Unfortunately, we have to start like this:
R.I.P. DJ PRZM. The DJ/producer and fixture of Columbus, Ohio's hiphop scene (perhaps you know him as the producer for Camu Tao's "Hold the Floor") has passed away from natural causes. Peace to his family and friends. During our brief meeting years ago, I found PRZM to be disarmingly cool and humble. Represent In Paradise.
Also, R.I.P. Stack Bundles. The perennially up-and-coming NYC mix-tape fixture was gunned down in his native Far Rockaway, Queens. Bundles, once associated with DJ Clue's Desert Storm crew, recently gained more notoriety by joining up with Jim Jones's Dipset-affiliated Byrdgang crew. Rest In Power.
The saddest part of Bundles's death—besides of course the brother's senseless murder and the loss to his family and crew—is the grim certainty (among hiphop news sources, fans, and anybody paying attention) that this will be another unsolved rapper murder. Instead of a special task force to follow rappers around and bust 'em, how about a special team commissioned to solve the many hiphop killings of the last 10 years? Jesus Tapdancing Christ, how many are we up to now?
Big cha-ching ups to Blue Scholars—recently "Back Home" (heh heh) from the Mass Line Tour—'cause the town's most talked about album, Bayani, is currently a top download on iTunes, clocking in at number nine last I checked. This follows some real love from the OkayPlayer site—and to be real I wouldn't be surprised if actual OKP status ain't far behind either. However anyone may feel about Seattle's biggest hiphop crew, or their newest record, you can't deny they're doing it big, in a real way. It's very simple, just ask the Lifesavas: "I Shine, you shine."
So Colin Johnson, former booker at Chop Suey, is now booker at Fremont's Nectar. My prediction: Fremont will (amazingly) officially become the go-to area for live hiphop music. Speaking of which, Friday, June 22, Nectar brings us a performance from Grieves (previewing tracks from his upcoming LP, Irreversible), Type, Rudy and the Rhetoric, DJ Swervewon, and the good folks of Project Mayhem.
One local release I've been banging lately (out of a few that you'll be reading about here in the next couple) is Boom Bap Project's tour CD, The Shakedown. I've been a fan of Boom Bap's since they were ubiquitous on local bills, and I banged Circumstance Dictates and Reprogram both. The Shakedown, however, might just be their best shit yet. Looser and more confident than previous releases, both Destro and Karim really stepped it up (as shown on their solo tracks), and guest spots from family friends like Vitamin D, the Cuf, and One Be Lo keep things lively. If you missed 'em on the Brother Ali tour, get it at www.superhappywax.com and don't tell 'em I sent you—that'll get you fuckin' nowhere.