Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Block Bangas

 The Artists Behind S.C. Hip-Hop

Sample Image    The Official Block Bangas (OBB) are a group of local individuals
working as one to promote South Carolina hip-hop with each member
providing his own unique insight and skill to help preserve the music
and culture they live and love.  We introduce you to the street team,
artists, DJs and producers with some questions and brief biographies



THE STREET TEAM

    BAKER    
    Metro S.C. / Duval, Fla…The 904
    Street Team Representative. Handles both OBB and OBB DJ MySpace sites.

    Why is preserving hip-hop culture important to you?
    “It’s important to me cause hip-hop used to be about having fun and the life problems that we as people go through. Today it’s simply everybody talking about selling dope. I don’t believe you.”

    What’s your favorite hip-hop album of all time?
    “Jadakiss, Kiss The Game Goodbye.  He’s my favorite because I could relate to a lot of what he said.  It was like he was speaking to what I was feeling.”

    Any current projects?
    “Be on the lookout for SK8 FRESH, my skate DVD/clothing line.”
baker@officialblockbanga.com & myspace.com/younggetmoneyboy

     SMOKIN’ LOC  
    DeMarcus Squirewell aka Smokin’ Loc hails from Winnsboro, S.C. representing Underground Rail Road / Street Side Records.
    Official Block Banga Street Team Lead Representative
    “I feel that [preserving hip-hop] needs to be done.  Plus it’s my way of living.”

    Album?
    “Tupac Shakur Me Against The World. (I feel that way a lot; it ain’t easy being me!)”

    Upcoming projects?
    “Currently,  Pushing Da Cold War mix tape and all the Official Block Banga DJ’s mix tapes.”
    smokinlocsta@yahoo.com & smoking@officialblockbanga.com

THE ARTISTS

    ALI-RAH     
    Representing Hopkins, S.C. / Orlando, Fla.
    MySpace.com/revolutionrap and pick up his new mix tape, Sacred Rhythm
   
    HEAZY BOI  
    Representing “Bad Newz,” Va. / Atlanta, Ga.
    MySpace.com/heazyboi and pick up his new Mix tape, Let It Bang

    MENTALITY   
    Representing Columbia, SC
    MySpace.com/kingofwoodfield and pick up his mix tape, Mind Over Matter

MET MONEY
Representing Hopkins, S.C.
MySpace.com/metmoney and pick up both volume one and two of his mix tape series, Hood Legends

THE PRODUCERS

    JUICE      
    Juice aka Mr. Freez aka Julio Helado was born and raised in Mobile, Ala., but says he “reps Columbia all day.”

    “I am a producer for OBB, although I hope to lay down some vocals in the future.”
    “Preserving hip-hop culture is important to me because I remember the positive things that the culture did for me as a youth.  I was able to have an outlet to express my creativity and passion. Every since I saw how the Zulu Nation repped, I was hooked.  Over the past decade or so, the culture has been diluted by market forces.  This creates a very critical need for the culture to be preserved at the grassroots/street level.”

    Album?
    “Obviously this is a difficult choice for any individual to make, but I would have to go with Step In The Arena by Gangstarr.  At the time, the sound that they had was somewhat unique. By this time I had moved away from dancing and I started making pause tape beats (you old school cats know what I am talking about).  I was mesmerized by the way DJ Premier chopped his samples and I was feeling Guru’s flow because it was unique.  It was almost like he had a foreign accent.”

    Upcoming projects?
    “I am mostly focused on producing for various OBB, NSHHL, and Streetside projects.  However, I would like to mention two of my personal projects that are in the works.  I am currently working with Midi Marc, collaborating on a Beat CD, titled BlockBangaBeats Vol. 1.  I am also working hard in the lab on my first solo project.  Most likely it will be an EP, tentatively titled, The Prodigal Son.
 www.myspace.com/gamefaceproductions--gfp_juice@officialblockbanga.com & gfpproductions@yahoo.com

    MIDI MARC    
    MIDI Marc aka MIDI Marathon,  The Mad Black Beatmaker, Masterbeats Theater hails from Hopkins, S.C.
    “I am one of the producers in Official Block Bangaz. I also rap, and help with the street team sometimes.”
    “In a lot of ways hip-hop culture is the only thing the youth of this generation have to call their own. My parents were a part of the soul music movement, my grandparents were part of the jazz music movement, and from about 1973 and on, the youth’s music has been predominately hip-hop. The culture in its purest form promotes entrepreneurship, music, art, history, and dance. When taught the right way, hip-hop culture is just as positive as any after school program.”
      Album?
    “My favorite hip-hop album of all time is hands down Wu-Tang Clan Wu Tang Forever. It’s one of the greatest double discs ever. To this day I can’t just listen to a couple of songs from the album. I have to take time out of my schedule and at least listen to one complete disc. This album inspired me to make my own beats. You know there is something special about an album when you can listen to it and all you can think about is how you want to make music for the rest of your life

    Upcoming projects?
    “Right now I am the reigning Beat Street Beat Battle Champion and working on a Notorious B.I.G. tribute album. I will be combining acappella’s from “Ready to Die” and “Life After Death” over my original beats. I’m also in the lab making beats for Fat Rat Da Czar, Ntelligence, Spectac, and other local emcees.
 midimarc@officialblockbanga.com and MySpace.com/beatsbymidimarc

THE DJ’S

    DJ CANNON BANYON
    Cheraw / Columbia, SC.

