Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Rammellzee R.I.P.

Rammellzee, hip hop visionary, ex-graffiti writer and non-conformist, Lee 'Scratch' Perry-alike, all-round nutbag, has very sadly died.

I like many others first heard the nasal tones of this interesting guy via the ball-breakingly long hip hop classic, Beat Bop (1983) whilst listening to Electro 2.
His other big moment was his standout appearance in Wild Style (1982) featuring in the Ampitheatre scene at the end. For many, this is the best scene of the film and after witnessing this yourself you may  agree.

If you have the Style Wars dvd in your possession then you may be aware of his contribution to the disc's Extras section. He makes a strong case in his concept of "warring letters". Here is one of his quotes:

"The Romans stole the alphabeta system from the Greeks through war. Then, in medieval times, monks ornamented letters to hide their meaning from the people. Now, the letter is armored against further manipulation."

Even though his discography was not as large as others from the same era, he leaves us with a enduring piece of music that will live on for ever. The ending of Style Wars wouldn't have sounded the same with anything else.

Rock on. To the breaka dawn.

Here are some of his standouts.

The end scene of Wild Style. Check Rammellzee's confidence as he wields his piece!

Rare footage from 1983. Witness a master on the mic.

Rammellzee Vs K. Rob - "Beat Bop" (1983).


Interview with 149th St

Rammellzee's Myspace

Monday, 21 June 2010

Style Wars The Original Soundtrack - Mk II

I've rebooted my original version of the Style Wars Soundtrack which I made just over a year ago.
This version includes extra dialogue (as indeed, inspired from a thought by Mr Lovegrove), a remix of the intro piece as well as a brand spanking new cover (courtesy of P. Shop).
Respect to Waxer for reminding me about this, too.

Download freely as this is a must for all ageing b-boys and b-girls.

EDIT: This has since been updated again (V.3) which is found here.

01  I'm Not An Art Critic   0:35   Bernie Jacobs

02  The Death Of Arthur (Götterdämmerung) (Style Wars Version)  6:36   Trevor Jones

03  They Call Themselves Writers  0:45

04  8th Wonder   7:25   Sugar Hill Gang

05  Seen's 6-Month Vacation   0:47 

06  The Wanderer   2:49   Dion & The Belmonts

07  Skeme Does Doodle On The Paper   0:36   Skeme

08  Jam Hot   7:20   Johnny Dynell

09  Iz The Wiz Has An Orgasm   0:26 

10  Pump Me Up   6:39   Trouble Funk

11  Kase2 - Extra Telest   0:45 

12  The Message   7:13   Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

13  Trap's Gonna Be The Next Picasso   0:29 Dez & Trap

14  Beat Bop   10:11 Rammelzee Vs. K Rob

15  Skeme's Out To Destroy All Lines   0:39   Skeme

16  Sing, Sing   7:20   Gaz

17  I Call That Fairy-Flying   0:42   Rock Steady Crew

18  Give It Up or Turnit a Loose   6:12   James Brown

19  Live Third Rails & Crazy Cops   0:30   Dondi

20  Rockin It   6:39   Fearless Four

21  Writer's Bench   0:53   We Are All Graffiti Writers

22  Rocket In The Pocket 3:30   Cerrone

23  I'd Kill You Maaan   0:37   Crazy Lady

24  Feel The Heartbeat   5:35   Treacherous Three

25  Iz's Prophecy   0:19   Iz The Wiz

Ahh, I like that!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Recommendation! - Style Warrior

The 'Heroes' LE print

Music Of Life shirt - upcoming

There are a few places you can find the old UK b-boys hanging out these days. If not here then over at Waxer's Disco Scratch or Websta's Heroes website. There's some really interesting people about and some are still working hard pushing forwards with the UK ethic.

I've dug out the old original logo and dusted it off to bring your attention to one of these people in particular, Lovegrove, and his Style Warrior site.
A few years back he originally produced some Hijack t-shirts and then moved on to Overlord X, Son of Noise, Gunshot and MC Mell'O'. Being an ex-writer means that he has that graphic edge just right for design work.
He is now in the process of putting together a Music Of Life shirt and has the blessing of Simon Harris, too. More news on this when I have it.

In the meantime you can still just about get hold of one of the few remaining copies of his Limited Edition 'Heroes' print. This comes in A2 in size, printed in 3 spot colours using a litho press on a heavyweight art stock paper. Look closely at the picture and see how many legendary British acts you can see.
I own one and it really is a thing of beauty. Get yourself over to and grab one today. Or email Lovegrove at

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Hush Hip Hop Tour Flicks


All pictures are the property of J Glover. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Hush Hip Hop Tours are based in New York City and take the form of a busride through the city stopping at famous landmarks along the way with luminaries such as GrandMaster Caz from The Cold Crush Brothers, Kurtis Blow, Rahiem of The Furious Five or even Reggie Reg from The Crash Crew stepping onboard.

One ABU! member, Jim, has had the lucky fortune of going on one of the tours and has very kindly sent in all of these fantastic shots. In his own words this is his description of each picture.

1, 2 & 3 - The Bronx Walk Of Fame

4 - A b-boy demonstrating one of the elements on the hip hop tour.

