One of early hip-hop’s most skilled DJs, Grand Wizard Theodore is universally acknowledged as the inventor of the scratch. Grandmaster Flash pioneered many early turntable techniques, including “cutting” records (manually cueing up duplicate copies of the same record in order to play the same passage, cutting back and forth between them), but it was the young Theodore who built on Flash’s work by taking the scratching sound made when the records were cued, and adding a rhythm that made the turntable into a percussion instrument the DJ could “play.” Theodore is also credited with pioneering the needle drop, a technique where, instead of cueing up the record silently, the DJ simply drops the needle onto the exact start of the passage to be played. Grand Wizard Theodore was born Theodore Livingstone and grew up in the Bronx. His older brothers Gene and Claudio were an early hip-hop duo called the L-Brothers, and they frequently collaborated with Grandmaster Flash. Flash discovered that young Theodore (not even a teenager yet) had a natural affinity for the turntables, and when Flash spun records in public parks, he would sometimes set up a milk crate to let Theodore DJ. According to legend, Theodore invented scratching largely by accident, circa 1977 (when he was about 13 or 14); holed up in his bedroom playing records, Theodore had to pause to hear his mother scold him about the volume, and happened to move one of the records back and forth. He liked the sound and played with it often, developing the technique until it was ready for public performance. Flash picked up on it quickly, and Theodore in turn began copying Flash’s acrobatic record-spinning tricks (using his elbows, feet, etc.). By the time the ’80s rolled around, Grand Wizard Theodore was one of the top DJs in New York. He hooked up with a crew that was most often billed as Grand Wizard Theodore and the Fantastic 5 MCs, which released the cult classic single “Can I Get a Soul Clap” in 1980 on the Tuff City label. The group never recorded a proper album, but they did appear in the 1983 old school hip-hop film Wild Style (which later became a cult classic); they recorded several songs on the soundtrack and appeared in an MC battle sequence with their chief rivals the Cold Crush Brothers. While Grand Wizard Theodore never received the same wide acclaim as Grandmaster Flash during his career, he was eventually rediscovered by hip-hop historians, which helped him land some international DJ gigs in the ’90s. He also appeared at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 1999 hip-hop conference, and teaches advanced classes in the art of DJing.
DJ Precision is currently one of the world’s greatest DJs. In 2012, he captured his second DMC USA title and went on to place second overall at the DMC World Finals. he is one of the newest members of the legendary DJ collective X-ecutioners (since 2006) and also is an instructor at DubSpot DJ school in New York.
“P-Money is New Zealand’s most renowned Producer and DJ. His incredible talents in the studio and behind the decks have made him a household name in NZ and an artist to watch internationally.”
Only a handful of DJ’s can create both a great live mix and produce amazing original songs, move a dancefloor in the smallest of clubs and knock out main-stage festival sets of legendary proportions. When you shift your lens towards the South Pacific I’d dare say there is only one man here who fits the description. P-Money, the Papakura born DJ and Record Producer, is an iconic figure of our New Zealand music scene and for very good reason.
P-Money’s musical prowess is certified with a string of Number One hits and Platinum selling albums to his credit. A true ambassador of NZ Music he co-wrote and produced five of the biggest New Zealand singles of the past decade; “Not Many”, “Stand Up”, & “Stop The Music ft Scribe”, “Keep On Callin ft Akon” and “Everything ft Vince Harder”. The latter of which broke through to UK airwaves on BBC1 and was dubbed Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World.
He and partner Callum August founded independent record label Dirty Records in 2001, birthing the careers of local rap superstars Scribe, David Dallas and PNC. When Dirty Record’s released the debut album from P-Money “Big Things” an entire generation of hip-hop artists were inspired and a new benchmark had been set for all local releases to follow.
As a teenager P-Money poured endless hours into his craft of DJ’ing, a discipline that would see him compete in numerous DJ Battles worldwide and culminate in a 3rd Place prize at the DMC World DJ Championship (a Bronze Medal in the Olympics of the DJ World!). The skills developed during those competitive years are evident every time P takes the stage.
2012 has seen an abundance of great new work from P-Money including collaborations with George FM radio buddy Dan Aux on the Kitsune released single “Kinda Lovin” and with sister-DJ-duo MayaVanya on their electric club tune “Turn Me Out ft. Kaleena Zanders”. P was also enlisted to add some throwback hip-hop soul to Iva Lamkum’s “Doo Bop” and put a club twist on Six60′s “Only To Be” Remix. Let’s not forget, producing entire albums for soul sensation Aaradhna “Treble and Reverb” and Australian female emcee Sky’High “Forever Sky High”.
For a guy with this much talent and ambition it’s only right that you’d find P-Money presently based in New York City, home of the Hip-Hop culture that molded him, creating new music and working with international artists while continuing to carry the torch for NZ. (from pmoneymusic.com)
For the longest time, Ive had soo many people come up to me and ask me…”How did you get into bboying??”” How long have you been bboying!?”” Whats your favorite color?”” how do mooses get rid of dingle berries? ” etc.
