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For all the marbles in college football in 2006.
Happy Holidays! Yes they are upon us! I previously wrote about Hip Hop & Sports and wrote about my hometown sports superstar, (Pretty Boy)Floyd Mayweather. Since the last post the Michigan Wolverines were beaten by Ohio State 42-39 in a thrilling contest (and probably the most important game of the regular season) that went down to the final 2:16 before it was actually decided. To make matters worse, on the day before the big game the former longtime coach of the Michigan Wolverines Bo Schembechler passed away while preparing for his weekly television show. Bo will be missed by Michigan's faithful fans. Ohio State Quarterback Troy Smith (he has to be the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy) was brilliant and congratulations must go out to the Buckeyes. Maybe the BCS will do the right thing and give the Wolverines a shot at the National Championship. Of course it may be politics as usual. The real college football fans know that the 2 best college football teams in the nation are in Columbus, Ohio and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Even though USC won their game against Notre Dame (Michigan smashed Notre Dame in South Bend), Michigan still deserves a shot. We will see how it all shakes out.
BIG shouts and congratulations go out to Kelvin & DeMarcus Grady who led East Grand Rapids High School to the Michigan Division 3 High School Football State Championship over Farmington Hills Harrison 42-17! Grand Rapids/Gun Rule Stand Up!! Click right here and get all the details.
Enough about sports. This post is about Gun Rule (Grand Rapids, Michigan) and it's rich past, present and future in hip hop music and entertainment. Starting with the DJ's. First up on the list are the guys who are seriously holding it down around here right now. DJ Buscat and DJ Head are like the dynamic duo for real. These cats are pulling crazy crowds and making all kinds of noise in the hood. I first saw DJ Head settin' it off at the Howlin' Moon. The crowds out there were just ridiculous. DJ Head had the place on smash when I was there. Much respect to this kid. I saw him on the documentary (Microphone Representation: Produced by DJ Word on GRTV) when he was just a Shorty and he was getting quite busy on the ones & twos with wax) Now everywhere Buscat & Head go the spots are on fire.
I first met Buscat way back in the day when he was playing YBA Basketball at the downtown YMCA. He was about 11 years old. I had a friend that was the coach of his team and I would help him out on Saturday mornings. I never imagined that this kid would grow up to be such a great DJ and most of all a marketing mastermind in his own right. If you haven't looked at their sites look at the previous paragraph and click the links and check their affiliations. Check below to see how DJ Buscat is serving it for the holidays!On the grind in Gun Rule. Beats with nothing but heat. Click the flicks below or the image above to go to DJ Buscat's site! Looks like a good time!
DJ Head is also everywhere in Gun Rule and has mad connections in the music industry. He is affiliated with Jonathan "The Icon" Jelks" who has established himself as a power playa in the Gun Rule Hip Hop Community without question. DJ Head appeared in the article in The Grand Rapids Press about Jonathan Jelks. These young black men have to be commended for really keeping it real by representing their community in such a positive way. These are intelligent young entrepreneurs. The future Fortune 500 Brothas. Just check their pages by clicking the links. These cats are conducting serious business and it looks they have BIG plans. Rumble young men rumble! You can also click the image below to check DJ Head's MySpace Page and see for yourself!
The Drink Ultra Lounge has been giving up the goods on their hip hop nights for about the last 2 years now. When Michael Bufkin and Al Vassar started promoting down there back in late 2004 and an unfortunate incident took place at The Howlin' Moon (which was drawing HUGE crowds on Saturdays) The Drink has been one of the hottest spots on Saturdays. Chris Woods is currently promoting some hot parties at The Drink right now. Les and L.C. have to be given a shout out for letting these young brothers get the party started down there. The place would be packed on both floors on some nights and they had to stop letting people in. Downtown Grand Rapids is really starting to look alive.
