. His new-found political consciousness inspired him to adopt the middle name Anikulapo - “having control over death” - and change his band’s name from Koola Lobitos to Afrika 70 (later Egypt 80). The young musician’s work would never be the same; as quoted by Jon Pareles in the New York Times, Fela said, “The whole concept of my life changed in a political direction.”

As Fela became better known outside Nigeria he felt that his music increasingly held an international message. He told People’s Cathy Nolan: “America needs to hear some good sounds from Africa, man”.

“So many of us can remember growing up with the sounds of so many of those artists. So many of them incorporated rap in their songs but it was not the rap we know today.” Fela returned to Nigeria and began to write politically charged songs that rocked his country. Inspired by Pan-Africanism, he incorporated African instruments into his band, including Konga drums, klips sticks, and the sekere - a percussion

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Some groups were fortunate enough to be on name brand labels like Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes recorded on Phillidelphia Records, The Dynamic Superiors were on Mowtown, and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas recorded on Gordy (Mowtown). But as I said most recorded on no name labels that were bought out later by big companies or just disappeared. SO many of our great musicians from the 60’s and 70’s have disappeared along with their record labels. I wonder where most of them have gone. It would be great if they could just bring them back for one live show with no commercials or interruptions on TV for the world to watch or have them do a worl tour and just take us back to the days of great music. So many of us can remember growing up with the sounds of so many of those artists. So many of them incorporated rap in their songs but it was not the rap we know today. It was the kind of rap that meant let’s get it on. My mind is just taking a trip into the past history of great musicians and and music and I began to wonder where some of them are today and that if they were still recording today would their music be as accepted now as it was then. Do any of you have any idea where some of these artists have gone and what do think would happen to their music if they were to be recording today.


CROSSover

Biggest names in jazz and their work, were not just taken as a big influence on hip hop back then, but also to create (and recreate) new tunes by the use of the new emerging creativity tool of the moment, the sampling technique.

instrument. “I’m playing deep African music”, he said at the time, as Pareles noted. “The rhythm, the sounds, the tonality, the chord sequences, the individual effect of each instrument and each section of the band - I’m talking about a whole continent in my music.” Fela’s protest music became very popular among the ranks of Nigeria’s unemployed, oppressed, and politically dissident. These groups remain a large part of his audience.

The heritage

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Born in black urban America these intellectual rumblings of social unrest exploded on the world with unprecedented force. Embraced by the masses in ways that shook the foundations of the powers to be. Mesmerizing rhythms and an eerie familiarity set feet to tapping even in those who would resist their pull most heartily. Both have woven their wiles into popular culture in every corner of the world. jazz roars through its instruments while hip hop spits its words out with a fiery breath. From a technical standpoint these two genres are only distant cousins. Jazz uses rigid precise form as a foundation for creative improvisation. Hip Hop is orchestrated using written poetry, prerecorded music and little if any instrumentation. Improvisation is the very heart and soul of Jazz. Freestyleing is a minor part of the overall hip hop universe. In jazz even the voice is an instrument. In hip hop it is all about the words forget the instruments. Technically Hip Hop is more akin to Reggae and jazz has a closer relationship with Classical Indian Music. Jazz influenced pop culture all over the world. By the end of World War I it could be heard in every major city from Shanghai to Buenos Aires.

Each culture fusing its own with the elements of jazz creating sub-genres of jazz such as Latin jazz and Indo jazz. Hip-Hop had similar beginnings bubbling out of the playgrounds and living rooms of the Bronx. It brought with it clothing, street art, and dance. By the 1990’s it too had swept into every corner of the world. Red Man and Afrika Bambatta were household names in Poland and Mumbai. Each culture once again intertwining their sound with that of the basic Hip Hop form to create multiple sub-genres. In the beginnings the powers to be were afraid of jazz. It could lead to race mixing and it did. By the 1940’s jazz was the background music for the world. It was a part of movie soundtracks and radio shows. It was the music of choice for most live music venues. It had become a part of everyday life. Hip hop hit the scene in New York in the early 1970’s. Still numb from the Vietnam War, the assassinations and the general unrest of the sixties the powers to be were scared to death when they heard the words that Hip Hop shouted out. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince were soon welcomed into suburban homes with Run DMC and Tupoc right on their heels. When Fifty Cent released his second CD in India it went platinum before the first day was over. Today Hip Hop is the background music for our lives. Hip Hop and Jazz though technically miles apart have joined each other in weaving their ways into the very fabric of our lives. In the beginnings the powers to be were afraid of jazz. It could lead to race mixing and it did. By the 1940’s jazz was the background music for the world. It was a part of movie soundtracks and radio shows. Like them or not they have become an integral part of World Culture.


CHAPTER I THE PRECURSORS

‘75

Time line

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

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pon joining the Watts Writer's Workshop under Budd Schulberg ("What Makes Sammy Run", Oscar for "On The Waterfront"), Mr. Hamilton entered into a new phase of his life and emerged as one of The Watts Prophets®. Success was fleeting and more emotionally satisfying than financially remunerative. After the first flush, Mr. Hamilton spent a year teaching poetry, but quickly came back to his roots in Watts doing social work with the Brotherhood Crusade, then in various capacities in numerous programs - e.g. Coordinator of special programs at Drew Postgraduate Medical School, Associate Director of Black Commission on Alcoholism, then as president of Classic Cut (Public Works contractors) and as youth counselor. During all this time, Mr. Hamilton kept his art alive, and when a new generation of African-American poets began to emerge, attention was once again focussed on the Watts Prophets®. London Records came around with a contract and tours were arranged. The Prophets have grown and now seek to bring their special art to an audience which needs and deserves their experience and their wisdom. Amde Hamilton, who is a priest of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, can be seen performing a spoken word piece at the 1981 funeral

In the beginnings the powers to be were afraid of jazz. It could lead to race mixing and it did. By the 1940’s jazz was the background music for the world.

trade marking the fundaments of rappin’ the watts prophetsby Mos Def

service of Bob Marley in Jamaica in the 1982 film Land of Look Behind. In 1994, the group appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation CD, Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool, appearing on a track titled "Apprehension" alongside Don Cherry. The album, meant to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic in African American society was named "Album of the Year" by Time Magazine. The Rap genre and art form was created specifically for it's aestheic values and purposes.

Otis O'Solomon

Mr. O'Solomon, original member of the Watts Prophets®. Once the initial success had passed Mr. O'Solomon embarked on a solo career in the arts, editing and designing a book or original poetry from The Watts Prophets® work and other poets, writing for the Los Angeles Times, producing poetry exhibitions and contests for Xerox, TRW, Rockwell and Hughes Aircraft. He wrote the commentary material for song books on Quincy Jones, Marvin Hamlish, Cannonball Adderly, and worked in special arts. Hamilton, O'Solomon, and Dedeaux first met and collaborated at the Watts Writers Workshop, an organization created by Budd Schulberg in the wake of the Watts Riots, as the African American


Biggest names in jazz and their work, were not just taken as a big influence on hip hop back then, but also to create (and recreate) new tunes by the use of the new emerging creativity tool of the moment, the sampling technique.

