PAO vs. Hello, Dollface

After being a group for six years, the Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra finally has a vinyl release. PAO is the next best thing to seeing Fela and sons. Seriously,this is some quality Afrobeat music. A few days ago they had a release party which I was very excited to attend. When I arrived at the venue in downtown Phoenix, I discovered that the show was sold-out. UGH! I should have known better. I asked security would I be able to buy merch after the performance was over. Yep.   Cool.   As long as I get my vinyl fix i'm good. I had a good 90 minutes to kill so I took a walk around the Roosevelt row area of downtown and wandered into the Lost Leaf, a popular tiny bar/venue on 5th st. I ran into the homie Degha who told I had to check out this group that had just started their set. As soon as I heard this chic's voice my jaw dropped. It turns out that the group was Hello, Dollface. I had never heard of them but I became an instant fan. I'm not sure how one would describe their music overall but they have some serious soulful tunes. The night is taking an upward turn. They took a break after a few great songs and when they were about to start again it was time for me to head back to the Cresent Ballroom to grab my PAO vinyl and t-shirt. What do I do?!  I quickly said a few nice words to the singer, bought the CD and headed out. Once back at the Cresent, I grabbed 2 copies of the vinyl EP (which I had 14 of the 16 bandmates autograph), a t-shirt, then my night was complete. I really wanted to see PAO perform but i'm super glad I was exposed to Hello, Dollface.  If you dig Afrobeat or soul music, I highly recommend both of these groups.


The Return Of Know Qwestion

The original line-up of Cash, Cappuccino, and yours truly are gonna burn down the stage at Wasted Grain in Scottsdale on black Friday. We'll be sharing the stage with the Phunk Junkeez and Cousins Of The Wize. This is a sold-out show so I hope you got tickets already!

Down With The Kings!

I am the biggest RUN-DMC fan and have been a serious collector of their goods for years. Here are a few autographed goodies from my stash. I've managed to get my hands on some pretty cool rap memorabilia which I will be sharing in the future but here's a little something to wet your appetite.

Live @ Mobile Monday's Mix

Here's a mix from my first visit to Mobile Monday's  in NYC from a while back. Big Up's to Dj Gizmo & Natasha Diggs, & the entire Mobile Mondays staff.


Mr. Super Bad

I only got to see James Brown perform once. It was 2006. Sun City hosted his last appearance in Arizona. This was a bit weird to me because Sun City is a retirement community about an hour from Phoenix. "Why would he play there?", I remember thinking.  Anyway, I was pretty excited so I along with the homie Chino D, & his wife at the time, Marcia headed to the Sundome aka MCEC to party with Mr. Dynamite himself. On the way over, Marcia and Chino get into an argument and she bounces leaving Chino to completely wild out with me, and trust me, Chino loves to wild out! This experience was different to say the least. No crazy traffic in the parking lot, no long lines, no aggressive security, everything was very smooth and laid back. The 7000+ seat facility was pretty packed but very chill. With this being a James Brown show I was surprised I didn't see anyone else I knew and most of the patrons were older caucasian couples. James reached everybody and when you consider how creative african culture is, it's not a surprise, God Made Us Funky!
     When the show started, The band jamed out for 20 minutes before James ever took the stage. I have never seen such funkiness! Trust me, it was crazy! When James took the stage, well, I think you know the rest...
      James passed away a few months later. I was honored to have experienced him live. I've been to a LOT of shows and I would have to put this in my top 3.

I love when there's a merch booth to buy goodies at a show and let me tell you, James had the most amount of merchandise I have ever seen. You name it, he was selling it. JB bath and hand towels, calendars, t-shirts, hoodies, posters, CD's, pencils, photos, tank-tops, jackets, women's underwear, sun-glasses, sweatbands, tour programs, caps, ties, costume jewelry, stickers, baby clothes, this guy was selling everything. He also had 2 types of JB laundry bags. Here's the one I copped.



Is Brooklyn In The House?!

Here's a super rare Brooklyn Hip Hop flier from 1981. Master D was a Brooklyn Dj legend and held it down for his borough from the late 70's through the 80's. This party was all about BK talent.


