Monday, 30 August 2010

The Kool Skool Interviews Tame One - Boom Skwad (Ex-Artifacts)

The Kool Skool Interviews Tame One 
Boom Skwad, Artifacts, CWK
Tame One putting in work!

Despite the long history of quality underground artists, it took Redman's 1990 collabo with EPMD, for New Jersey to get some serious love out of the Tri-state. MC, DJ and Graffiti writer Tame One's a New Jersey representer all the way, who's been getting up, and throwing down for some time, just across the river from the Big Apple.

The Artifacts (originally The Brick City Kids) Press shot

In 1994 alongside El Da Sensei, their group The Artifacts (originally The Brick City Kids) slotted smoothly into the weed headed, Timbo-clad "keep it real" era. Punters were getting tired of the shouty chorus based tracks of that time, and the brothers from New Jeruse brought the skills, art and elements back. Artifacts became part of new generation of real East Coast hood MC's getting their shine on.

Wrong Side Of The Tracks single cover Graffiti Piece by Reas AOK

Their first single Wrong Side Of The Tracks can be considered a bonified classic not just because it was a heavy track but for several reasons:

1. It was one of the first proper Graff based records; an element long ignored by the MC population.
2. It became a Graf writers anthem, who in turn showed the group love.
3. The cover featured a slick mock up of Artifacts train piece by New York writer Reas [AOK], and started the rumour mill going… "Did Artifacts do it?!" "Can they paint as well as they rap?!"
4. The Artifacts tore down the now legendary 1995 Rock Steady Crew Anniversary Jam, gaining them serious true school respect.

Artifacts - "Wrong Side of the Tracks

Their first album, "Between A Rock And A Hard Place" (1994) was on Big Beat Records, (also home to New Jersey group Double X Posse). Another single of the album "Come On Wit Da Git Down" also featured a Busta Rhymes appearance on the remix, I imagine a pretty pricey guest now.

The Artifacts "That's Them"

The Facts second album "That's Them" followed in 1997, and the [DITC's] Show Biz blessed them with Remix club smasher "The Ultimate", a standard in any mix set of that era. The two parted ways after, and Tame continued on the long haul alone, and what with some of the recent not so subliminal dissing, a re-united album looks highly unlikely.
Tame One - Homage 2 The Bombers

A series of releases on the High & Mighty's independent imprint Eastern Conference Records, solo LP's "When Rappers Attack", and a collaboration with Cage for the Leak Brothers project "Waterworld." Tame also ripped a sick verse along side J-Zone, Cage, Mr. Eon [High & Mighty] Mad Skillz and others on the 2001 Posse cut "Eastern Conference All Stars."

Tame One "O.G. Bobby Johnson"

2005 brought the DOPE "O.G. Bobby Johnson" solo album, an over-looked gem, and really defines the versatility that can be achieved by a real MC, and an open mind. This year, Ahead Records released a new "Spazmatic" solo but strength in numbers is now his modern mantra, as he puts in work as a member of the Weathermen, and Slow Suicide Stimulus (with the Dusted Dons) for several recent and upcoming projects and tours.

MC skills are not the only thing he is known for, getting live on the decks, dope handstyles and pieces got him rockin' with some of the best graffiti crews New York has ever seen, FC, TC5, and [like Kool Sphere] he's CWK too. To continue our mission to support the real art, we copped a few with the Knotty Headed Terrorist, and mixed it up on his favourite elements.

Tame One Piece

What do you write and what crews are you connected to?

Tameone, LTD, NRG, FC, TC5, QM8, CBS, CWK and the Boom Skwad.

Tamer by Tame One 1985

Porn & Tame 1985

Ben by Tame 1985

What area are you from and when did you start writing?

Newark, New Jersey, [and I started in] 1980.

Who was the first writer that got you interested in graff?

2 Nastie Nas a.k.a. Jerry Jinx, out of Newark, NJ.

Smokemon  by Tame One 2003

For people who don't know that much about the New Jersey scene, what was it like back in the day?

It was real competitive for "choice spots" to have your work seen. North Jerz (Essex County) had its spurts of activity, it seemed as if every other summer, another duo would start a new crew, and team up to bomb all city, only to be replaced by a newer duo from another neighbourhood. There was more emphasis on actual piecing back in the late '80's - early '90's, as compared to nowadays, more tagging and throw-ups are being done.

El Da Sensei (feat. Tame One & DJ Kaos) - Everyday In The Street (!llmind Remix)

Were New Jersey writers accepted by the New Yorkers?

Yeah, the ones with either skills, the balls to hang out in NY, or the ones willing to play "your guide" for NY cats looking for new areas to bomb, rack paint from, or get drugs from cheaper.

Tame (Aerosol Blues 2) Tame One 1998

Did a lot of Freights get done?

