Though I haven't written about it much lately, I've continued to take classes over at Scratch Academy the past few months. This weekend I have to do a trick mixing performance, a routine that I've been sweating over for the past couple of weeks. The routine itself is fairly basic and, under normal circumstances, wouldn't be anything to stress out over. However the last time I performed at Scratch, Grand Wizard Theodore made a surprise appearance just as my set started. It's hard to come up with a suitable analogy for what that was like; there aren't many situations in life where you'll find yourself performing in front of an artform's originator. I suppose it would be like having Alfred Hitchcock critique your home movie clips or doing a half pipe routine in front of Tony Hawk. But to quote my man Zilla, "no more comparisons, yo," all you need to know is that things didn't go quite as planned. I've done my best to suppress the memories of that trainwreck, but suffice it to say that I thoroughly disproved the notion that any vinyl record can truly be labeled "skipless" and undoubtedly left Theodore questioning his own legacy.
In any event, as I've been preparing for my latest routine I've been sifting through the thousands of dj videos on Youtube. My favorite of the bunch so far has been the above old school clip featuring Afrika Bambaata and DJ Jazzy Jay of Zulu Nation explaining the concept of record scratching to an early 80's audience of earnest young kids. The clip would be worth it just for its look back into the origins of hip hop djing, but as a bonus it includes a rather clean cut looking Ad-Rock popping out of the audience to plug the release of the Beastie Boys' first real rap record, Cooky Puss. It's hard to tell whether Bambaata recognized Ad-Rock, but I'm hard pressed to come up with another explanation for how Ad-Rock worked his way onto the show.
And for those of you unfamiliar with the song, Cooky Puss was the song that marked the Beasties transition from a punk band to a rap group. Check it out:
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