One of the DJ's that is also holding it down really nice is DJ Omega Supreme. I remember him from the days at The Radio Tavern when The Rebel Lego Alliance was in effect over on Bridge Street. Now if you wanted to hear pure hip hop. Just show up at The Radio Tavern on Wednesday night and you would hear spinning the now World Famous DJ Dub, Selecta Hazey (where is Selecta Hazey now??), Omega Supreme and a host of other hip hop vinyl spinning DJ's that really knew their hip hop. Again. . where is Selecta Hazey now? He definitely put together a hell of a DJ squad. I had to get some Flex All for my neck after hanging in The Radio Tavern from noddin' my head so hard. As far as I know Omega Supreme is still spinning at The Drink on certain nights but I don't know exactly when so you will have to call them up and check fliers around the city to hear his mix. DJ Dub is making major noise in the mixtape game and is currently on Shadyville Radio on Saturday nights on XM Satellite radio. This dude was spinning in Grand Rapids less than 5 years ago and now has a show on Eminem's station with over 40 million listeners. Yeah, you read the number right. Over 40 million people are tuning in on XM Satellite radio. Dub isn't from Grand Rapids but sure made a lot of noise when he was here and broke out to Washington D.C. and hasn't looked back.
Click the image below to check out how DJ Dub is serving it now!
Also holding it down in the downtown area at The Brick House are a couple of young bucks that I see hanging out on Wednesdays at Vertigo Music. DJ Krooked Leg Kraig and DJ Lil Mack (son of Emmanuel Ray Davis aka "The Legendary Mackaroni" who will be mentioned later in this post on DJ's from Gun Rule). They will be on the scene Sunday Night, November 26, 2006 for the release party for the new project from the group, "The Infinite Ensemble" at The Brick House. If you are downtown Sunday night cap off your holiday weekend with a serious hip hop experience and make sure you are there! Krooked Leg Kraig's contact info is below. Click on the image below to check DJ Lil Mack's MySpace page.
Head back towards the real hood straight south on Martin Luther King Blvd (Division St) in Gun Rule to the Azucar Nite Club and you will find DJ Dirty Flem doing his thing. One block south you will find La Stanza Nite Club. I need to know who is the DJ there now? I know that DJ Head, DJ Buscat and Dirty Flem have definitely been up in that spot and La Stanza (if that is still the name of the spot, the name has changed several times over the years) has hosted some live events in the past few years.
I have always given mad respect to those DJ's that will spin in the underground spots. One of those DJ's who has consistently rocked the after hours spots and those clubs where few DJ's will go and kept the party hot is DJ Quazar. Quazar was holding it down at Stingers Night Club (on College Ave, the old Squeeze Inn/Hideaway Bar) until they had some unfortunate violent incidents that caused the club to close. (Click here to read about the Stingers shooting that practically shut it down) Quazar has been on the scene for about 15 years now and has mix cd's all over the hood and some of his mix cd's have turned up in other cities all over the US. He started out like most great mixtape DJ's on a double cassette deck creating edits that he sold to his friends and the word spread like wildfire. You can catch Quazar in the mix on most weekends at Grand Rapids Elk Lodge #1029, 1546 Linden SE. Anybody who hangs out a lot in Gun Rule knows that "The Elks" is jammed on Thursdays and Quazar is serving up the hip hop/r&b mix that leaves the patrons soaked in sweat at the end of the night. Check him out.
Lester Key aka DJ Alski also has made major moves on the hip hop scene in Gun Rule. Offbeat Productions was the record pool for the majority of the DJ's in the hood back in the mid-90's. Lester kept everybody laced with the hottest music. He is now the owner of Car Tunes and Tanglez Beauty Supply at the corner of Franklin & Eastern. It's right in the heart of the hood. If you want your beats banging in the trunk go see Lester. Lester held it down at Miracles, The Half Moon, Electric Avenue and the American Legion Crispus Attucks Post on Commerce and countless other after hours spots, wedding receptions and family reunions back in the day along with his right hand man Duane Guyton.
Back in the day you could cruise down what is now Martin Luther King (Division St) and at Wealthy you had So-So's (Big Craig on the sound system). Up the street there was Bill's Retreat, later called Club Pizazz (the building that now houses Azucar) Randy Franklin got it started, David Cain picked up the torch, Quazar was down there. Go one block south and there was The Limelight (C-Note held it down). A straight shot south to Delaware St at Noel's Lark and Big Steve (R.I.P.) and Little Steve used to rock it there. At the Squeeze Inn (previously The Hideaway) Mark Newton definitely had the place jumpin' back on College & Cottage Grove.
