Label Conscious: The Ghosts of Def Jams Past

Label Conscious: The Ghosts of Def Jam's Past By Dave Tompkins In 1995, the head-trauma wing at a nursing home in Bensonhurst began acquiring the lost memories of Def Jam's first rapper. Terry Keaton, a new patient at Haym Salomon hospital, had emerged from a coma unaware that he was T La Rock. Or that T La Rock had a hit in 1984 called "It's Yours." All of this was news to Keaton, as it was to neurologists. What was known is that the history of T La Rock — and perhaps the time of his life — had been purged from Terry Keaton's mind with a blunt instrument. The assailant was never caught, and Keaton spent much of his rehab listening to "It's Yours," recollecting lines that the rest of the hip-hop world had been quoting for the past decade. Residents at Haym Salomon — many suf

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Hip Hop vets taking part in Red Bull Skooled Tour

Red Bull recently announced that some Texas’ finest will take part in Red Bull’s Skooled Tour, a music mentorship program geared towards teaching young artists how to succeed in the music business. Bun B, Mannie Fresh, Paul Wall, Cold Cris, Michael 5000 Watts, Chingo Bling, and Hip-Hop PR guru Nancy Byron have been selected as mentors throughout the tour, which aims to “skool” some of Texas’ top indie rap groups. Artists slated to represent Texas’ independent movement are A.Dd+ (Dallas), The Niceguys (Houston), Worldwide (San Antonio), Kydd Jones (Austin) and DJ Sober (Dallas). The groups will hit the road on a six-city promotional tour through Texas, starting February 1st in Houston. The up-and-comers will be mentored on how to succeed in the music business by some

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Conspiracy Worldwide Radio speaks with Kool G Rap & Necro

Our good friends, Mista Montana and Menace of Conspiracy Worldwide Radio, are joined suited and booted by The Godfathers Kool G Rap and Necro for a 2 hour journey into their upcoming album. In this meeting, KGR and his new found partner in rhyme Necro sit down at the CWR table, offering a open and candid exploration into the creation and formulation of The Godfathers, citing each others work as a major influence throughout its recording. In addition, they discuss the parallels of Necro and Marley Marl's chemistry with G Rap, competition, including what could have become a beef between Juice Crew's Craig G and Necro many years ago, sampling, re-creating Kool G Rap and DJ Polo's 1990 classic Men At Work, Domingo, dirty raps, politics and much more in a must hear podcast with two of Hip

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Ice-T, Grandmaster Caz & Chuck D at Sundance

Ice-T, Chuck D and Grandmaster Caz are scheduled to perform at the Sundance Institute's annual Celebration of Music in Film on January 21 in Park City, Utah. Their performances are to celebrate Ice-T's documentary "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap," co-directed by Andy Baybutt, which examines the craft and skill of the music with input from Afrika Bambaataa, Nas, Mos Def, Eminem, Chuck D, KRS-One, Run-DMC, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg. It is the first time rap has been featured at the event, which in recent years has seen Lou Reed, Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt and Patti Smith headline. Sundance Film Music Program director Peter Golub and Lionsgate's head of film music Tracy McKnight program the event. In addition, the Sundance Institute will, for the first time, present live

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DJ Qbert heading out on the Bass Bizarre World Tour

Four time DMC World Champion, DJ Qbert and two time UK beatbox Champion Reeps One, have joined forces to create for the Bass Bizarre World Tour. The tour is designed as a free form musical experience where performance and technique are balanced. The two will mix the sounds of dubstep, Hip-Hop and drum n bass in free form for concert goers. The Bass Bizarre World Tour is what DJ Qbert’s calls his most musically diverse performance project to date and it represents a new chapter in his quest to break artistic boundaries. Reeps One is recognized as one of the most powerful beatboxers on the globe, and he plans to bring a new element not seen in Qberts previous performances. DJ Qbert & Reeps One will be hitting the road at the following select dates: Wednesday, February 8 Har

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Public Enemy puts spotlight on skid row

The concert stage for the Operation Skid Row festival was set up on Gladys Avenue between 5th and 6th, in the heart of downtown L.A.'s homeless district. As a white SUV turned onto Gladys, a murmur rippled through the crowd, turning into a roar as the hip-hop legend, elder statesman and co-organizer of the event, Public Enemy's Chuck D, exited the vehicle. The goal of the free show Sunday was twofold: for hip-hop artists to perform gratis for skid row residents, and to spotlight the economic and political plight of L.A.'s homeless. It was no coincidence that it was scheduled the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. As speakers would pointedly note from the stage, this is also the 20th anniversary year of the Rodney King riots and the 25th anniversary year of Public Enemy's exis

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