Friday, October 30, 2009

"Saving Seamus Ryan" Release Parties Recap!

(above: photo by Chris Hunter- Rhode Island)

I can't keep up with Eso, he's updating his site constantly these days. He already posted a recap of the Saving Seamus Ryan release parties in Rhode Island and Mass, but I figured I'd share some pictures from the event as well. By the way, the parties were a blast! Everyone killed it! Thanks to all the people who came out and supported.

It was good to finally see my man Blacastan perform live. Check out his new mixtape The Master Builder. It'll wet your appetite for his Brick debut right around the corner. Apathy put on a great show in Boston, and the headliners were in full effect...

(above: photo courtesy of Boston)

7L, Esoteric and Beyonder united for something special, performing selections ranging from the Soul Purpose days all the way up to the present. Eso performed a condensed rendition of Saving Seamus Ryan, complete with cameo appearances from Qwill (Hold On) and Benny Macko (Blacastan). It was quite the show.

I gotta of course say thank you to Eso for having me on the bill for both events, and definitely have to send a shout out to Beyonder for holding it down on the tables for my sets. He was killing it! At the end of Be Yourself Syndrome, Raheem and I just fell back and let him cut for mad long... he was in the zone. Which reminds me, I can't forget to give a shout out to Raheem Jamal and thank him for holding it down with me at all these shows. Do NOT sleep on Boombox / Project Move / Electric! It's truly a pleasure to be rocking on stage with him.

(above: Raheem Jamal, myself - Rhode Island- photo by Chris Hunter)

(below: Beyonder - photo courtesy

I was also thoroughly impressed that Beyonder didn't miss a beat when somebody handed him a beer on stage directly in the middle of hyping for Word Association with 7L & Esoteric. Anybody who knows that track has to know how important not missing a word is. Besides that, there were just a lot of great moments from each night. I think my personal highlight during my set was performing Losers and getting some great crown interaction / participation. There's nothing better than a good crowd. I'm regretting not filming this one (I seem to never use my video camera), but here's a couple more pictures...

(above: top two photos courtesty, third photo by Matt Conley- Boston)

(below: photos by Chris Hunter- Rhode Island)

Enjoy your Halloween, be safe!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reminder- Tonight: "Saving Seamus Ryan Release Party @ Middle East in Cambridge, MA (10.28.09)

A friendly reminder about the "Saving Seamus Ryan" Massachusetts release party tonight (10.28.09) @ The Middle East in Cambridge. Featuring performances by 7L & Esoteric, Apathy, Will C. with Raheem Jamal, and Blacastan. See you there!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Saving Seamus Ryan" Release Party in Rhode Island This Friday (10.23.09)

First off, happy birthday to KARMA!

Come through to wish him a belated happy birthday this Friday (10.23.09) for the Saving Seamus Ryan Rhode Island release party, featuring performances by 7L & Esoteric, Will C. (me) with Raheem Jamal, and Blacastan, with musical hosts The Bladerunners!

I'm going to debut a new song there called Origins. It has nothing to do with the X-Men or Species II.

The Massachusetts release party will be the following Wednesday (10.28.09) in Cambridge @ The Middle East, and will feature 7L & Esoteric, Apathy, Blacastan, and Will C. with Raheem Jamal. See you there!

Pictured below is the brand new / limited 7L & Esoteric fitted cap, which will be exclusively sold at the Saving Seamus Ryan release parties. For more info, go to

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

But More Importantly...

Is this a young Larry David (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm)? I got linked to this image (above) when I google image searched him, and it's set off a couple of debates in my circle as to whether it's him or not. Time to bring in the big guns.


(above: Chuck D and Terminator X /// below: Rick Rubin- not originally from the documentary, but used)

I've never seen this documentary before, so I gotta thank "The Original 808 Beats" for putting it on the net. In his own words:

This documentary was aired in the U.K around 1990/1991. The full show is around 55 minutes long, and goes in the correct sequence, Parts 1 through to 6.

Gotta love (or hate) the intro rap by the suit. Does any of it rhyme?

The documentary features Afrika Bambaataa, Mr. Biggs, Jazzy Jay, Quincy Jones, The Last Poets, Red Alert, Sylvia Robinson (Sugar Hill Records), Fab 5 Freddy, Funky Four + 1 More, LL Cool J, Run-DMC, The Beastie Boys, Keith Haring, Mare 134, The Rock Steady Crew, Eric B & Rakim, Public Enemy, KRS-One, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, NWA, Ice Cube, Young MC, De La Soul, Two Live Crew, and Gangstarr. Double-click the youtube video to bring up a new window and find the rest (parts 2-6).

