Jan/14
2009

Hip-Hop Legends

Hello and happy holidays cyber-surfers,

It seems like the global attack on Hip-Hop has finally reached Europe’s shores. Over the last three months most of the radio stations have stopped playing Hip-Hop music and they taken the 24hour Hip-Hop station FunX off the air. The reasoning behind this blatant attack on the culture is, some girl got attacked and the attackers said they listened to Hip-Hop music. Apparently that was all the justification necessary to stop broadcasting Hip-hop on radio and television. To balance out this cultural whitewash and keep the masses at bay. The “powers that be” have provided a non-stop barrage of big-named performances from hardcore to pop. In the last month alone there have been concerts by Tha Game, Estelle, Public Enemy, Royce 5’9, D12, and many others. Out of all the concerts I’ve seen the best hands down was Public Enemy.

Chuck D and Flava Flav are true Hip-Hop legends, like the Rolling Stone is to rock music. They were performing some of those songs twenty years ago (in 1988) and still got BUSY!!! They ran thru an incredible two hour set backed-up by a six piece band, Jeru tha Damaja and DJ Lord displaying crazy turntable skills in between numbers. It was my first time seeing PE live and their showmanship was amazing. They performed every track live, Chuck D rhymed every line on time, and Flava was hyping up the stage with flying kicks and other acrobatics like he was eighteen. Chuck D pointed out during the show that without Flava there would be no “hypeman.” He was the first cat in a rap group to amp-up the crowd not with rhymes, but with pure hyper-active energy.

After the show I went in the Duivel for a quick drink on my way to a afterparty and sitting at the bar talking to this dark-haired cutie was Jeru tha Damaja. I had been drinking tequila shots with beer chasers the whole night with my homie and was SMASHED! (say it with me people and with feeling...Sum-Mash-eD!) so tried to keep the conversation short. He told me the audience was banana’s and Amsterdam was the best stop on the whole P.E. tour. By the time he started telling me about his mixtape dropping next year my drinks were ready and I had to bounce.

Another dope concert was Estelle from the U.K. and it was totally unexpected. My homie Luz said she was a fan so I decided to go with her out of curiosity. I gotta say, Estelle gave a good show. She gave a ninety minute performance running thru her older songs and new hits like “American Boy,” with a live band and back-up singers. The crowd was amped the whole show and afterwards they clapped and hollered for so long, she came back out and did one last song. (no rhyme intended)

The thing about having so many artists come to Amsterdam is you really get to see which artists have true showmanship and which ones come for vacationing. The new trend is for big-named artist to come to Amsterdam and charge 35 to 45 euros a show and only give a forty-five or fifty minute performance. Most of which consists of the drunk and high artist stumbling around on stage forgetting his own lyrics. Flava Flav was saying that as consumers we shouldn’t except artists coming here getting on stage acting whack, performing to a back-up track, and leaving. (I agree)

My man Biggs told me he saw the Fat Joe show a few weeks ago. (no rhyme intended) Here’s the breakdown of he show. First Fat Joe takes off his shoes and starts walking around the stage (why?... no one knows), then he spends ten minutes telling the crowd how great the weed is in Amsterdam. (When you’re paying to see a show you don’t want to hear the performer talking about the city’s tourist attractions, he can do that after. We live in Amsterdam, so we know how good the weed is, plus its available all the time.) Finally he performs for no more than fifty minutes rhyming to his own tracks. Not instrumentals, the actual track that you would hear on the radio. There were allot of angry people who left that show and that’s just one example of the unsavory behavior that artists try and pull here. To be honest, compared to a few I’ve seen and even more I’ve heard about, Fat Joe wasn’t that bad.

On the business side of things, I’ll be featured in the March issue of Underground Railroad Magazine (www.undergroundrailroadmagazine.com) along with my homie Misstrezz. I’ll have a full four to six page interview talking about music and life in Amsterdam, and Strezz was chosen for the “In the Spotlight” section. The magazine is in stores on the west coast and digital so grab a copy and tell a friend to tell a friend. The music is still moving but at a snails pace due to bouts of insomnia and writers block. Normally I would paint through it, but I ran out of canvas a few days ago and haven’t had a chance to buy any. Lately I’ve been to busy making EPK’s (Electronic Press Kits) and other preparations for Midem. Its been a busy month for business and the momentum doesn’t look like its going to stop....so everyone have a Happy New Year and party a little for me.

Until next we speak, Be well

Tha One an Only

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