Monday, August 10, 2015

Playlist Retreat 2015 - DJ Jazzy Jeff brings the brightest minds together to preserve the future of Hip Hop

I get into this debate with my partner here at Upperhands all the time.
"Why can't artists get together and make music more often?
What else do these guys have to do?
They're artists... so make art".
Well here is why.
And I don't mind it at all.

Imagine being able to assemble some of the most amazing artists and minds of a given genre of art 
into one place where their talents and intellect could crash into each other like the Big Bang theory?
Well DJ Jazzy Jeff imagined this happening and decided to bring it to his backyard... 
and living room...and basement.... and kitchen.

Along with the DJ company Serato, DJ Jazzy Jeff acted as if he were the 
Professor Xavier of Hip Hop DJ's and producers
and assembled the illest crew of artists you could ever want to be in one room together.

DJ Spinna, Tall Black Guy Productions,  Z Trip, DJ Scratch, Shortkut, Rich Medina, DJ Day, 
Young Guru, Lord Finesse, Four Color Zack, Stro Elliot, DJ Numark, Daniel Crawford, Scratch Bastid, DJ Cash Money, Sonny James and more 

Without further ado...

DJ Jazzy Jeff and Serato present :
Playlist Retreat 2015

The entire Playlist Retreat 2015 crew

Dj Jazzy Jeff, Rich Medina 

Z Trip 

DJ Spinna, Lord Finesse 

DJ Spinna

Z Trip and Taku


DJ Jazzy Jeff 

DJ Numark

That's some Grammy award winnin floppy right there!!

Questlove in da house!

This is early in the morning at the #PlaylistRetreat sharing & receiving scratching knowledge with @skratchbastid @djday @djjazzyjeff @hedspin & @djspinna. I was explaining to my DJ Brothers that back in the day we never named scratches. I never knew what a "Flare" was but as I watched @skratchbastid teaching @djspinna how to flare I was like damn! I've been doing that scratch to "Pump Me Up" since the mid 1980's & never knew that was a Flare!! So I was showing them in this video with both hands & @skratchbastid confirmed that it was a Flare. I learned the scratch language that morning. Later on @djday taught me a different CRAZY scratch pattern that I have to master. Knowledge is power. As @djjazzyjeff told me, "We've been Masters for Decades, now it's time for us to become Students again". He's absolutely right
A video posted by Turntable Whisperer (@djscratch) on

A video posted by THUGLI (@thuglimusic) on

A video posted by Tall Black Guy (@tallblackguyproductions) on

Special Thanks to : Parents just not understanding Hip Hop.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

VERSA Instrumental Beat Tape NEW! Free Download!

This one goes out to the beat tape heads!
Chock full of the chillest chin stroking beats out there written and produced by
one of my favorite underground hip hop beat makers out there, VERSA.

Click on the player to also access a free download 
of the 30 minute tape and for more VERSA beats, 
check the man's Soundcloud! YA HEARD!

Special Thanks to : Anyone out there keeping underground Hip Hop beats alive.

Scientist ... Dub Mastah NEW Record Series!!

Everyone who is into Dub Reggae out there just "Up Ya Lighta"!!
"Up Ya Lighta"!!
"Up Ya Lighta"!!

Scientist is back with a whole slew of content for us in the form of a new 
vinyl record series!!

Scientist - Wins the World Cup
The Final King Tubby's Session

Scientist - Meets the Space Invaders

Scientist - Encounters PAC - MAN

Scientist - Heavyweight Dub Champion

Scientist - Big Showdown

Special Thanks to : Duke Du Rock and Smash Le Funk getting me into Dub Reggae, Scientist, Being only feet away from King Tubby's original speaker system here in Los Angeles a couple of years ago.

STUSSY collaborates with A Tribe Called Quest NEW Clothing Line

STUSSY collaborates with A Tribe Called Quest NEW Clothing Line

For an In Depth look at how this project came about, 
check out this piece written by Peter Rosenberg of Stussy!

