Friday, 20 April 2018

ABU Is 10 Years Old!


Today - 20th April 2018 - marks ten years since the Ageing B-Boys Unite! blog came into existence. Nope, I can't believe it either (I actually thought is was 11 years...).

Why did I start it?
Well, at the time there were a fair few hip-hop blogs around and after a few months of reading them I thought it was time to do one from a UK perspective. Also I had let my creative writing passion continue its' long-term hiatus ever since the days of Juice Fanzine in the 90s.
After seeing the banner written on an early Fat Lace Magazine which stated, "the magazine for ageing b-boys..." I reckoned I could use that. Well, c'mon, hip-hop is built on biting!

The links to every music file I ever uploaded are most likely all dead - mostly because I used the once-great file-sharing platform, Rapidshare which sadly became defunct in 2012. Many of the blogs I used to visit also relied on Rapidshare, too, which meant that all their content went the same way.

What's the future?
Who knows? Anyone who's been a regular over the years will know how quiet ABU! has been of late. Last year I even thought it was all over but, like the great Pete Tong says, we continue. We're not quite done and we limp awkwardly around here in 2018 not quite knowing what we're doing like a senile uncle. If it's okay with you we'll just put our collective feet up on this stool and sit quietly in the corner of the room sipping tea and dunking biscuits until the nurse comes over to administer the medication.
Will we be celebrating in another 10 years? I don't really want to have to think about that as I'll be heading towards a rather large milestone in my life.
But chances are, no.

I made some useful acquaintances over the years through the blog and I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there and I'll tell you that a guy named Supreme was a direct influence because of his blog. This now sounds completely lame because I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the blog he used to run. It did disappear a few years back in my defence.
I remember he once posted links to grab a tonne of (digital) Battle Breaks on one blog post years back which I thought was odd as the concept of digital DJing was still quite a new thing and I didn't rally understand how it worked. How times have changed?

Waxer and Disco Scratch came along pretty early on and we became a worthwhile alliance. This was early social networking.

Another blogger, Warlord seemed to be the epitome of that (awful) 'Tubthumping' song in that every time his blog got busted he came back again and refused to stay down. Although he has not been active for a while now.

And lastly, Ramses has been a long-time follower and I can remember knocking around with him in the golden days of the oldschoolhiphop.com forum. I would say 'R.I.P.' but the board is still going although not like the heady heights of the old days.

The reason for all of life's back luck and anger can be laid at the feet of one thing: Facebook.
Many people jumped ship and now use social media for their everyday news and music links - me included, so I can't complain. I just wish that Blogger  had incorporated Facebook into it's design a bit more then it may have given it a longer shelf life.

Anyhoo, this is me, Repo, wearing a party hat, blowing a plastic horn and about to cut a slice of birthday cake. Want some?

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Roxanne, Roxanne Movie Review

Why'd'ya Have To Make A Movie 'Bout Me...?!


There was talk of a Roxanne Shante screen adaptation some years ago and here it finally is.
This mid/low budget drama tells the story of Lolita Shante Gooden as she tries to make her way through life in early 1980s NYC, specifically the projects in Queensbridge.

It all looks rather clean for 1984, no filthy streets, clothes all immaculate; I imagined a totally different place back then.
Thirteen year-old Roxanne is constantly heralded as the Queen emcee, especially by her best friend who insists of announcing her presence wherever she goes, ("the champ is here, the champ is here"). Sadly though we don't get to actually see much battling as the story is more concerned in showing you Shante's personal battles than those out in the parks and basketball courts.

The REAL Roxanne (left) / TV Roxanne (right)

This is evident early on and we learn how much of a struggle she had with looking after her younger sisters and trying to keep her head up in the Projects. However we do eventually get to see Roxanne's first glimmer of fame as she records that answer record about UTFO up in Marley Marl's crib. The actor playing Marley has a slight resemblance to him and that works in his favour. Actually the actress playing Roxanne not only looks alike at times but has a similar name in real life - Chanté Adams.

We don't get to see a whole deal of the concerts and life in music as I explained earlier which may frustrate some because of course that is pretty much why many wanted this film to be made in the first place. Nevertheless it's a good insight into what made her the feisty young lady she became.

There is some A-list talent roped in to this project such as Forest Whitaker and Pharrell Williams who were two of the many producers, The RZA on scoring duties as well as the 1990s-honey dip, Nia Long (Boyz n the Hood, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) and 1/3 Beastie Boy, Adam Horovitz in a short cameo.
However for me though I feel it could've gone a bit deeper into the music as some of the Juice Crew were featured (albeit by actors) and I couldn't help thinking that we could've got some good stories out of them.

Oh, and the less said about the shoe-horned Nas scenes, the better.

Roxanne, Roxanne is available to watch on Netflix here.

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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.