Angel Lewis’s Hip Hop Time Machine 4

From the UK to the US and back these are the reflections of one man’s travels and experiences outside of the boundaries of time.

Thrown back and forth in hip hop’s colourful history. Enjoy the ride


Different Stages

When Wu tang dropped Protect Ya Neck, Hot 97, WBLS and Kiss played it like it was a loop. At that point I realised we could find success in this business because the size of their group made our group look cool. A fifteen man crew was now acceptable, well two were females one of which was Nick Boo, at this point standing right in the doorway of my studio apartment in Fort Green, she was the trigger for this mental jump back to 1995. The Medgar Evers Show in Crown Height’s Brooklyn gave us the confidence we needed to bust out but our band was ESP and being 70% from East New York, we customarily generated enough friction amongst ourselves to fragment the crew into dust…

As such, everyone went their way. I formed a group called Complex Simple with one of the other members of ESP, the Fabulous Soul Free. Keith The Vultcha found Jesus, went solo and dedicated the rest of his music to serving God, Eric The Hawk went from state to state entering hotdog eating competitions,

Go figure, and Nick Boo…well she’s standing in front of me. She rang the door bell thinking I was a prime candidate for selling some type of plan but the surprise of her old partner in music behind the door had us bypass all of that. We went straight to who’s doing what where. She’s now a mother, stopped rhyming and now sells Medical Insurance.  Who’da thought?  She was so talented with a natural flow and voice. Anything we wrote she just ate it up. Her high pitch voice complimented the crew. She sounded, then how Remy Martin sounds now. It’s a similar concept, the petite female surrounded by all that male machismo.

I can’t think what possessed me to go to Remy’s show in Harlem that summer.  I’m at a Terror Squad gig in this Latin club in the Bronx, looking real foreign, waiting for Remy Martin to get on stage – waiting yet knowing my friend Sauve’ wouldn’t show up. At 1.30am I knew my boy wasn’t gonna come through and the two things I hate that come just before trouble are building around me, too many guys and too few women. Testosterone’s a mutha.  I’m tempted to leave as it looks like  I’m rolling dolo for the night, I’m watching the stage hoping she’ll just appear. Observing the way that half the doods in here know each other, the diminishing space and the pulse of that continuous latin hip hop drum, in every song my spirit said ‘okay lets go’.

Of all nights this night I forget to bring paper money and it took some real brainwork to get home to Brooklyn. A New York cop is about as sympathetic as a veteran mortician yet somehow I successfully pleaded with a transit Cop to let me into the subway to get on the A train home.

As disappointing as that night  was it still remains an experience yet almost the direct reverse of the estrogenic George Clinton parliament experience. George Clintons red hair and high heel boots don’t quite exist in the same world as the Terror Squad’s Timberlands yet the essence of the music was pulled from this planet of freedom, love and platform boots.

While walking to the pyramid stage at Glastonbury’s 40th celebration on the old land of Avalon I hear Atomic Dog playing in the distance influencing my pace. I needed to see those legendary Afros, flares and roller skates close up. You’d be excused if you were not able to picture the visuals of the summer solstice 2010 with a full moon illuminating the east and fireworks going off to the west of the stage. All this majick on the heart Chakra of the planet was raising the spirits more than anyone really knew. As I had just finished performing with the Astra Project all that energy made good celebration for the great performance we just pulled off or was it a call to return to that great feeling of being on stage again?

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