Super Happy to announce that this blog has just surpassed 10,000 visitors in less then nine months of going public. Thank you!

photo by Justin Bua

Thank You Marvin!

What can I say, the best version of "I Want You" just happens to be a rehearsal Marvin had somewhere in Europe. I miss you Marvin.

On Location With GMF

The photo shoot for this Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five album was less then two blocks away from my Air BnB spot in Harlem. This is a historic location as far as I'm concerned.

Hidden Agenda #6

I was interviewed by Hidden Agenda Magazine back around 2008-2009. This mag focused on music, art, poetry, & pop culture. This issue quickly became a collectors item because it was full of graffiti
and street art. Here are some highlights from the interview on me.

Toxic Waste-How did you get into the art of Dj'ing?
Darrell D-It started in high school. I used to be in this rap group called Prime Time with two other homies, Cosmo Chill & Whiz Doc D. Back then I was known as Delirious D. So we used to rap, you know, do talent shows, we were on TV a couple of times. As I went through high school, as I approached my senior year I realized I couldn't be a grown man running around trying to rap. So I naturally just started Dj'ing because I was already buying records. I figured that as a Dj I could still always be seen. I could always be current. I could still perform in front of people. And, because i'm playing music,I would never get old or go out of style.. I would always be current. So it was a way for me to stay in the spotlight and keep performing without being a rapper.  

What about collecting vinyl? 
Back in high school they were still pressing everything on vinyl. When you were buying stuff back then you had the option of buying it on vinyl or cassette. So I was already buying vinyl at the point when I stopped rappin and started Dj'ing. I already had a few crates. As far as being a collector, I remember right around the early 90's is when I first noticed. I remember going to this music store called Mainstream Music in my hometown of Milwaukee and I went to buy the new Stetsasonic "Blood Sweat and No Tears" album and the new LL Cool J ''Mama Said Knock You Out" album. I noticed 90% of the vinyl they were selling in there was gone! There was just a few bins of vinyl left. That's right around the time record companies stopped pressing so much vinyl. The CD revolution was starting to creep in and get real healthy. It was at that point that every record pressed became a "collectable". And because record companies were only doing that first run, that one pressing, that was it. So if you didn't get it when it came out, there was a good chance you wouldn't see it again. So that's when I became a collector.

How many records do you have in your collection?
I have around 100 crates.

So you're not originally from Arizona right?
I am originally from Milwaukee, WI. I moved to Arizona in 98.

Some call you an old school Dj. Could you elaborate on that?
Well, I've been called an old school Dj. I don't have a problem with that. I think being an old school Dj makes me a classic Dj. I think it makes me a real Dj. Right now you got a lot of synthetic Dj's. Those that didn't really go through the school of Dj'ing.

Do you have any influences?
Early influences include three cats from my hometown. Rock Dee, Dr. B, & Fresh G. During my high school years these were the three guys I was peepin. Rock Dee was the first Dj in my town that I ever saw doing some crazy battle routines. I had only seen that crazy stuff being done on the DMC videos, and now here's this guy doing it in front of me. I didn't even know that somebody from my city had those kinds of skills. He was a great mixer plus he knew his records like the back of his hands. He could do these really quick mixes. He didn't even need to cue the record. He would just grab the needle, drop it, grab the pitch control and mix. I would ask him,"how do you do those mixes so fast?" He would simply reply,"I know my records". That always stuck with me. Because of him I can say that I always made it a point to be familiar with my records as much as possible. Then there was Dr. B. He was defiantly a creative cat. You could tell he spent a lot of time in his lab putting records together. I mean this guy could perform magic with some records! When you heard him dj, you could tell that he had put time and thought into what he was doing. And then there was Fresh G. He was the cleanest mixer I have ever heard in my life. You could ask any of the cats back home and they will tell you the same thing. He was just incredibly clean. Everything he did was just clean! Other influences would include Jazzy Jeff, Cash Money, Funkmaster Flex, Rob Swift, Tat Money,and my favorite Dj is Kid Capri.