Some highlights and wtf moments for me...

wtf * Cueing to Master Gee when Sylvia is talking about meeting Big Bank Hank (in part 2).

highlight * Crazy legs laughing at the Prince / James Brown comparison (part 3).

highlight * Chuck D- "That's why I like to put noise in my music. I consider it an alarm for black America." (part 4... I think).

highlight * Two Live Crew on the Geraldo Show (part 6).

Monday, October 19, 2009


Picking up where we left off with the last post, here's another Rap Attack "Rapping with the Stars" segment, this time from about 2 years later with Grandmaster Flash. The interview sees he and Magic talking about Grandmaster Flash (the group's) new record, Ba-Dop-Boom-Bang, with Flash explaining their change in musical direction as a result of working with a new producer, Larry Smith.

09.06.1987- Grandmaster Flash Rap Attack Interview 1-

Although he is inquiring about the new album, you can tell Magic is hoping the original lineup of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five will get back together. He in fact puts Flash on the spot when he straight up asks if they will, leading to a fun, albeit awkward interview. When all was said and done, I believe this would be Flash's last album before reuniting with the original Furious Five to release their On The Strength record.

09.06.1987- Grandmaster Flash Rap Attack Interview 2-

I'm a fan of U Know What Time It Is, the track they're premiering during this interview. I especially like the Extended version Flash did for the single release.

Grandmaster Flash- U Know What Time It Is (Extended Scratch)-

The album itself has some uh... tough moments.

Grandmaster Flash- Underarms-

Grandmaster Flash- Big Black Caddy-

I was also going to post the music video with all the the crazy cartoon stuff going on, but it looks like Elektra is policing youtube quite well these days. Damn. I did find this though, from The Source.

I have to apologize if this post is written terribly. I'm sick as a dog and a little out of it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rapping With The Stars

It's been a hectic weekend. This is definitely still sinking in.

I finally had the proper surroundings to check out the Mister Cee and DJ Premier Magic tributes today, and they were both wonderful. Yo for real though, I almost crashed my car when I heard Premo give me a shout out at the beginning. Then when he played some of my mixes from Down The Dial, I was completely blown away. I think in my last post it was clear just how much respect I have for Premier, a respect I'm sure we all have, so to hear him send a shout out to me is a BIG DEAL. I felt a rush when Down The Dial came on the radio, the same rush Magic gave countless acts in the past by doing the same thing.

One more time: thank you Premier, thank you Magic.

Now, check this out-

These are two of my favorite hip hop personalities right here chopping it up. We have a young LL Cool J in 1985, fresh off of making a cameo appearance in Krush Groove. Full of charisma, LL discusses the world of movie making, how he got started as a rapper, and his new album Radio, among other things.

LL Cool J- Rapping With The Stars- Rap Attack 1985 (1 of 2)-

The two laugh when Cool J slips up with the language a couple times (once above, once below). Note Magic saying, "Good thing this is a black owned radio station."

Below is the second half of the interview, which includes a live rhyme by LL... but the best quote of the interview comes when the young emcee states,

"Most of the time, I sit in my house at like 3 or 4 in the morning... that's when I write all my rhymes, 'cause I feel like God ain't got that many people to pay attention at 3 in the morning so he pays more attention to me, and I can write better rhymes."

One of the hungriest and charismatic rappers of all time doing his thing here, kicking it with Sir Juice. Enjoy.

LL Cool J- Rapping With The Stars- Rap Attack 1985 (2 of 2)-

Aside from LL's well known "Box!" performance in Krush Groove, Magic also made a cameo in the movie during a Disco Fever scene, announcing the winner of the talent show. Check it out below...

Anybody got the tribute Marley did? How about Scratch?

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Miss Mr. Magic (March 15, 1956- October 2, 2009)

For those who don't know, John Rivas, better known as Mr. Magic, "The God Pops of Hip Hop," passed away early this morning, October 2nd, 2009. His contributions to rap music are insurmountable.

I've been rather conflicted all day while trying to wrap my head around such a great loss. I didn't really know whether to put my thoughts up here like this. This is solely to further pay homage to the man, and to help get correct info on his legacy out there.

First, I want to just say thank you to another hero of mine, DJ Premier, for putting together a concise and kind write up upon hearing the news.

I had the experience of a lifetime meeting Mr. Magic back in 2006. I didn't know what to expect. He was such a personal hero of mine, yet I was fully aware of his (as Premo put it), "direct and sarcastic" on-air personality. In other words, if he dissed KRS-One, he could most definitely do a number on me. However, he didn't. He was kind, funny, humble, and gave me the same respect I gave him. Magic, Fly Ty and myself immediately formed a bond that saw them entrusting me to preserve their old cassette tapes of the Rap Attack for the digital age... ultimately leading to us working together on the Down The Dial project.

