Fashion From The Archives Harry Allen Hip-Hop Hiphop Nation Music The Culture

Hiphop Nation: Power to the People

Hiphop Nation: Power to the People

January 19, 1988


It’s applicable that the primary, the only, place I heard the Audio Two’s final report, “I Like Cher­ries,” was on The D.N.A.-Hank Love Ra­dio Present (WNWK, 105.9, Sunday, 2 to 4 a.m.). Because the self-proclaimed “Underneath­ground of Hip-Hop,” D.N.A.-Love is in­deed a minority in a minority, enjoying many cuts, artists, and labels that the Magics and Purple Alerts gained’t even unbox. So, whereas Magic pompously fronts him­self as “the Donald Trump of hip-hop,” and J. R. Vance wastes talk-time engag­ing Pink Alert in the corniest chitchat this aspect of Diff ‘lease Strokes, I even tape the commercials learn by DJ Hank Love. (The Billy Jean’s Hair Salon advert is an existentialist must-hear.)

Positive, D.N.A. plays loads of wack rec­ords, but that’s a hazard of democracy. (Mitch-Ski and Shan ain’t precisely the Kings of Rock, by the best way.) D.N.A.-Love listeners hear their very own music — the “Star for a Night time” function, 4-X, permits them to go to the Manhattan studio and listen to their tapes as a part of their own verbal environ. The viewers is aware of by reality, not by de­fault, that they’re undoubtedly down with this system. “The individuals who take heed to our present, they need to be acknowledged as listeners,” D.N.A. says. “We speak with our listeners; we don’t speak to them. It’s like a household operation. ‘Yo, what up, D.N.A. I’d like to offer a shot-out to my homeboy only N.Y. radio show where B-boys take over the station in a substantive sense, and through which the act of first enjoying an Audio Two, Extremely Magnetic M.C.’s, Ma­jestic Productions, Ultimate Selection, or Super Lover Cee, becomes an important com­munity service.

Although the precise measurement of the audience just isn’t clear (the 27-year-old entrepreneur boasts “two million listepers in four states”), its temporary history is more so. D. N.A. took over the WNWK (previously WHBI) slot in 1985 proper after Mr. Magic was referred to as back by PT-109’d WBLS, which had stopped enjoying hip-hop for personai reasons.

D.N.A., a former Jackson 5 fan turned music scholar turned Rush Productions promo man, had long realized that one of the simplest ways to get inside the biz was from backstage. His backstage cross was getting a sponsor to pay for two-hour time blocks and resel1ing minute-sized slices to adver­tisers. It labored, and his continued suc­cess with the show has allowed him to develop related tasks, comparable to estab­lishing something wrongly too rare in the music business: a Black-owned company (D.N.A. International, Inc.) producing, packaging, and promoting hip-hop.

Now inside, he hasn’t precisely been wel­comed with open arms. D.N.A. is homosexual, and a few of the problem he meets on knowledgeable degree, just making an attempt to get his crews airplay at numerous spots on the dial, for instance, comes from prejudice. While not denying this, he sees other reasons for the chilly reception as properly.

“We’re envied by everyone. One, be­trigger we are available there as businessmen, figuring out what we would like and understanding what we wanna do. We don’t are available there as guys just enjoying music.” Later he advert­mits, “Individuals simply don’t like me. But that’s in addition to the purpose. They didn’t like Christ either, so what can you say?”

No delusions of grandeur right here; just somebody who’s nonsense-tired. Hardly a proselyte, but not one to hold again. “I want we might get together and manage and take control of this music, as a result of now, it’s like we’re just a bunch o’ Black people operating round, with no organiza­tion, no objectives, you already know what I’m sayin’? There’s nothing organized.”