One of the DJ's who really made a mark on the Grand Rapids hip hop scene was one of my homeboys, DJ Brown Hornhit. I first met Brown Hornhit at the "Showtime Productions 4th of July Stop The Violence Picnic" way back around 1987-88. He was about 12 or 13 years old at that time and I was helping with mixing sound and spinning with DJ Alski (Lester Key), DJ Dwayne Guyton & DJ Spinmaster and when I was on the wheels, this kid stood right there with me the whole time asking all kinds of questions. I could tell by the questions he was asking that he really wanted to become a DJ and he was still just a kid.
The next time I saw him was at Ottawa Hills High School at a school dance and he was only in the 9th grade. I remembered this kid and he told me right then that he had been spinning and from talking to him about the best songs that the kids would like I knew that he knew which songs would make the crowd move. (I needed that help because at the time I was doing grown folks clubs and I would hear the songs that the kids would like and I even was receiving them from a record pool at the time but just didn't have time to go through all of the records that kids would like because my attention was focused on the clubs. I just happened to grab this high school gig that week.)
I asked him (even though I knew what his answer would be) if he wanted to spin for a while and of course he said yes. I told him to go through the crates first and find the stuff that he wanted to play so he wouldn't have to look for the records since he wasn't familiar with my crates. Every DJ organizes their crates their own way and I tried to organize by tempo at that time. He selected some very good songs and definitely rocked that spot that day and since he went to the school you know that the kids gave him love and got right on the dance floor. I even got on the mic and tried to make sure that they all knew that it was one of their own that was putting it down on the wheels of steel.
To make a long story short. I did a LOT of work with this young DJ over the years and he really put in crazy work and paid mad dues in Gun Rule. He got a job at the local radio station and learned everything he needed to know to practically run the station (especially from the technical aspect). He learned how to produce commericals, program the music and became one of the best in the business in a very short time. That is what happens when one is passionate and has faith. This young man kept his focus despite all of the distractions that can be placed in a young man's path to success and he was not to be denied. Below are images of some of the early work that DJ Brown Hornhit put in around the city back in the day.
Click the image to visit DJ Brown Hornhit's MySpace page! Currently Brown Hornhit is the music director for WPGC FM 95.5 in Washington D.C. Radio legend Donnie Simpson (former host of BET Video Soul) is one of the air personalities on that station. Donnie Simpson is one of the most respected radio air personalities in the nation. Big Tigger (former host off Rap City and BET on air personality) is also on the same station on weekends. Brown Hornhit is in very good company! Here are a few more crazy flyers below from Brown Hornhit's early beginnings!
Chad (Housemaster Funk) Jackson started out on WEHB Radio way back around 1988. At that time he was only a high school junior and was mixing on community radio on Saturday night on one of the most popular hip hop radio shows of all time in Grand Rapids with The Other Brothers, Mikey Mike & Frankie J. Anyone familiar with hip hop radio in Grand Rapids knows that these 2 guys were the very first to break releases by national artists and to give local hip hop artists any exposure on local radio at all! Mikey Mike & Frankie J were 2 of the most important figures in the history of hip hop on the radio in Grand Rapids without question. DJ Needles (DJ for Iceman J) was also mixing on the Saturday Night show with Chad.
Chad moved to Magic 108 in Muskegon with Sammi J, who also was the program director at WKWM at first and moved to manage Magic 108 in Muskegon. Sammi J started up the Sunday Nite sets at Club Eastbrook (now the Orbit Room) and moved it to Electric Avenue on 28th Street (where Aldi's grocery store now stands), which was drawing outrageous crowds back in the day. Sammi and Chad made noise in Gun Rule and in Muskegon. Chad moved to New York City (and is now known as Chad Jack). Chad Jack is now one of the top house music DJ's in the world! He got his real start in Gun Rule. Another radio show that came after The Other Brothers show that made a lot of noise on the exact same station was "Saturday Nite Madness", hosted by Stevie D & The Engineer All Star. These 2 cats played a lot of different types of hip hop and both of the hosts weren't actually from Gun Rule, but they got to know a lot of people in Grand Rapids and let them participate on their show. They had a pretty hot mix that was produced by The Engineer All Star & DJ Professor Spinbad. The Engineer All Star is now known as Index 968, The Edit Assassin. He is now Vice President of My Weigh Records and appears on WBHC 96.5 in Benton Harbor every Friday night from 9PM to Midnite. If you are in that area check it out. The mixes are off the damn chain!