Greater™: The Watts Prophets® 1969-1971 combined the group's first two efforts, bringing them back into print for the first time in more than a decade.

Richard Dedeaux

I was born in 1940. I lived in New Orleans Louisiana’s seventh ward. I was forced to live the first fourteen years of my young life under the shameful banner of sanctioned segregation and all its negative repercussions. These cruel deeds compelled me to pass my pain on to love ones' and others close to me. In 1953 I was liberated from southern segregation and relocated to Watts California where integration was destroying that

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MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

civil rights movement was beginning to take a new cultural turn. Fusing music with jazz and funk roots with a rapid-fire, spoken word sound, they created a sound that gave them a considerable local following, but little commercial success. They released two albums, 1969's The Black Voices™: On the Streets in Watts™ and 1970's Rappin™' Black in a White World™, which established a strong tendency toward social commentary and a reputation for militancy (Non-Specific militancy). Despite considerable acclaim, the group was unable to secure another record deal; a promising deal with Bob Marley's Tuff Gong label fell through because of his untimely death. In recent years, the group's profile has improved somewhat. In the late 1990s the Watts Prophets® signed with David Lieberman Artists' Representatives (dlartists.com) to handle their exclusive booking engagements around the world. The 1997 recording, When the 90's Came™, found them in the studio with pianist Horace Tapscott, and a European tour reunited the trio with former collaborator DeeDee McNeil. In 2005, Things Gonna Get


MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

18

Biggest names in jazz and their work, were not just taken as a big influence on hip hop back then, but also to create (and recreate) new tunes by the use of the new emerging creativity tool of the moment, the sampling technique.

viable Black community. Civil Rights was in vogue on the West Coast which gave me the platform that allowed me an area of expression. 'Poetry from New Orleans to Watts' chronicles the cause and effect legal segregation had on me which led to my transition from being a second class Negro into a Black Activist poet.

no much recognition

The West Coast’s answer to the Last Poets, Watts Prophets didn’t get quite the same recognition for their contributions to raising black consciousness and laying the foundations for rap. The group was formed at the Watts Writer’s Workshop, an organization started by screenwriter Budd Schulberg designed to provide a creative outlet in the wake of the 1965 Watts riots. Father Amde Hamilton (an Ethiopian Orthodox priest, born Anthony Hamilton), Otis O’Solomon, and Richard Dedeaux met in the workshop circa 1967, and soon began performing together as Watts Prophets, setting their socially and politically conscious poetry to spare, often jazzy musical backing. They won second place in an inner-city talent show, which led to a residency at John Daniels’ Maverick’s Flat club in South Central L.A.; they

also performed at fundraisers, in prisons, and around their community whenever possible. In 1969, Watts Prophets debuted with The Black Voices: On the Streets in Watts. Two years later, the group released Rappin’ Black in a White World on ALA, with lyrics and vocals provided by former Motown songwriter Dee Dee McNeil. The radical, incendiary tone of their work fit right in with the emerging black power movement, and attracted unfavorable notice from the government; the home of the Watts Writers Project was destroyed by fire in 1975 after having been infiltrated by an FBI informant. In recent years, the group’s profile has improved somewhat. In the late 1990s the Watts Prophets® signed with David Lieberman Artists’ Representatives (dlartists. com) to handle their exclusive booking engagements around the world. The 1997 recording, When the 90’s Came™, found them in the studio with pianist Horace Tapscott. Record deals were hard to come by, and were continually falling through (including one with Bob Marley’s home. Still, they remained sporadically active as performers, and were rediscovered by the hip-hop generation as their records were sampled frequently; additionally, O’Solomon’s “Hey World” was covered by Ziggy Marley. In 1997, Watts Prophets released an album of new material with pianist Horace Tapscott.


The Mighty Digable Planets

‘83

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Oh My People

The Last Poets original members Felipe and Luciano Gylan. The name is taken from a poem by the South African revolutionary poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, who believed he was in the last era of poetry before guns would take over

the last poets

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W

hen asked about the first rappers, knowledgeable hip-hop heads won’t start talking about the Sugar Hill Gang. They know that the Last Poets were rapping over a beat back when Big Bank Hank was still in diapers. Yet, partly because of the vagaries of record distribution in the CD era, and partly because of the fast-forward amnesia fostered by the record industry, few people have actually heard The Last Poets, save for a few sampled snippets here and there (“Time is running out”). Complicating matters, the Last Poets’ membership has varied greatly over the years, with rival groups at several points claiming the title of the “original” Last Poets; recent years have seen still more rifts between the surviving Poets. Yet despite this confusion, most of the Last Poets’ output is readily available on CD -- if you’re willing to take some time to track it down. Like other neglected Black artists, their music is actually better known in Europe, and even Japan, than it is in the U.S., and if you’re willing to pay the premium for imports, and have a good used CD or vinyl shop in your neigh-

borhood, it’s possible to find almost everything the Last Poets recorded. But first, a little history. The original Last Poets were formed on May 19, 1968 (Malcolm X’s birthday), at Marcus Garvey Park in East Harlem. Having reached US Top 10 chart success with its debut album, the Last Poets went on to release the follow-up, This Is Madness, without thenincarcerated Abiodun Oyewole. The album featured more politically charged poetry and that resulted in the group being listed under the counter-intelligence program COINTELPRO during the Richard Nixon administration. Hassan left the group following This Is Madness to be replaced by Suliaman El-Hadi (now deceased) in time for Chastisment (1972). The album introduced a sound the group called jazzoetry, leaving behind the spare percussion of the previous albums in favor of a blending of jazz and funk instrumentation with poetry. The music further developed into free-jazz–poetry with Hassan’s brief return on 1974’s At Last, as yet the only Last Poets release still unavailable on CD. The remainder of the 1970s saw a decline in the group’s popularity. In the 1980s and beyond, howev-

the last poets discography 1970

“The Last Poets”

1971

“This Is Madness”

1973

“Chastisment”

1974

“At Last”

1977

“Delights of the Garden”

1984

“Oh My People”

1988

“Freedom Express”

1992

“Retro Fit”

1993

“Holy Terror”

1994

“Scatterap / Home”

1997

“Time Has Come”


Suliaman El-Hadi died in October 1995. Oyewole and Hassan began recording separately under the same name, releasing Holy Terror in 1995 (re-released on Innerhythmic in 2004) and Time Has Come in 1997.

