streetwear: A work iN Progress NIGHT 2 SUNRISE THE BEAT MAKER: PART 2
WE SEE OBIE AND
TECH N9NE AT THE
ISSUE #02 FEB 2012
A NOTE FROM... The coals are red-hot, the engine’s set to full, and land is just a distant speck in the background now – it’s HipHop Legacy’s second issue, and we’re ready to make some waves! It’s been a crazy couple of months putting it all together, but in between partying it up at music festivals and dancing the night away across Sydney, the truth is, it’s all for you (mostly…). So kick back, relax and enjoy. We’ve got you covered. - Alexander Panagiotou
CREDITS DIRECTOR EDITOR ART DIRECTOR BUSINESS MANAGER MEDIA DIRECTOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER COVER PHOTO
Diego Zelada Alexander Panagiotou Jason Li Alex Ong Ambar Sidhwani Yuka Yanai Jason Li
CONTENTS MZ TRINA’S COLUMN 04 Soul-Searching in Hip Hop Today Katrina Celica STREET ART | ARTICLE 05 May Lane: Aerosol Souls Alex Ong
MUSIC | ARTICLE 07 The Beat Maker Zahir Shah MUSIC | FEATURE ARTICLE 11 HeatWave Hits Sydney Zahir Shah
DANCE | ARTICLE 15 Night 2 Sunrise Diego Zelada FASHION REVIEW 17 Streetwear: A Work In Progress Daniel Bouzo MUSIC REVIEW 19 ScHoolboy Q - Habitats & Contradictions Electric Sea Spider - Pretty Wise Krosswerdz Recordings - KWR Whats The Werd FINAL THOUGHT 21 So Here We Go Again... Jason Li
[ RHYME OF THE MONTH ]
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What’s life but a journey of bus fares and train rides long days, late nights, kicks, snares and bass lines. - Horrorshow, Note To Self (No. 81)
[ MZ TRINA’S COLUMN ]
Hip hop and I have an ongoing love affair; it’s the only thing that is really constant in my life, as an extension of self-love and therefore, self-expression. Lately, it’s been a little off, and for a year or two and I’ve been struggling to find out why. It all made sense when I realized the reason why I wasn’t feeling hip hop today, whether it was hearing the music, watching the dancers, or even just listening to people talk about it, was because most of the time it lacked soul. Going back in time to the funky and soulful melodies of Motown and party moves at Don Cornelius’ Soul Train (R.I.P), I found a renewed love in the elements that helped shape hip hop up to the point where I started losing interest a few years ago.
Soul-searching in Hip hop today Words: Katrina Celica Photo: Chris Chiapoco
read more of trina at: http://Mztrina.com (Confessions of a Serial Dancer) http://Hiphop.org.au (A Quest for Hip Hop Enlightenment)
Sure there are many soulful artists in the present day – they are just harder to find through all the commercial noise. This just makes discovering music – the kind that really speaks to you and not at you – that much harder, but also fun. It challenges you to look beyond all that is fed to you through mainstream media, and empowers you to take control of your musical consumption and education. In more recent times, with the little digging I’ve found when I’m not listening to James Brown or ‘90s R&B girl groups, I’m really feeling are the likes of Aloe Blacc for obvious reasons, Robin Thicke who is one of the more underrated artists out, and Corinne Bailey Rae with her sweet vocals. I hope to find more people who create meaningful music and not just noise, who dance with feeling and not just moves, who write what they think and say what they feel – and then ultimately share these gifts for the rest of the world. Then, hip hop and I will truly have a love to last beyond a lifetime.
Aerosol Souls Words: Alex Ong | Photo: Chris Chiapoco
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[ STREET ART | ARTICLE ]
Walking down the ever so quirky King St in Newtown you might come across alleyways decorated with a crazy kind of creativity. These aren’t the scribbles you see on the back of bus seats, this is real deal. Where Newtown ends and St. Peters begins, lies the famous May Lane, a place that has played host to countless photo shoots and has been a canvas for loads of street artists. Indeed, this little nook of Sydney has been the roaming grounds for plenty of graffiti artists aiming to paint amongst best. And it’s not hard to see why - May Lane flourishes with colour, with skilled works gracing the walls and lending the locale an atmosphere that can’t help but wash over any passer-by. What makes May Lane special among other graffiti haunts is that it’s been largely a product of Tugi Balog’s ‘May Lane Street Art Project’, started back in 2005. Back then, while the council wanted nothing to do with it, support poured in from among the local community, all of whom gave their permission for the project to go ahead. Balog’s self-described mission is, and remains, “to provide graffiti writers and street artists with a safe space for selfexpression and develop as permanent a record of their work as they were likely to get.” Together, this positive attitude has fostered and encouraged artists to create the intricate and detailed works that litter the lane. As much as tags are immediately identifiable with graffiti, this more elaborate form of graffiti uses both words and characters which have been sprayed upon these walls of May Lane. It’s wonderful seeing pictures made as well as words, proving the artists to be multi-talented. No space is spared here as it is almost entirely blanketed with these amazing works with one piece fusing into the next one as you walk by. Graffiti has always been synonymous with Hip hop, so our resident HipHop Legacy photographer visited May Lane and took some flicks. If you ever get the chance, it’s just around the corner from St Peters station at the end of King St, across from Sydney Park. It is a collection of both Australian works and pieces from international artists. Most definitely a place to check out some insane graffiti work.
