a (short) history of hip-hop in the TC

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a (short) history of hip-hop in the TC

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:30 am

When the woman who took in Prince as a high school kid died last year, her obituaries left out her contribution to hip hop. Bernadette Anderson used to run a teen club called Bernadette's out of the Uptown Minneapolis YWCA, where the workout center is now. Hundreds of kids piled into that space every weekend in the late '80s, dancing to rap records slapped on turntables by DJs Brother Jules, Keke Zulu, and Ralph X. In a way, these parties were nothing more than an extension of what Prince and his friends had been doing in the '70s, throwing concerts in the park or at the community center. In north Minneapolis, the heart of black Minnesota, bands eventually gave way to DJs, who played the first rap hit, 1979's "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang.

People in Minneapolis and St. Paul have been using hip hop to tell their stories ever since. But nobody outside Minnesota was listening until recently. Like Liberians taking up Tupac, kids here took the dance styles and spray-paint art of L.A. and New York and made them their own. One of the first local rap groups, the I.R.M. Crew, got national press when they accused Darryl Strawberry of "shuckin' and jivin'" on their 1987 single "Baseball." It wasn't a hit, though, and by the time another local rapper got national attention, he'd moved to Houston and broke with an album on Rap-A-Lot Records: "Straight from St. Paul but Glockin' G's down in Texas," as DMG put it on 1993's Rigormortiz. These days Outlawz rapper Big Mal, who witnessed his cousin Tupac Shakur being gunned down in Las Vegas, rarely mentions his days at St. Paul Central High School.

In the 15 years between the first national rap concert in Minneapolis (Kurtis Blow at the Northgate Roll-Arena in 1981) and the first "underground" CD on a local label (Beyond's 1996 Rhymesayers debut, Comparison), a cities-wide subculture thrived under the media radar. The speakers in the oral history below are variously identified by such old-school labels as "DJ," "MC," "graffiti writer," or "b-boy," but most were all of the above, or more. They came together at a moment when the only national industry to recruit from their ranks was the one selling and distributing crack cocaine. For these artists, fame inevitably meant something less, and more, than becoming famous in the conventional sense.

The story of this scene has never been told before, so consider this the first word, rather than the last, on the subject. To add a few words of your own and check out more old photos, flyers, and anecdotes, visit the TC Old-School Hip Hop Page at www.complicatedfun.com.

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Re: a (short) history of hip-hop in the TC

Post by SANxJONERO on Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:18 pm

I was expecting to see more, because I know TC got way more rappers then this! I'm trying to remember if any1 was more populr then DMG, but I can't think of any right now & DMG is like the 1st 1 that comes to my mind. He had that gangster flow.

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Re: a (short) history of hip-hop in the TC

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:14 pm

well there is some lame that lives in cali now named Meech, he got that song "thicka then that nigga" which was wack.

as far as local hip-hop as of right now, there are alot of individuals who are getting popular, but none can compare in popularity.

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