Well heres how it goes.
I went to school at hammond highschool, Mind you a was never really the popular kid…no i was more like the kid that loved to sit by himself and draw, the kid who would rather spend his lunch in the art room, the kid who saved his lunch money every day to give it to the girl he had a crush on, or to spend that money on candy and cookies rather than a real meal. No real social life, as a matter of fact i CONSTANTLY tried to fit in. I tried the whole “bad” thing to get attention, fights, stealing, u know that stupid stuff. I would get teased and picked on because I was obviously trying too hard (i was a skinny kid with bucked teeth and glasses w/bad asthma).
On the quest to be “cool” my friend Dallas aka Decptikon aka Jet Jaguar (hes got a lot of names) he tried to teach me how to rollerblade by the local lake front. I wiped out pretty much every single attempt. I damn well gave up and sat there. “wait, whats that sound?” I hear music! I run over and BLAM!!!! its a buncha bboys getting down on some linoleum! I knew some moves! like the worm and moonwalk so i wanted to show it off, but too scared. The guys are like “come on! get in!” so i do it! next thing you know i was accepted! Dallas found me and he fell in love too! from then on we started a little breakdance team and practiced as much as we could, teaching ourselves moves. There was no youtube or bboyworld, we had to communicate through emails and home phones. We met bboy neko through his very popular website, he was local and he taught us a lot! ABC (apocalyptic breakin’ crew) was born.
I had no establilshed style, just a buncha goofin around. Thats how my style came about! Im a big kid at heart and it shows in my dancing. Kids are fearless with incredible imaginations! a lot of “make believing”. Thats when i met Evil ben aka Red beard, aka nicodemus (sp?) He taught me power and taught me how to use my creativity!
I started doing moves no one in the area could do! Jackhammers, babies, hand hops etc. 3 years in the game and i started making a name for myself! Atomic goofball was growing and growing! until the unfortunate happens, chest surgery!
Growing up ive had a deformity in my chest, i think they called it pectus excavatum. Mine was a pretty serious form, sternum growing very close to my lungs and heart. The corrective surgery woulda happened when i was younger but parents feared i wouldnt be able to handle it. SO i went on with life being made fun of cuz of my “bird chest”. Rents decided to have me undergo the surgery when i was older (3-4 years into my breakin career) It sucked!!! painful..i had to be in and out of the hospital for weeks, chest kept filling up with blood so i had this blood drainer sticking outta my chest to collect the overflowing juices (tasty huh?) I was out of the game. Doc and rents said no more bboying. I can understand, i couldnt even to a push up or a handstand, this really jacked me up.
It was corrective surgery done on my chest.
The surgery caused me to be in and out of the hospital for weeks due to complications. Months go by and the healing process is long. The doctors said that getting back into breakdancing is not a good idea and that it should be forgotten. The scene grew strong and l grew weak. Almost a year goes by, and all moves are lost.
Suicidal and depressed, I was about to give up, until I realized…”bboying is what im meant to do”. I trained secretly in my basement, and had to re learn Hand stands and headstands. Still couldn’t even do a simple push up!!!!!
After all the hard training, it paid off. ATOMIC GOOFBALL came back out into the scene with a vengeance! and with all that I have been through, I act as a messenger for all those out there who want to achieve their dreams! anything is possible and the Im here to prove it!
More at atomicgoofball.wordpress.com
Odaymara Cuesta and Olivia Prendes are Cuban Hip Hop MCs, Independent Musicians, Poets, Theater Performers representing Womyn, Immigrants, Queer and People of Color Action as a Central Part of World Change. They choose the art as a weapon to fight for rights, for balance, for justice, against oppression. They were both born and raised in Cuba and began in the ”Artivism” early in their lives.
In 1996, they founded the first vegan and queer activist arts group in Havana, Cuba, called Cubensi. By 1999, they had chosen hip hop music as their preferred form of expression, recording their first album, Cubensi Hip Hop, in 2003.
In 2006, they relocated to Austin, Texas. They have performing, recording, giving workshops, educating and touring in The Caribbean, North, Central and South America. They bring Cubensi Hip Hop, Dance Hall, Cumbia, Old School, Mixtapes and New Strongly Beautiful Beats from all around the World with their Amazing Afro Caribbean Rebel Lyrics & Voices to empower the community.
Mandeep Sethi is a California grown recording artist and filmmaker who uses media as a digital catalyst of spiritual change. With film and music as his primary mediums employed, Mandeep’s contributions to his local and global community are focused around working alongside youth to inspire and cultivate change.
His latest documentary is entitled “SIKLIGAR”, a 20 minute visual focusing on the weapons makers of the Sikhs and their current living conditions. His latest musical achievements include performing on MTV Coke Studios India with Producer Extraodainaire Karsh Kale, as well as being a special guest performer at the HBO South Asian International Film Festival in New York City.
