This is a real interesting read. I just watched a documentary a few weeks back that had Grandmaster Caz & Disco Wiz speaking about a battle that they had "back in the day". I will post up that story in the future.
There are some really interesting articles in this issue. I would recommend a d/l of the issue & check it out for yourself.
The Original #15 - Download Now!
Available to download by clicking here, issue 15 of The Original (aka HHC’s old school and golden era mini-mag) features the story of the Bronx’s DJ Disco Wiz up front, along with 2000 A.Dee getting the UK Pioneers treatment, T La Rock’s ‘Back To Burn’ column, and Man Friday & Jive Junior. More previews below…
DJ Disco Wiz:
“I was born and raised in the Bronx: 183rd Street between Ryer and Valentine. That area actually ended up being the first park we played in 1975, and that block later on, in ‘80 I think, or ‘81, they filmed the movie Wild Style there, at the 183rd Street Park.
“As a young shorty, it was pretty dynamic. I grew up with all types of friends, saw all walks of life, but it got to be a different thing once hip-hop started to merge. Myself, because of my background, I caught a lot of flak from the Latino community ‘cos of the music I was doing. But I stayed the course and I got to be able to do something that I love.
“The first time I came across hip-hop was in 1974, in the Bronx, at the Webster PAL: I saw Kool Herc doing a soundcheck and I was completely overwhelmed and inspired. But earlier on I was already getting a small expectation that things were going to change. I was a graffiti head and graffiti was becoming one of the most mainstream forms of expression at the time, so even before I saw Kool Herc and two turntables and a mixer, I was inspired by the graffiti writers. I saw it becoming a movement.”
“I’d been put in the studio with the She Rockers to make a track. I was gonna produce their first track, which was the ‘Gordon’s War’ track, which basically ended up being the basis for Blade’s track ‘The Comin’ Is Near’.
“I’d already gone into the studio with Antonia, laid down the basis for the track, done demos with her using that. And she fucking screwed me over. Like, we’d done one session in the studio, we’d laid down the guide vocal and I’d basically gone home and was just working out the rest of the track, and I didn’t hear from her for weeks. And the next thing I’m hearing ‘On Stage’, I think, produced by Tim Simenon with a new vocal from the She Rockers! [The record’s actually credited to Hamish McDonald and Anjali Dutt.] And I’m thinking, ‘You cunts! That’s my track! What the fuck?’ And they’d fucked it up, because to me it sounded shit.
“So when I met with Blade I thought, ‘I wanna redo that, use the same beat, but basically blow theirs the fuck out the water.’ So he paid for time at Cold Storage and that’s what we did.”
T La Rock:
“The first time I performed live was in the mid-’70s outside at a park in the Bronx called Concourse Park. It was as a rapper slash deejay before I recorded professionally. Concourse Park is a landmark in the Bronx; it’s a street park, not just a school yard. It was in the middle of one of the biggest streets in the Bronx, Grand Concourse. I performed at the entrance to the park, but anyone all over the park could hear the music – there were about 4-500 people who turned up.”
Man Friday & Jive Junior:
Anyone with a Discogs.com account can tell you that before Newtrament’s ‘London Bridge’ there was the infectiously squelching disco rap of Dizzy Heights’s ‘Christmas Rapping’ (1982) – an essentially fairly good party record that fouls its quasi-Tom Tom Club-ish air by interpolating ‘Good King Wenceslas’, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Jingle Bells’ into one excruciating bridge. But in between those two slices of nascent British rap came a lesser known one, ‘Picking Up Sounds’ by Man Friday and Jive Junior (1983). At least, I assume this funky five minutes of disco rap from the two Language Lab perennials is pre-‘London Bridge’, since like all records that fell before the electro revolution (or maybe, in this case, didn’t) it seems separated from such futuristic fruit by eons not months. What is certain though, is that Malaco Records gave Friday and Jive a high quality Sugar-Hill-ish backdrop – with a touch of the Enjoys in its summer shower of melodic keyboards – for this curiously up-beat sounding message rap.
Click here to grab the full issue for free!