The Last Poets have been cited as one of the earliest influences on hip-hop music. Critic Jason Ankeny wrote, “With their politically charged raps, taut rhythms, and dedication to raising AfricanAmerican consciousness.” the Nas album Untitled, on the songs “You Can’t Stop Us Now” and “Project Roach.” Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, aka Lightning Rod (The Hustlers Convention 1973), recently collaborated with the UK-based poet Mark T. Watson (aka Malik Al Nasir) writing the foreword to Watson’s debut poetry collection, Ordinary Guy, published in December 2004 by the Liverpool based publisher Fore-Word Press Ltd. Jalal’s foreword was written in rhyme, and was recorded for release in 2008 in a collaborative album by Mark T. Watson’s band, Malik & The OG’s, featuring Gil Scott-Heron, percussionist Larry McDonald, drummers Rod Youngs and Swiss Chris, New York Dub poet Ras Tesfa, and a host of young rappers from New York and Washington, D.C. Produced by Malik Al Nasir, Lloyd Masset. In 2010, Abiodun Oyowele was among the artists featured on the Welfare Poets’ produced Cruel And Unusual Punishment, a CD compilation that was made in protest of the death penalty, which also featured some several current positive hip hop artists. The music further developed into free-jazz–poetry with Hassan’s brief return on 1974’s.

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er, the group gained renown with the rise of hip hop music, often being name-checked as grandfathers and founders of the new movement, and themselves collaborating with Bristol-based British post-punk band the Pop Group, among others. Nuriddin and El-Hadi worked on several projects under the Last Poets name, working with bassist and producer Bill Laswell, including 1984’s Oh My People and 1988’s Freedom Express, and recording the final El Hadi-Nuriddin collaboration Scatterrap/Home in 1994. Their lyrics often dealt with social issues facing African American people. In the song “Rain of Terror,” the group criticized the American government and voiced support for the Black Panthers. More recently, the Last Poets found fame again refreshed through a collaboration where the trio (Umar Bin Hassan) was featured with hip hop artist Common on the Kanye West-produced song “The Corner,” as well as (Abiodun Oyewole) with the WuTang Clan-affiliated political hip hop group Black Market Militia on the song “The Final Call,” stretching overseas to the UK on songs “Organic Liquorice (Natural Woman)” “Voodoocore” and “A Name” with Shaka Amazulu the 7th. The group is also featured on


CROSSover

CALLING THINGS BY THEIR OWN NAME GIL SCOTT-HERON

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il Scott-Heron was born in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Bobbie ScottHeron, was an opera singer who performed with the New York Oratorio Society. Scott-Heron’s father, Gil Heron, nicknamed “The Black Arrow,” was a Jamaican soccer player in the 1950s who became the first black athlete to play for the Glasgow Celtic Football Club. Gil’s parents separated in his early childhood and he was sent to live with his maternal grandmother, Lillie Scott, in Jackson, Tennessee. When Scott-Heron was 12 years old, his grandmother died and he returned to live with his mother in the Bronx, New York City. He enrolled at DeWitt Clinton High School, but later transferred to The Fieldston School after impressing the head of the English department with one of his writings and earning a full scholarship. As one of five black students at the prestigious school, Scott-Heron was faced with alienation and a significant socioeconomic gap. During his admissions interview at Fieldston, an administrator asked him, “‘How would you feel if you see one of your classmates go by in a limousine while you’re walking up the hill from the subway?’ And [he] said, ‘Same way as you. Y’all can’t afford no limousine. How do you feel?’ This type of intractable boldness would become a hallmark of Scott-Heron’s later recordings. Scott-Heron attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, as it was the college chosen by his biggest influence Langston Hughes. It was here that Scott-Heron met Brian Jackson with whom he formed the band Black & Blues. After about two years at Lincoln, Scott-Heron took a year off to write the novels The Vulture and The Nigger Factory. The Last Poets performed at Lincoln in 1969 and Abiodun Oyewole of that Harlem group said


“Because I always feel like running Not away, because there is no such place. Because if there was, I would have found it by now, because it’s easier to run.”

Scott-Heron asked him after the performance, “Listen, can I start a group like you guys?” ScottHeron returned to New York City, settling in Chelsea, Manhattan. The Vulture was published in 1970 and well received. Although Scott-Heron never received his undergraduate degree, he received a Master’s degree in Creative Writing in 1972 from Johns Hopkins University. His 1972 masters thesis was titled Circle of stone.

under the influence

say goodbye

Scott-Heron died on the afternoon of May 27, 2011, at St. Luke’s Hospital, New York City, after becoming ill upon returning from a European trip. Scott-Heron had confirmed previous press speculation about his health, when he disclosed in a 2008 New York Magazine interview, that he had been HIV-positive for several years, and that he had been previously hospitalized for pneumonia. The cause of Scott-Heron’s death has yet to be announced. In response, Public Enemy’s Chuck D stated “RIP GSH...and we do what we do and how we do because of you.” on his Twitter account. His UK publisher, Jamie Byng, called him “one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met”. On hearing of the death, R&B singer Usher stated “I just learned of the loss of a very important poet...R.I.P., Gil ScottHeron. The revolution will be live!!”. Richard Russel, who produced Scott-Heron’s final studio album, called him a “father figure of sorts to me”. Eminem stated that “He influenced all of hip-hop”. Lupe Fiasco wrote a poem about him and posted it on his website. Scott-Heron’s memorial service was held

at Riverside Church in New York City on June 2, 2011, where in tribute to Scott-Heron, Kanye West performed “Lost in the World” and “Who Will Survive in America”, songs from his last album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. “Who Will Survive in America” was co-written by Scott-Heron.

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MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

The music of Scott-Heron’s work during the 1970s influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. He has been described by music writers as “the godfather of rap” and “the black Bob Dylan”. Chicago Tribune writer Greg Kot comments on ScottHeron’s collaborative work with Jackson, “Together they crafted jazz-influenced soul and funk that brought new depth and political consciousness to ‘70s music alongside Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. In classic albums such as ‘Winter in America’ and ‘From South Africa to South Carolina,’ ScottHeron took the news of the day and transformed it into social commentary, wicked satire, and protorap anthems. He updated his dispatches from the front lines of the inner city on tour, improvising lyrics with an improvisational daring that matched the jazz-soul swirl of the music”.[2] Of Scott-Heron’s influence on hip hop, Kot writes that he “presag[ed] hip-hop and infus[ed] soul and jazz with poetry, humor and pointed political commentary”.[2] Ben Sisario of The New York Times writes that “He preferred to call himself a “bluesologist,” drawing on the traditions of blues, jazz and Harlem renaissance poetics”.[4] Tris McCall of The Star-Ledger writes

that “The arrangements on Gil Scott-Heron’s early recordings were consistent with the conventions of jazz poetry – the movement that sought to bring the spontaneity of live performance to the reading of verse”.[52] On his influence, a music writer later noted that “Scott-Heron’s unique proto-rap style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists”.[9] The Washington Post wrote that “Scott-Heron’s work presaged not only conscious rap and poetry slams, but also acid jazz, particularly during his rewarding collaboration with composer-keyboardist-flutist Brian Jackson in the mid- and late ‘70s.


