I just found out that Markey Fresh, aka ‘The Mack of Rap’ passed away on the 15th of May, 2010 after suffering a stroke. Best remembered for his 45 King theme song ‘The King Is Here’ and his classic promos for Kool DJ Red Alert, he released the memorable single ‘The Mack of Rap’ on Jive Records in 1989, and an EP on The 45 King’s label in 1993. I was fortunate enough to interview Markey in February, and he really seemed to enjoy the feedback from everybody after all these years, as he made sure to respond to everyone’s questions in the comment section of the article and soon became a regular in the comment section of Unkut Dot Com. Markey recently emailed me expressing an interest in recording some new music and possibly releasing it through the site, and had left a comment here as recently as May 7, which makes the news of his death even more unexpected, as he had never mentioned any health problems. A sad loss for fans of dope New Jersey hip-hop.
Mourn you ’til I join you? Not in the spit-on-the-grave world of rap. Guru‘s passing has shown once more than when it comes to death, hip-hop has no idea how to handle itself with dignity and grace. Being a legendary rapper and part of one of hip-hop’s most beloved groups didn’t stop the ex-Gang Starr man from being pronounced dead on Twitter when he wasn’t, having a soap-opera-style drama unfold in the wake of his death, and seeing his life ‘celebrated’ by a stream of rubbish, pixelated YouTube videos. But that’s pretty much par for the course when it comes to hip-hop deaths. Why? Here’s five starters… (more…)
The Elam family wishes to thank the fans of our son/brother/father uncle/nephew/cousin Keith aka GURU for the outpouring of love, concern and support.
Our hearts are broken by the loss of someone we loved so much. GURU was devoted to his young son, who will most keenly feel his absence.
GURU suffered from multiple myeloma for over a year. Accrued complications from this illness led to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. As a result, GURU was in a coma from mid February until his death and never regained consciousness. Early on the morning of April 19th, he became hypertensive due to low blood pressure. He again went into cardiac arrest and slipped away from us.
GURU died far too young but he was, and we are, proud of all his many legendary musical contributions.
The family is not aware of any foundations established by GURU. We know and understand that countless fans want to express their condolences and love and, to that end, we are planning a memorial event in the near future that will be all-inclusive. Please look for further details from the family as they become available.
This is fucked the fuck up. I can’t add anything to the piece I wrote in March other than to say Rest In Peace Keith Elam…a true Master of the Ceremony. I can still remember the first time I heard the ‘Positivity’ remix on the radio….
Visionary or snake-oil salesman? Regardless, the Duck Rock album was very influential in it’s day on the strength of ‘Buffalo Gals’ and ‘World’s Famous’ and the Would Ya Like More Scratchin’ EP, largely thanks to the great work of producer Trevor Horn and The World Famous Supreme Team (See Divine the Mastermind and Justice Allah the Superstar).
DJ Modesty from France just put together this comprehensive tribute mix for Sha Lumi.
DJ Modesty presents :
Killa Sha “Rest In Peace”
A Tribute to the One & Only Killa Sha (Shalumi, Prince Ad, Killa Kids…) A Special Real Hip Hop Show with 2 Hours of his music. This Mixtape is Dedicated to his memory, for his family, Friends & fans. REST IN PEACE my Kings From Queens homie.
The tracklist is available (Front, inside & Back Cover)
+ an Exclusive Interview of Killa Sha by Modesty (2007-2008) & All the 38 Joints separated + the Full Mix:
Finishing up the tributes to Sha Lumi, here are some memories of the man and his music from his good friends J-Love, DJ Phantom, Thorotracks and DJ Peter Parker.
UPDATE: Added a quote from Ayatollah.