Mandeep utilizes music and film as his tools of expression, enabling himself as a storyteller of the people. He is currently in pre-production for his next project, entitled “Folk Lok”, which is centered around the preservation of Traditional Punjabi Folk Music through the lens of 21st century producers and musicians, with a specific look at Punjabi language Hip-Hop.
THE WELFARE POETS began their journey when two Cornell students came together to write poetry/rhymes of protest and upliftment, accompanied by congas (percussions). A band was created from this union with the purpose of using culture as a tool of resistance, and in the summer of 2000, the group released their first independent album “Project Blues.” Since then the group has released 2 other band albums as well as 2 compilations/fundraisers. Over their existence, the Welfare Poets have been cultural activists directly involved in social justice efforts addressing police brutality, political prisoners, the colonial status of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Naval occupation of the island, environmental justice, gentrification in New York City and the death penalty. Through teaching residencies and workshops, activism around community struggles, and sharp-edged performances that incorporate Hip Hop, Bomba y Plena, Latin Jazz and other rhythms, the Welfare Poets bring information and inspiration to those facing oppression and those fighting for liberation.
Lah Tere is a humanitarian, organizer, activist, femcee, songstress, and a visionary speaker for the 21st Century. The Afro-Antillian/Puerto Rican/Boricua sister grew up in Chicago’s historic Puerto Rican community of Humboldt Park near the famed Paseo Boricua. She is first generation born on the mainland, and the daughter of revolutionary educators and survivors of Chicago’s notorious ghettos.
Lah was a member of Rebel Diaz, an internationally known rap group that took a critical and political stance on many social issues from police brutality on the streets of New York to violence against women globally. Her dedication and hard work granted her the opportunity to travel to Spain, Germany, Guatemala, Chile and Venezuela. She was also a founding member of the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (RDAC), a multimedia arts and music community center in the South Bronx.
Lah is a co-founder of Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen: The Soup Kitchen for the Hip Hop Soul (MHHK), a multifaceted hip hop event designed to showcase women artists, especially women of color. MHHK serves as a social justice community-organizing platform that educates and empowers women of color on issues that impact their lives, including Health, HIV/AIDS and reproductive justice.
Through her political and global activism, Lah Tere has worked to carve her own niche outside of the commercial hip-hop industry, and focused on building communities from within. As an emcee, she uses hip-hop as a didactic tool as well as an emotional release.
Lah Tere writes and performs about domestic violence issues and links popular media examples of violence against women to secrets and silences in communities of color around molestation, rape, and other forms of violence against women’s bodies that is too often normalized and naturalized in popular culture.
Lah is also the founder of InnerCityQueens, an organization who is set out to provide a mobile safe healing space for children, women and men in war torn/third world countries through events, workshops, and meditation using the arts. In recent years Lah Tere’s vision of teaching women and children about the healing power of Hip Hop truly manifested itself. She taught and performed in some of the poorest communities in Palestine (West Bank), Guatemala City ( Comunidad Incencio) and Ireland’s Ballymun. Having witnessed the pain of children who were sex trafficked, and severely poor made her life’s purpose clear to her.
Lah is globally sharing her message that “Self-Love dissolves Self-Hate” and is conjointly working on her own personal healing.
Be on the look out for her debut solo album titled “Made of Honor” which is armed with piercing lyrics and a message that could change the world for better. Lah Tere plans on bringing everything to the party, and leaving no life untouched.
Known as the “voice and face of Hip-Hop in Trinidad & Tobago”, Chromatics was exposed to Calypso and Soca, Reggae, Dancehall and Hip Hop at an early age growing up in St. Joseph. Of British and East Indian descent, ‘Matics’ first hit – “Start it!” – dropped in 2003 and was followed up by “Put It Up” and “The Ballad” in 2005. Since 2007, he has recorded in the same studio Notorious BIG recorded Life After Death (Caribbean Sound Basin), opened shows for the likes of Dougie Fresh, Slick Rick, Cool Kids and RZA and performed in the USA, Europe and throughout the Caribbean. As one journalist noted that “Chromatics is not just a rapper, but an entity, not just the CCO of Highway Records, but his own brand, with his music store, studio and most recently his all hip-hop radio program “The Grind” on Next 99.1 fm in T&T.” In 2012, he released the smash hit “Carnival Rap Up 2012” along with the innovative concept album, “The Business of Art”. His highly anticipated album, “The Science of Colours Vol. III” dropped in February of this year.
HUMANIST is a french artist from Burkina Faso who takes us on a trip from the West world to Africa by means of a sincere and thoughtful rap accompanied by a warm and melodious flow that becomes richer with digital (Dj’ing, MPC, electro…) as well as acoustic tones (Kora, Peul flute, balafon…) inviting us to dance and think, or simply arouse our senses.
HUMANIST tells us the story of his life with an African wizard’s sensitivity without choosing the casy way out of saintliness and victimization, always with a positive state of mind : the hip hop state of mind.