Not by me, I hate Freights, only because after you're done painting, the chances of ever seeing your piece again are slim to none.

Tame One Wild Style 2003

What would you say is "the Tame One style"?

Readable with a distinct flavour, the original Bronx-style.

Artifacts back in the Lab!

Are there any memories that stick out from back then?

Freshman year of Arts High School, I bombed the school so hard. I single-handedly caused the banning of the marker as a medium, for any artists from 9th grade through 12th!!!

You're down with a lot of serious crews, what do you feel are the benefits?

To be able to create with similar minded artists I respect and/or admire.

Uprise by Porn & Tame One

Do you feel that graffiti has changed?

Paint colours are more vibrant now, and artists push the envelope, experimenting with wilder styles (depending on their location).

Unknown writer and Tame One

Has being a writer as well as an MC changed your life in any particular way?

It has influenced me socially, in relationships with dealing with groups of friends or crews, as well as rivals.

Black Book Mathematics

What do you feel you get from doing graff?

Self-expression, self-gratification, and disregard for the socially accepted, and as further inspiration for personal self-expression in general. I record for fame. I do graffiti for me.

Tame One - Spazmatic

How did you first get introduced to the music industry?

Pursuing and then obtaining a recording deal in 1993.

Tame One photo by Nick Ceglia at Division East

Can you name some of the artists you have worked with in the past?

Redman, Busta Rhymes, George Clinton [Parliament], [and graff writers] Gnome CWK [designed covers for T La Rock & Just-ice] and West FC. [I toured with] The Beatnuts, Organized Konfusion and Common.

MC/D.I.T.C. member/Producer & DJ - Lord Finnesse

Who were the coolest MC's/DJ's that you met back then?

DJ Rockraider, DJ Sinister, Hard To Obtain, Busta Rhymes, Kurious, Cage, Lord Finesse and Brand Nubian.

What would you say has your best show?

Just to irritate you, I'm going to say I haven't done my best show yet. [Career wise] I still haven't made it yet. I'm still grinding!!!

Tame One "Thow-Up" T-shirt design

As an artist do you design your own record covers as well?

I don't do the album covers; I leave that up to other members of my crew Boom Skwad. But [I like] the "Tame1 tag" on my merchandise (t-shirts etc), because it's my actual graffiti tag worn as a "moving canvas".

Del The Funky Homosapien & Tame One - Flashback

Del The Funky Homosapien & Tame 1- Flashback

Are you bringing any new music coming out soon?

Probably not until winter '06, but until then [I'll do] a few mix CD appearances or collabos.

Tame One & DJ Junkwaffel - The Hell or High Water E.P.

Is there anything you would like to plug?

My Boom Skwad Crew, Slow Suicide Stimulus, The "Weathermen" and Division East Clothing Line.

Porno by DJ Porno
Special Thanks goes to DJ Porno/Ber One FC aka Porn LTD, FC, CWK, 156, NRG for the Graffiti Flicks!!

Also check out The Kool Skool Interview with Kool Sphere, who cut his teeth as both a graffiti writer riding the 7's surviving local hood wars, and later on battling MC's live on New York College radio. Here

Interview originally released here on 06.12.06 words: Shucks One

Tame One photo by Nick Ceglia at Division East

Jasiri X - Universal Ruler & Real Ganstas (Video)

"I wear my X proudly, was lost but God found me" - Jasiri X

Saturday, 28 August 2010

"No One Man Should Have All That Power" Kanye West & Casual (Hieroglyphics) *Update*

Casual of the group Hieroglyphics has taken an intellectual swipe at Kanye West's new song "Power" in his version "Powder". Listen carefully to what his arguement is, and research the names and terms he referances. Casual is dropping SERIOUS Jewels!!!

Powder by Smash Rockwell

In an era when many "Old School MCs" are finally making exceptionally credible come backs (even Grand Daddy IU, Mellow Man Ace???), it is about time that these "Gods" making "Grown Man Music", are practicing what they preaching, teaching the seeds, Upright, and Conscious, (as opposed to just bangin' on about new Schoolers tight jeans!). Found on The Kool Skool's favourite Hip-Hop Blog "The Pure Hip-Hop Blog", yo Big D.O.!!!

Resurrected, illuminated between the pillars...

Freemasonic Ritual

"God Head"???

"Hope you got that Heru (Horus) chain for the right reasons"- Casual

*Update* More indepth breakdown at The Vigilant Citizen on this page and at Farhankhan on this page

Friday, 27 August 2010

Sensei.FM’s Carnival Warm Up - Saturday 28th August 2010 - 7pm – 1am @ The Social, 5 Little Portland St - Free Event!

