My Top 5 Hip-Hop Moments

As Channel 4 has recently been having a street culture series of programs looking at everything from graffiti to Hip-Hop to all sorts of street sports, I thought I’d look at the 5 most significant Hip-Hop moments to my life. Here is a white working-class lad from Castleford’s view on his greatest Hip-Hop moments of his life:

1. Missy Elliot – Work It

This was the first timberland track I heard and I was a little obsessed with the music video, such good dancing from some very talented people…

2. Beat Freakz

I can’t do street dance but I flipping love watching it, the best crew I have ever seen are Beat Freakz. This clip is from America’s best dance crew on MTV (presented by Mario who is better known as Slater from Save By The Bell). Gasp in awe at just how brilliant they are, even with the sound on mute it’s just so good…I cry watching this, check out the spin at the end when she gets sunglasses and puts them on I mean COME ON!

3. Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Thou Shall Always Kill

My mind exploded when I first heard this, mainly a white guy doing spoken word / poetry over some very good beats and talking about so many intelligent things relevant to people in the UK! Been a fan ever since…best line? “thou shall not attend an open mic night…etc” VERY TRUE.

4. Beastie Boys – take the piss out of them selves (again)

Nothing makes me like an artist more when they show to the world they are aware of their position in the grand scheme of things. The Beastie Boys made a very famous video (fight for your right to… Party) and at the time showed underage drinking, lewd acts, gate-crashing parties, and burning a science magazine! So they launched there new album by making a 30 minutes piss take of them visiting their self’s back at that period of time. With a cast of very funny people this is just brilliant – best moment is the cowbell moment…you’ll know what I mean! (warning 30 minutes long (but worth it))

5. Roots Manuva – Witness my Fitness

This is the first rap video I ever took to my heart… video is also genius.

So that’s it for my top 5 but Hip-Hop and the culture that surrounds me continues to influence my life, I might not swagger, make beats in my bedroom, or listen to rap all the time but that’s not to say I dip my head into this flavorsome culture. Hope you enjoyed my little synopsis.

Till next time

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Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – The Duchess, York – 11th June 2010

I used to write for a living; I say ‘a living’ I used to get paid in gig tickets and the world’s supply of rock cd’s to write decent reviews of cd’s or live gigs. It was great and if it could pay the mortgage, car insurance, gas, electric, water etc etc then i would have done it forever. I’m aware some very lucky people get to do it forever but it requires being exactly that: lucky, and short of moving to London or Bath (oddly) to run blindly for that dream I sidelined it in favour of working in Marketing.

But recently I found myself pulled into writing again, I got in contact with a contact at the Press in York and asked him if they would use it, he said yes and by today it was in Print on the famous (it isn’t) page 17 of The Press.

So with an image here it is…

Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip @ The Duchess

Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – The Duchess, York – 11th June 2010
It’s not often the heavyweights of Hip-Hop drop by to our fair city, but this unlikely duo of electronica maverick Dan Le Sac and spoken word poet of the people Scroobius Pip came to The Duchess to show people just how much fun 2 people can have on stage.

The anticipation for the main act was fuelled by a succession of DJ’s playing some old skool hip-hop for a good hour and half before finally the lights slightly faded and the unlikely figure of Dan Le Sac appeared to begin the night. With a gleaming smile Dan knew what was about to happen and started his many electronic devices to begin the opener to 2009’s debut album ‘Angels’, ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’. This track started what was to be an assault of beats, singing and intelligent rap that the assembled crowd went crazy for.

Rather embarrassing for Dan his electronic drum sampler managed to break towards the end of this opener, however you wouldn’t have noticed if it wasn’t for his mock crying as he looked at the sound man. Other highlights included tracks from their new album ‘The Logic Of Chance’ such as the uplifting ‘Get Better’ and the out right party track ‘Sick Tonight’. Everything by this duo is done with maximum impact with a few tracks harking back to Pip’s spoken work background which include acting and slight costume changes to assist the story telling nature of the songs. One such track see’s Pip claiming he is going to run for the President of the UK (as it sounds better than Prime Minister), and reads from his manifesto which includes claims such as ‘I swear as a citizen of this country to not just sit around moaning’ – he’s got my vote!

Towards the end of the gig, he uses costume to tell the story of a series of events from different people’s view including a security guard and a 5 year old boy, this is done with such skill and finesse it can be at times awe inspiring.

The gig ends with the Radiohead sampled ‘Letter from God to Man’ which is based on a fictional letter from the big man to His subjects, which is such a big idea and executed with brilliance. The crowd left the Duchess not only with the sense their entry fee was well worth it but with ideas of religion, social responsibility, crime and politics whizzing around their minds, this was not only a gig but an education for the crowd.

So everyone don’t forget your dreams just make sure you have money coming in and keep them alive!