The first time The Fresh Fest came to our area of West Michigan, it was held at Wing Stadium in Kalamazoo. Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, Whodini and UTFO all were on the bill. So the DJ's in effect were Flash, Jam Master Jay, Grandmaster D and Mixmaster Ice. All of them are legendary hip hop DJ's. The after party in Kalamazoo was absolutely crazy! Tony "Funkmaster" Jackson promoted and was the headliner at the after party. Tony had the after party on SMASH and most of the artists from the Fresh Fest were right in the party having a ball thanks to Funkmaster.
"Funk" (as we all called him) moved to Grand Rapids and hooked up with Dirty Flem of Raw Productions. Raw Productions had some huge events at The Stadium Arena (which is now called The Deltaplex) on Turner St. Of course, Funk was on the 1's & 2's keeping it cooking as always. Major player in Gun Rule also.
Just read up on them by clicking on their names in the previous sentence. The worst thing about the whole situation was that the show didn't really sell well in this area. The majority of the kids around our city at that time really didn't know who they were and what they were missing! If you don't consider those 4 artists alone real hip hop you don't know what it is. Busy Bee was in the movie Wild Style! If you don't know about the movie, click right here. Check the old school flyer from one of Raw Productions events that was definitely on slam. Big shouts to Dirty Flem, Tony Jackson, Rashid, Jay Washington, DJ Hollywood, Big Jessie, Tony, Stokes, Darryl Martin, Paul, Walt J, Maggie, Lionel, Butch, Terry, Damien ("Mooch") and the rest of the Raw Productions affiliates. Check out the flyers (designed by Tarra Thompson) from back in the day. You know what it was like. It was always hot at Raw Productions events!
Showtime Productions was also very influential in the development of so many current key figures in the hip hop community in Gun Rule. Ben McLiechy aka DJ Showtime and Emmanuel Ray Davis aka DJ Mackaroni were the point men in Showtime Productions Stop The Violence Movement which presented "The Annual 4th Of July Stop The Violence Picnic" at Johnson Park. Showtime Productions was well connected in the street. The Stop The Violence Picnic brought some of the wildest kids in the city together every year and I cannot recall one single violent incident that happened at any of the picnics.
Ben McLiechy had so much influence over the youth in the city (and a HUGE family) that when all of the kids came together from different neighborhoods that had conflicts in the past there was nothing but peace on that day. If one person was influenced to not kill and one life was saved the efforts were well worth it. I honestly believe that many lives were changed by this annual event. It is evident by looking at some of the individuals who participated back then and how their lives have changed over the years. During the period that this event went on there was just too much violence in our streets.