“I’m not on an ego trip. Consider me, I am more than honored that folks take heed to me. They are the celebs. They are the Donald Trumps, they are the Godfathers, they are the Official Voice, not me. They put us there, they maintain us there, with out their help we wouldn’t be there. That’s why I all the time say on the radio they’re the world’s biggest listeners: they keep up ‘ti! two o’clock in the morning. They’ve been with us for almost three years, supporting us. I don’t need no title like ‘Godfather,’ or . . . uh . . . uh . . . ‘Pre­mier,’ or ‘Emperor.’ It’s not all about me. With out them, we ain’t jack-doo-doo. And that’s a quote.”

However then, maybe considering he had spo­ken just a little too soon, D.N.A. turned to his coproducer. “Nicely, how do you are feeling, Hank? Ought to we name you, ‘Prime Minis­ter Hank Love’?”

Oh, Yeah These ‘Other’ Hip-Hop Exhibits

Yeah, it’s a ghetto, boo-yee. But we name it house (or at the least we d.o until after the revolv-olution).

MR. MAGIC’S RAP ATTACK (WBLS, 107.5, Friday & Saturday, 9 p.m. to 12.)
Pluses: Marley Marl, the person most certainly to exceed, and to ultimately write a jazz opera for turntables. Marley Marl’s well-earned standing as a disc driver is assured, and We’ve recognized his mixes have been edgy for years. Other pluses: the present’s good, half-hour bites (good for tap­ing), clear sign, Magic’s information of the music and his angle.
Negatives: Magic‘s angle (his on-air dissing of Hurby et alli makes him sound like a jealous wish-1-wuz), regular “World Premieres” that aren’t, and, although “Fly” ‘fyrone Williams is not in the booth, Magic still pushes up, up, and away an excessive amount of Pop Artwork-Prism-Cold Chillin’ product. (That year-end prime 20 was a joke, ha-ha.)

CHUCK CHILLOUT & RED ALERT (WRKS, 98.7, Friday & Saturday, 9 p.m. to 12.)
Magic’s competitors. I don’t take heed to Chuck, as it comes on during Sabbath, so I’m talking about Purple right here.
Pluses: Clear signal, extra selection in cuts than you­know, the show’s closing music and pro­mos (“Who’s Jimmy? VIOLATORS!” Dooooope!), typically commercial-free for hour-long stretches.
Negatives: Zero shout-outs, worst on­air dialog in N.Y. hip-hop (too dangerous; word-for-word, Purple’s a more inter s esting talker than you-know), and unex­citing mixes. (Marley wins as a document player; nevertheless, for the document, Pink’s a better document producer.)

THE AWESOME 2 (WNWK, Sunday, 4 to 5 a.m.)
America’s chillest air personalities, with the most effective opening music of any of these exhibits, comes on proper after D.N.A. , they usually’re close within the Uncooked Feeling De­partment, however, being chill, they’re some­occasions just a little chilly on-air. Pluses: Toddy­Tod (subtly dope), frank, on-air -shout outs and interviews, the shortage of gee-whiz. (They’re chill, keep in mind?)
Negatives: Four within the a.m.!

Solely a white man might provide you with a title like that, specifically one Jeff Foss, who realized the power of hip-hop’s position as New Music, even while close by, more-powerful WLIR was still pushing A Flock of Hen-Dookey as the sound for the lunar colonies.
Pluses: No commercials (just Foss’s drolly learn UPI wire copy on the hour), performs previous stuff, tells identify of artist, minimize and report firm (in contrast to Magic), and doesn’t speak over data. Foss also has obviously tak­en the “Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Gordon Sumner” strategy, encompass­ing himself with the required Negroes to offer his present actual flat-tire-on-a-tar-roof­rainy-night credibility. His on-air DJ, “Machete Grasp” Johnny Juice (of Kings of Strain, hip-hop’s most physi­cally rhythmic DJ), and Juice’s “Love Mixes” (Pressure M.D.’s “Love Is a House” over the Super Lover Cee beat, Four-X) hype like a pipe.
Unfavorable: Foss’s voice hurts — it’s hip­hop meets Don Pardo meets the Ginsu Knife. Similar thing for P-High quality’s vocals (WNYU, 89.1, ‘Tuesday, 9 to 10:30 p.m.). I truthfully didn’t take heed to Dre too much in his last days, and I nonetheless don’t take heed to P or Vandy C (WNYE, 91.5, Saturday, 6 to 7 p.m.) too much, both. Sorry, people. Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. Daytime radio on KISS and ‘BLS,that’s. ■

