HOW'D WE GET FROM DEZ ONE TO KAY SLAY THE DRAMA KING?
HOW'D WE GET FROM DEZ ONE
TO KAY SLAY THE DRAMA KING?
<...Looking for the Perfect Beat…>
Reminiscing on the “glory days” of Hip Hop, we remember the foundational MCs who dropped solid LPs (you know, where U never have to fast forward, but you wear out your rewind?) & the DJs who were expert diggers, masters of the scratch, jugglers, and painted musical Graffiti with their routines and mixtapes. Funny how I spent so much time in L.A. in the clubs, at the shows, and in the streets seeking MCs who could do this one thing...it had me trippin. Crazy how I scoured every DJ in the industry AND in the streets in NYC looking for the perfect beat.
This week I’ve been blessed with not just one, but with both of these phenoms – in a place least expected…Minnesota.
I Self Devine, who’s known for his work with the group The Micranots and his O.G. Graffiti styles from L.A. to the Twin Cities; laced me with a listening session of his upcoming LP “SELF DESTRUCTION”… This is that ol’ boom bap, kickin’ some real raw deal shit from one of the dopest MCs with one of the most highly-anticipated solos in a long time. There’s no filler, or miscellaneous guest appearances…this is just pure Hip Hop. The album drops in early August, I’ll post up again when the first single’s about to drop. (Some production by Vitamin D and Jake One...shouts from me to Walt Liquor, wherever he's at.)
Desdamona, myself, and Unique, a dope Poetess/MC from Central Touring Theater in St. Paul appeared on Siddiq’s RSE Radio on KFAI last night (check the archive here). After we dropped in to check Brother Ali, Toki Wright, Freeze, Illumious 3, Orikal, and a few other local cats performing at that little club in the basement. It was cool to see such a diverse group of MCs on one stage in one night. DJ Stage One hooked me up with an advance copy of his mixtape, STREET CINEMA, and I was basically waiting for him to start spinning. It was getting late, but he finally started mixing sometime after 2 a.m. I was sleepy, yawning, tired from dancing and generally exhausted from the stress of the upcoming event. As usual, he dropped some of that old illmatic shit, and I was stuck off the realness, unable to leave the spot until long after 3 a.m. Don’t worry, I took a cab home this time instead of trooping it on foot!
Came home, got fresh, laid it down, turned the lights down low, and threw the mix CD into the Hello Kitty walkman. I closed my eyes and just listened. I knew this kid was nasty, I’ve seen him transform a lil’ something just fucking around at the club. But this mixtape is straight wildstyle. I had just been thinking on how true DJs do their shit a lot like my Graffiti guys (and gals) – doing the knowledge to old-school styles, digging through the racks for paint (digging in the crates, blowin dust off that O.G. shit), and combining styles, flavors, and colors in a way no one else would think of.
Stage One’s new shit starts off with an interview (most likely from the Style Wars director’s cut DVD) of DEZ ONE talking about how he went from Graf artist and street-scientist to becoming DJ KAY SLAY a/k/a The Drama King. Then he cuts to another O.G., MIN ONE, and a piece of an interview where he explains his downfall from King of Graf, to drug addict/hard timer, to where he is now - "I've got a little family now, and I'm doing good."
Of course Stage used to be a Graf artist too. Are you noticing a fucken pattern here? This is the Star Wars of mixtapes, with an interstellar variety of beats, cuts, blends, genres, samples, and crazy drops. I’m telling you, the kid Stage One is sick wit it and, mark my words as always, he’ll be a DJ with a household name sooner than you can name this tune…
I'm just an addict
Addicted to music
Maybe it's a habit
I gotta use it
Even if it's jazz or the quiet storm
I hook a beat up
Convert it into Hip Hop form
I write a rhyme in Graffiti and
Every show you see me in
Cause I'm no comedian
Jokers are wild
If you wanna be tamed
I'll treat you like a child
Then you're gonna be named
Not even a friend of me
Cause you'll get fried in the end
When you pretend to be...>
p.s. I AIN'T NO JOKE