Before the darkness there was rap and breakdance.

If you listen to my music every now and then you come across a song that could almost be hip hop. Songs like It’s Goes Like This and of course One Night in NYC are good examples. The reason? Well before I became a New Wave, EBM freak was into classic Hip Hop.

I used to break at my local bowling alley. I had pinstriped Lees and Puma’s with fat laces. I even had a white cap that said “Fresh” (unfortunately thats not a lie!). I have a giant Conion boombox which is the size of a car door (thats a photo of it today in my father’s office). I bought it at the Spring Valley flea market. Every Friday and Saturday night I recorded DJ Red Alert on Kiss FM and Marley Marl’s Rap Attack on WBLS. I still have a huge box of those cassettes waiting to become digital! The video above shows how popular breaking became and its infiltration into every suburb in America.

Conion Boombox

Even though I moved on quickly past the genre I’m glad I cut some of my teeth there. Learning hip hop vocal styles and drum machine programming at such an early age has really helped throughout my music career. You would be surprised how much skill goes into simple worded verses. How you can really change the feeling of the message by swinging your voice around. And drum machine programming…

So what got you started in music?

Also read…
Cassette tape nostalgia. Rewind: click here
Beatsource for Hip Hop has launched: click here

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on April 4, 2008 at 5:13 am, filed under music, song writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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6 Responses to “Before the darkness there was rap and breakdance.”

  1. simonsound says:

    Mine is a similar story. I got into Hip Hop through the series of compilation albums called Electro 1,2,3 etc etc. I was always fascinated with the technology and how those mad sounds were created. In the UK there used to be a show called Top of the Pops. I used to watch it every week just to see what synths and gear acts like Human League were using. Then one day our school music teacher invited a bunch of hip hop producers in and I got the chance to play on Emulators, 808′s and DX synths. That pretty much cemented it for me. I’ve spent all my time since then working with sound in some way or another. Sometimes it pays the bills and sometimes it doesn’t but I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

    And you can’t beat Mantronix style tape edits!

    Great blog by the way.
    Thanks
    Simon

  2. Hi Simonsound. Yeah Mantronix was one of the best! If you want to hear a real Roland TR-808 at it’s best you have to check them out. Needle to the Groove: link

  3. Christian says:

    Was that the guy from fresh prince in bel air? Will Smiths sidekick? Lol. Good video.

  4. eerms says:

    hehe. after watchin movie Scratch I bought my first turntables.
    the learning cure and availability of records took me into techno, but i have promised myself that at one point i’ll pause and dedicate at least a year to cut some early hip-hop breaks. ahhh that was the music :)

  5. B4 I took music lessons, I rigged the shit out of my dual cassette tape player/recorder and was able to do blends that were not synced…with a turntable on the line in with no crossfader for scratchin…I was in second grade.

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