Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Story Of Bomb Hip Hop And The Citizens Of The Third World

David Paul at Bomb Hip Hop Records is a damn genius. He started up Bomb Hip Hop Magazine to give shine to the Bay Area hip hop scene back in 1990. He even included these plexidisc hip hop compilations in his magazines starting in 1992, among these recordings were early production work from Peanut Butter Wolf (with Charizma) and Dan the Automator (Bohemoth). In 1994, David Paul decided to abandon the magazine to devote more time to the store he opened a year previously and start up a label.

He put someone else in charge and he rifled through submitted demo material to make a compilation for the labels initial release. He ended up selecting tracks by Jigmastas, Homeliss Derelix, Blackalicious and Madchild (Swollen Members) and calling it simply the “Bomb Hip Hop Compilation”. It was well recieved when it was released in the summer of 1994 and it sold an excess of 8,000 copies locally with minimal promotion. The money generated from the sales of the compilation never made it to David as the guy he chose to run the label made off with all of the cash. Dave realized at that moment that he had to take matters into his own hands for the next Bomb Hip Hop release.

All of the contacts that David Paul had made at Bomb Hip Hop Magazine (which boasted regular contributors like Billy Jam, Dave Tompkins, DJ Shadow, himself and the legendary former head of Hollywood Basic Records Dave “Funken” Klein (R.I.P.)), the DJ’s he knew in the Bay Area and California as a whole and the people that frequented his store all gave him an idea...he should make a compilation that features the DJ.

He had also witnessed firsthand the phasing out of the DJ in hip hop as emcees and groups began touring and performing shows to cued up DAT’s while tuntablists such as the Beat Junkies, West Coast Rock Steady DJ’s, DJ Shadow, etc. were stretching the boundaries of what hip hop considered a DJ to be...just some random guy that spins records and occasionally scratches them.

He reached out to DJ’s worldwide and assembled an impressive lineup for his next compilation and called it “Return Of The DJ”. It was released a year later than the label’s initial release and sold a total of 5,000 copies. When David approached hip hop publications and retailers with the project they had no idea how to take it or what to do with it...to be fair it was 1995. David Paul, much like the turntablists on his compilation was simply years ahead of his own time (so ahead of his time that he also signed RJD2 before he recorded for Def Jux and DJ Craze before he even won both the DMC and ITF World Championships).

It took about two years before the X-Ecutioners and the Invisibl Skratch Piklz helped to jumpstart the new interest in the DJ. Bomb Hip Hop Records was there in early 1997 with the second installment of the “Return Of The DJ” series. This time music publications were on board and fans were receptive to the project. It was reviewed in both underground and mainstream hip hop/urban music publications as well as mainstream music mags like Entertainment Weekly, Spin and Rolling Stone.

The breakout success of “Return Of The DJ Vol. 2” allowed Dave to reissue the first edition, which did well in it’s second life as a new audience rediscovered this two year old classic. Shortly afterwards, Bay Area music writer Dave Tompkins who previously worked with Dave Paul at Bomb Hip Hop Magazine referred him to a tuntablist by the name of DJ Faust...here begins the story of the DJ crew called the Third World Citizens.

DJ Faust is originally from Atlanta and repped two crews, the Third World Citizens (later they were just called The Citizenz) and Space Kadets Collective. His turntable techniques and unique knack for arranging routines caught the ear of David Paul when he called him and heard one of his tracks on his answering machine. Paul was so blown away that he had Faust change very little of his initial compositions made in his makeshift home studio comprising an “8 track audio recorder, 2 tuntables and a beat up MTX mixer” as Faust says in the liner notes of the CD. While this album has 27 different selections featurning his crew members DJ Shotgun, future world champion and collaborator DJ Craze and future wife and collaborator DJ Shortee, the album was mixed into one continuous 63 minute track and released on Bomb Hip Hop Records in mid 1998.

The album was reviewed in underground hip hop publications like Stress, Elemental, Subculture, Hip Hop Connection and Mass Appeal and it did quite well. That same fall, Bomb Hip Hop released the vinyl only seven track “Fathomless EP” featuring DJ Faust, DJ Shortee, and DJ Craze. This project helped raise the profile of all three DJ’s (Craze would later go on and conquer both the DMC and ITF and start up a new crew called The Allies...but that is another story).

In summer 1999, DJ Faust released his second album “Inward Journeys”and shortened the crew’s name to The Citizenz (DJ’s T Rock, Shortee & Root). This project was a concept album featuring 25 arrangements that went through four diferent stages, Fire, Wind, Water and Earth. Faust moved to a proper studio set up to record this project and the covert art, layout and CD art design was done by Shortee. That same fall, DC native Shortee released her premier album “The Dreamer”. The entire 16 track project is self produced, conceptualized and arranged by Shortee herself. This turntable able is one of the more listenable turntable projects as it’s accesible to people to aren’t even diehard scratch fanatics, this is due to the diversity and overall musical feel of the album.

Shortly after the release of these two albums, DJ Faust and Shortee announced that they were engaged to be married to no surprise of the hip hop community. These two are the among the most well known underground hip hop soulmates since the grafitti worlds union of Sane Smith and Lady Pink, the B Boy/B Girl union of Kwikstep and Rockafella and the emcee/femcee union of Young Zee and Rah Digga. Today, I have uploaded DJ Faust’s first two projects on Bomb Hip Hop as well as Shortee’s solo debut. You already know what to do, people.

All uploaded albums are Zip files. For cover art, full tracklistings and more info, check http://www.discogs.com or do a regular Google search. Here are the links, enjoy ‘em:

DJ Faust- Man Or Myth? (1998)
http://www.mediafire.com/?5ltmm4zgmzm

DJ Faust-Inward Journeys (1999)
http://www.mediafire.com/?1brwicynoo4

Shortee-The Dreamer (1999)
http://www.mediafire.com/?5qoyqjmjnjd

One.

3 comments:

alley al said...

uggghh you're killin' me with faust and shortee..
actually, i'm kinda glad you guys beat me to some of these cuz you definitely do justice with the write ups.
not sure how much i liked these..
i had a crush on shortee when she did some "female djs" weekend event here on some boat on the westside highway. actually i have a thing for lots of white girls who know their hip hop.

Jaz said...

;O

now that's that shit, ill write up here Dart, legendary label and such great music and talent.

thanks for the props.

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