Sensei.FM Carnival Warm Up

Saturday 28th August 2010 - 7pm – 1am @ The Social, 5 Little Portland St - Free Event!
Hosted by: Kashmere DJs: Jazz T, Matman, Miracle, J’da Kut + Ironfingaz

Sensei.FM celebrates this bank holiday weekend with a Carnival Warm Up jam set to get you ready for London’s biggest party weekend. A line up of All Star Sensei.FM DJs will be spinning Hiphop, Funk, Soul and Breaks all night at The Social, a venue known for its great vibes a party crowds. The night will also be streamed online via the Sensei.FM website

Jazz T - Currently Jehst and Tim Dog’s DJ. The ITF winning DJ always comes through with amazing dexterity as well as incredible collection of music to suit all Hiphop and funk enthusiasts.

Matman - The DMC winning DJ combines raw skills and ability to keep the dance floor on smash. Matman is known for holding it down in clubs such as Bungalow 8 and Morton’s Club to the World Famous venues Jazz Café and Cargo.

Miracle - A DJ who is known for always blending very special sets of Hip Hop, breaks and library rarities.

J’da Kut – Zulu Nation representative and Sensei’s chief gets it moving with her fantastic selection of funk and music from around the globe.

Ironfingaz – Member of the Invincible Armour crew, Ironfingaz is always on point with the cuts. Selecting and tearing through b boy breaks and classic Hiphop tunes.

Kashmere - Known for his incredible rhyming skill and also the Sensei’s favourite host, Kashmere joins us on the mic to get the people hyped!

For more information, photos etc. please contact:

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

29/8/10 RED, GOLD & GOING GREEN: Green issues from an African Perspective - U.S. Conscious Hip-Hop Grop Dead Prez Lecture

US Political Hip-Hop Legends Dead Prez give a unique lecture

RED, GOLD & GOING GREEN: Green issues from an African Perspective

Sunday 29th August

Location: 22 Willington Road, Stockwell, SW9 9NB

Followed by Q&A session and live music

Hosted by: KMT

6pm till 11pm
£5 entry (under 16s free if accompanied by an adult)

For tickets contact: 020-8648-4700 /

Afrika Bambaataa The Amen Ra of Universal Hip-Hop Kulture/Master Of Records live on Crazy Legs Rock Steady UPDATE!!!

Afrika Bambaataa The Amen Ra of Universal Hip-Hop Kulture/Master Of Records will be live cooking up Breaks and Lunch delights at Crazy Legs Rock Steady Crew Lunch Breaks Show Today at 1.30pm-4pm (Bronx Time) Direct Link here

Watch the show here
The Kool Skool
even got a shout out!!!

Found at the dope Funk What You Heard

Monday, 23 August 2010

ABBEY LINCOLN - Vocalists, Actress & Activist R.I.P.

ABBEY LINCOLN - Vocalists, Actress & Activist R.I.P.

"Hello People, Bonjour a tous. Oi do Brooklyn,

A few days ago the world lost one of its dearest and most talented female vocalists, actress and activist. ABBEY LINCOLN.
I'm extremely sad as she had become one of my favorites. She was not doing well health wise during the last couple of years. A 50 year recording and performing career, married to Max Roach for 8 years. Golden Globe nominated actress for her role in "For The Love Of Ivy" (1968) with Sidney Poitier and music by Quincy Jones.

I never had a chance to see her performing live but did meet her once to offer her my mother's book "JAZZ ZOOM" where she was interviewed and photographed.

Summer 2005... After a long phone conversation, I finally convinced Abbey to personally deliver the book at her home. The visit ended up lasting 3 hours.
Asked me who I was, questions about Desdemone (mama) who she had met a few times, all this over a glass of red wine. Bien sur.
She slowly looked at the book, page by page, once stopping shedding a tear, touching the pictures. Recited a couple of poems, sang a few melodies. I was stunned and floating.
She showed me her home photo gallery which included photos off her and many Jazz Legends: Monk, Bird, Coltrane, Dizzy, Miles, you name them... A photo museum.
Before leaving she offered me a re-mastered DVD copy of "Nothing But A Man" (movie she starred in 1964), she had just received 10 copies.
What more can I say? What an encounter!!!
I was so touched that I sent her flowers a few days later.

Check out her discography
Suggested Listen:
-Abbey is Blue
-We Insist, Freedom Now
-Who Used To Dance
-Wholly Earth

Peace & Blessings

Hip-Hop Loves Foundation

To read more about Siba, The Get Open Crew and Alphabet Soup check out this Kool Skool feature here

4.28.1967 Pt. 2 by Skipp Coon feat. David Banner & Luca Brazi (prod. by Mr. Nick)

"Put the freedom in the kick, snare and sam-ple".... - Dave Banner ain't takin' no shorts

Friday, 20 August 2010

New T-Shirts - Fresh Off The Press

Sedgwick & Cedar
When The Planet Rock/Zulu Nation tour reached every part of the world, spreading Hip-Hop culture, the world would never be the same! Check these Sedgwick & Cedar T's celebrating the tour flyers available here

A.T.G. are still pimping these London Landmark T's available here
More info on our ATG Brothers here

London's best Graffiti/Jokes Superblog "HurtYouBad" have collaborated with TopSafe this is the Hefs version but there are more, they can be consumed here





"There have been so many talented producers who have come through KING OF THE BEATS that is was no surprise when the idea of starting a label was put forward. Limited to 300 copies only. The first release will feature music by 2 times KOTB winner JAY KING and KOTB 5 Winner D'LUX BEATS.