CROSSover

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24

You listeners, stop what you’re doin’ and set it in motion, it’s the next movement. The Roots


CHAPTER Ii

25

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

THE BEGINNING OF A TREND


CROSSover

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26

Time line

‘83

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce et aliquet velit. Proin accumsan, tellus at dapibus vulputate, diam dolor vestibulum enim, ut aliquet dui nisi non turpis. Nulla suscipit venenatis feugiat. Pellentesque vestibulum sodales augue, vitae dapibus orci scelerisque eget. Curabitur aliquam bibendum massa adipiscing pretium. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis curabitur aliquam.


SPECIAL DELIVERY THE JAZZ MESSENGERS

Suliaman El-Hadi died in October 1995. Oyewole and Hassan began recording separately under the same name, releasing Holy Terror in 1995 (re-released on Innerhythmic in 2004) and Time Has Come in 1997.

I

27

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

n 1947 Blakey organized the Seventeen Messengers, a rehearsal band, and recorded with an octet called the Jazz Messengers. The use of the Messengers tag only stuck with the group co-led at first by both Blakey and pianist Horace Silver, though the name was not used on the earliest of their recordings. Blakey and Silver recorded together on several occasions, including live at Birdland with trumpeter Clifford Brown and alto-saxophonist Lou Donaldson in 1954 for Blue Note, having formed in 1953 a regular cooperative group with Hank Mobley and Kenny Dorham. The “Jazz Messengers” name was first used for this group on a 1954 recording nominally led by Silver, with Blakey, Mobley, Dorham and Doug Watkins — the same quintet would record The Jazz Messengers at the Cafe Bohemia the following year, still functioning as a collective. Donald Byrd replaced Dorham, and the group recorded an album called simply The Jazz Messengers for Columbia Records in 1956. Blakey took over the group name when Silver left after the band’s first year (taking Mobley, Byrd and Watkins with him to form a new quintet with a variety of drummers), and the band was known as “Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers” from then onwards with Blakey being the sole leader, and he remained associated with it for the rest of his life. It was the archetypal hard-bop group of the 1950s, playing a driving, aggressive extension of bop with pronounced blues roots. Towards the end of the 1950s, the saxophonists Johnny Griffin and Benny Golson were in turn briefly members of the group. Golson, as music director, wrote several jazz standards which began as part of the band book such as “I Remember Clifford”, and “Blues March” was regularly revived by later editions of the group. “Along Came Betty” and “Are You Real” were other Golson compositions for Blakey.


CROSSover

every body loves the sunshine roy ayers

B

orn 10th September 1940, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Roy Ayers is a highly popular jazz vibraphonist and vocalist. He reached the peak of his commercial popularity during the mid-70s and early 80’s, whilst signed to the Polydor label, his album release ratio becoming quite prolific at various stages. Roy played piano as a child (his father played trombone, his mother taught him the piano) and took an interest in the vibes after the late Lionel Hampton gave him his first vibraphone mallets when he was just five years old. It wasn’t until he became a teenager, that he took up the instrument seriously. He grew up in the South Central area of Los Angeles and attended various schools includ-

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

28

The atmospheric beats are always top notch, though not always fit for frequent radio play. The Roots include their own house band, lead by fan favorite ?uestlove. ing the Wadsworth Elementary, Nevins Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson High School. The latter institution was the educational school attended by Dexter Gordon amongst other musicians. At school Roy formed his first group, the Latin Lyrics, and in the early 60’s began working professionally with the late flautist / saxophonist Curtis Edward Amy during 1962 (who later played the solo on the Carole King song ‘It’s Too Late’). He recorded with Jack Wilson (between 1963 and 1967), dovetailing his recording chores with the Gerald Wilson Orchestra (between 1965 and 1966). Roy’s first solo album was ‘West Coast Vibes’ on United Artists Records in 1964, an album that

featured Curtis Amy. He also worked with Chico Hamilton, Teddy Edwards, Phineas Newborn, Hampton Hawes and Herbie Mann (at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach), with whom he first gained prominence between 1966 and 1970. He recorded three albums for Atlantic Records in the late 60’s. In 1971, Roy formed Roy Ayers Ubiquity, which moved him into a more fusion based sound. He released ‘He’s Coming’ in 1971, which contained the rare groove ‘We Live In Brooklyn, Baby’. Two years later he provided the soundtrack to the Jack Hill blaxploitation film ‘Coffy’, which starred Pam Grier. Between 1973 and 1975, Roy released 5 Polydor albums, all of which were later to become real collectors items, ‘Virgo Red’,

roy ayers top releases

1970 “UBIQUITY” 1976

“MYSTIC VOYAGE”

“EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE”

1978

“YOU SEND ME”

1981

“AFRICA, CENTER OF THE WORLD”

1983

“IN THE DARK”

1984

“SILVER VIBRATIONS”

1989

“WAKE UP”

1993 “SEARCHIN’” 2001 “PERFECTION” 2004 “UBIQUITY”


Suliaman El-Hadi died in October 1995. Oyewole and Hassan began recording separately under the same name, releasing Holy Terror in 1995 (rereleased on Innerhythmic in 2004) and Time Has Come in 1997. years. During the mid Eighties, Roy’s albums continued to be successful. These included, ‘In The Dark’ (from 1984 including ‘Poo Poo La La’) and ‘You Might Be Surprised’ (in 1985 including ‘Programmed For Love’). Roy was under contract to Polydor for several future album releases, which saw him releasing up to two albums a year during this period. During the 1990s, Roy released several albums for the Ichiban Records imprint. He also made a guest appearance on the late Guru’s album ‘Jazzmatazz’ in 1993 and played at New York clubs with Guru and Donald Byrd. During the new millennium, Roy frequently performs live, especially for seasonal, week long shows at London’s Jazz Cafe.