J-Love: It was maybe 2000 or so when I was doin’ the old Stretch & Bobitto Show – me and Lord Sear took over when Bob and Stretch left. Sear and Killa Sha were always real close, so he started coming to the show and we just clicked and we built from there. It was funny too, ‘cos you know I’m the kind of cat I snap on a lotta niggas – I don’t really give a fuck. So he went at me first – we was on the air, he called me, ‘Jason Giambi’ or some funny shit. I was like, ‘Yeah? Nigga, you look like a rapping Webster!’ We just always had that chemistry, that bond. We could just joke around, have fun – lock you in and make some banging music. He was a worker like me – he was the type like, ‘Yo, son, let’s bang this out’. Sha was like money. Writin’ a verse on the spot, goin’ in, knock it out in one or two takes. He definitely had his craft mastered. I feel like Sha was one of the nicest cats outta Queensbridge that just got overlooked, because he wasn’t ‘industry popular’ or whatever. That nigga was motherfuckin’ perfectionist, too. He would be in the booth ‘till he gets it right. I might have a hundred songs with Killa Sha that people never even heard yet. (more…)
Late last week I was contacted by DJ Phantom – who it turns out was Sha Lumi’s right-hand man in the music game – and I was fortunate enough to have him share some stories about Sha. For those of you not familiar with Phantom’s resume, he’s been involved in the mixtape game heavily for years, and was responsible for bringing the world the debut mixtapes from artists such as Consequence (Take ‘Em To The Cleansers), Saigon (Warning Shots), Trife Da God and Streetlife to name a few. Here’s here’s the Killa Sha story according to Phantom:
DJ Phantom: Killa Sha was more than my friend – that was like my brother. I met Sha in ’99 through Trag, ‘cos that’s when I started working with Trag. Trag told me to come to Power Play Studios and I said, ‘Yo, I wanna meet Killa Sha’. He’s said, ‘Why you wanna meet Sha for?’ I said, ‘Cos the nigga’s the nastiest outta your whole group!’ I’m imaging Killa Sha to be some 6’2”, tall-ass dude from Queensbridge…I get to the studio, he calls me and goes, ‘Yo, Sha’s here, yo, so let’s get up’. So I go to the control room, open the door and I say, ‘Yo, where’s Sha at?’ He says, ‘Sha’s in the lounge.’ So I’m in the lounge room, chilling out, and I see mad people in there. So I go back into the control room like, ‘Yo, I don’t know who Sha is, man’. So Trag brings me back in the lounge room and says, ‘Yo, Sha! Come over here!’ So I see this 5’5” dude come next to me, and I look at Trag and I say, ‘You aren’t Killa Sha, son!’ He’s like, ‘Son! I’m Killa Sha, son! I’m Killa Sha!’ I’m like, ‘Word? Son, you my nigga!’ He started laughing, then Trag is like, ‘I’ll be in the control room, see you guys later’. From there, me and him became friends. (more…)
Apache, a founding member of the original Flavor Unit and cousin of Latee has passed away after years of poor health. Lord Ali Ba-Skidiscussed his unfortunate condition a couple of years ago:
‘Apache is on permanent disability now. He has a bruised heart. He got his bruised heart from when he was with that label [Tommy Boy] and making all that good money, ‘cos Apache got the biggest shine – not including Naughty By Nature and Latifah and all the rest of ‘em – but as far as the original Flavor Unit cats? He got the biggest shine outta all of us, as far as money. I mean he had a $250,000 budget with his label, see. And Apache did show after show after show. He was getting triple what Chill Rob was getting for a show. He used to get anywhere from 7 G’s to 20 G’s a show! He went through some money. This guy used to get so high and drunk – his whole thing was a big ‘ol party. Then he bloated all the way up to 300 and something pounds, and mind you he’s like only 5′9″, 5′10″. He blew up to 300 pounds and the guys almost bed-ridden from getting so big, and then he went up and down.’
Another sad loss for the hip-hop community… (more…)
In case you’re not familiar with Killa Sha‘s legacy for some reason, here’s a quick run-down of his history in the rap game:
Prince A.D. was a true student of the rap game. When he was eleven, he was down with The Super Kids – a group of young upstarts put together by Marley Marl which featured Tragedy and Craig G. He wasn’t rapping at this stage, just hanging out with his boys. Years later he applied his quickly developing skills as a DJ to help out his friend from school Havoc and his rhyme partner Prodigy, who had just started a group called the Poetical Prophets. After winning ‘Unsigned Hype’ in The Source magazine and landing a deal with 4th & Broadway, they changed their name to Mobb Deep and recorded Juvenile Hell. DJ Prince A.D. performed the scratches on the album and spun for them at live shows. (more…)
Sha Lumi did a lot of radio work over the years, as he was both a talented DJ and a real character. He worked with DJ Stretch Armstrong on The Xtra Large Radio Show from 1998-2001, and also co-hosted Rhyme Time with DJ Peter Parker, who had this say in memory of his friend:
I was fortunate to work closely with Sha for many years. He was the epitome of hip hop. On the mic he was a beast and he more than held his weight on the turntables. On a personal note, Sha was one of the funniest cats I ever had the pleasure to be around. His wit and magnetic personality are clearly demonstrated in the 46 episodes of Rhyme Tyme we co-hosted together.
