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DJ Prestige recommendations

All The Way Live from the 2-1-5

My love of early Hip Hop came from radio stations like WBLS in NYC (when I could get reception in my South Jersey bedroom) and Power 99 in Philadelphia, both playing mid and late 80’s 12″ from their respective regions. From Philly I heard Three Times Dope and Cool C, from New York I heard Boogie Down Productions, Stetsasonic, and Eric B. and Rakim. These early radio broadcasts would influence me immensely. From Hip Hop I dug deeper, to the original samples, the Jazz, the Funk, the Soul of the original artists. As Hip Hop evolved, you got your De La Soul, your Beastie Boys, your Tribe Called Quest, your Big Daddy Kane, and then out of nowhere I got turned on to this band from the Illadelph (yeah I said it), the Roots. Here was a Hip Hop band, with no DJ, but a Beatboxer, a live band, and plenty of MC’s that could flow. You had their early ep, then Do You Want More??!!, which I bought on cd immediately, then got a promo white label record digging for 25 cents (only to be stolen from me years later by a guy who doesn’t even DJ anymore). Illadelph Half Life came next and was good, but when Things Fall Apart dropped, and I got the double Lp, there was one song that would blow me away from all the others: “Dynamite”. Produced by J.Dilla, and containing a Nirvana sample, this record has become a staple in all my DJ gigs. It’s infectious grooves will not make you sit still, and still gets cat calls, head nods, and props some 11 years later. To me, this record is that good

How could it not? This entire Lp, (some say it was their break through record) was made around the same time as Common’s Like Water For Chocolate, D’Angelo’s Voodoo , and Eryka Badu’s Mama’s Gun. Recorded at Electric Lady land Studios, the personnel on the record is sick: D’Angelo, Eryka Badu, Common, Mos Def, Ursala Rucker, James Poyser, Beanie Seagel, and of course The Roots. Let’s not forget the genius that is Jay Dee aka J.Dilla lacing this track something lovely.

By now everyone knows the Roots. The band that used to tour 300+ days a year for 5 years straight. The band without a DJ, a live Hip Hop band that would put most Rock bands to shame.The band who’s drummer ?uestlove has jammed with members of Led Zeppelin. The house band for Jimmy Fallon (and who play with the best musical guests on any late night show, period). Since their early days til now, the Roots have always been relevant. Innovators who push the boundaries of Hip Hop, while celebrating the originators. Indeed free thinkers. So ?uestlove if you read this, how about dropping in on any of the freethinking nights in NYC or Brooklyn and giving us one of your DJ sets, your style has freethinking written all over it. C’mon, touch this Illa-Fifth Dynamite…………

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