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MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

‘Red, Black & Green’, ‘Change Up The Groove’, ‘A Tear To A Smile’ and ‘Mystic Voyage’. Fusion became R&B during the mid Seventies for Roy, after signing for the Polydor imprint, with albums such as his 1976 album ‘Everybody Loves the Sunshine’, featuring ‘Hey, Uh, Whatcha Say Come On’ and the title song, becoming hugely popular on the Soul circuit. In 1977, Roy produced an album by the group RAMP, entitled ‘Come Into Knowledge’, which stood for Roy Ayers Musical Productions, a fact verified by the group at their London Jazz Cafe shows of 2006. In 1978, he released ‘Running Away’ as a single (taken from his 1977 album ‘Lifeline’) which quickly became a favourite amongst fans. Roy was under contract to Polydor for several future album releases, which saw him releasing up to two albums a year during this period. In the early Eighties, Roy had set up his own label called Uno Melodic. The subsequent releases on the label became hugely collectable during the rare groove movement later that decade. The labels roster included the likes of Sylvia Striplin, Justo Almario, Bobbi Humphrey and the Ladies Of The Eighties. He finally departed the Polydor imprint in 1983, relocating to Columbia Records for a couple of


the next movement

the roots (a.k.a. the legendary roots crew)

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30

T

hough popular success has largely eluded The Roots, the Philadelphia group showed the way for live rap, building on Stetsasonic’s “hip-hop band” philosophy of the mid-’80s by focusing on live instrumentation at their concerts and in the studio. Though their album works have been inconsistent affairs, more intent on building grooves than pushing songs, the Roots’ live shows are among the best in the business. The Roots’ focus on live music began back in 1987 when rapper Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and drummer ?uestlove (Ahmir Khalib Thompson) became friends at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts. Playing around school, on the sidewalk, and later at talent shows (with ?uestlove’s drum kit backing Black Thought’s rhymes), the pair began to earn money and hooked up with bassist Hub (Leon Hubbard) and rapper Malik B. Moving from the street to local clubs, The Roots became a highly tipped underground act around Philadelphia and New York. When they were invited to represent stateside hip-hop at a concert in Germany, the Roots recorded an album to

the roots discography

1993 “Organix” 1995

“Do You Want More?!!!??!”

1996

“Illadelph Halflife”

1999

“Things Fall Apart”

2002 “Phrenology” 2004

“The Tipping Point”

2006

“Game Theory”

2008

“Rising Down”

2010

“How I Got Over”

“Wake up”

2011 “Undun”


sell at shows; the result, Organix, was released in 1993 on Remedy Records. With a music industry buzz surrounding their activities, the Roots entertained offers from several labels before signing with DGC that same year. The Roots’ first major-label album, “Do You Want More?!!!??!”, was released in January 1995; forsaking usual hip-hop protocol, the album was produced without any samples or previously recorded material. It peaked just outside the Top 100, but was mostly ignored by fans of hip-hop. Instead, “Do You Want More?!!!??!” made more tracks in

alternative circles, partly due to The Roots playing the second stage at Lollapalooza that summer. The band also journeyed to the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Two of the guests on the album who had toured around with the band, human beatbox Rahzel the Godfather of Noyze -- previously a performer with Grandmaster Flash and LL Cool J -and Scott Storch (later Kamal), became permanent members of the group. Early in 1996, The Roots released “Clones”, the trailer single for their second album. It hit the rap Top Five, and created a good buzz for the album.

The atmospheric beats are always top notch, though not always fit for frequent radio play. The Roots include their own house band, lead by fan favorite ?uestlove.

The following september, “Illadelph Halflife” appeared and made number 21 on the album charts. Much like its predecessor, though, The Roots’ second LP was a difficult listen. It made several very small concessions to mainstream rap -the bandmembers sampled material that they had recorded earlier at jam sessions- but failed to make a hit of their unique If one is at all familiar with alternative hip-hop, it is a sure bet that he or she has heard of The Roots, if not heard a decent amount of their material. They are simply one of the most important bands in the genre.

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MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT


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32


Do not weep for me Gang starr

Suliaman El-Hadi died in October 1995. Oyewole and Hassan began recording separately under the same name, releasing Holy Terror in 1995 (re-released on Innerhythmic in 2004) and Time Has Come in 1997.

T

33

and dude use to beat on “Guru” I swear!!! I personally witnessed someone walking in on Solar giving Guru a proper beating behind closed doors. Sources close to HSK were touring Europe with Guru, Solar, and DJ Doo Wop & Kool Keith with Kutmasta Kurt in Fall 2005. At that time the groups had an extended week long stay in the Spanish Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. Guru happily lounged with Solar in his flip flops and swimming trunks downing Hennessy straight and snorting blow by the eightball. This is the same event where Kutmasta Kurt got his nose busted breaking up a fight between Kool Keith’s crew and a concert goer after the show. Matter of fact “Real Connections” still owes about 20,000 euros from that event.

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

he rap group “Gang Starr” was born in Boston, after Big Shug gave it life with partner Keith Elam now known as “Guru”. At that time Big Shug and Guru were faced with the financial hurdle of funding their studio sessions, so they came up with a plan to solve that obstacle with a robbery…that plan was for “Big Shug” to do the jack and “Guru” serve as the getaway driver, but that didn’t work. Know why? Because when “Shug” was doing the robbery, “Guru” ended up getting scared and took off. So, the robbery got muffled and “Big Shug” did a three-year sentence for robbery. While “Shug” was in jail “Guru” moved to New York City. There, he ran into “DJ Premier” who just came from Houston Texas. Together, they formed the now legendary group known as “Gang Starr”. Gang Starr was doing well, and when “Big Shug” returned from prison “Guru” and “Premo” were rightly breaking him off paper. But here’s something what you may not know (which I always knew) Guru, whose real name is Keith Elam, was a homosexual, and he started dating a well-known homosexual from Brooklyn New york named “DJ Solar”. Solar (real name John Barry Mo’Sher) ended up breaking up “Gang Starr” because he pulled Guru away from the talented “DJ Premier”, word is Solar wanted Guru all for himself. I know this because I used to book shows for “Guru & Solar”


CROSSover

Just this past February, Guru suffered a heart attack leaving him in a comatose state into March. That’s when Solar reportedly kept Guru’s family away from him, because he wanted full control. My sources even tell me that this “Solar” guy didn’t allow doctors to treat “Guru” properly.When I woke up this morning, I heard the sad news that 43-year-old “Guru” had died yesterday (April 19. 2010), from cancer. I went into complete silence, and said to myself “Life is too short.” Now, sources are telling me “Solar” is stealing royalties from the group “Gang Starr”. I guess “Solar” got “Guru” to sign over the rights to his name. To make matters worse, “Solar” is saying “Guru” left a letter to all his fans. He says in that letter (printed below), he (Guru) doesn’t want anything to do with his long time collaborator “DJ Premier” even in death…WTF!?! This “Solar” guy seems to think we’re all a bunch of idiots. Because, “Guru” wouldn’t say any shit like that while on his death bed. “Guru’s” nephew has been speaking about this matter for a while now. Don’t believe me? Ask DJ Premier. This may all sound harsh, but in fact Jacky and all HSK staff have a deep respect for Guru. One key component that separates Hollywood Street from any other industry blog is that we tell the truth no matter how much it may hurt or damage false images about an art we hold dear. Other sites would never report the truth rather they further perpetuate falsities. 34

GANGSTARR

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

top releases

1970 “UBIQUITY” 1976

“MYSTIC VOYAGE”

“EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE”

1978

“YOU SEND ME”

1981

“AFRICA, CENTER OF THE WORLD”

1983

“IN THE DARK”

1984

“SILVER VIBRATIONS”

1989

“WAKE UP”

1993 “SEARCHIN’” 2001 “PERFECTION” 2004 “UBIQUITY”

The atmospheric beats are always top notch, though not always fit for frequent radio play. The Roots include their own house band, lead by fan favorite ?uestlove.


