Longtime local pal and fellow Riddim Methodist, the mighty Pacey Foster, has been working on a history of hip-hop in Boston — a project that began as a commission to write a chapter for a book on regional hip-hop scenes and which has gradually expanded into something much larger as musical-social networks have led him into many an interesting, obscure corner of the sprawling, brawling Beantown scene.
I can only imagine all the things Pace’ll do with the interviews he’s recorded & music he’s collected, in addition to the chapter (which I’ve read and which is great). The book isn’t out yet, but I’m excited to report that he’ll be sharing some sonic fruits of his studies this coming Monday at Beat Research.
Extraspecially, Pace is gonna share some vintage tapes from Boston radio legend Magnus’s pioneering hip-hop show, Lecco’s Lemmas. He tells the story over at his recently rekindled Library of Vinyl blog, to which I’ll kindly point you for the low-down.
Allow me, tho, to end with a juicy teaser: an excerpt from an interview Magnus did with none other than MC Keithy E, better known as Guru (pre-Preem!), back when he was still representing in (if not for) Boston, promoting his latest work (alluringly, he tells Magnus that he also like to “sing a little”!), & despite having recently defected to Brooklyn like most of the even half-decent talent around here eventually does. (That’s a big part of the story of Boston hip-hop, btw — how the scene, as Pacey subtly subtitles it in his chapter, “remained underground.”) If this doesn’t pique your curiosity, I dunno what would — perhaps pictures of Rusty the Toejammer with the NKOTB in the back? Naw, this is the real gold — just a taste tho…
Boston headz, a heads up: we’re gonna air the tapes on the early side this Monday, between 9:30 and 10pm, then get on with a good 3 hr party, splitting duties between Pace, yours truly, and DJ Flack. (During which Pace will no doubt be dipping into what he recently dubbed Beantown Boogie.) I’ve been known to mash and smash the music of Boston myself, so I may dip into my local bag too. Should be good, dood. See ya there —
6 thoughts on “Bean Research”
I was a kid during this era but I remember it vividly as my cousin Emo E later became E Devious of the RSO Crew and my brother’s friends Ralph and Mike from Orchard Park (New Edition) were all involved in the music business at that time. I remember hearing all the different tellings of the “Keithy E. moved to NY” story throughout the years and it only got worse when the first Wild Pitch 12″s dropped.
Those days of Lecco’s Lemma, the late night mixes on WRBB, going to Skippy White’s to cop the new Rusty The Toe Jammer mixtapes, etc. I can’t wait to see and or hear what Pacey comes up with. My brother still has a bunch of old blue Scotch 46’s recorded from the radio back between 1984 and 1986 from WRBB. Some of the older heads from RepDaBean.com still have old Lecco’s Lemma shows with Magnus letting folks do their thing over the air in the studio live. Memories.
Thanks for the comment, Dart. (I’ve been blown away by some of your blogposts, btw.) Hope we might see you in the house tonight. Yeah, the Boston hip-hop family is large — and surprisingly related, as Pace has been discovering. Big ups to E Devious (who Pace has interviewed, I believe). I still think of him every time I hear the word “mischiev[i]ous” —
i got some old skitzofrenik tapes from the mid-90’s. Back then they had 4 emcee’s (it wasn’t just check mark).
i also got all types of shit from my old falsehood crew (pre-porn theatre ushers).
we used to do shows with 7l and eso back in the day.
lemme know if you want any of these tracks.
hit me up on my email.
word up down left and right.
Say word, Paul. Thanks for the comment. I actually played a Skitzo track or two at the club that night. I went to school with Mark, Eric, and them, not to mention Miguel and some of the other Brick Records fam, so it was fun to revisit that stuff. Cambridge was representing back in the day. Would definitely be curious to hear some of this stuff. I’ll drop you a line.
Great to see this – I do a search on “Lecco’s Lemma” every once in a while and am always pleasantly surprised to see something new. While not in any way a “founding” member of the Lecco’s Lemma scene, I got down there as soon as I could, at the beginning of 1986. Starting off as DJ Spin, in the short-lived and awkwardly-named (but somewhat pioneering) “White Magic”, I went on to team up with DJ KooKoo as The Diamond 2, and then Coolie J and Magic D in The C.O.D. Crew. We performed live on WMBR a bunch of times, and then followed Magnus via cassette onto WZBC. I became friends with Magnus, would often hang out at the studio, and was actually there for his last show, playing a song I produced for future “Made Men” member Maine T.
The experience was world-shaping for me, as I’ve gone on to produce hip-hop for the last 20 years, touching base with Akro, Eso, Nabo, just about anyone good in Boston, culminating with my current work with TYPE 4. I count Magnus as a singular influence on me, and have re-connected with him many times over the years. I’ve been in contact with Pacey for a few years now, sharing stories of the old school, and he’s made good use of some of my recollections for his articles.
Unfortunately I didn’t make it up to Bar Harbor to see Magnus, nor make the Enormous Room show Pacey put on, but I am finally getting around to recording my huge collection of old Lecco’s tapes into my computer. In the meantime, feel free to check out this recent TYPE 4 song, the second verse featuring me setting some of my Lecco’s history to music:
Again, thanks for keeping a bit more of the Lecco’s Lemma flame burning!
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