Want to hear fresh beats? Check out www.hiphop-legacy. com/category/music
THE BEAT MAKER: PART 2 Production Words: Zahir Shah Photo: Jason Li [ PAGE 07 ]
[ MUSIC | ARTICLE ]
Last issue I covered the art of beat making or producing within hip hop and other genres of music. In this issue I want to address some ideals or principles regarding producing in hip hop. I don’t intend this to be a tutorial or a howto, but just as a rough guide to the complex and labyrinthine terrain of beat making. One of the most fundamental parts of hip hop production is none other than sampling. This involves taking small snippets from a record (or CD/MP3), looping it and then throwing in some drums. That’s it in a nut shell. However a lot of the
Now using the above examples we see or more appropriately hear how Dr. Dre used such a small sample from David McCallum’s song but yet was able to create his own original production which has become a timeless hit. All it took were a couple of Dre’s own additions, like a couple of bass lines, some beats and most importantly, a clever arrangement. Take into account though, this not the only method of producing in hip hop. There is still the traditional method of creating every sound from scratch or using a live band to record within hip hop. The Roots are a hip hop act that is probably the best example of this.
What is your initial response when you listen to a new track that has descended onto your ear drums? artistic creativity comes from how well a producer can change the sample or ‘flip the track’. For example, next time you’re on Youtube (which could be right now!) search for the Next Episode by Dr.Dre & Snoop Dogg ft Nate Dogg and Karupt. Its ok I’ll wait… … Ok you’re back. Now let’s see where they actually got the sample from. I want you to look up David McCallum The Edge. Done watching? Good.
Indeed, the art of sampling leads me to my own philosophy that hip hop is a culture of reinvention. It is an art form and lifestyle which is able to pick components from different societies, environments and cultures and yet still create this individual work of art. We see this with the art of lyricism stemming from spoken word poetry and the civil rights movement, as well as B-boying, which takes components from various dance styles, acrobatics and martial arts, as well as other various facets of hip hop.
GOT A Hip hop RELATED PHOTO TO SHARE? EMAIL YOUR IMAGE TO magazine@HIPHOP-LEGACY.COM WITH YOUR NAME, A SHORT DESCRIPTION OF YOUR PHOTO AND YOUR DETAILS. NO LOW-RES IMAGES PLEASE! [ PAGE 09 ]
[ DANCE | SNAPSHOT ]
pre-dance routine an n2s dancer begins his night with some pre-dance stretches. this photo captures a quiet moment for the dancer to mentally and physically prepare himself for the night ahead. photo: jason li for more of jasonâ€™s work, visit: HTTP://I-M.CO/JASON/DESIGN www.facebook.com/jlipd
heatwave HITS SYDNEY Words: Zahir Shah Photo: Jason Li
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[ MUSIC | FEATURE ARTICLE ]
FEATURE ARTICLE: When I think ‘HeatWave’, I think of an electric night filled with copious amounts of commercial hip hop and waves of music loving fans immersing themselves into its culture, hungrily lapping up every performance. So when I was approached to review the first night of the HeatWave Festival on the 18th of Jan, featuring Obie Trice, D12 and Tech 9, and also supported by local artists, I was naturally eager to accept. Jan 18 hits and after a gloriously monotonous day at work I ventured over to Newtown to meet with photographer Jason Li, and while waiting at the box office for my media pass I heard a female patron loudly exclaim “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!” being the inquisitive I had to know what sparked such a charming declaration, to only find an even more charming information board which stated the following: “HEATWAVE FESTIVAL regrets to inform you that ‘D12’ will NOT playing TONIGHT. If you would prefer a NOT to see the show because of this we are offering full refunds. Please note NO REFUND will be issued after the event takes place” Before even stepping into the theatre we find out that a headline act has pulled out, this is something I see all too often with Sydney hip hop
shows and it makes my heart bleed every time. Understandably there were some people who instantly went to get their refund, however despite this loss of a main act there were still a number of people remaining in the line waiting to see the show they paid good money for. A few moments later, we enter. DJ Dispute from Tavern Slander was warming up the crowd. The minute I walked in I heard ‘Don’t Sweat the technique’ by the great Eric B. & Rakim. This definitely titillated my inner b-boy and despite finding out the news of D12, this restored my faith in the night. His set comprised of ‘Boom Bap Rap’ and he definitely engaged the crowd with his scratching and drops. After an hour or so the first local act steps on,DJ Dispute remained on while 2 MCs take to the stage introducing themselves as Tavern Slander. Comprised of rappers Cheap Sober and Willis as well as DJ Dispute; this trio steps out showcasing their lyrical talents and dope beats. Their tracks where laced with incredible beats that I feel would make RZA proud, and their lyrical flow was smooth but also hard hitting.