I feel truly lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Magic and Ty on Down The Dial, a project I had wanted to do for a long time. It was impossible for the concept to come into fruition without them, so without a doubt, as cliche as it sounds, they made a dream come true, and I will never forget that.

I'm getting ahead of myself here though. Let's talk about his contributions and back story.

I posted this audio back in an April write up (When Magic Met Cavett), but once again, here is an interview Magic did on the Dick Cavett Morning show in 1984. He talks about how he first got into radio, among other things.

Mr. Magic Interview with Dick Cavett (From April 20th, 1984 Tape)

(I apologize for a few of those "Will C." drops in the above audio. They were placed in there back in April, but under these circumstances, they seem rather obnoxious tonight).

The following information has all been dictated to me over the years by his business partner and friend, Tyrone "Fly Ty" Williams, and I am striving to make this as accurate as can be from what I've learned from him and Magic himself.

John Rivas was born on March 15, 1956. This would make him 53... too young to go. As a radio personality, he was highly successful throughout the 1980s with his show Mr. Magic's Rap Attack (earlier named The Mr. Magic Disco Showcase). He was one of the original members of the Juice Crew, and, due to his booming voice and tendency to be outspoken on air, was dubbed "The Official Voice of Hip Hop."

His days on radio began on WHBI FM (Newark, NJ) as early as 1979, with the late DJ Junebug, where DJs would pay to play (approximately $75/hour at the time). The show aired from 2-4 AM. Rap music was worked into the Disco Showcase format whenever possible, but since there were not even enough rap records to fill an entire time slow (these were the early days for rap on wax), it was not uncommon to also hear records by popular R&B, soul, and even rock groups getting spins.

With the death of DJ Junebug, an up-and-coming DJ was brought on board- the now iconic DJ Marley Marl. With a dedicated fan base, the show now known as the Rap Attack was gaining momentum, and moved from WHBI to 107.5 WBLS (New York). With that came the transformation from paying to play to being paid to broadcast to a bigger audience.

In 1984, the Rap Attack show had some of the highest ratings in the city. However, as I have been told, WBLS' General Manager, Charles Warfield, was not particularly into rap music. He wanted Magic to host the station's newest easy-listening format show, The Quiet Storm. Upon refusing, Magic was fired from the station. In other words, he stuck up for what he believed in, a music culture many of us love, and had plans to keep his mixshow alive and well.

Settling in back at WHBI with his show, his momentum would not cease. With further success, he began broadcasting on WDAS in Philadelphia, WEBB in Baltimore, and Z100 in Columbus, Ohio, helping spread the music to different parts of the United States. His success, coupled with the fact that WBLS needed somebody to compete with DJ Red Alert at 98.7 KISS FM (among other NYC hip hop DJs), led to him being hired back by WBLS. He returned on May 10, 1985, and aired on Fridays from 10:00 PM - 2:00 AM, and Saturdays from 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM.

The Rap Attack show was very exciting for listeners. You never knew what Magic was going to say. Sometimes he would dis records, but more importantly, he was instrumental in breaking countless records in the region, from UTFO's Roxanne Roxanne to the Disco 3's Fat Boys. Check it out below (from the April post here Cavett Conclusion / Fat Boys World Premiere / Busy Bee (Suicide Era) on Rap Attack)

Fat Boys Interview and World Premiere (04.20.1984)-

He was also instrumental in breaking the group Whodini, who dedicated an entire song to him. Check his appearance in the Magic's Wand video:

The Rap Attack's last show aired on Saturday, February 18, 1989. By the Nineties, Magic was recognized as one of hip hop's most important figures. He was alluded to in lines like Biggie's "Every Saturday Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl," (Juicy) and Nas' "I miss Mr. Magic!"(Halftime).

Magic's production alias was M². Under that name, he helped produce rap hits like The Force M.D.'s Let Me Love You and the Fearless Four's Problems of the World Today. This is further discussed in another April article here, The Production Alias (though I can't believe I completely blanked on mentioning Problems of the World Today there!).

I am only scratching the surface on this man's influence. More will be said. More audio will be posted. Damn, even my last post from 09.21 was about Magic, so you know there's more to come on this matter. So many shows, so many great moments... too many long forgotten. But, maybe this post is pointless. Not to quote Premier again, but he said it best when he stated "True hip hop heads know that his history is so long." Very true. With that being said, if any of you heads spot anything in t
his write up that you believe to be false or misleading, shoot me a message. Let's focus on paying our respects to this great man and keeping his legacy alive the right way forever.

We love you Mr. Magic, and this is for you...

"WHBI Rewind & Classic Sign Off 1981" / "Super Blast" (From Down The Dial)-

Whodini- "It's All In Mr. Magic's Wand"-

Stay tuned