Ben was on WJNZ 1140 AM Radio Pulse Of The City with Robert S. on Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving talking about the impact of Showtime Productions Stop The Violence Movement. 10 years after the last picnic was held. Only one other person can explain as well as Ben about Showtime's efforts and that would be Emmanuel Ray Davis aka "The Legendary Mackaroni". He goes by the name "Quiet Storm" because of his pivotal role in the planning and marketing of Showtime Productions but not many people other than those close to the organization know about how important is role always was every time an event was presented.Ben, Mack, Aaron, J-Soul, Rob Walker & The Sey Whut Crew, Troy, Vince, Bennie, Bobby, Corey, "Georgious", Frank, Skee, Jody, Duane, Jack, Sharon, Tishaun, Jeannie, Tyson, Marcus, The Figures Family, Rhonda, Sally, Mary, Billy, Cynthia, Big Larry, Avery, Kamario, Gus, Michelle, Aunt Ruth, Aunt Jane, Andre, Uncle Snook, Tracy, Kirk, Stan, Val, J-Stone, Alvin, "Really Good" Rod, Smug, Stan, Doug (R.I.P.), Little Red (R.I.P.), Shimon (R.I.P.), Brown's Funeral Home, Backstage Catering, Straight Up Pop, G.R. Neighborhood Services & Mentor Program, Mayor Logie, Chief Hegarty, James Farris, Kevin Braggs, Dispersive Measures, Bernard Macklin, David Cain, Noah Seifullah, Heaster Woods, Dr. Stephen Cohle, Michael B. Johnson, Michael Johnson III, Rev. Nathianiel Moody, Nate Jr, Ken, Equality Magazine, Community Empowerment Center, Rob Ladew, Jose Flores, Randy Brown, Maxi's Night Club, Freddie, Lark, Bob Matthews (R.I.P.), Fat Jack, Melvin, Kevin Kilgore, Clutch, Rodney Brown, Tracy, Griff The Gift, Euro-K, The Realist, Vito, Freeze, Trent, Shonski, Andrea, Moms, Doc, L. White, Joe, Inch High, Adam, Damien, Mean Mark, Jumbo (J-Rock), Rodney & Tyreese (Guyton), Greg Rapier, N Us We Trust, Buttaroo, Dice, Bobby, The Durr Family, Kiddo, Iceman J, Freaky, Eric "Freaky" Walton, Jeffrey Dean, Darren Dean, Lavelle Waltrip, Rocky, James Staten, The Flowers Family, Icey Mike, Dre, Dennis Witherspoon, Dante' Young, Mark Hopson, Mike Hopson, Guts 2 Cut, DJ Spinmaster, Offbeat Productions, Lester Key, Duane Guyton, Izzy Dope Boys, The Wealthy Boys, La The Darkman, Nappy Head Assassins, Sid Swift, Moe, DJ Big Napp, Tyson, Heavy Game Records, Todd, Sterl, Boog, Red Eye Records, Billy, Kareem, Troy, The DeBarge Family, Mike J, The Realist, Mass, JV, Skinny, Randy, E-Nutts, EJ, Dukem, The Huff Family, Manchild, Sheldon Complex Advisory Council, and all of the rest of the Showtime crew and affiliates made it happen and if your name is not mentioned here it is only because I forgot about you when this was written but you KNOW it's all love. XTRA SPECIAL THANX TO J-OTT (INDEX 968: THE EDIT ASSASSIN) OF MYWEIGH RECORDS FOR THE LOGO DESIGNS! U KNOW I OWE YOU BIG TIME!! I LUV U MAN!!
Stay tuned for Part 2 which will cover hip hop and r&b artists from Gun Rule. It's all love in The Spinzone. No time for haters. If it ain't positive there is no place for it in the zone and that is real talk. Get back at me. Part 2 is coming soon. Please leave comments. If you are from Gun Rule I want to hear from you.
Last but not least, R.I.P. : Ian Brown, Shirley Moody, Edith Rasberry, Ed Bradley, Gerald Levert, Bo Schembechler, Dr. Jimmy Lassic. The spirits of these good people will live on forever.
DJ's get that love @ Vertigo Music!Click the image above!
DJ's and Beat Diggers click the images and see what happens. Check out the links! Touch the record with the cursor. Go on, you know you want to feel that 12" disc in your hands. It's O.K., we understand how you feel. That's why we're here. If you're like me you are addicted to this wax. No need for rehab though. It's O.K. You want to put those records on those turntables (preferably Technics or Vestax touch them with your fingertips and spin 'em. If that is the case and you need to talk to me, click right here, and send me a note. That's why you're in the zone and I understand that you know that you can create with the wax, mold it, shape it, until you have created that work of art. Go ahead, touch the records below with your cursor. Like ancient artifacts. Relics. Stay in the zone with the Funkadelic Relic. Walk with me. I'm here for you. Check 'em out.
Click the images! Click here or on the image of the spinning planet Earth to find out how YOU can get the vinyl records above or many MORE on eBay! Click the image to check out this book! It's never too late to learn!Click the image below to read about the Floyd Mayweather & Philthy Rich Records Thanksgiving Celebrity Weekend!
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