Video: Founding Fathers Trailers
Wednesday December 03rd 2008,
Filed under: Announcements,In The Trenches,Killa Queens,Video Clips
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Some clips from a forthcoming documentary called Founding Fathers (produced by Ron Lawrence, who was the other half of Two Kings In A Cipher with D-Dot and later part of The Hitmen) which challenges the widely held belief that The Bronx were the leaders of this hip-hop shit in the early days.

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Looks dope.

Comment by Eons 12.03.08 @

From an admittedly way outsiders perspective, it seems like they are mainly just talking about having parties with DJ’s. What set Herc apart, at least how I understand it, was he 1) stuck to hard core funk, not always top 40 or disco/proto-disco, and 2) favored and somewhat isolated break beats.

From these clips it seems like dudes were saying…”we had partied with DJ’s and soundsystems too”. Well, that is the environment that spawned hip hop, but Herc’s style and eventually the Bronx style of doing it is what became hip hop.

Comment by BeatRabbi 12.03.08 @

I have to co-sign BeatRabbi. Nobody every said only The Bronx was rockin’. Only The Bronx was focusing on break beats. Those dudes in BK & Queens was rocking disco beats and playing Apache all the way through. Those cats sound bitter. Plus, Flash didn’t steal the GrandMaster title from Flowers, Flowers gave it to him when he brought Flash with him in a battle vs. Kool Herc.

Comment by DRLROCKWELL 12.03.08 @

If you read Flash’s autobiography he doesn’t deny any of this. None of them do. No one from the Bronx does.

Even Disco DJs were extending breaks with two copies of a record. Again, nobody denies that. Putting that all together in a package of rare grooves, MCs, dirty-dozen style rhyming, scratching, and entire routines based around juggling two identical records — that started in the Bronx.

When it came to mixing — the Disco DJs out shined Hip-Hop cats without a doubt. When it came to scratching and breaks though? That’s Hip-Hop and that’s the Bronx.

Comment by haroon 12.03.08 @

@ BEATRABBI&DRLROCKWELL-You cats nailed it!!!This has always been HIPHOP’s problem,if you ask each pioneer how the culture began,you get various answers.This doesn’t help,when you have forces outside of the culture working day and night to destroy it’s legacy.That’s why I love,finally the facts can see light.

Comment by Roger Jones 12.03.08 @

Thanks Roger Jones. One thing I want to correct from my statment above, was that it was Pete DJ Jones that introduced Flash in a battle with Herc BUT non the less Flowers annointed Flash with the Grandmaster title.

Comment by DRLROCKWELL 12.03.08 @

dope post dope comments…i remember when my parents used to dress like that and hustle and all that…damn…movie looks dope regardless of where “hip-hop” started….shit if u wanna be real all black music comes from Africa so forget that petty borough beef shit. those double exposure records still go hard in newark nj clubs downtown. u cant go to a party and not hear those records to this day. cant wait to see this flick.

Comment by mercilesz 12.03.08 @

” When it came to mixing — the Disco DJs out shined Hip-Hop cats without a doubt. ”

Until Flash, right? Because how I understood it is that Flash took the mixing technique of DJ’s like Pete jones and Flowers and combined it with the underground funk and break aesthetic of the Bronx to create the quickmix, which really served as the foundation for MC’ing to be done as we know it today since the breaks could be continuous and on tempo.

Comment by BeatRabbi 12.04.08 @

I agree with all the above posts, as a shorty who lived in the Bronx, I distinctly remember visiting my cousins in Rochdale out in South Jamaica, Queens and it seemed like every time I went out there they were having park jams with thousands of people dancing. Now when I went back home to the Bronx, it was a very distinct and different type of park jam, breakbeats, early emceeing, b-boying, THE TYPE OF MUSIC WAS DISTINCT AND DIFFERENT THAN WHAT I WAS HEARING IN THE OTHER BOROUGHS. Herc, Bam, and Flash were not the world’s FIRST DJ’S, nobody is claiming that; when you look at the distinctive elements and nuances that make up Hip Hop culture, it’s flavor is taken from various sources worldwide, including from some of the brothers in this video, but it’s birth is still uniquely rooted in the Bronx and Harlem. No doubt. Give Herc his fuckin’ respect and don’t get this shit twisted.

Comment by bronxbred 12.05.08 @

“Until Flash, right? Because how I understood it is that Flash took the mixing technique of DJ’s like Pete jones and Flowers and combined it with the underground funk and break aesthetic of the Bronx to create the quickmix, which really served as the foundation for MC’ing to be done as we know it today since the breaks could be continuous and on tempo.”

