Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Hip Hop Connection Magazine - Issues #2 & #3

"Get Ready For A Hype '89"

Issue #2

I've left a bit of a longer-than-antipcipated pause between posting the next issue of HHC so to make up for it I'm putting up a double.

KRS One adorns this issue's cover as he chills in his militant, pro-X gear straight outta Dan Dapper.
The Jungle Brothers and Salt 'n' Pepa as well as the homegrown, Cookie Crew all give a great smattering of the diversity that was typical of late 80s hip hop.

Normski kicks off the set as is what is becoming a regular slot with some immersive everyday photos of hip hop 'slebs in their natural habitat. And, hmmmm, whatever happened to The Fly Girls?
A short chat with the Coldcrush Brothers at the time of their Feel The Horns album and mentions of the best club venue, "The Autobahn"(surely the Audubon Ballroom?) and news of the beginnings of the Stop The Violence Movement.
A four-page spread devoted to The Artful Dodger is never a bad thing. He was probably the first UK writer that a lot of us remember, quite possibly due to his Weetabix campaign in 1985.

The super-sexily-voiced Malu Halasa interviews Overlord X as he tries to get his point across about violence in hip hop and football hooliganism. There's a feature of UK independent record labels (Rhythm King, Music of Life...) and Daddy Freddy & Asher D introduce 'Ragamuffin Hip Hop' to the world.
There's a great mini-feature of all the top names of UK rap in 1989 with a group posse shot featuring such luminaries as the Demon Boyz, No Parking MCs, Ruthless Rap Assassins as well as many others. A really historical moment.

Dave Pearce

For those of us living in the south of England, Dave Pearce was an authority on hip hop as he broadcasted out of GLR (formerly, Radio London) with his show A Fresh Start To The Week each and every Monday night. Check him out in his oh-so-fresh varsity jacket and obligatory cap. This was of course before he jumped ship and became Mr Trancey McTranceface.

Cookie Crew! Original Concept! Don Baron! Where else would you have ever found interviews with these people..in print...in 1989?! We mustn't forget this.

A few albums get the review treatment ("In Full Effect") by HHC journos Lee Holding, Hannah Ford and the aforementioned, Malu 'Hubba Hubba' Halasa.
Incidentally I once bought a big box of A4 biographies and promo photos from Lee Holding. I remember one particular bio on an upcoming group called Public Enemy. The headshots of one Cutmaster DC are wonderful - JerhiCurl-tastic.
Interesting in one review of Steady B's Let The Hustlers Play that Mr Holding points out that our very own Mike Allen gets a shout out on the back cover and asks "..where is Mike now?". And this was in 1989.

This issue features the first readers' letters. Some quite well thought-out points made as well as a lovely likkle letter from 9-year-old, Allen - "Yo! I love Hip Hop Connection because I love hip hop!!". Bless.

Who remembers General George of 4 Star General in Camden? He's featured amongst other fashionable shops in the nation's capital.
Followed by a Real Roxanne interview - who bizarrely made it to the UK Fresh 86 lineup because Shante caught chickenpox?! - and bookended by a roundup of '88 and predictions of the year to come this completes the very second issue of Hip Hop Connection.

Oh and a pull-out, centre-pages poster of Professor Griff in full military garb (phwoooar) for all you hardcore hip hop militants out there. But then, as a teenager back then who among us wasn't?


"All The Way Dope"

Issue #3

April '89 marked issue #3 of Hip Hop Connection.
KRS makes the front cover (again) and continues the magazine's love affair with the Blastmaster.
Richie Rich is there, too. I do loves me some Richie.
Normski steams the set with his gorgeous shots - has he ever produced a coffee table book? Why not?
I really do need to step my game up with my scanning technique. I've noticed a few blurry bits. I'm on it for next month, Scout's honour (I was a Scout for 3 weeks, therefore it still stands).

Many of last issue's top UK rap heads get to air their views and discuss what HHC should actually contain and it seems that the priority should be more UK-based stuff, funnily enough.
Anglophile, Chuck D blurts, "You English kids do a better job of covering rap than anyone in my country".
There's a news snippet of when Hijack were on the cusp....the cusp... of signing up to a major label courtesy of Ice T. The photo shows DJ Supreme aka Soops looking as dope as ever and K-Sly (sans afro) right next to him. Never again, eh lads?

Remember those indie-rocking skate punks, Jesus Jones who were on the waaaay out side of the spectrum of alternative hip hop back in those experimental 80s? There's a thankfully brief chat with them as they place palm to face and dig a huge hole explaining that "dissing" in hip hop is really nothing more than just plain paranoia. Well, it's not but thanks for your contribution, chaps.

Everyone's favourite female London emcee, Monie Love - to paraphrase Derek B, 'is she a Yankee? Nah, she's a Londoner....who thinks she's a Yankee' - talks us through her brief history while Dave Funkenklein (RIP) gives us the lowdown on the latest happenings on the West Coast of the Yoo Ess Ay.

There's a nice piece on Fab 5 Freddy as he talks about his part in the history of hip hop and explains the gist of the recent My Philosophy music video and Yo! MTV Raps.
Incidentally, am I imagining this or did one or more members of The London Posse happen to appear in that BDP video? Answers on a postcard, plz.

This month's pull-out poster is KRS One looking like he has just been offered his favourite Skittle flavour - orange. Print it out and stick it on ya bedroom wall, ya retro freaks, ya.
Tru-Funk Posse

Oh how times have changed. Richie Rich is accused of being a "Yuppy" simply because he is holding a mobile phone ("vodeaphone"). Well he was the (part) owner of Gee Street which was actually a pretty credible label at the time.