SERIOUS-LEE-FINE: Three the Arduous Method

Run-D.M.C., L.L. Cool J, and Doug E. Recent have been all initially dismissed by a lot of the much report labels to which they despatched tapes. This was as a result of the individuals who make the money from this music’s success, for probably the most part, can1t dance, and don’t know the music, stretching over race, class, and age strains to grab a buck. Knowhumsayin’?

Critical-Lee-Positive is a crew from Chill City, Long Island, a/okay/a Uniondale. Rush Productions manages them and Jatrt Grasp Jay is working with them in the studio although they don’t have a report deal. Pve been listening to their demo tape for the past seven month$ and, at this fee, I ought to tire of it sometime around the spring of 1994. The six-armed, six-legged, three-penised monster consists of vo­calists Critical C (lead rapper, architect, and bass drum), Selection Rapper Lee-Ski (mid­dleman, transmission, and planar noticed), and Okay-High-quality (afterburner, fragments, and Klaxon), with DJ Selection Master Chip C pumpin’ up the quantity over his subliminal slicing. De­spite the cutesy identify, the crew’s type is strictly seek-and-de­stroy; hyperassault on cuts with such titles as “Sweat,” “Bass Goes Bang,” and “The Mon­ster Shit.” Their sce­narios often go sum’n like this: lead rapper Critical C begins the set with punchy assonances and alliterations, blowing material all out of proportion. Then Lee-Ski’s satisfied vocal grinds it right again right down to measurement with a rap as actual as the jaws in a lure. Lastly, Lee tosses it off to Okay-Superb, he takes it out of here, and the enjoyable really begins: syntax will get slandered, rhythms get run over, 16-year-olds change their career plans, and the moisture rely rises:

The tune is in growth, it’s extensively projected
A dictation of orchestration will premier wax-wreckin’
My sister bought a replica, sure, some individuals still igg it
Don’t play it off, boss; but in fact you dig it
Dakim, verify the level, geese it up one unit
On beat I feel it is; if it ain’t, Chip tune it!
Bites, termites, bloods have been spilt
They’re not fluent; careers are ruined in the home that I’ve constructed For subtracting from the wack calculates as a minus
As a result of Okay is the finest rapping rhyming ruling royal highness Leaving phrases I shall insert
Exhilirating dominating pulsating skilled.

Overlook what you simply read. It’s irrelevant. Okay-Fantastic is a type of vocalists that, to scratch the adage, might make Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate sound hype. He describes his transfer as “a wedding of actuality, fascination, and creativeness, to convey forth my type of ailing hip-hop — creating probably the most illest lyrics recognized to man.” You’ll be able to name him the Dennis Hopper of Hip-Hop. I dunno, but Okay all the time seems like he’s about to hyperventilate to me, so arduous he pushes the euphoria.

Why does Critical-Lee-Wonderful proceed to do some kind of weird holding sample over Def Jam, New York, whereas lesser suckers on different labels make Swatch commercials or black-and-white style movies? Some may say samo-samo (see starting of this piece). Some may say rapper glut at Rush. Some may say V motion for Run. (May be a meal onerous to swallow when a lot hyper lyrics prevail.) We’ll see. I say let Toddy Riley (Kool Moe Dee, Classical Two) end a few of the brothers’ cuts (just to keep away from clone-itis), give them to a document company with the juice, gusto, and angle to maneuver this challenge right, then press the dope up. Stand again. Watch SLF rock the earth’s surface.
– Harry Allen

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