GOT A Heatwave RELATED PHOTO TO SHARE? EMAIL YOUR IMAGE TO magazine@HIPHOP-LEGACY. COM WITH YOUR NAME, A SHORT DESCRIPTION OF YOUR PHOTO AND YOUR DETAILS. NO LOW-RES IMAGES PLEASE!
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[ MUSIC | SNAPSHOT ]
The second act to grace the stage was the band Leisure Bandits. Now granted most hip hop shows usually just have other rap groups or DJ sets and to see a live band set on I had no idea what to expect. But the moment they stepped out on stage and busted out their tunes I forgot all this. The energy this group generated was incredible. Their music was off the hook. They played a range of funk, soul, reggae and even swing. And the front man was so animated and engaging. It was like James Brown, Prince & Stevie Wonder all balled up into one person with his added flair and style. Next up was DJ Victor Lopez. Representing the BlackLabel crew and one of Sydney’s best known djs his set was what you have come to expect from him. With his juggling and playing of hits from the 90’s he was sure to finally hype the crowd up if the previous 2 acts didn’t (which they most certainly did!). Finally the MC’s for the night announce one of the headline acts. The crowd roars for Obie. DJ Salam Red kicks the set off. Hands are thrown in the air for that “GANGSTA SHIT”. Obie Trice stomps on stage and spits rhymes which the crowd eat up. Salam Red tears up the decks and the Hype Man Shimmy Bango goes crazy. Especially when they dropped “Go to Sleep”. The only downside to his set however were the tributes he played. Now we have a lost a lot of
great Hip hop artists in the previous year’s such as Nate Dogg, Tupac and Bigge. But to make a significant portion of his set playing or artist’s tracks had me perplexed and bored. Oh and there almost was a live sex show which Shimmy Bango dry humped a girl on stage. Fun times for the final act! The crowd waits anxiously, screaming and chanting for the number one independent rapper. The strobes flash. Krazy Krizz Kaliko steps on stage like a crazed being serenading the crowd. The crowd roars. Tech 9 steps out. Like a demon with his face painted like a warrior. He has mic in hand cocked and ready to go. He begins firing off syllables like a machine gun taking down the crowd one by one. Honestly this guy was like a lion roaring on stage and his showmanship is just excellent. The energy these two artists generated had the audience in a sense of excitement and euphoria. Hell, it was so crazy even a fight broke out. His show was definitely the highlight of my night, and i think everybody else’s too. With a somewhat anti-climatic start, my experience was not limited to the info board, HeatWave began to pull up its socks again and managed to put on some crazy acts, the venue flooded with enraptured souls, vibing out to some of the scenes most creative and strong. After an absence of close to a decade of live hip hop entertainment I was inspired again.
Night 2 Sunrise Words: Diego Zelada Photo: Chris Chiapoco
Interested in learning more? Visit the N2S website for more info: WWW.NIGHT2SUNRISE.COM
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[ DANCE | ARTICLE ]
What is night 2 sunrise? We break it down and have a look at this unique bunch of dancers and what they do at night. The Night to Sunrise (N2S) all night dance jam sessions have been running for the last 3.5 years and it’s still only the beginning.
grooving to the music, and using what they’ve learnt that night. No two-touch freestyles have ever been the same!
Run by Chris Chiapoco and a committed dance community N2S is the only street jam of its kind inviting all dancers, from all levels, backgrounds (studio trained and self taught) and Hip hop styles to participate and hangout. It’s a free event where dancers - both beginners and veteran alike come together and share, teach and learn from each other - by doing this not only does it help fellow dancers to become better at the art but at the same time it encourages the local Hip hop dance movement to reach out to even more artists in a positive environment.
