Promosheet by Chriz the Wiz:
“Here it is….BAM….and you say goddamn this is a dope jam”.
Dutch Gems delivers its first chunk of Dutch Hip Hop music history on wax, and delivers HARD! Compiled by hardcore Dutch rap collector and fan DJ Manyfast here’s four tracks from long sealed vaults to melt your speakers. Enjoy the realness of these forgotten and criminally overlooked gems.
Tales of the tape;
The “Logo” side kicks off with Leiden born MC Redzone. Allthough native Dutch, this guy lived and breathed Hip Hop culture since 1987 while travelling and living all around the globe, be it in Nicaragua, El Salavador and Curacao or the Dutch Antilles. Hitting Dutch soil again in 1993, and settling in Rotterdam (definately Holland’s Hip Hop capital at that time), Redzone started working with producer/DJ Krimo. Through Krimo he got in touch with MC Kay LC and these two hit it off big on a musical and personal level. That same year Redzone and Krimo released their demo “Verbal Violator”, an underground release that survived the test of time and untill this day is regarded an absolute classic. While increasingly doing live peformances (many with Kay LC) in cities like Leiden, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, Redzone was given the opportunity to donate four tracks to the 1997 compilation cd “From streets to stages”. These tracks, produced by Nome and RT, gained him further streetcred as a powerfull lyricist. In 2003 Redzone moved to Atlanta USA but still visits The Netherlands as often as he can. He keeps in touch with old friends and participates in the occasional rap project like his feature rap on the 2013 DCReal67 & Kay LC album.
The second track on the “Logo” side belongs to the aforementioned mc Kay LC. Dutch born and Surinam raised, a young Kay LC eventually lived in Domburg where he got involved in various aspects of Hip Hop culture being graffiti, b-boying and later on mc-ing. 1988 made the first demotracks see light of day with Kay LC being part of the Pleasure Posse and in 1989 more demotracks followed as a member of the Pryme Rhyme Network. Kay LC moved to Rotterdam wich allowed him to get to know a lot more rappers, dj’s and producers and therefore built on various rewarding partnerships. Dutch recordlabel DJAX took notice of the skillfull Kay LC and in 1991 he was recording together with producer Master O.C. for an album that would be released later that year under the title “Hard 2 handle”. To push the album, a cd-single of the track “Leavin'” dropped and became a small commercial succes. Unfortunately the incredible bonustrack “Beyond 2000” was never released on wax.
These releases and many live performances made Kay LC one of the most prominent figures in Dutch Hip Hop history. In years to follow he hardly seeked the limelight but managed to frequently pop up unexpected with single track releases and features on various rap compilation albums. It wasn’t untill 2013 that Kay LC dropped another full length album, but it was definately worth the long-ass wait. A collaboration with Delft residing DJ/producer DCReal67 (r.i.p.) evolved in one of the best, mature examples of classic rap this country has to offer.
The “Info” side of this wonderful slice of wax belongs entirely to two old members of one of the oldest and (in)famous rapgroups originating from Holland; the Moonrunners. This group is known for being one of the earliest rapgroups to get attention on national radio and tv, and participating in the first Dutch rap compilation albums in 1988. They also we’re pioneers when it comes to making hybrid rap/rock music with live musicians, influencing groups like Urban Dance Squad to take this type of sound further down the road. Rotterdam born DJ Alien, renowned for his pioneering graffiti and b-boy escapades, was one of the DJ’s of the Moonrunners. Also from Rotterdam came Blonnie B, who got involved with Moonrunners as a rapper and human beatboxer. Alien quit the Moonrunners in 1988 due to lack of trust in the management and became DJ of rapgroups like Bad Boys Posse (with rapper Jazz DMX), Time Drillers (with rapper Tombox), Clan Stronghold (with rapper Red Eye) and City Crusher (again with rapper Tombox).
Blonnie B stayed on with Moonrunners for another few years before continuing his rap career with another Rotterdam based group called In Full Effect. As a sidenote; Blonnie B is regarded as an mc who possibly was first to rap in Dutch language, as early as 1985.
Alien slowly became more interested in creating instrumental Hip Hop music, making him a Dutch pioneer on that level. He released a full album called “Airborn” in 1997. One year later he got the opportunity to release his own breakbeats album trough DJAX records. In years to follow he kept making experimental Hip Hop influenced music, continualy pushing boundaries from his studio where every square inch is taken in by turntables, samplers, keyboards and taperecorders. The Megatonz track featured on this release is an example of his raw bombdrop delivery. The track is built on a vocal sample taken off one of the Clan Stronghold Rotterdam mixtapes, featuring Mc Red Eye, later known as Duvel, on vocals.
Blonnie B continued his path in rap music mostly below the radar, doing occasional features on projects of old friends. 2008 proved he had production skills as well, as he produced the entire album of rapper Das De Rijmmaniak titled “Herboren (NederRAP)”. In that same highly productive year Blonnie recorded an entire album with production by DJ Alien, unfortunately never to be released. The track on this e.p. came from those recordings and was meant as his formal farewell to the industry.
This exceptional project could not have made it without the vision and hard work by dj/promotor/Dutch rap music collector/founder of Dutch Gems; DJ Manyfast.
Also crazy thanks goes out to Remko Koopman and DJ Alien who helped out generously in various ways.
Damn…I’ m so hyped I’m already thinking of possible tracks for volume 2! 😉
Chriz “The Wiz”