To get your hands on the first release on KING OF THE BEATS RECORDS CAT NO KOTB001. The 7'inch single will be exclusively available first at the event on August 28th at the Vibe Bar, Brick Lane, London. Those that order the record online the shipping date is September 1st. You are not just buying a record you are buying into a cultural movement. We are a true independent." _ K.O.T.B.'s website

Order yours here

More info & videos can be seen here

Producer/DJ and KING OF THE BEATS Winner can be heard on Sensei.FM "The UK's premier Hip-Hop Culture Station", on his page here

The challenge returns, starting at 8pm and only £4 entry. If your a producer who wants to take part in the challenge please contact Soho (London) Record Store Guide Part 2

As many DJ will tell you, the life blood of the UK Hip-Hop scene was the plethora of Hip-Hop Record shops that were fans and players would Bench and build on the ins and outs of our music. As the recent closure of Fat Beats L.A.& N.Y. suggests, Hip-Hop Record shops might become a thing of the past. The Kool Skool featured the phenomenum in our 2 Part memorial of the lost Soho shops, but to keep it positive The Most have done a 2 Part feature documenting the remaining Record shops still trading. Support your local "Mom&Pops" Shops!!!

The Most "Soho Record Store Guide" Part 1 can be viewed here

The Most "Soho Record Store Guide" Part 2 can be viewed here

The 2 Part installment of The Kool Skool's documentation of the disappearing independant Hip-Hop shops can be viewed here:

The Kool Skool: "Is UK Hip-Hop Dead?" Part 1

The Kool Skool: "Is UK Hip-Hop Dead?" Part 2

Part 3 coming soon... Get Involved drop me your email if you have a story about London Hip-Hop shops!

We spotted this on our Zulu Stromies over at Funk What You Heard

The Chrome & Black Presents: "The Battle of Waterloo" Sun 22/8/10

The Chrome & Black shop Presents: "The Battle of Waterloo" Sun 22/8/10, a UK only Graffiti Crew wall jam. The Jam will feature Old & New school crews. More info can be found here

Monday, 16 August 2010

1st Zulu Nation & Party Review

Zulu Family Unity!, Invincible Armour, Imperial Steps & Iron Braydz building!

1st Zulu Nation/ Party Review

On the 31st of July The Universal Zulu Nation (UK Chapter) and Hip-Hop Culture Radio Station hosted a party bridging True School and New School Hip-Hop. B-Boying/B-Girling, real DJ skills, Knowledge and visual arts were all represented. There were a lot of old and new faces, and the the original Fingers, Shucks One from The Kool Skool, Def K, Penfold, Wan Cee, Iron Braydz, Kashmere and Cross Bone T, Invincible Armour. For more details about the artists and party check here

The event brought a lot of Old School legends out of the wood work, Scientist of Sound, Aqil, DJ Skamrok, Aiden Orange Leacy (Itch FM), Tubbs and 1200's (Itch FM) and many familiar faces. The idea was for different generations of UK Hip-Hop to come together, build and bring the family together!!!

Mixers got slapped

On the night there was a selection of DJ talent:
J'da Cut
Shucks One from The Kool Skool
The Universal Zulu Nation


The Imperial Steps B-Boy crew catching wreck

Ain't no Locking up now!"

B-Boying on the hard concrete


Invincible Armour: Dizar, Ironfingaz, Downlow and J'da Kut the 4-"person" DJ crew cut it the f**k up

DJ Fingers rockin' the vinyl

DJ Fingers on the 1200's

Penfold from Itch FM smoothed it out with the party classics

Def K tore it up with traditional DMC style


Kashmere 3rd Eye wide open

Iron Braydz (right) & friend

DJ/MC TJ Chill the hardest working Zulu hosted the jam with style and finesse

Wan-Cee suprise guest killed it with his MCing and spoken word set

Party People


Party People

True School and New School combined: HQ Boss, The Original DJ Fingers, Kashmere, DJ Dizar & Downlow


Imperial Steps and Imerse ID

Welsh Zulus represented

Check out for podcasts, live broadcasts and info on more True School parties and events

Also check out the new The Universal Zulu Nation (UK Chapter) website

The Kool Skool would like to thank J'da Cut and the family for organizing such a positive and peaceful event!!!

Most photos are the sole property of J'da Cut!!!!