Dollar Bin Goodies With Brian Coleman

When I was in graduate school, Check The Technique was one of the guiding books for my thesis. It not only served the assignment well, but was also every bit as entertaining as its predecessor, Rakim Told Me. I nerded out over specific tracks and their backstories and always thought Brian’s approach and clean presentation really did the subjects justice.

Brian Coleman’s new book, Check the Technique Volume 2: More Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies (Wax Facts Press) is more of the same, a wonderfully written celebration of all these songs and artists we grew up loving. Who knew MF Doom’s initial moniker, Zev Love X, was “X Evolvez” spelled backwards? Mindblown! For info and ordering links, visit: www.WaxFactsPress.com.

It’s completely gratifying and an obvious honor to have Brian stop by with a guest post. With the highly anticipated Check The Technique Vol.2 out now, here’s a snapshot on Mr. Coleman’s mantra when it comes to digging for vinyl. Many thanks sir! – DM

Check the Technique Vol 2 FRONT COVER HIREZ

By Brian Coleman

I am a digger. Some of my best friends are diggers. And I love hanging with them and shooting the shit. But when it comes to music, I get frustrated at times because they go for obscurity at most costs, and don’t smell the roses in front of their faces. And by roses, I mean records we can all find every day in broad daylight (vs. dank basements of shady record stores).

So here are some records I randomly grabbed from my collection in a matter of 15 minutes (dig-free), records that should be readily available if you choose to seek them out. These are jams that, for the most part, I have loved since high school– which wasn’t exactly yesterday– and I still love as much today as I did then. Support your local record store!!!!! Buy vinyl!!!! FUCK CDs!!!!!

The Young Adults – “Complex World”Helping Others (Heartbreak Hits, 1989)

Okay, I guess this is a little obscure, but it’s still a dollar record if/when you see it. Goofy drunk-rock from a band I first learned about in the amazing flick of the same name (“Complex World”), based around the debauchery at Providence, RI rock fleabag venue Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel.

Bad Brains – “Re-Ignition”I Against I – (SST Records, 1986)

H.R. is listed as “throat” in the liners, but he was heart and soul, too. This was later in the group’s career (at least their career making great records), but proved they still had it. One of the greatest live bands I have ever seen.

The Carpenters – “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft” Passage (A&M Records, 1977)

If you can think of something cooler than Karen Carpenter summoning space aliens, please let me know.

Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band “Dropout Boogie”Safe as Milk (Buddah Records, 1970)

Off-kilter, raspy, drug-inspired (I can only assume) and actually somewhat sensible, lyrically. Desert heatstroke rock. Fucking excellent. Continue reading “Dollar Bin Goodies With Brian Coleman”

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Duderonomy: Devin The Dude Q&A & DJ Eleven Mix!

* Download DJ Eleven’s Eleven & The Dude Mix

The Village Voice called him, “An asshole in the tradition George Clinton or Rudy Ray Moore, a shit-talker who thinks yukking and fucking is a life plan”. Granted, weed and big butts aren’t entirely all Devin “The Dude” Copeland talks about. But for the span of 5 albums (and a new 6th) his everyman approach has endeared him on both coasts as well as in Europe.

“Sheeeit, I’m just a normal dude who smokes weed and raps, ” he says, confirming his entire approach and motto. He continues, barely audible from laughing so hard: “My songs are like my kids [laughs], some are uglier than others but I love them all the same!”

A longtime Rap-A-Lot signee, Devin added ease and self-deprecation to Houston’s rap scene, counteracting the overt aggression of labelmates, The Geto Boys, and other local rap acts. His at ease style got calls from Dr. Dre, as work with De La Soul, Premier, Nas, and Xhibit followed.

His new project, Suite #420, finds him delivering over rolling beats where he’s the butt of his punchlines. I spoke with Devin on all things casual: from how often he smokes, to how Europeans sound funny rapping his lyrics.

What rappers make you laugh?
The very first rap record I heard made me laugh! It was called “Rap Dirty” by Blowfly [laughs]. I thought it was the funniest, grooviest thing I’ve ever heard. You could dance to it and it had a story behind it too. Back when I was a kid, a song sounded like it was a movie and I loved every bit of it. It was a comedy to me for sure man [laughs].

Who would you say are your rap idols?
Shit man, that’s tough. But really, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Slick Rick. How he put his songs together and just all the silly humor in his songs spoke to me. But he was smart too. He was so creative and projected personality into his songs. He was so well-rounded. He’s a true artist.

The other would have to be Continue reading “Duderonomy: Devin The Dude Q&A & DJ Eleven Mix!”

the eleventh hour: interview with dj eleven

dj-elvren-2

Partyrocker DJ Eleven is, above all things, a workhorse. The Oakland native plays all over the globe, sometimes even gigging alongside icons like DJ Premier and Grandmaster Flash. He’s also written for Waxpoetics and XLR8R, and contributes a monthly column for a UK rap publication, Hip-Hop Connection. His mixtapes have been touted by The Village Voice and The New York Times, respectively. And to top it off, The Rub, a booming website he works on (with DJ Ayers and Cosmo Baker) gets heaps of readers daily for the mixtapes and podcasts they put together.

Eleven hustles hard, but was kind enough to lend us some time for an interview. Here’s our talk after he had just gotten back from playing Europe. Bay Area represent!

Let folks know about your Bay Area roots.
I was born in Redwood City but grew up in Oakland. My parents & all of my siblings live in the Bay. I came up DJing in the Bay Area with my crew, Local1200. And, I moved to New York almost 9 years ago. But, I try to get back to the Bay any chance I can.

What mistakes or misunderstandings do you often see young DJs doing?
The three most common mistakes I see young DJs making, are all kind of based on the same thing Continue reading “the eleventh hour: interview with dj eleven”