2012 will see N2S celebrate its fourth birthday and Sydney can look forward to being invited to an event of distinct fashion. In the heart of Sydney N2S will bring out a live street DJ, host dance battles, give away prizes and present graffiti artists and rappers. The annual celebrations have become progressively associated with an electrifying vibe - the feeling of having artists from all walks of life come together, and jam to the same music is just an atmosphere not many events have achieved. And with that, a second major event is currently in the works for the Autumn season!
N2S and its community run this session by gathering once a month and dancing in public at the Entertainment Centre Gate A from 9pm until sunrise the next morning. No money, no pressure, just music, water, extraordinary people and dancing. Every N2S is ended with a “Touch Freestyle”, a celebratory freestyle requiring each dancer to freeze in pose, and wait until he or she is “touched”. When touched the dancers are invited to freestyle however they feel,
If you’re reading this and would like to get involved with N2S please contact them at info@night2sunrise. com, of contact coordinator Chris Chiapoco directly on email@example.com For all other updates on the various sessions and other Hip hop events visit www.night2sunrise.com or facebook “N2S Jam Sessions”.
A Work in Progress Wu-Tang Clan Photo Credits: 1. hiphopruckus.com 2. dedica.la 3. workout-songs.net
“Fashion is function”. - Renowned graphic designer and creative director of Staple Design, Jeff Staple With the growth and development of so many forms of media and communications, for many, fashion and clothing have grown to become much more than the essentials we need to protect us from the elements; a change which is particularly noticeable in hip hop culture.
Hip hop and streetwear styles have always developed with functionality in mind, and a lot of it can be seen by looking at something as simple as the geography of the culture. Just take a look at the Wu-Tang video-clip for “C.R.E.A.M.” On the east coast you’ve got Raekwon rugged up in the “Lo-Goose”, then at the same time cross-country you can find 2Pac in khaki pants and Loc sunglasses. People wore Timberland boots and goose-down jackets for a reason, to stay warm and dry in the snowed out New York winters, just as a pair baggy Dickies and an oversized t-shirt would keep things comfortable in a Californian summer.
Streetwear has naturally evolved as fashion does, but rather unpredictably taking cues from higher-end fashion designers. For one, Kanye moved away from Polo rugby shirts to tour tees with Jay-Z; designed by French runway label Givenchy. And although we’re [ PAGE 17 ]
[ FASHION REVIEW ] 4
used to seeing rappers sporting the betterknown high-end labels (Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Versace come to mind), more and more artists are delving deeper into the industry and adopting styles from more sophisticated labels such as Martin Maison Margiela, Raf Simons and Rick Owens. On the one hand you can hear more mainstream artists like Rick Ross rhyming about his crew kitted out in Rick Owens bomber jackets, and on the other, underground up-and-comers like A$AP Rocky talking the same; “Raf Simons, Rick Owens, usually what I’m dressed in”. There is no doubt that in recent times streetwear has matured. Oscar Wilde couldn’t have been more right when he said, “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” The quote still stands strong in this trend-conscious society we live in today, where the rapid and wide transmission of information through the internet means we’re pressured to be current and up to date faster than ever; most likely why we’re seeing rappers in these more refined and trendier getups. People, now more than ever are after a timeless wardrobe, a quality product that transcends what’s popular at any given time. Consequently, passionate designers who genuinely care for their product and the consumer’s interest are reaching more people than they ever have. It’s a little cliché but it is true, that at the end of the day, everyone wins.
A$AP Rocky 4. eastcoastundergroundcentral. blogspot.com.au 5. forthosewhonotice.com 6. thehiphopupdate.com
ScHoolboy Q – Habitats & Contradictions
ScHoolboy Q is a Los Angeles rapper part of the Black Hippy crew, a group of socially conscious emcees creating something of a West Coast renaissance in hip hop right now. Habitats & Contradictions is his second album and packs a forceful punch of someone truly concerned about his state of living. Infused with a harsh dose of reality, ScHoolboy Q’s powerful performances on choice cuts “Hands on the Wheel (feat. A$AP Rocky),” the Portishead-sampling “Raymond 1969” and album closer “Blessed (feat. Kendrick Lamar)” really give a sense of both anger and hope. However, Habitats & Contradictions is not without its flaws. At points the production is a little muddy, treading territory between the marvellous Kanye Westian production of fellow Black Hippy Kendrick Lamar’s album Section.80 and the lush, spacey sound employed by Southern hip hop’s underground scene. While the sound is used to a good effect on “Raymond 1969,” mostly because Portishead’s “Cowboys” is an icon of trip-hop, the fifth track on the album “How We Feeling” just lumbers boringly for its entire duration. Habitats & Contradictions certainly won’t have the impact of last year’s Section.80 or even ScHoolboy Q’s own 2011 effort Setbacks, but is still an integral step in the evolution of the underground making a real change in contemporary hip hop society.