How can I possibly write a succinct article about what A Tribe Called Quest means to me? They mean everything. My entire career path was dictated by the love I have for this group. I went from being an obsessive teenage fan who waited for hours to see them from the front row to a colleague of sorts who has introduced them in front of 20,000 people. Music is the passion of my life—and I love no one in music more than A Tribe Called Quest.
A Tribe Called Quest is responsible for more people falling in LOVE with hip hop than any other act in the history of the genre. Other artists sold more records and some reached more people, but no other artist turned people into hip hop heads more than Tribe. I know it first hand. I went from clearly curious and interested in hip hop to full blown obsessed after one listen to The Low End Theory.
I then went back and listened to People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (I had really only known the singles previously). The love got deeper. The music, the words, the general feel (does any song in history more encapsulate a particular feel than ‘After Hours’ does late night in New York City?) was so exciting. It all just felt like home. I somehow identified with these three (sometimes four) kids from Queens.
In a way, the personalities of Tribe can be applied to any regular group of teenage friends. Q-Tip was the cool friend. He was still likeable and smart, but he had game with girls since elementary school. Phife was the sports obsessed homey, who still loved girls and partying, but was all about his sports and hanging with the crew. Ali was the most studious of the three, but still cool. He played the background, but when he talked, everyone listened. And Jarobi brought the passion and energy. I knew these guys. They were my friends.
Tribe also had the uncanny ability to feature other artists who I was also starting to discover. Diamond D., Brand Nubian, Pete Rock, Busta Rhymes, and Redman were all guys I loved on my own—and so did Tribe. They knew where I was going as a hip hop fan and they helped shape my interests in the culture. They taught me about the Zulu Nation and made me love De La and the Jungle Brothers more than I already did (Black Sheep and Leaders too).
‘Bonita Applebum’ and ‘Can I Kick It?’ were legitimate hip hop hits. ‘Check the Rhime’ was big too. If forced to choose THE ONE that changed everything, though, it has to be ‘Scenario’. ‘Scenario’ has been a club winner for over 20 years at this point, but at the time it was just this incredibly fun posse cut with multiple parts that you could sing along to. ‘Scenario’ is not only Tribe’s defining song, it is arguably Busta Rhymes’ defining song as well. It took Tribe to new heights and was the perfect appetizer for what was to come next.
Midnight Marauders, their third LP, dropped in November of 1993—the best month in hip hop history (the same month that brought us Wu Tang and Snoop Dogg’s debuts). This album sealed the deal. It solidified Tribe as more than kids who were making some good music. They became one of the best groups in music—period. The underground loved them, they played at the party, and they received critical acclaim.
If you were 14 in 1993 and attending a multi-ethnic school like I was, Tribe was life. My first kiss was soundtracked by ‘Electric Relaxation’. My first real concert was seeing Tribe at Richie Coliseum on campus at the University of Maryland. They started the show with ‘Steve Biko’ (the first song on the album) and closed with ‘God Lives Through’ (the last). They did everything right for the young music fan who was falling in love with music for the first time.
While touring for Midnight Marauders, a young producer named Jay-Dee came into the picture and changed Tribe’s aesthetic forever. A rapper named Consequence also appeared out of the blue and rapped alongside Tip and Phife for most of their fourth album, Beats, Rhymes and Life. During the same period, Phife was living in Atlanta. Things got different.
I still loved their music. In my opinion, their last two albums are both excellent—particularly Beats, Rhymes and Life. And their fifth and final album, brought one of their best singles ever, ‘Find a Way’. The glory days were gone, though. They had problems internally and as a fan, I could feel it. They never quite got back to that 1993 zone.
In the years since that last album they have pulled it together for some wonderful moments. They headlined the Rock the Bells Tour (where I was able to be around them and introduce them) and were tremendous on stage even if they struggled behind the scenes. New York-born actor Michael Rappaport made a great documentary about them named for the aforementioned Beats, Rhymes and Life album. Two years ago they opened two shows in New York for Kanye West and declared the shows their last as a group.
The Tribe story is not over. For starters, they will perform together again one day. Beyond that, though, A Tribe Called Quest cannot cease to exist in the same way Led Zeppelin cannot cease to exist. As long as there are young people discovering music for the first time, A Tribe Called Quest will continue to be a critical part of American music. And as long as there are millions of fans like me, there will forever be people around to remind you of their greatness just in case you forget.
—Peter Rosenberg

Special Thanks to : People's Instinctive Travels and the Many Paths of Their Rhythms, Citing Low End Theories to anyone who will listen, Marauding at Midnight, These Beats, Rhymes and Life that pump through my veins and a constant outward Love Movement for those who are down with the culture.