Tool Of War 2017 Park Jams Recap

It was business as usual at this years Tools Of War Crotona Park Jams. Hip Hop royalty was everywhere, lots of "out-of towners" and fans from other countries, and a massive sound system supplied by none other than the original Dj Jazzy Jay! I was at the July 20th & 27th shows. Here are some highlights.
I was ready for action. OK, Let's Go!
This is the woman who makes this all possible.
Thank You Christie Z!
Mike C & Rockin Rob

                                                                    Me & KK Rockwell
                                                                      (Double Trouble)
Mista Sinista
Dj Hollywood

T Ski Valley, Coke La Rock, Imperial JC

Easy AD & Rockin Rob

Dj Cheese

Jazzy Joyce
Soul Sonic Force

Spivy & Rockin Rob 

Red Alert
Dj BreakOut

Jazzy Jay

Joe Conzo

GrandMaster Caz

Looie Loo

T Ski Valley & J-Blast 

PopMaster Fabel

Pow Wow
Soul Sonic Force

Waterbed Kev, Coke La Rock,& The Twins

Tony Tone
Cold Crush Brothers

Kevie Kev
Fantastic Freaks

Mista Sinista

Thank You Christie Z!

LL Cool J-Nitro World Tour 1989-90

This was one of those tours that made you fall in love with Rap music. The Mecca was at capacity, about 12-13,000 people and the me and my crew were ready to party. As the flier shows, there was no filler, just top notch artists. The nights openers were EPMD and De La Soul. Now this may sound crazy but back then it was those kinds of groups that would open the show and perform while fans were still entering the venue and didn't get a lot of attention. I don't remember anything too memorable about De La's performance but EPMD was rollin with Dj Scratch and he burned the house down with his solo. I remember him standing on the dj table rockin doubles of RUN-DMC's "Run's House", cutting the records through his legs, rockin different body tricks, he was the man!
Slick Rick had the biggest Rap album in the country at the time so he could do no wrong that night. He had these tall white pillars on stage and his female dancers were dressed like belly dancers. Of course he had on about 200lbs of gold jewelry and so did Dj Vance Wright.
Big Daddy Kane came out wearing a double breasted pimp suit and wearing several huge gold chains. Back then, Scoop and Scrap Lover were the baddest dancers in the business. Well, them and Bobby Brown's dancers, anyway, halfway through the show, Big Daddy Kane came back out on stage in a huge hot tub which drove all the girls into a frenzy.
When LL's time came to take the stage, he entered the stage driving a cherry red Ferrari. This was the first time I've ever seen LL perform with back-up dancers and yes, I said "back-up" as it was also the first time I've ever senn LL dance,    a lot. This was a great show and a great time in Rap music. They don't make shows like this anymore. 

Dj Spotlight-SWAMP

Darrell D- How did you get started Dj'ing?                                                                                            
Swamp- I grew up in Cleveland and there were tons of Dj's. Back then the radio station was WDMT. It sounds tripped out now cause Dmt is like a crazy drug now but that was the name of the station, 108 WDMT. Every night they had the "club style master mix" and Dj's like GrandWizard Johnny O, Dj Cochise, & Dj Cruz would spin. I was just a kid, like 15 or 16, breakin on cardboard, listening to those guys. After that station went off air 93 Wzak started doing 20 minute workout mixes by Dj Mix Master Quick every week on the rap show they had on Saturday night and people would bug out on those mixes. Then they had this college radio show and the Dj was this dude named L-Dog and he would invite other Dj's to come up and mix and that's when I got in the game. People were making 4 track cassette mixes. I worked odd jobs and at Wendy's to get my first 4 track. I didn't even have a 1200 turntable. I was using a Gemini 1100 and an Edis mixer with a reverb in it but the 4 track was my secret weapon because I could put an instrumental on one track, scratch some rock stuff on another track, throw an acapella on another track, and just keep layering the mix for a 30 minute mix that sounds flawless and insane like you were a professional. You could also do "shout-outs" on the air so everybody in my school would ask me give to give them a shout-out. Even the teachers would ask,"You gonna give me a shout-out too?" So I would and when I would get back to school I was like a little celebrity Dj at 16 years old at my high school. 
D- What was the first record you ever bought?                                                                                    
S- Rod Stewart "Young Turks". It was a 45. I was 9 years old. That beat was tight and I ended up acquiring the same drum machine he used on that song. It was the LM-1 drum machine. There were only 300 made and it was also the same one that Prince made all his beats with. All that 1999 stuff, "When Doves Cry", all the hits were made with that Linn LM-1 drum machine. I've had 3 in my lifetime.  
D- Any crazy digging stories?                                                                                                              
S- Back in 1991 me and my boy Mike would go digging all the time. One day we were on the west side of Cleveland and we drove past this house that just had "RECORDS" on it. That's all it said was "RECORDS". It was just a regular house filled from top to bottom with vinyl. They were everywhere. The owner was this guy named Larry who smoked a big cigar and sat in the back. Me and Mike thought we were in heaven & Larry would look at us like we were just a couple of crazy kids. We bought a ton of records that day and returned the next weekend and got real cool with the guy. He had two record players in the store so we would go there every Sunday and listen to records all day and he was always getting new stuff in. We would dig for beats and find doubles of stuff like Herbie Hancock "Rock It" and Divine Sounds "Do Or Die Bed-Sty". We'd find sealed James Brown Lp's, just tons of stuff. After a while we started bringing in records to trade. Most stores rip you off in trades but this dude would do even trades. We could bring in a stack of records we didn't like and trade them for really good stuff and he was cool with it. When we realized we could get away with that we started asking anyone if they had any old crappy records they were getting rid of or we would go to garage sales and buy the most worthless records and Larry would just trade us "straight up" for the best stuff we could find in his store, it was ridiculous. He moved to another location that was bigger and crazier then the first one. We did that until 1997. My collection eventually grew to about 27,000 records and about 80% came out of that store. The only reason why it stopped in 97 was because Larry died. We milked it for as long as we could.  
D- Top 3 favorite rap songs?                                                                                                                 
S- "Natural Born Killers" by Dre and Ice Cube. I loved that song as soon as it came out. I wish they had recorded that Helter Skelter album like they had planned.                                                
"3 Am" by Eminem. I think that was his best song ever.                                             
And "Follow The Leader" by Eric B & Rakim. I go through phases, like, I love a bunch of stuff by Organized Konfusion. I loved "Prisoners Of War", "Bring It On", I have a lot of favorites.
D- Top 3 Producers?
 S- Dre                                                                                                                                          
Rick Rubin                                                                                                                                 
Mannie Fresh                                                                                                                             

Vinyl Shop Spotlight-Northern Lights Music

This Is a cool little shop hidden in Bushwick. It's got it all, funk 45's,disco 12"s, rap LP's, even classic rap posters(the posters are not for sale,believe me,I tried.) New York has no shortage of record stores but not all are worthy of "digger" status but Northern Lights got what you need.  Make sure you stop by this spot the next time you're in NYC. You can thank me later.