5 - Grandmaster Caz with his reply to 'Rapper's Delight'. He was left out of a bigger place in history by his then manager who stole his rhymes in a audition for the Sugarhill Gang, so he'd written a slightly scathing attack on the track, describing what happened.

6 - Caz demonstrating the look and attitude.

7 - This was once Harlem World, in Harlem, where people came from all over the 5 Boroughs in the late 70's to check out what was going down in the Bronx.

8 & 9 - It looks very different now, now that most of it has been demolished, but this is the amphitheatre used in Wild Style.  Shame really, but at least some of it remains.

10 - Random photo of a gateway to the Bronx.

11 - Kool Herc DJ'd his first party here in 1973. There were so many people trying to get in that it eventually moved outside and became the first block party.

12 - Two members of the Disco Four who were just walking along the street as we passed them by. The girl that runs the tour gave them each a t-shirt of the tour.

13 - Caz outside the Graffiti Hall Of Fame, East Harlem. It was closed for a while when we got there (June 2008) when these photos were taken.

14 - Caz and his helpful tour guide assistant show us how to get ''..power from a street light, made the place dark'' - I love that track DJ Scott La Rock, Blastmaster KRS. One & D-Nice - 'South Bronx'.

Thanks so much to Jim for this. I don't know know about you but this has made me feel just a bit closer to our heritage and has now fueled my desire to eventually reach the birthplace of hip hop at least before I'm 50 (I'm giving myself plenty of scope here, y'understand!)

Edit: Looking at the shots of the ampitheatre - it seems to have shrunk since 1982! Look at the pictures of the Wild Style jam with all the artists on stage and audience watching and it seemed massive. The awe I felt when LEE climbed over the main arch seems to have dampened a little as I see that it wasn't that high up after all.


Hush Hip Hop Tours

Me after seeing the Ampitheatre shots

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

BBC 6 Music Street Sounds Special

Especially of interest to the European b-boys and possibly the more open-eared US counterparts is news that Street Sounds' mogul Morgan Khan will be taking part in a special 2-hour special on the radio.

Yes, on 20th June tune into BBC Radio 6 Music at 8pm and we'll hear the man elaborate on a few stories from the once-great British record label from the 80's.
Maybe we'll hear tales of how he watched in awe of the legendary Mastermind in a blur around his precious GLI as he mixed Electro 9? Or maybe how he guffawed to himself as he coined the immortal 'Electro is aural sex' tagline?

However, I feel my 'Hat Of Scorn' calling to be placed atop my noggin whilst listening in.
Well, for a start it's being hosted by Dave Pearce.
A lot of you reading this will already be feeling a sharp jab in your sides at the mere mention of his name which is a shame as this man was responsible for a lot of people getting into hip hop in the late 1980's via his A Fresh Start To The Week show on Radio London.
Unfortunately he dropped hip hop faster than a fat man discovering that he's inadvertently picked up a salad stuffed-crust pizza before it's descent.
Dave employed the prefix 'Dangerous' and jumped on the Techno bandwagon, not forgetting to add 'Eating Pies' to his list of hobbies on his CV along the way whereby playing as much rap in his sets as Steve Wright currently does in the afternoons.

Another reason I have my doubts is that a few years ago there was a much pant-wettingly, anticipated special on BBC's 'yoof' (that's the first time I've ever spelled it like that. Does that mean I'm officially an old git?) station BBC 1Xtra which featured the Grand Daddy of Electro and Hip Hop on UK radio, Mike Allen.
It ended up being a rather tame affair in which nothing new was learned about the man. And he didn't even spin the tunes himself. He'd sold his collection. And the choice of music was mediocre to say the least - no obscure classics that we remembered from days of yore. More like Our Price Presents Some Right Hip Hop Stonkers and presented by Timmy Mallet.

But I can't help thinking like this. Hip Hop has hurt me in the past and my defences are already up ready to shield me to the upcoming knowledge that maybe Morgan Khan wasn't always the smiliest and nicest man in Electro after all I'd read in The Street Scene back in my bedroom in 1985.
Fingers crossed, eh?


BBC Radio 6

Wise To The Game

I've been listening to a great mix today from DJ AD.
Entitled Wise To The Game, it's just a touch over 30 minutes and features some well-known joints all deftly mixed together with some choice samples and snatches of dialogue from tv and films (Only Fools And Horses!)

Grab it here.

For more on DJ AD visit his pages here and here.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Is This The Ampitheatre From Wild Style?

View Larger Map

As the title it?
Unfortunately there is no Google Street View close enough to check but this aerial view looks promising.
Going on the adverts in my Wild Style Sampler book, it is "4 blocks south of Houston St" or "Delancey St" depending on which advert you read.
At least it's still around.

Talking of which, I haven't read that book since I got it 3 years ago and as I cracked it open again tonight it still had that lovely 'new book' smell. Beautiful.

If anyone can shed any light on the whereabouts of the location of the Wild Style mural then that would be double def fresh.
All I know is that it was done in Riverside Park in NY. But one Google search later and I realise that Riverside Park is big. Very Big.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Disclaimer - Important!

The links to MP3 files provided in these posts are to be used for previewing only. AGEING B-BOYS UNITE ™ does not keep the files here, this Blog is merely a gateway, an Information Desk if you will, to point you in the right direction. Once downloaded, all files should be destroyed within 7 days.