Thursday, December 04, 2008
Hip Hop's Coming of Age
With it's huge popularity spike in the late 1990's and early 2000's Hip Hop now is the predominant sound heard coming out of almost every major nightclub in America. Unlike many past generations where there has been a huge jump musically, Hip Hop has spanned several generations of fans. For many new fans it may be hard to believe that Hip Hop is as old as their parents that it actually started over 30 years ago in the urban ghettos of The Bronx and Queens New York. Given that the MC appears to be at the core of Hip Hop as we now know it, it may be hard for this generation to understand that it was always the DJ that ultimately was the heart and soul of Hip Hop music and its resulting culture. But as Hip Hop continued to evolve over the past three decades it commercialized and greedy profiteers tried to seperate the elements of Hip Hop (Deejaying, Emceeing, Breaking & Art/Graphiti) deeming the MC as more important than the DJ when it came to selling "the product" and would seperate the two. But in the end it would be inevitable that Hip Hop would One day mature and want to be reunited with the creators it ran away from. Today we are witnessing Hip Hop's new coming of age.
While in many ways it may seem that the DJ has practically been removed from the equation, there is a huge movement taking Hip Hop back to it's roots. DJs are now remixing many classics and adding more classic Hip Hop and disco era tracks back into rotation. They are breathing new life back into the staggnating beats and limiting views that "Rap Music" was starting to create.
While Hip Hop once was centered around loops created from pre-existing Funk, Rock, Soul & Disco records it moved away from this practice and as a result partially lost it's soul. Beats became stagnant, and lyrics also took a dive for commercial gains. Newer generations lost touch with the music of the previous generations and many of the old fans were left to wonder what happened to their favorite artists leading to NAS' question "where are they now?"
There are a select few from these eras that still put out albums and singles that have the strength to go the distance. Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, KRS One, Guru, Too Short, E-40 and a few others along with later generations like Nas, Jay-Z, and a handful of others. All others from those eras now exist only through their fans, their legacies and the Deejays that still have their records and still play them to thousands of new fans.
Hip Hop is still evolving, it once was all about the perfect party vibe or getting out an important message then branched out to its darker side with Gangster Rap, Hardcore and more violent lyrics. It now is again evolving, taking Techno and Electro head on by actually using and modifying Electro beats and sounds and incorporating it into the Hip Hop genre. The playing speed of hip hop has widened in range to now also include Electronic nightclub music speeds making it even more accesible and energetic for todays nightclub crowds.
So now we ask once again, "what of the original Hip Hop gurus, where are they now?" They're making a comeback from the unsung heroes that have been there for Hip Hop (and music in general) the whole time, the Deejays. Deejays are digging in their crates blending and mashing up the old with the new and the new with the newer, the Rock with Hip Hop and Techno. It is Hip Hop's coming of age, it has come full circle and now Hip Hop is being created again the way it was always intended, without the boundries we later labeled it with. Boundries like "Rap Music vs Techno vs Country vs Rock" the boundries have been erased and the music that is being re-created is purely amazing. Public Enemy gets remixed over a DJ Khaled beat, Eric B and Rakim classics remixed over newer Timbaland beats, LL Cool J over DJ Feli Fel Beats, Jay-Z over Hard Rock Hits you name it and someone has masterfully re-created it. DJ's like The Rockit-Scientists, DJ Sizzahandz, John Farrugio, DJ Emir, Victor Menegaux, DJ Z-Trip, DJ AM, The Klutch Beat Boutique and countless others.
While we as huge fans of Das EFX would personally love to see the boys back in the game, we will gladly listen to their classics and remixes of their classics again and again in the clubs, on the mixtapes and in mixshow sets across the globe, from the new breed of Deejays that are breathing new life back into the nightclub scenes and Hip Hop scenes of the world.
If you want to hear some hot classic cuts revisited there are several hot Deejays that we recommend you see live. DJ Z-Trip, DJ AM, DJ Emir, DJ Craze, DJ Riz and DJ A-Trak
Amongst those Deejays that create remix blends, mashups and mixtapes there are a few choice Deejay websites of note:
www.djztrip.com Z-Trip is one of the original mashup kings, and some consider him as one of the fathers of mashup mixes. He is an amazing DJ when seen live at the nightclubs.
www.djemir.com Home of one of the livest overall nightclub Deejays in the world. The site also features several hot mixtapes including personal favorites the Transformers mixtape , the Iron Man Mixtape and the Star Wars Mixtape
www.DJCraze.com home of the multi DMC world Championship title winning DJ. If you get a chance see him Live at the clubs, the boy is insane. Open your minds and listen, watch and observe a true DJ as he shows everyone the meaning of true skill and mastery of the turntables.
www.DJAM.com One of the worlds most sought after Deejays, AM is a Friday resident at Pure nightclub Las Vegas and also resident at LAX Sunday Nights. He travels the globe Deejaying the worlds top nightclubs and parties and really knows how to put down exciting DJ sets and performances.