35

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce et aliquet velit. Proin accumsan, tellus at dapibus vulputate, diam dolor vestibulum enim, ut aliquet dui nisi non turpis. Nulla suscipit venenatis feugiat. Pellentesque vestibulum sodales augue, vitae dapibus orci scelerisque eget. Curabitur aliquam bibendum massa adipiscing pretium. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis curabitur aliquam.

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

R.I.P. GURU

†


CROSSover

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36

Showtime is enough when the Soul is performing, performing is the soul y’all, and it’s showtime De La Soul


CHAPTER Ii

native tongues

37

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT


coming correct, in full effect A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

A MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

38

Tribe Called Quest is one of Hip Hops most legendary, beloved and revered groups of all time and for good reason. Easily recognized for their unique approach to rap music by employing jazz infused soundscapes to Afro centric rhymes, sans the jaded and often nihilistic aggressive posturing associated with hiphop, A Tribe Called Quest was largely responsible for the popularity of a new genre that dominated the East Coast sound of the early 1990s. Queens, New York natives Q-Tip , Phife Dawg , and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of Brooklyn, formed ATCQ in 1985. Jarobi, the honorary member of ATCQ, though not always heard, was a fixture of the group in heart and in friendship. QUEST, the original name of the group, was later given the prefix A Tribe Called by their high school buddies, The Jungle Brothers, while recording Black Is Black for their album Straight Out The Jungle. ATCQ, along with the Jungle Brothers and De La Soul, formed a unit called The Native Tongues. With a building buzz around The Native Tongues and Tribes energetic live performances, ATCQ landed a major recording contract with Jive Records in 1989. Sonically, ATCQ was a decisive and welcomed tangent of jazz, bass-heavy rhythmic vibes and eclectic sampling when compared to the mundane recycling of soul loops, breaks and vocals of their contemporaries. Lyrically, emcees Q-Tip and Phife Dawg addressed social issues relevant to young blacks such as use of the n word and its relevance, date rape and other interpersonal relationships, industry politics and consumerism with infectious energy and fun and having a good time while still promoting positivity. ATCQ composed a number of successful singles and albums with their creative approach to rap mu-

sic. In 1990, the group released Peoples Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, scoring several memorable songs including Bonita Applebum, Can I Kick It and I Left my Wallet in El Segundo. It was their sophomore effort, The Low End Theory, considered one of the greatest follow-ups in hiphop history, that would solidify them as legends. Released in late 1991, the freedom expressed in the creation and feel of this record – along with its successor Midnight Marauders – influenced many future artists and producers such as Common, The Roots, Jill Scott, Kanye West and The Neptunes. These artists are a part of ATCQs legacy and are evidence of ATCQs impact for years to come. Classics like Award Tour, Electric Relaxation, Check The Rhyme and Scenario defined ATCQs sound during this period. In 1996, ATCQs fourth album, Beats, Rhymes & Life, was released. The Ummah – a production team consisting of Q-Tip , Ali Shaheed and newcomer and stellar talent Jay Dee (now Jay Dilla of Slum Village) – was established the same year. The team worked together to share their aural aesthetic with other artists like Janet Jackson, DAngelo, and Faith Evans. Continued to perfect and advance their sound, displaying their unique take on hip-hop. It was with the completion of their fifth studio album, The Love Movement, that ATCQ chose to exit the proverbial stage. In recent years, the anticipation for another ATCQ album has been building. The Abstract Poetic, Five Foot Assasin , and Mr. Muhammad have yet to grace the studio for another record, but have hit the road again. Today, the power of their music is still evident in their dynamic stage shows and in the reception of their adoring fans. Anomalous posture has changed the face and sound of hip-hop and paved the way for future

Suliaman El-Hadi died in October 1995. Oyewole and Hassan began recording separately under the same name, releasing Holy Terror in 1995 (re-released on Innerhythmic in 2004) and Time Has Come in 1997.


39

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

The atmospheric beats are always top notch, though not always fit for frequent radio play. The Roots include their own house band, lead by fan favorite ?uestlove.


MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

40

groups, artists, producers and even fans to be unapologetic about their creative expression. With or without future recordings, ATCQs legacy lives on in the groups creative innovation that is recognized as a profound contribution to musical history. They-re one of Hip Hops most legendary, beloved and revered groups of all time and for good reason. Easily recognized for their unique approach to rap music by employing jazz infused soundscapes to Afro centric rhymes, sans the jaded and often nihilistic aggressive posturing associated with hiphop, A Tribe Called Quest was largely responsible for the popularity of a new genre that dominated the East Coast sound of the early 1990s. Queens, New York natives Q-Tip , Phife Dawg , and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of Brooklyn, formed ATCQ in 1985. Jarobi, the honorary member of ATCQ, though not always heard, was a fixture of the group in heart and in friendship. QUEST, the original name of the group, was later given the prefix A Tribe Called by their high school buddies, The Jungle Brothers, while recording Black Is Black for their album Straight Out The Jungle. ATCQ, along with the Jungle Brothers and De La Soul, formed a unit called The Native Tongues. With a building buzz around The Native Tongues and Tribes energetic live performances, ATCQ landed a major recording contract with Jive Records in 1989. Sonically, ATCQ was a decisive and welcomed tangent of jazz, bass-heavy rhythmic vibes and eclectic sampling when compared to the mundane recycling of soul loops, breaks and vocals of their contemporaries. Lyrically, emcees Q-Tip and Phife Dawg addressed social issues relevant to young blacks such as use of the n word and its relevance, date rape and other interpersonal relationships, in-

dustry politics and consumerism with infectious energy and fun and having a good time while still promoting positivity. They have composed a number of successful singles and albums with their creative approach to rap music. In 1990, the group released Peoples Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, scoring several memorable songs including Bonita Applebum, Can I Kick It and I Left my Wallet in El Segundo. It was their sophomore effort, The Low End Theory, considered one of the greatest follow-ups in hiphop history, that would solidify them as legends.

a tribe called quest discography

1970 “UBIQUITY” 1976

“MYSTIC VOYAGE”

“EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE”

1978

“YOU SEND ME”

1981

“AFRICA, CENTER OF THE WORLD”

1983

“IN THE DARK”

1984

“SILVER VIBRATIONS”

1989

“WAKE UP”

1993 “SEARCHIN’” 2001 “PERFECTION” 2004 “UBIQUITY”


41

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce et aliquet velit. Proin accumsan, tellus at dapibus vulputate, diam dolor vestibulum enim, ut aliquet dui nisi non turpis. Nulla suscipit venenatis feugiat. Pellentesque vestibulum sodales augue, vitae dapibus orci scelerisque eget. Curabitur aliquam bibendum massa adipiscing pretium. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis curabitur aliquam.

