October 16th, 2006

Slim Pickins

Imagine being asked to open up for an old school hip-hop DJ. Y’know, one of the innovators, the originators, the architects. Pretty good deal, right? An opportunity not to be missed.

Now imagine being given a list of tracks you can’t play. Fair enough, you think. Gotta leave some crowd pleasers and ol’ stand-bys for the big man.

But what if the list looked like the one below (never mind that there are some wack tracks on there)? What you gonna play now, Mr. Hotshot Opener?

B-Boy Traks
1. Mexican – Babe Ruth
2. Big beat – Billy Squire
3. Apache – Bongo band
4. Seven Minutes of Funk – family
5. Mardi gras – Bob James
6. Pump It up – Trouble funk
7. Fusion Beats – Tramp
8. Get up and dance – Freedom
9. Just began – Jimmy Castor
10. Give it up and turn it loose – James Brown
11. Listen to me – Baby Huey

Old Rap/Hip Hop
1. All Tupac songs
2. All Naughty by nature songs
3. Rappers Delight – Sugar hill gang
4. The Adventures of GMF GMF
5. The Message – Grandmaster Flash
6. Planet Rock – Afrika Bambaataa
7. All LL Cool Jay Songs
8. Mic Checka – Das Efx
9. Take it Personal – Gangstarr
10. All Eric B and Rakim Songs
11. It takes 2 – Rob Base
12. Jump Around – House of Pain
13. Time for some action – Redman
14. The choice is yours – Black sheep
15. All Public Enemy songs
16. All Tribe called Quest songs
17. All Krs 1 songs
18. Humpty Dance – Digital underground
19. Ive got the power- Snap
20. All Cypress Hill songs
21. All Run Dmc songs
22. All Dela Soul songs
23. Jam on it – Neucleus
24. Treat Em right – Chubb Rock

Classic (R+B)
1. Im coming out – Diana Ross
2 Got to be real – Cheryl Lynn
3 I cant wait – Nu Shooz
4 More bounce to the ounce – Zapp
5 Genius of love – Tom Tom Club
6 Hot stepper – Ini Kamoze
7 All Michael Jackson songs
8 Groove is in the heart – Deelite
9 Give it to me baby- Rick james
10 Freakout – Chic
11 Knee Deep – Funkadelic
12 All Prince songs
13 We are family – Sister Sledge
14 Toms Diner – Suzanne Vega
15 All night long – Mary Jane Girls
16 Outstanding – Gap band
17 Hold On – En Vogue
18 Before I let go – Maze
19 Bounce rock roll skate – Vaughn Mason
20 Square biz – Teena Marie
21 A Dj saved my life – Indeep
22 Good Times – Chic
23 Another one bites the dust – Queen
24 All Madonna songs
25 All Donna Summer songs

New Rap
1. All 50 Cent
2. Chingy Rite there
3. Magic Stick – Lil Kim
4. Get Low – lil John
5. The Benjamins (all versions)
6. Party and Bullshit – Rah Digga
7. Like a Pimp – David Banner
8. The Jump Off – Lil Kim
9. Do that dance – Baby
10. Back that ass up – Juvenile
11. Bling Bling – BG
12. Pump It up – Joe Buddens
13. Excuse me – Jay Z
14. Roc the mic – Freeway
15. Beautiful – Snoop Dog
16. Vivarin Thing – Q tip
17. All BIG songs
18. Beware – Jay z
19. Never Scarred – Bone Crusher
20. Ante up – MOP
21. Nothin – Nore
22. La La La – Jay z
23. I just wanna – Jay z

New R + B
1. Love like this before ( all versions) Faith Evans
2. All songs by Mary J Blige
3. Frontin – Pharrell
4. Crazy in Love – beyonce
5. This is how we do it – Montell Jordon
6. Neva let you go – Syleena Johnson
7. Only you ( all versions) 112
8. Rock your body – Justin Timberlake
9. Neva Leave you Uh Oh – Lumidee
10. Jenny from the block – Jennifer Lopez

I mean, I can understand calling a few of the anthems, and maybe even locking down the b-boy classics. But all PE songs? All Eric B and Rakim songs? All Tribe Called Quest songs? All B.I.G. songs? Damn. Might as well call “All hip-hop.”

Incidentally, I got the list above from a local DJ (who will remain unnamed) who was recently asked to open for one of hip-hop’s most legendary DJs (who will remain unnamed). When I asked him what that left him with, he said “All B-more!” Good lookin’ on the bright side, yo.

So, what would YOU play?

