Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bronx Park Jam...Kool D.J. A.J. Scratch

"Tools of War" host a series of park jams to recreate the hip hop vibe from the 80s. As I rolled into New York on the redeye DJ AJ Scratch (Kurtis Blow's D.J.) was billed to spin alongside Popmaster Fabel of the Rock Steady Crew in the South Bronx St. Ann's Park.

I passed through with my cameras and watched the breaking, the DJing and a tribute to Michael Jackson (shocking news of his death came through that evening.) Seeing AJ spin some classic jams was cool, even though he's rusty and didn't stray far from "The Ultimate Breaks and Beats" catalog.

Black Spades Real old skool heads turn up at these jams. This was one of the smaller ones, but Jazzy Jay was there. GrandMaster Caz was on the mic. And, also the Black Spades community group. The same infamous Black Spades gang of the south Bronx that Afrika Bambaataa was a member of. According to the "Beat This: A Hip Hop History" documentary series, watching Michael Caine in the film "Zulu" was the inspiration Bambaataa to creating the "Zulu Nation" as a organization to uplift the youth out of the despair they lived every day, using hip hop as its messenger.

Thanks to Christie Z. for organizing these park jams and keeping the vibe alive!

Worldwide Today, the Zulu Nation has spread worldwide with chapters in Belgium, France, Sydney, Tokyo and the UK, amongst others. I still remember the London chapter was run by a guy named Dapo. There was an air of exclusivity and no one I knew was a member which meant there seemed to be some some anamosity towards the Nation from regular b-boys.

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