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

Young Jazz Rebels

‘83


Showtime is enough when the Soul is performing

de la soul

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

42

Suliaman El-Hadi died in October 1995. Oyewole and Hassan began recording separately under the same name, releasing Holy Terror in 1995 (re-released on Innerhythmic in 2004) and Time Has Come in 1997.

I

n 1987, a trio known as De La Soul formed from Long Island, NY roots and changed the landscape of hip-hop as we knew it. Now, for over 20 years they have rocked us with their De La songs full of inscrutable samplings, whimsically irreverent lyrics, social commentary, light rhythm and laid back rhymes. They have gained respect within and outside the hip hop community with their contributions to rap, as well as jazz, funk, soul and alternative genres. Not only are their musical innovations acclaimed and respected worldwide, but they paved a path for many alternative rap groups to come after them. De La Soul formed while the trio – Kelvin Mercer (Posdnous, Plug One, Plug Wonder Why, Mercenary), David Jude Jolicoeur (Trugoy the Dove, Plug Two, Dave), and Vincent Mason (P.A. Pasemaster Mase,Plug Three, Maseo) – attended high school in the late 1980’s. As a group their stage names reflected the same whimsy they brought to


There’s none of the sexism, material aggrandisement or indulgent ego stroking of many hiphop acts - just tight beats, clever rhymes and positive energy. their rhymes. Through backward spelling of Mercer’s nickname as a high school DJ “Sound-Sop” became Posdnous and Trugoy was derived from Jolicoeur’s favorite food –yogurt. Mason noted in an early interview that Pasemaster was the DJ and Mase wasn’t simply a nickname, but an acronym for “Making A Soul Effort”. The group soon caught the attention of producer Paul “Prince Paul” Huston (of local rap group Stetsasonic) with a demo tape of the song “Plug Tunin’”. He played the tape colleagues on New York’s rap scene, and soon De La Soul signed with Tommy Boy.

3 Feet High and Rising

43

1979 “(not just) Knee Deep” reached Number 34 on Pop charts and reached Number 1 in R&B, further cementing the group’s popularity. The members of De La Soul were hailed by critics and audiences as ingenious revolutionaries, but also uncomfortably labeled as a neo-hippie band because the record proclaimed the dawning of “the D.A.I.S.Y. age” (Da Inner Sound, Y’all). Lyrically, much of 3 Feet High and Rising praised peace and harmony — a message that was fading from the rap scene. However, the hippie label agitated the group, as they always envisioned their career as a constantly changing style. Nevertheless, The Three Feet High and Rising album reached number 24 on the pop charts, number one on R&B, and went gold. At the end of the year, 3 Feet High and Rising topped many best-of-the-year lists. They quickly became prominent members of a

Suliaman El-Hadi died in October 1995. Oyewole and Hassan began recording separately under the same name, releasing Holy Terror in 1995 (re-released on Innerhythmic in 2004) and Time Has Come in 1997.

De La Soul

‘83

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce et aliquet velit. Proin accumsan, tellus at dapibus vulputate, diam dolor vestibulum enim, ut aliquet dui nisi non turpis. Nulla suscipit venenatis feugiat. Pellentesque vestibulum sodales augue,.

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

De La Soul and Prince Paul produced the group’s debut album, a mock-game show soundtrack titled 3 Feet High and Rising (released spring 1989). The release was an undeniable smash hit and was quickly hailed as the future of hip hop. The album sounded like nothing else in hip-hop and presented a clear alternative to the hardcore rap that was dominating hip hop at the time. 3 Feet High and Rising was a package of clever rhymes laced with cleverly inventive eccentricities and quirks. Where most of their contemporaries drew directly from old-school rap, funk, or powerful barrage of groups like Public Enemy, De La Soul were gentler, taking in not only funk and soul, but also pop, jazz, reggae, and psychedelia. The album featured a collage of samples that were taken not from the usual James Brown rhythm tracks but from TV shows and obscure recordings, many from De La Soul’s parents’ collections. “Transmitting Live from Mars” set a sample from a French lesson record atop a sample from the 1968 Turtles hit “You Showed Me.” The hit single “Me Myself and I” which was set to a sample of Funkadelic’s


Five albums later, with a sixth, ‘Bionix’, on the way, De La Soul have gradually fallen more in line with current hiphop styles. loose alliance of New York-based alternative rappers dubbed the Native Tongues Posse which also included A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Queen Latifah, the Jungle Brothers, and Monie Love. For a while, it looked as if De La Soul and the Native Tongues posse would eclipse hardcore hip-hop in terms of popularity.

De La Soul is Dead

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

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Suliaman El-Hadi died in October 1995. Oyewole and Hassan began recording separately under the same name, releasing Holy Terror in 1995 (re-released on Innerhythmic in 2004) and Time Has Come in 1997.

De La Soul’s second album, De La Soul Is Dead (1991) was an obvious reaction to the perception that its debut, however innovative, was “soft.” It featured a wealth of material that criticized the new violently careless direction of hip hop while still exuding the same clever humor featured on the group’s debut album. The album cover features a broken daisy flower pot symbolizing the death of the “D.A.I.S.Y. Age” and the imagery that went along with it. The album spawned several singles with more serious tones like “My Brother’s a Basehead” commentary on drug abuse, the dark tale of “Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa” about young girl who could no longer take the incestuous sexual abuse from her father, and the lead single “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey),” a story about the varied people who used De La’s recent fame to try and launch their own careers. De La collaborated with the Black Sheep on “Fanatic of the B Word,” Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest on “A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays””, and Prince Paul even makes an appearance on the mic in “Pass the Plugs” with a verse of his own. The album also more prominently featured Vincent Mason as a rapper, providing verses of his own on “Bitties in the BK Lounge,” “Afro Connections at a Hi-5,” and “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey).”

De La Soul is Dead eventually became a cult classic and was recognized as being underrated and underappreciated by an increasingly fickle public. “Source” magazine listed the album as one of their top 100 Hip Hop albums of all time, stating that “its true genius is rarely understood”. There are several major differences between the CD version of this album and the other formats, as the tracks “Johnny’s Dead AKA Vincent Mason,” “My Brother’s a Basehead,” “Kicked Out the House,” and “Who Do U Worship?” are only available on the CD. The limited edition double vinyl promotional copies of the album distributed to the media before the official release did not feature these. De La Soul came back strong in late 1993, however, with Buhloone Mindstate (Number 40 pop, Number Nine R&B), hailed as a return to the group’s quirky, groundbreaking form. While harder and funkier than either of its predecessors, this album still didn’t fall into the traps of gangsta rap.