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[ MUSIC REVIEW ]
Krosswerdz Recordings – KWR What’s The Werd? Vol.1
Electric Sea Spider – Pretty Wise If you weren’t aware, Sydney and Melbourne have a booming underground music scene focussed on hip hop inspired beats combined with lush, electronic atmospheres. One of the biggest names in this scene is Electric Sea Spider and Pretty Wise is one of the producers’ biggest tunes, featuring a massive, lurching bassline beneath a delicate stuttering and distorted hi-hat rhythm. With plenty of percussive interest to keep the beat rolling and the heads bobbing, Electric Sea Spider introduces a cheeky, bassless bridge before launching headfirst into a storm of groove. Both a great introduction and example of the increasingly prominent Australian beat scene, Pretty Wise is an excellently produced banger destined to be a crowd favourite. Check it out at Electric Sea Spider’s soundcloud.
Krosswerdz is Australia’s hip hop church, with KWR What’s The Werd? being the first showcase of the talent signed to the recording label. The compilation features tracks from Wizdm, Oakbridge, Brethren, Izzy N The Profit and Mistery, who churn out 16 tacks of inoffensive and uptempo skip-hop. Most of the tunes are buoyant, horn-sampling bouncers where the rapping teeters between engaging and monotonous. While track after track of similar sounding emceeing and production may grind on some listeners, highlights come in the form of any Oakbridge verse, whose booming voice weaves some interest into the songs. Some cuts are impressive in their display of promise these underground rappers display, of note the great triptych of “Believe Us Yet? (feat. BroadKast)” by Oakbridge, the wildly engaging “Home Away From Home” by Profit which sounds completely different to every other track and the Japanese koto-sampling “Dragon Tattoo (feat. JustMe)” by Mistery. KWRD What’s The Werd? is an interesting compilation in that it ends stronger than it starts, and also showcases the talent of local rappers who are clearly massive admirers of hip hop. Emulating the boom-bap style of East Coast hip hop, these Christian rappers are off to a strong start, but are often let down by lazy production and an over reliance of the sometimes monotonous Australian drawl.
so here we go AgAIN...
reflections from our art director
Words: Jason Li | Photo: Jason Li After working with Hip Hop Legacy magazine for the last 3 months, I find myself asking this question: Isn’t it funny how life is cyclical? Everything old comes back into fashion again, whether it is music, movies or even fashion itself. We see remakes of 80’s TV (Hawaii Five-0) and movies (seriously, do we need a new SpiderMan already? It’s been less than 10 years), while fashion brands like Prada are dictating the future of fashion by embracing the retro style. Similar to the rest of you, I went through phases in high school with my hobbies (Pokemon) and fashion (jeans and a blazer...why?!), but the first ever phase, and the one that I can most prominently recall, was my taste in music. Aside from a few minor hits from primary school (Vitamin C’s “Graduation,” Blink-182’s “All The Small Things” and Wheatus’s “Teenage Dirtbag”), I started off listening to ‘gangsta rap.’ In fact – and I’m not proud to admit it – the first CD that I ever bought was 50 Cent’s “Get Rich Or Die Trying” and my favourite artists at this period in my life were Eminem, Obie Trice, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre Nate Dogg, Tupac and D12.
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My musical tastes from Year 8 onwards have been varied, evolving from rap to Linkin Park to alternative, pop, indie rock, metal and hard rock. These days, when people ask me where my musical tastes lie, I settle on the all-encompassing genre of classic rock. Admittedly, I haven’t listened to much rap or hip hop in the last 9 years, and my recent knowledge of the genre has been informed by the commericlal music of Usher, Chris Brown, Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West. As the art director (and photographer), I’ve had the privilege of working closely with the team at HipHop Legacy magazine, and it’s piqued my interest in hip hop again. In the 3 months that I’ve been involved, I’ve put together a magazine, attended an N2S jam, a rap concert and a graffiti exhibition. I’ve also done a number of photo shoots with a number of unique people - amongst them, a prominent Australian rapper. It’s really shown me how diverse Australian hip hop really is. Oh, but you know what’s really great? The first musicians that I ever seriously listened to were the same musicians that I got to photograph with my first ever media pass, as a freelance photographer. Isn’t it funny how life is cyclical?
[ FINAL THOUGHT ]
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