Cross-posted to the Riddim Method

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. url monro  |  October 20th, 2006 at 4:56 am

    Start with some ol’ Blaxxx dancehall shit then…
    1. Jamalski “Ganja Plane”
    2. P.E.A.C.E. “You are in my Clutches”
    3. Mobb Deep “Quiet Storm remix”
    4. Goodie Mobb “who’s that peepin’ in my window”
    5. Dizzze Rascal “cut ‘em off”
    6 .Mac Dre “Get stupid”
    7. EPMD – whatever, maybe “headbanger”
    8. Too Short “Shake that monkey”
    9. LUdacris “disturbing the peace”
    10. Sheila E medley
    11. Eurythmics “love is a stranger”
    12. Dr Dre “g thang”
    13. Curtis Vodka “Mary Jane 2006″

    Mayne, give that dude his east coast funk-flex BS. Plenty left over for a player, smell me? Shit I’d just play slap music all day beezy,


  • 2. wayneandwax  |  October 20th, 2006 at 9:40 am

    Nice set, Url. I love that people’s comments (mostly over at Riddim Method) have been less about “that’s not fair” and more about “oh well, here’s what I would play.”

  • 3. isaiah  |  October 24th, 2006 at 11:40 am

    lol! looks like the listening assignments for somebody’s “popular music since 1997″ class. wayne, you are an enduring delight; floreat.

  • 4. wayneandwax  |  October 24th, 2006 at 11:43 am

    More like since ’87, or even ’77, but yeah, it casts quite a wide, pop-centric net, with a few items outta left-field. (Thanks for the good words, Isaiah!)

  • 5. jnak  |  June 11th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Ultramagnetic, Whodini, Juice Crew,

  • 6. jnak  |  June 11th, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Cyborg Dance-Newcleus, can’t think

  • 7. Birdseed@loudmedicine.net  |  June 11th, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Whooo, old thread brought back to life. I thought you’d shut off commenting in all the old ones?

    I’d consider skirting around and commenting on the list, perhaps by focussing on material from beyond the East coast and beyond the immediate originating hip-hop scene. More electro, perhaps west-coast-centered (Egyptian Lover etc.), more go-go beyond Trouble Funk’s sole Sugar Hill release, more Latin freestyle. Plus early booty bass, new orleans bounce, some westcoastey and dirty southey material, plus perhaps some detroit techno, garage and proto-house. And of course whatever is beyond US borders if you like.

    I’ve always entertained the idea of constructing an alternative hip-hop history where these kinds of musics take up an equal or bigger place in the narrative than “golden age hip hop” does.

  • 8. wayneandwax  |  June 11th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    After installing a new spam filter (yay Akismet!), I’ve turned the comments back on for most of the posts here. Delightful to see that the conversation can continue.

    You both offer plenty of options. It’s a wide musical world, even in hip-hop. Of course, the point of the post was more along the lines of: sheesh, man, you gotta claim that much turf?

  • 9. nina  |  June 12th, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    wow, i could actually think up a TON of stuff since the older things are from my era and we bought cassettes and entire albums, so our mental catalog of music wasnt just the radio hits and singles, but EVERYTHANG that was put out

    its difficult, but a good dj should be able to manage

    Off the top of my head in no particular order,I think of artists like :

    Kwame, Salt n Pepa, Kid n Play,Kool Moe D,Doug E Fresh with or without Slick Rick, Diggable Planets,Monie Love,Latifah,Full Force,Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam (aka full force with a chick). That Pee Wee Herman song, EW&F, Force MDs, Whodini,Dana Dane.

    Anything by Zapp, Gap and Roger. Cameo, Debarge,Keith Sweat, New Edition, Stacy Lattisaw, 2 Live Crew, Magic Mike,Spoony G, Ginuwine, NWA, Ice Cube, The D.O.C., Janet Jackson, Pebbles, Keith Sweat, Troop, Jody Watley, Expose,

    It would take me some time to recall track names.

    if the big dj is saving the above listed songs for himself, it shows to me a lack of imagination and perhaps a limited knowledge of whats out there. i’d say this list would force the opening dj to play a SUPERIOR set. i’d probably WELCOME the opportunity to show off my skillz, and play a great set without resorting to the safe and familiar

  • 10. wayneandwax  |  June 12th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Good points, Nina, especially toward the end there — and great recs too! (Kwame is my man. Love his loopy style.) You’re right that this list is, in many ways, conservative and hence offers an opening for a superior set. On the other hand, this is a big hip-hop DJ so one would be playing for a hip-hop crowd and it’d be nice to be able to drop at least one Tribe track, etc. I mean, really.

    I suspect another dimension in all of this, which is also kind of shitty if understandable, is that the DJ-of-honor doesn’t want to have to pay attn to what gets played before he goes on, lest he play it again by mistake.

  • 11. nina  |  June 12th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    thanks. ah, it takes me back to my misspent youth!! i haven’t heard some of that stuff in a thousand years! (though i do have a Lisa Lisa 12″ and the Beastie Boys first LP squirreled away in mah house.)

    abut the replay issue- since i have zero dj-ing experience, i suppose you’re right

    i mentioned keith sweat twice, if I were a DJ i’d have hell not playing what the other djs had already played!!

    as a dj, i guess you would want to play some crowd pleasers and some big names. if only so it doesn’t look as if you are clueless.

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I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com

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