Friday, March 2, 2007

Craze The Conqueror AKA Deciphiring The Riddle Of The Wheels Of Steel*

There once was a DJ named Craze who lived in Miami, for the first four years of his journey as a DJ he was more than happy with just mixing and spinning at parties and jams locally. Sometime during his fifth year as a DJ, he became intrigued with the creative allure of turntablism and threw himself into it with everything he had. The wide array of music that he was used to spinning and listening to growing up in the Miiami area helped him tremendously when he first immersed himself the world of body tricks, speed stratching, transforming, crabbing, beat juggling, manipulating the fader, and battle techniques. He immediately sought out the illest turntablists to practice with and help push him along and speed up his learning curve. With their collective information sharing, practices, experimentation and collaborations Craze took to turntablism like Neo did in theConstruct onceMorpheus began tutoring him on it’s inner workings (I know, I know...Matrix references are played out in 2007..step your keyboard game up!)

In a relatively short amount of time, Craze became a world class up and coming turntablist. His appearances on DJ Faust’s “Man Or Myth” and his collaboration with Faust and Shortee on the legendary “Fathomless EP” led to David Paul of Bomb Hip Hop Records signing DJ Craze to a deal for his own solo project. This was all before Craze threw his his hat into ring that is the DMC World Champoinships qualifier in 1998. Craze surprised many by blowing through each round of the DMC competition, he was like a man possesed on the decks. His manual dexterity, superior record selection, technical skill and natural instincts were a deadly combination. Once they were coupled with his inherent creativity , tireless work ethic and tight perfectly timed routines Craze was damn near unstoppable.

He appeared in the World Championship round and faced the greatest competition on the planet...and yoked all of his comp with the flying guillotine on his way to capturing the DMC World Championship in the face of what seemed like insurmountable odds. Much like a young Cassius Clay in his prime, Craze shocked the world...Little did the world know that they hadn’t seen shit yet.

Craze also entered the 1998 ITF Championships on a whim. It was damn near impossible to think that anyone that wasn’t named QBert, Mixmaster Mike, Rob Swift or Roc Raida could be expected to go against a collection of the greatest turntablists in the world and win two major battle championships in the SAME YEAR. DJ Craze was once again the underdog, it didn’t matter that he’d already stood up to the best and walked away with the DMC crown. He had to do it again to turn all the doubting Thomases and Thomasinas into believers.

Needless to say, an inspired Craze put all his competition into a big ass Cuisinart and pushed the “puree” button. The nimble Nicaraugan put together flawless set after flawless set as he dispatched each worthy adversary he faced. The greatest turntablists in the world got a chance to see him in the flesh...and get taken into the torture chamber every time his digits touched the decks. By the time the ITF World Championship round was done it was painfully obvious that Craze was the greatest in the world. He had done the impossible and unified the DMC and ITF Championships. He was The Last Dragon (he had The Glow!) and The One (He could manipulate The Matrix!) all at the same damn time. All hail to his hands! All hail Craze The Conqueror!

Craze was crowned as DMC and ITF World Champion on the heels of the birth of his daughter. Things could not be better for him, he was doing sold out shows, he was endorsing DJ equipment for major companies and he was appearing in magazines while his face graced the cover of DVD’s that were being sold and shipped all over the world. He was the new poster boy of turntablism, he fell back into his crew and support system (named The Allies) and began to record material for several upcoming projects. The first being his debut solo release on Bomb Hip Hop Records, entiled “Crazee Musick”.

Craze’s first solo album just scratched the surface of what he’d later be able to do with his turntables as he applied himself to the medium of recording. The album was mostly recorded at Craze’s home studio in Miiami with assistance from DJ Slyce and DJ Infamous. He came up with some routines on the fly and arranged and performed them to excellent effect. The album was released in early 1999 to capitalize off of Craze’s recent DMC and ITF wins...while the album did well it seemed to underwhelm most of the people who normally bought turntable CD’s. They expected more from the man who unified the turntablist belts (which was unfair due to the fact that heads like QBert, Mixmaster Mike, Roc Raida, Rob Swift, DJ Shadow, DJ Honda, DJ Disk, DJ Cam, DJ Vadim, DJ Faust, etc. all had more experience than Craze recording solo projects).

Craze did a collaboration later that same year with Push Button Objects (Edgar Farinas) as the group Ko-Wreck Technique. The result was the Ko-Wrecktion EP that was released on Chocolate Industries (12 Oz. Prophets record label). The 5 tracks included on this EP include a remix by Plaid and some brilliant work on the side of both contributors. PBO and Craze made the perfect blend of beats and turntable wizardry and Craze clearly began to come into his own as a composer and arranger in regards to making a complete recording.

Inbetween making music, Craze successfully defended his DMC crown in 1999 (he declined to defend the ITF title because he felt the ITF did a bad job in taking care of their DJ’s). Craze also concentrated on tightening up his circle and his crew (The Allies) featured an imposing lineup of J-Smoke, Spictackular, Develop, Infamous, A-Trak (former DMC World Champion & member of ISP) and Craze (later Klever would be put down as well). Naut Humon offered the crew the opportunity to do a project on Asphodel Records. In 2000, The Allies recorded the impressive “D-Day” EP that featured solo tracks for each member along with three team routines (“D-Day”, “Live Session I” & “Live Session II”) and appearances from Dave 1 (drum programming on “All Hail To My Hands”), and emcee Mayhem (he spit rhymes on “Gotcha Covered”). This EP was a prime example of how far Craze had come as a turntablist and an artist in the span of less than 2 years.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Craze came back in 2000 and won his 3rd straight DMC World Championship, a feat that had never happened before and is a very tall task for anyone to ever duplicate. Props, respect, reverence and fear are all Craze’s as he has figured out the riddle of the wheels of steel...the flesh is weak, but it is the mind which controls the flesh that in turn weilds the steel. With that understanding, one could conquer all those who oppose him and rule the world.

I have uploaded Craze’s Bomb Hip Hop debut “Crazee Musick”, his Push Button Objects collabo project as Ko-Wreck Technique “Ko-Wrecktion EP” and his Asphodel release with The Allies “D-Day EP”. All are available to download for your listening pleasure just know how I do.

*For those that don’t know, the title of this entry references the Conan legends from Marvel/Epic Comics that were later popularized by Dino DeLaurentis and Arnold Schwartzenegger in film (and summarily shit on past the first joint of the series).

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

Craze-Crazee Musick (1999)

Ko-Wreck Technique (Push Button Objects & DJ Craze)-Ko-Wrecktion EP (1999)

The Allies-D-Day EP (2000)



littleoldal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DL said...

Easy Dart,

I was at the 2000 DMCs in London and it was phenomenal - one of the best DMC years in history. Pone, Klever, Dexta, Mr Thing and of course Craze... incredible. Craze has got such a creative style that at its best is untouchable.



DL said...

Easy Dart,

I was at the 2000 DMCs in London and it was phenomenal - one of the best DMC years in history. Pone, Klever, Dexta, Mr Thing and of course Craze... incredible. Craze has got such a creative style that at its best is untouchable.



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Floyd L said...

Cheers for posting these. been going through a bit of a turntablism phase and can't wait to check these out