Depends on what you mean by mixing. If you’re talking isolating/extending breaks for MCs to rap over and everything that follows from that (turntablism and so on), then of course hip hop DJs. But if you mean a flawless, continuous mix designed for a dancefloor then it’s disco (and later house/techno/etc.) DJs hands down. Not withstanding some crossover early on (MCs rapping over disco instrumentals, more eclectic dudes like Larry Levan etc. playing some early hip hop in dance clubs) really it’s two separate approaches for two separate goals, which kind of developed side by side in different scenes in NYC in the mid-late 70s.

Comment by padraig 12.05.08 @

I read an interview once where Marley Marl said he went down to the Paradise Garage to hear legendary Disco DJ Larry Levan and was blown away how he had his sound system rockin. He said that’s what influenced him to hook up his studio in the projects in the bridge.

Awesome shit Robbie!!

Comment by Marc Davis 12.06.08 @

Yo I read this here and No cats don’t know jacks..t about a DJ.I’m from BKLYN and all you DJ come ups don’t know Sh.t. I DJ way b4 their was a Disco record. And let me tell you although BKlyn had a music scene it was The Bronx that created Hip Hop. Youngsters weren’t allowed in venues so they saw what cats did as community svc in the park and took it and developed it. I know I was Grandmaster Flowers roadie/protege. You got the title of Grandmaster just like you do today in turntable competition. You bust a cat ass. In the Grandmaster’s case he bust they ass for ten years to gain the title of Grandmaster. Flash just borrowed the title I don’t know about Flowers giving it to him that’s bullshit. Flowers can’t give you no title it wasn’t his to give away. Back then there was a record pool called the IDRC-International Disco Record Pool. You had to be a working club or mobile DJ to even compete for the Mix Master title which means you won the current year. Flowers won and kept winning so he was called the Grandmaster. Now Flash he’s cool he deserves a title for what he’s done for music and if he wants to use Grandmaster there is no one deserving besides him but he is no more a Grandmaster than Dr. Dre is a real doctor.

Yeah I said it: Reno

Comment by Reno Los Vargas 12.11.08 @

Reno, a side from the Flowers comment, you’re basically saying the same thing everyone else here has said.

Now in regards to the Flowers comment:

LETS GO BACK FOR A MINUTE- lets talk about Grand Master Flowers. It is said that their is a time when Mr. Flowers was such a bad meaning good, brother that he had once opened up for James Brown at Yankees Stadium.

The history of Mr. Flowers is he use to go up to the Bronx from Brooklyn to hear Kool Herc play. They were some what similar in the fact that they had very strong, powerful systems and they built there own speakers. Now Flowers on his visits to the Bx. to check the other D.J.s, notice Flash and his greatness. He quickly named Flash, Grand Master. That’s right Flowers named Flash, Grand Master. Flowers felt That Flash took to a whole new level. In 1974 Flowers popularity grew so much that he played at the most popular clubs N.Y.C. he was even mentioned in the commercials that WBLS did for Studio 54. By 1975 Mr. Flowers formed his crew which was called ” THE GMF CREW” which consist of D.J. Blue, Aron and Barren. From 76 to 79 he was very strong and popular. But by 1980, ended up succumbing to drugs. In 1992 he died because of drugs. Peace and blessings to you and your family, Grand Master Flowers. Check his sound and style at tapes 97 and 98. peace

Source to comment:

We all know that Flash is no real Grandmaster, but I’ve read and heard from muliptle sources that Flowers named Flash the Grandmaster, but since you were there…..I can’t doubt you either especially since it’s a waste of time getting mad and arguing with someone over the internet.

Comment by DRLROCKWELL 12.15.08 @

Peace & Blessings to DRLROCKWEll. I aint mad at no one it’s that my man from the UK asks me all the time about back in the day. A lot of cats got it twisted out here especially on Flash. Now Flash is a cool brother he took this rap thing to way beyond what any DJ was doing before him, only he didn’t invent the cut and scrath. Grand Wizard Theodre did. Now Grand Wizard is cool but Flash caught it from him and made it rythmic. On the thing about Flowers; his real handle, he was a very private cat. He talked very little; that’s how them smart cats get down, but he was sometimes humble. For him to go to Kool Herc is weird b/c cool Herc was only doing what Flowers and other big names were doing he just brought it to the shorty on the streets since the were too young for the club scene. A lot of Rap/Hip hop cats called themselves MC Master Of Ceremony. I think this is wrong but my man from UK says I’m too old school. MC or Master of Ceremonies was used for the cats that had comand of radio and when they left the radio the would officiate over shows introducing acts. One of the greatest MC was Hal Jackson of WBLS WWRL fame.He would invite his audience to shows where he MC’d over the function. Then there was the MAN Frankie “Hollywood” Crocker of the new WBLS FM. He changed the game to radio personality. His following was huge-the real meaning of MC is to have a following or flock. When Frankie sanctioned your function it was sure to be filled to the brim. People knew they were in for a good time when “The Chief Rocker Frankie Crocker” was going to be there; check out Cleopatra Jones when Frankie Crocker talks that talk with uncle Don Cornelius’s intro.

