Legendary producer Easy Mo Bee and long-time Brooklyn emcee Emskee were on the RIOC recently with DJ Eclipse. The three had a passionate discussion about authentic Hip Hop and making music from the heart. Easy Mo Bee explained that he’s being free with his craft and making the sound that he wants to make. He feels that many people make a certain sound that they think will sell and are afraid to fail if they make the type of music that they genuinely love. “Stop being afraid and come from the heart” is what he says, along with “that’s that it takes to keep this culture alive.” Emskee recalls hearing the BET Awards playing five nominated songs from a specific category that all sounded identical. There are countless variations and different sounds in the genre of Hip Hop and mainstream outlets no longer play a balance of different types of artists. For a refreshing sound of music made from the heart, check out Easy Mo Bee and Emskee’s album Two For One here.
DJ Illegal from the Snowgoons expressed his appreciation for Easy Mo Bee as a production influence as they were in the same room on RIOC. “Easy Mo Bee is basically one of the reasons that the Snowgoons exist” explains Illegal. As a kid in Germany who grew up listening to American Hip Hop, Illegal would look on the back of records to find out who the DJs and producers were on each song. The three most significant names to him were DJ Premier, Marley Marl, and Easy Mo Bee. Hear how far Illegal and his group have come by checking out their latest album with N.B.S. called Trapped In America.
Native New Yorkers Emskee and Easy Mo Bee have recently released their collaboration album, Two For One, initially as a vinyl release. Emskee, long-time emcee and DJ, and Easy Mo Bee, former emcee and legendary producer in the music industry, bring you a neo-classic sounding album with the raw, 90s vibe of song structure and hard-hitting drums with clever concepts. “There are a lot of things in Hip Hop that need to be talked about…” explains Emskee as he describes some of the modern social issues that are covered throughout the project. Mo Bee takes a second to show his appreciation for the type of Hip Hop that DJ Eclipse spins on RIOC each week and mentions that his old group, Rappin’ Is Fundamental, will be releasing a Lost Tapes album with unreleased material. Emskee speaks on his monthly party, Recordnition, every 3rd Friday of each month with Easy Mo Bee at Kinfolk in Brooklyn. He ends this interview appropriately with an a cappella rhyme about respecting the DJ during a party. Purchase Two For One here.
German producers Snowgoons joined us at Rap Is Outta Control recently to talk about their latest collaboration album, Trapped In America, with Boston hip hop duo N.B.S. Sicknature explained how he initially connected with N.B.S. over the Internet many years ago, even before meeting DJ Illegal. Illegal and Sicknature talked about the Snowgoons process on producing beats as a four-man team. All members produce their own beats, but they meet often to brainstorm ideas and share samples with each other. Collectively they have 1,000 unused beats archived. Purchase Trapped In America here.
DJ Eclipse invited a group of New York emcees from different generations to the RIOC show. Frequent collaborators Mic Handz and Innocent? have been working on music together, with Mic releasing more than a few projects over the next couple of months and making his way out to France later this year. Also in the studio was MC Serch of 3rd Bass and long-time friend of DJ Eclipse from the Wild Pitch Records days. All three emcees freestyled off the top of their heads over a new Alchemist beat. Check it out and share the video!
NY emcee Ka from the 90s groups Natural Elements and Nightbreed has teamed up with DJ Preservation, producer and DJ for Mos Def, to create an album. In this interview on RIOC with DJ Eclipse and co-host Rasheed Chappell, Ka and Pres explain how they first met as peers and became friends before entertaining the idea of working together. The album is called Days With Dr. Yen Lo, named after a fascinating book that Ka read. Ka also details his process of figuring out concepts and album structure before writing his first rhyme for the album. Purchase Days With Dr. Yen Lo here.
Shan Nicholson, director of the newly-released documentary, Rubble Kings, joined us at RIOC to talk about the project. The film is focused on New York City gang culture in late 1960s and early 70s, which paved the way to what later became Hip Hop culture. What began as an idea for a script on the New York music group/gang the Ghetto Brothers turned into an 8-year film project for Shan after he discovered enough research to start writing out a timeline of history. Narrated by John Leguizamo, Shan explains that “The film explores the conditions that created these gangs.” and “The Bronx was burnt down and there was no hope for these kids.” He goes on to say that all of the former gang members were open to telling their story, as long as it was understood to be a survival story and not a glorified lifestyle. Shan’s motivation to continue pursuing the documentary’s completion throughout the 8 years was his strong, internal intuition that this was a great piece of knowledge for the world to see, and that he was unable to step away or stop thinking about it. Check out Rubble Kings here and look out for the soundtrack featuring Run The Jewels, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Ka, & DJ Preservation.
This Sunday, July 26, 2015 marks the 38th Rock Steady Anniversary Show with another incredible lineup of performances. Doors open at 2pm in Central Park and the show will run until 7pm. You can expect to see sets from Ea$y Money, Queen Herawin (The Juggaknots), Your Old Droog, Mood Doctors, Da Beatminerz, DJ Scratch (EPMD), DJ JS-1, DJ DV One, eMC (Masta Ace, Wordsworth, & Stricklin), a tribute set for Pumpkinhead, Big Daddy Kane, Whodini, and many surprise guests. MC Serch also shares some insight into cheap flights at $59 from Orlando to NYC. Don’t miss the show this Sunday!
Two long-time DJs who have mastered the art of turntablism decades before software came into the picture had an important discussion on the skill level of the new generation of DJs. Both agree that the skill level of turntablism has not surpassed the peak of the 90s when many DJ crews competed and battled to be the best and most technically-skilled at the art form. Rob Swift teaches courses on DJing and believes that technology has allowed the younger generation to take shortcuts. DJs from the 80s and 90s had to be delicate with vinyl records to prevent the needle from skipping as well as command the turntables. These are basic instincts that one can only learn from practicing with vinyl and not relying on a laptop to come to the rescue. Rob explains “Sometimes the beauty in the art form is the mistakes” and “The people I teach, I want them to be better than me, so that I can learn from them.” Check out DJRobSwift.com for updates on Rob’s upcoming album, X-Files: Lost & Deleted.
Long-time emcee Emskee from Brooklyn was joined by emcee/producer Sicknature from Germany to promote their upcoming albums. Emskee & Easy Mo Bee just released their Two For One LP for the hip hop fans that love the golden era, boom bap sound. Sicknature and his group Snowgoons teamed up with Boston duo N.B.S. for the collaborative Trapped In America album and are currently touring together. Check out this freestyle from Emskee and Sicknature, produced by maticulous!