    “My OBB role is to rep my whole crew and to tell y’all out there that we got the hottest squad of artists, promoters, DJs, producers and more in South Cak.”

    Album?
    “Wu-Tang Clan Enter The 36 Chambers. I got that Cover tatted on my arm. When I first heard that album, I was real young and was going through that family stuff most of us do, after hearing the struggle and passion in that album and that lyrical content, it made me feel that my situations weren’t as bad as I thought. In short, it made me better and kept me going.”

    Upcoming?
    “Be sure to check out my mix tape series Shootin’ The Breeze.
    djcannonbanyon@officialblockbanga.com & myspace.com/cannonbanyon.

    DJ ETC (pronounced etcetera)             
Harlem, NYC / Columbia, S.C. / Atlanta

    “I grew up with hip-hop all around me in Harlem and the Bronx.  This has helped me know the original way it was represented, compared to the way that corporations force on kids today.  I feel like it is my responsibility to keep the real form of this culture alive whether I get paid for it or not (but since I’m a better DJ than 99 percent of the DJs in Columbia and at least 90 percent of the DJ’s worldwide: cut the check.) If your favorite DJ didn’t like that last statement, I would be more than happy to battle them. How many DJ’s can really say that and mean it?”

    Album?
    “DIAMOND D Stunts, Blunts, and Hip Hop. This album came out in ‘92. At this point, that album was the most complete hip-hop album to me and still bumps to this day. I mean you had every style of rap on this album, from conscious rap, so-called gangster rap, old school hip-hop style, the freestyle, the keep it real style, the story telling, the commercial song, the battle rap, and even the crew track. I feel like this album is the foundation for the complete hip-hop/rap album. The only album to come even close was probably The Blueprint by Jay-Z.”

    Projects?
    “There is a void in music being represented by hip-hop DJ’s today.  Let’s just say my current projects are focusing on filling that void.”
    myspace.com/djetc1 djetc@officialblockbanga.com & djetc1@yahoo.com

    D.J. BAM
    North Charleston, S.C.
   
    “Preserving hip-hop is most important because it’s what we are as a people and as a culture. So, keeping the integrity of what hip-hop is and balancing that with financial opportunities where everyone can and will prosper is very important.

    Album?
    “My favorite hip-hop album of all time is Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt.

    Upcoming projects?   
    “I’m currently working on my new mix tape series, Pillow Talk.  It’s a series of slow jams from new school to classic R& B.  Also, be on the lookout for Brooklyn’s Finest, my next mix tape with DJ KINGPIN coming real soon.

     bam420@gmail.com & djbam@officialblockbanga.com

   
      DJ DYCE                  
    Columbia, S.C.

    “My role as a Block Banga is a DJ, but specifically I am more
of the street DJ of the crew. I keep my ears open to what the people want and I
break a lot of songs in the mix tape scene in Columbia.”
    “Preserving hip-hop culture is important to me because, without hip-hop there wouldn’t have been an avenue for me or many others that are my age to try to become productive adults. It has opened so many opportunities that have never been available for me, including being able to travel around the country and meeting new people, and I would like to see it do the same for other kids that are on the way up like me.”

    Album?
    Being a DJ, I have listened to so much music, but one of my favorites is Outkast ATLiens. When it came out it had some of the
most original production ever, and I was so happy to be able to hold that
that South banner high.

    Upcoming projects?
    I am currently working on an all-South Carolina mix tape with DJ
B-Lord entitled SC Lockdown. The projected release date is July 1.
I am also in the process of working on a mix tape with Mentality so keep your eyes and ears open.
 myspace.com/803djdyce & djdyce@officialblockbanga.com.

    SHEKEESE THE BEAST
    Columbia, S.C.
    Operations Manager of the Official Block Banga Team.

    Album?
    Showbiz & A.G. Goodfellas, KRS-ONE Return of the Boom Bap, and Goodie Mob Soul Food. All for the same reasons:  No fluff, no engineers, no band, no funny hairdo’s or funny clothes, no phony entourages or jewelry, no faking, biting, hating, or posing; just beats, rhymes, and life.  Straight from the corner to your speaker, directly from the people, for the people, by the people. Doesn’t get any better.

    Projects?
    Currently I have two projects.  Firstly, just wrapped up Da Cold War with Fat Rat Da Czar. Second and finally: making Official Block Banga a household name!!!
 shekeese@officialblockbanga.com.   (myspace.com/shekeesethabeast)

talkback@columbiacitypaper.com

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