He’s also pulled a dope old episode of the show from his vaults called ‘The Killa Sha Hour‘:
I’ve decided to dedicate the rest of this week to the god Sha Lumi, since he was criminally under-appreciated while was here. To set things off as we celebrate how he put it down, here are ten of my favorite Killa Sha solo moments…
Very sad news that Queens veteran Sha Lumi has passed away due to complications with his diabetes.
He’s survived by his daughter Princess Sharnia Larkin. Look out for a full tribute to the man shortly, but you can read about his legacy here in the meantime:
Talented photographer – and long-time friend of Unkut Dot Com – Alexander Richter suffered a sad loss on Tuesday, 10 November when his mother passed away at age 74 after a long battle with Diffuse Large Cell B Lymphoma cancer. Rest In Peace, Mrs. Richter.
Today hip-hop has lost one it’s true pioneers – Sir Juice, aka Mr. Magic, passed away after suffering a heart attack. Not only was Magic the first rap DJ to have an exclusive rap show on commercial radio on WBLS (The Rap Attack with DJ Marley Marl and Fly Ty) but his often brutal honesty (aka breaking their vinyl live on air!) would inspire BDP to record ‘South Bronx’ and ‘The Bridge Is Over’ – thus sparking the legendary ‘Bridge Wars’ – while he was equally vocal about his disapproval of an early Public Enemy track, with his “No more music by the suckers!” declaration being sampled for the Fear of A Black PlanetIt Takes A Nation of Millions… album. Not to mention that the ‘Roxanne’ answer record craze was sparked-off by UTFO turning down an appearance on Magic’s show, only to appear on KISS-FM. With a career as a radio personality spanning twenty years, he later hosted a show on Hot 97 with Mister Cee from 1992 to 2002. (more…)
For anybody who doesn’t fully appreciate how significant Raida’s contribution to hip-hop music was, take a listen to Eclipse’s moving tribute, which is crammed with memories of Roc from some of his closest friend’s.
The X-Men defined the hardcore b-boy turntablist movement for a lot of us. Not to knock the more experimental techniques of the Bay, but catching them performing those beat-juggling routines live was incredible – so much so that I was compelled break tradition and give Raida a pound the first time I saw him perform a set. A few years later I bumped into him again at a Lord Finesse in-store signing, bugging him out when I produced my cassette edition of Return of the Funkyman to Finesse for an autograph. That same night, Roc and the Funkyman performed a back-to-basics set that showcased two masters of their craft, tearing the roof off that motherfucker. To me, that shit was iller than Public Enemy‘s stadium tour in 1989. Sure, seeing Flav enter the stage on an ambulance was crazy, but to witness Finesse and Raida in action was something else. Best believe I was front row on some Beatlemania shit, rapping every line and snapping my neck to every snare.
Roc Raida‘s status as a champion DJ is widely acknowledged, but don’t forget about his skills on the boards either. Here are a selection of some of my favorite Raida beats as we pay our respects to the great man. R.I.P. Grand Master. (more…)
Less than 24 hours after it was reported that DJ AM was found dead in his apartment, some douchebags have already started selling ‘tribute’ clothing, featuring played-out designs (the Run-DMC logo, AC/DC) and even quoting his final Twitter entry. As you can see from the pics, they’ve simply thrown the ‘design’ over a blank tee.
It’s not even like the money is going toward a worthy cause (such as his mother’s leukemia treatment), so let me send a big ‘Fuck you’ to Nice Tee Tee‘s and to the three people cocksuckers who have already bought these shirts.