A return to the readers' letters and there's a prize tome from one "Jon Scott" who comes across like a twat, if I'm being honest, and goes on to dis a 9-year old kid - Allen from the last issue - the absolute cad.
There's also news that HHC will begin to print some Pen Pals letters. Now THAT sounds like a great idea!

Be careful, Professor Griff is fuming and can't wait to infiltrate our ear canals with politics and religion. Better keep going to the next page where the Bristol scene is looked at in-depth.
Wrapping up this month is a look at the 1989 DMC World Mixing Championships where Cutmaster Swift just pipped the post and beat favourite DJ Aladdin to win the golden Technics.


We Like Dondi

An oldie from Style Warrior.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Original Gangster Tee Shirt

Well, STYLE WARRIOR may now be just an old, happy memory of sadly-missed era of the finest of designed and produced shirts that catered to us maturing hip hop people but not any more.

As a one-off, LOVEGROVE has come back to us with this great design in a retro-nod to the 1970/80s era of our collective televisual childhood with a very cool twist.

Sold as either a t-shirt or a hoodie in blue or black you need to purchase one quickly as there is only another week left until availability runs out.

Nip over here to buy yours now.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Hip Hop Connection Magazine - Issue #1

I recently found a stash of long-lost Hip Hop Connection/HHC magazine up in my loft the other day.

For anyone not familiar with HHC let me briefly explain.
This magazine hit the newsstands in July of 1988 and was something completely new and mostly unheard of at the time. A magazine all about hip hop.
Let me tell you that I was absolutely gobsmacked when I first saw it and literally threw my money at the shopkeeper in that little newsagent in Guildford (opposite Surrey Police HQ, if you want to know).
I salivated at what the cover promised. Salt-N-Pepa! Wee Papa Girl Rappers (it does get better...)! EPMD! Stetsasonic! Tim Westwood! AND the chance to win a drum machine!

This was it, I thought. My whole life had led up to this point. The music I had been listening to exclusively for the past 6 or 7 years had finally made it into print. Things were going to start happening now.
Bear in mind that this was months before The Source had even begun so to say our generation were starved of reading material was an understatement. Sure I had some books which alluded to (some more than others) the history of hip hop and would snap up whatever I could find. But to see something that actually dealt with the current was almost mind-blowing. We were easily pleased back then.

From the off celebrated London photographer, NORMSKI was involved snapping some legendary figures in the scene. This wasn't some home-made, cheaply-photocopied fanzine (cough, more of which another time). No, this was the real deal, full-colour shizzle and only cost a measly £1.

I now present to you Issue 1 in all it's glory in what I am hoping will be a semi-regular feature on the ABU blog.
I know what you're thinking - where's the penpal section? Alas, you'll have to wait until Issue 4 where the legendary CONNECTIONS page began. Amidst the inaugural batch of hopefuls are 'Mandy' and 'Flen' who appear to have super-glued their hands to their chins (this would become the de rigueur hip hop pose of the '80s).

Own up, people. Am I likely to find any of you lot lurking in these pages as a spotty teen?


Download HHC Issue #1 Here

Mister Reeps

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Computer Vs Mobile

Just out of interest, I want to see the consensus of how you visit this page.
It basically comes down to either on your computer/laptop/tablet or via your Smartphone.
The PC version will give you the full experience whereas the Smartphone view is with an emphasis on the text.
You get one vote only so if you use different methods choose the one you use most/


PC or Smartphone?

Desktop / Tablet / Laptop

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Pioneers Hip Hop Show

For anyone on Facebook this post is structured just for you.
The next Pioneers Hip-Hop Show (hosted by Whirlwind D) is almost upon us.

Coming on your internet-streaming device on 22nd May at 9pm, this one promises to be a good 'un as it is delving into the year of 1986 and playing some choice cuts.
This month The Pioneers Hip Hop Show travels back to 1986 for a selection of classic and lesser-known hip hop gems. This month sees the return of our Groove Sales Chart and we feature some fresh brand new music, including some B-Line exclusives...Oh and we have a serious prize this month - test pressing business....more info to follow....
Tune in next Monday. A download will be available on Mixcloud soon after.

N.b. Big up WORDZ for using his post for this post 😉

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Wall Writers (2016)

Here's some screenshots from the great Wall Writers documentary. If you're a fan of real old school graffiti culture then this will be right up your street.
Bear in mind the film's title because we're going back, way back to the early 1970s and even the late 60s to when writers started out of street surfaces. This is to say way before trains and even before the various styles took hold. We're talking rudimentary actions here when all you had was a marker of some sort.

Narrated by John Waters (the legendary transgressive film director) this is an interesting journey back in time.
The writers are now well into their 50s and 60s now and some have wonderful recollections of their teenage years (as well as one writer with a truly harrowing experience) where they fumbled around before hooking up with others who also got down with the ink.

Personally I've always admired TAKI 183 who seemed to just do his thing for a short while then just disappeared back to live the life of an average schnook. He wasn't the first but he certainly influenced many who came after him. He's a very unassuming guy who seems almost bemused by what he helped create and it's nice to see him on screen still plodding away.

In case you can't find a copy of the doc, here's one for you to borrow. But please return it as others will want it after you.
And lastly here's some tasty links to whet your appetite.

Wall Writers " Graffiti In Its Innocence" Q&A - YouTube

Throwback Thursday: The Aerosol Autographers 1971 - 12ozProphet

Graffiti in Its Own Words:

Martha Cooper's quintessential photos of NYC:


Getting Up: Subway Graffiti in New York by Craig Castleman (1982)

Honouring the Bench at 149th St. & Grand Concourse:

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