That’s how it was done a real class act thing.
Now if you were a DJ to have these cats MC was a prestigiuos thing I know Frankie did one of Flowers greatest promotions. Oh on the drug death thing come on man let the man rest in PEACE. Its like Old Dirty passing and all you say is the man was… Flowers was way more than that he deserves better I got you Grandmaster Flowers thanks for putting me under your Wings baby-Reno, of The Cosmic Enterprise.

Comment by Reno 12.16.08 @

Peace out to you Reno as well. Some cats on this board are not as young as you think (although, I’m definitely not as old as you LOL). I do agree with your thoughts on the concept of the MC. I think that once rappers became focus on making
records, true MC’s disappeared because only a hand full can command an audience.

It’s funny you mentioned Hal Jackson cause he still comes on WBLS every Sunday and the man is still going strong. I also remember the Chief Rocker Frankie Crocker, but more for his frequent movements from WBLS to KISS in the late 80s as well as his early battles with Mr. Magic on WBLS.

Comment by DRLROCKWELL 12.16.08 @

Aye Yo DRLROCKWELL! Mad shout out to you and hip’n me to the fact that menz on here are saying almost the same thing. I’m swoll on the facts though. I go to a few Jams to try to catch one of them young broads. When I get a dance with my “Old Ass” lol and the MF got the music up too loud, or he’s screaming on top of his lunges talking about he a rapper, he ruins the EXPERIENCE. If I wanted to hear a talk show I would stay home. Now me and a broad can’t even get a word in edge wise b/c of some ego maniac with a P. A. system. Now the class factor is out of the DJ game. Worse is some meat head who just came from the music store with his first set, he doesn’t practice, and its evident that he learned the skills and craft watching some cat in a rap video.

When the cats back in the day played they knew why the crowd was there; not to see the DJ or so-called MC, but the music. In those ancient times you spent all your money to go out to get your “Freak or Your Hustle(the dance not drug sale) on. Flowers had a dance troupe called the “City Steppers” Maboya had the “Maboya Dancers.” Now these two dance companies would interpret the dance moves of the time. If you didn’t know “The Bus Stop”, “The Freak”, or “The Hustle” they would show the crowd and maybe start a Bus Stop line similar to the “Electric Slide.” The DJ and his troupe practiced their routine before hand so the crowd would be entertained; not screamed on by some crotch holding Felon.

I’m saying this b/c Hip Hop was once an extension of this good time. When a cat grabbed the mike and said say Ho oo, now scream the crowd was at fever pitch. Today they say them same dated lyrics and the crowd ain’t even hype. Worse I can’t count how many so-called DJ/MC repeat the same thing. In those days if you told the crowd to say the above you were called an Imitator or Biter. Those Lyrics were a signature of your crew. Flowers would say “I’m sharper than a mosquito in a tuxedo” his signature. If someone else used his catch phrases they were considered corny.

Reno Sick and tired of people messing up my craft.

Comment by Reno 12.16.08 @

Hey Yo!
I haven’t seen a response to my last joint so I guess I got the last word and everyone is in agreement.

I saw this joint on BET’s “Rap City” before it was over. It was talking about how todays arent bringing it real. The show had KRS1 and Solja Boy(one of the cats guilty of watering down Hip Hop), Q45 asked KRS1 to flow freestyle since he’s one of the only cats that went to the source of the watering down and talked to him to educate him on the destruction. KRS1 Flowed his usual golden Mike and then it was Soulja Boys turn to Flow freestyle. Now Soulja Boy is accused of formulaic records with dancing and all that but remember folks this is a new day in Hip Hop this aint’ the 80’s or 90’s. Soulja Boy took the spotlight and I was BLOWN away. I thought I was the only one who caught the feeling but when KRS1 jumped up and said Oh Shit! I knew the times had changed. Soulja Boy’s freestyle was as you say “FRESH” he had something rare that artist don’t have today it’s called “Stage Presence” he flipped it on KRS1 9ways to Sundown, Poor KRS he had no idea sonny boy had them skills if he did he would have came with the battle joints but he’s a elder to Soulja Boy and he recognized the times have changed. Soulja Boy said all the old school haters never come back to show artist of today how to make a record so their left on their own. Does this sound familiar: The dad leaves his home to let his male children grow without a father them wants to know why his seeds turn out to be criminals. No Guidance. Peace out to KRS1 for raising the next generation of Hip Hop.


Comment by reno 12.27.08 @

^^i actually seen that episode u talkin about and yea i was a little surprised soulja boy had it in him,for a minute i thought krs mighta wrote it down for him b/4 the show lol

Comment by dj blendz 12.27.08 @

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