What was it like spinnin back in the day?
Oh man! I remember back in the day when you could throw on A Tribe Called Quest Award Tour" or Prince "Housequake" and the dancefloor would go insane! You could play "More Bounce...",Planet Rock",or like "The Big Payback" or even Jazzy Jeff "Summertime" and people would lose their minds. You have your hits now but it's not the same. I miss the old days. Dj'ing is exploited now. You see Dj's in cartoons, T.V. commercials, on billboards...I've seen Dj's in Target and Sprite commercials. Anything corporate america can exploit and make money off of they will. Hip-Hop is no different,Rap is not different. Music is beautiful and I don't know what I would do without it. When I look through my record collection I'm amazed at the emotions that some of the albums give me. James Brown, Gladys Knight, Arrested Development, Teena Marie, I just zone out to the albums. It's very emotional to me.

Recent Digs- Dj Z-Trip

My mixtape game is pretty serious. I'ts not every day(month or year for that matter) that you can track down a classic, pre-serato, dj mix cassette. When they do pop up you gotta strike quick and strike hard.   Z-Trip only released around 10 mixtapes and they're all limited and pretty hard to find. Here's two I was able to recently add to my collection. 1)Live on the Krispy Bisket Radio Show  2) B-Boy Breaks Vol.3

The Heat-Luther and Anita Live

In 1988, following the release of her multi-platinum selling album, Giving You The Best That I Got, Anita Baker embarked on a world tour to support the album's release. The tour kicked off in September. In that same year, Luther Vandross kicked off a three month tour of the United States in support of his platinum selling album, Any Love. His tour also began in September. In October, both artists joined forces to co-headline shows billed as: The Heat-Luther And Anita Live. I was 17 at the time and living with my sister and brother-in-law. As a gift to my sister, her husband got tickets to the show(including one for me!), and a limo ride to the show. The show opened with comedian Sinbad who proceeded the rock the crowd. This was the night that I fell in love with Anita. Man,I wanted to meet her so bad that night! Her show was pretty explosive. Luther's show was as great as they come. Those that have seen him live know what I mean. He even had a young talented Lisa Fisher("How Can I Ease The Pain") as one of his back-up singers. This was the first time I've ever seen grown women in their 30's,40's,& 50's screaming and goin nuts at a show. This one chic even tried to run up on stage but never made it. Security swallowed this chic up quick and she was never seen or heard from again.....or something like that. Anyway, you don't see shows like this anymore.

13 Years Of Tools Of War In Photos

Photographers Joe Conzo and Francisco Molina Reyes II have been documenting the Tools Of War Park Jams in the Bronx since it's beginning in 2003. A photo exhibit displaying these incredible pieces of history was recently held at the Bronx Music Heritage Center. It was a packed house and viewing these photos brought back a lot of great memories of my last 10 years of attending these incredible park jams. Here are some highlights.

GrandWizard Theodore

Mr. Biggs & Debbie Dee

Bonz Malone

GrandMaster Caz
Debbie Deb & T Ski Valley

Recent Digs-De La Soul

Just picked up this little 7" nugget for $3. European Import in mint condition.

Diggin Stories-Rim and Kasa

On the previous post, Off The Cuff Radio Interview, I mentioned how I found one of my holy grails, the Rim and Kasa "Too Tough" Ep. A few years ago I stumbled across this dance floor banger "Love Me For Real" on the internet somewhere. I had to have this record but everytime one would pop up for sale it was always between $200-$300 and needless to say, my pockets don't run that deep...,not often anyway. I would describe it as African Disco. This Ep was just reissued with 2 additional songs which should make collectors happy because there is currently an original pressing for sale on the internet for $989.00!

Off The Cuff Radio Interview

Here's the interview I recently did with Dj DN3 and Lisa Arenas from the "Off The Cuff" radio show over at  We talked about Dj'ing, record digging, music, and current events. Catch their show every Monday at 7pm. Thank you both for inviting me.