DE LA SOUL discography

1970 “UBIQUITY” 1976

“MYSTIC VOYAGE”

“EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE”

1978

“YOU SEND ME”

1981

“AFRICA, CENTER OF THE WORLD”

1983

“IN THE DARK”

1984

“SILVER VIBRATIONS”

1989

“WAKE UP”

1993 “SEARCHIN’” 2001 “PERFECTION” 2004 “UBIQUITY”


The greatests exponents of the new breed

‘90

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MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT


MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

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A

Biggest names in jazz and their work, were not just taken as a big influence on hip hop back then, but also to create (and recreate) new tunes by the use of the new emerging.

in between the down erik truffaz

Truffaz has gone further, merging, as did the legendary Miles Davis, jazz to rock, but also with hip-hop and drum and bass.

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prolific, creative... unsatisfied

At 16 he quit school to devote himself entirely to music, being interested in Satie’s music (which has influenced Satie composed pieces as minimalist, and Truffaz create atmospheres from a minimum of notes), Ravel and Débussi. With 20 years as a group with Marc Erbetta (current teammate Erik Trufazz Quartet), playing a music that fused jazz and funk. They succeed and begin a tour. Several years later is part of Cruzeiro do Sul, with whom he recorded three albums for Arriola. In 1990, Erik Truffaz through the crisis of 30. Looks back, looks to the future (something that music has not failed to do), and takes a firm decision to form a group with which to express his conception of jazz. To do this, call Marc Erbetta, Marcello Giuliani (bass), Pierre Luc Vallet (piano) and Maurice Magnoni (sax). With them he toured all over the world, once back to France, register for the contest of “Defense de la ville de Paris” in 1993, which obtained the special jury prize. A year later, Marcello Giuliani and he will tour with

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

t 6 years he was already reading scores at 7 he played his first instrument, listening to the eleven masterpiece Deep Purple, Machine Head, at 13 Miles Davis discovers and 14 Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. With this, it seems clear that Erik Truffaz was destined to become a music star. This precociousness is characteristic of great artists. It is often compared with Miles Davis, which makes sense, not only for the obvious, which both interpret the same instrument, the trumpet, but because they have contributed to the evolution of jazz, both have sought new ways of expression to jazz, fusing correctly with new styles. Erik Truffaz is one of the key artists of nu-jazz, because their music is built from improvisation, and by merging jazz and electronics. Truffaz, however, has gone further, merging, as did the legendary Miles Davis, jazz to rock, but also with hip-hop and drum and bass. Thanks to this successful and complex mix has earned the label of artist breaking and cutting edge. French trumpeter, born 1960, son of a saxophonist, has been interested in music. His father taught him to read music and he started, seven years, out of hearing the tunes he heard on the radio. At eight, he debuted in his father’s orchestra, playing French songs of “variété”. This music is not very stimulating for the young, which, fortunately, discover, at the age of eleven, a vinyl changing his musical conception. This is the great album of rock band Deep Purple, Machine Head. I had never heard anything, but felt that this music was playing much more than the French that sounded on the radio. Probably, this first approach to rock music comes his adolescent desire to lead a rock band. In 1973, 13 years, he formed his first group and discover the Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, vinyl listening while improvising. Two years later heard on the radio the Montreux Jazz Festival. These two sparks their love for the trumpet and jazz respectively.


Biggest names in jazz and their work, were not just taken as a big influence on hip hop back then, but also to create (and recreate) new tunes by the use of the new emerging.

MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

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the rap group Silent Majority. The hip-hop culture is exciting for French trumpeter and public enthusiasm. This will be critical in creating music. The debut album by Erik Truffaz is produced in 1994 to record with the Orange group, the album Nina Valeria. A remarkable work that presaged the mastery of French. A year later there is a crucial fact in the recording career of French: the output of a concert is presented with a young, Habib Achour, who had been teaching piano for 15 years and not seen since. Achour worked for EMI, and offered to hear their next record in order to submit it to the EMI. After a year and after forming a quartet (Patrick Muller joins the band, formed by Truffaz, Erbetta and Giuliani) recorded Out of dream (the jazz of his albums), an album that opens the doors of Blue Note, which has expanded its roster of artists. They become the first French group signature for this legendary label. In France EMI recording two more albums: The Dawn, in 1997, a successful fusion of jazz, hip-hop and drum and bass, and Bending new corners, more polished than the previous one (but with the merger of the same three styles ), with whom she has a great success worldwide, selling more than one hundred thousand units.

prolific, creative... unsatisfied

His presentation to the American audience with The mask comes in 2000, a compilation of his previous two albums. But its consolidation comes with Erik Truffaz revisit an album in which different artists reinterpret the standards of French trumpeter. Involved groups and artists such as Mobile in motion, Audetat Pierre, Pierre Henry and Bugge Wesseltoft. Topics reinterpreted in electronic, hip-hop and nu-jazz. In 2002 Mantis


I had never heard anything, but felt that this music was playing much more than the French that sounded on the radio. is published, a remarkable album recorded with the newly formed band Ladyland, with Manu Codjia (the brilliant guitarist), Michel Benita and Philippe Garcia, with the voice of Mounir Troudi in Featured. An album that combines jazz and Arabic influences and was a great critical success. The walk of the giant turttle, published in 2003, is a new work of Erik Truffaz Quartet. Three hours of improvisation set the material to be developed for the next album (the authorship of the issues attributed to the four band members). The material is polished during work sessions three days a month, until December. In January, the album is

erik truffaz discography 1976

“MYSTIC VOYAGE”

“EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE”

1978

“YOU SEND ME”

1981

“AFRICA, CENTER OF THE WORLD”

1983

“IN THE DARK”

1984

“SILVER VIBRATIONS”

1989

“WAKE UP”

1993 “SEARCHIN’” 2001 “PERFECTION” 2004 “UBIQUITY”

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MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

1970 “UBIQUITY”

recorded in the study Davou. The result is a long lecture that fuses jazz and rock. In February 2005 Saloua get to the shops, a magnificent album, as brilliant as the previous one, which synthesizes all the styles that has managed in previous works. You hear jazz, jazz-rap, drum and bass, jazz-rock, dub, reggae, ethno-jazz ... and an important use of samplers. Three hours of improvisation set the material to be developed for the next album (the authorship of the issues attributed to the four band members). In 2006 she published Face à face, a double CD with two of his direct and Arkhangelsk in March 2007, its eighth studio album. A year later there is a crucial fact in the recording career of French: the output of a concert is presented with a young, Habib Achour, who had been teaching piano for 15 years and not seen since. Achour worked for EMI, and offered to hear their next record in order to submit it to the EMI


MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT

CROSSover

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MIX it! | jazz HIP HOP / WHERE CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS SPIRIT


Mix it! Jazz Hip Hop Where consciousness meets spirit