The Secret Beastie Boys 45

When this Beastie Boys 45 surfaced in 2010 it was quickly rumored to only have a mere 10 copies in existence. This is somewhat true but not completely. Due to the fact that I was the one who actually had this record pressed, I may be able to clear up this little mystery. I went to Kingston Jamaica some years back and while I was there I got 3 seperate records pressed including this Beastie 45. I ordered 100 copies of each. The plates, the labels, and the pressings had to be completed at three different companies and of course would not be ready by the end of my vacation. A dj buddy of mine told me about a taxi driver buddy of his that would run me around the city to take care this record project. By the time I got back to my hotel I had spent $200 in taxi fare when it should have been a lot closer to $20. This guy was a greedy crook. I think he somehow got the impression that I was ballin.(I wish)  After I returned home I still needed this taxi guy's help with picking up the records and shipping them back to me but he wanted way too much money.(I didn't know anyone else in Jamaica that could help me.)  There were 3 boxes but I was only able to afford to pay this guy to help me with 2 of them. All I needed for him to do was pick them up from the pressing plant and take them to UPS. It cost me $350 to ship 2 of the 3 boxes plus the $100 this taxi guy was charging me.(He wanted more to take all 3 boxes.)  From those 2 boxes, there was only 10 copies of the Beastie record. The other 90 were in the 3rd box which was left in Jamaica. Crazy right? I always wanted to tell that taxi guy what he could do with that 3rd box.  

Because this was indeed a bootleg, I wanted the label to be blank but the plant would not allow that so right there on the spot I came up with the "Soul Freak" label name and "BB" instead of "Beastie Boys". 

Side A, "I'm Down", was a song that was supposed to be on the Licensed To Ill Lp but they could not clear a Beatles sample. Side B, "B-Boys In The Cut", was produced by Dj Organic, a well known producer.  The sound quality was less then great and i'm not sure I would ever take this route again.

So there you have it. Mystery solved.


Mixtape Spotlight - Kid Capri 4-11-1990

I can't remember where I found this cassette but my copy was originally bought from Kim's Video, a well known spot for buying ill rap mixtapes back in the day in New York City. Kim's is actually still around but the days of the mixes and rare kung-fu flicks are long gone. For many years I was only familiar with Kid Capri "Old School" Parts 1 thru 4 so I was excited when I found this one which is simply titled "4-11-1990". They don't make Dj's like this anymore. 


Diggin Stories

It's pretty impossible to be a serious record collector without having a lot of cool diggin stories, experiences, and finds. Most of my killer digs have taken place outside of record stores, in fact, these days it's pretty rare for me to find any deep cuts in a "brick and mortar" without paying top dollar. This is a good time to share some of these digs.

The first story I want to share in this series was pretty recent, a few months ago in New York. A record buddy of mine told me that he found this guy who was in the music business for 20-25 years. He worked for a few major record labels and acquired a lot of free records. So many in fact that it completely filled an entire two story house with a basement. I couldn't wait to get in there. The day before I was to fly home we were finally able to go over to Jamacia Queens where this house was located do some digging. Once there, the nice guy who was selling the records made it clear that everything was $5 each. Lp, 12", or 7", everything was $5 each and that he had final say on what he would sell and what he wouldn't. Also, everything was mint as most of it has never been played. I started in the basement where most of the Lp's and singles were and my buddy went straight to the attic where all of the 45's were kept. After about 30 minutes I started pulling some cool stuff, 2 copies of Mary Jane Girls "All Night Long" 12" import with the instrumental, Pharcyde Labcabin promo on colored vinyl, 10 sealed copies of Prince "Purple Rain" 12" on purple vinyl, a Black Sabbath bootleg concert Lp, some classic BlueNote jazz Lp's, lots of Duck Down Lp's & other 90's rap albums. I presented my first stack of about 75 pieces to the seller for approval. He pulled about  90% of it out that he would not sell. Bummer. The second stash I pulled was about 40-50 pieces of which about 90% he kept. This was getting old. I decided to join my buddy in diggin thru the 45 boxes. After going thru around 10 boxes all I found worth buying was a copy of Original Concept "Charlie Sez".  By then It was time to head back across town since we had other plans for that evening. I only ended up spending about $115 when I was well prepared to drop at least a grand. I was pretty disappointed I couldn't buy more and almost felt like it was a waste of time, but the guy was nice enough to gift me a mint copy of the Mazzy Star-Among My Swan Lp(he had at least 25 copies of it!) I hope to one day go back with better results.  

Check My Style Out!

I'm happy and proud to say that I have NEVER in my life stood for the national anthem or took a pledge of allegiance to ANY flag. Most people enjoy living in ignorance, but for me, Truth is bliss!