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.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Scion Installion #5 - VIPs

Jason and I went along to the Scion Installation #5 closing show in Culver City. The self-portrait artworks didn't inspire me so much, but it was good to see art from new faces to me (including Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo.)

My surprise was to see Jamel Shabazz in the house with his film producer/director. I first saw him in London at the Dazed and Confused Gallery in Old Street which was run by Mr. Kate Moss (at the time), the photographer Rankin.

Even after publishing three books Jamel is still super modest and appreciative and even went as far as giving me one of his prints which didn't quite meet his quality control so won't be seeing the light of day! Sweet. One of a kind!

"Rankin's ambitious exhibition and first ever UK retrospective commenced on the 31st of July 2009 and ran for 7 weeks. Set in the unique environment of the Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, the museum-scale exhibition covered 22,000 square foot, and showcased over 600 diverse images taken from his archives."

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Friday, September 18, 2009

DJ Cash Money disses DJ Philly Day

"Let me start by saying that this isn't just about me, this is about pioneering and legendary DJs from Philadelphia who are not being recognized.

Just as everyone knows that Hip Hop's founding fathers are Kool DJ Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash from the Bronx - it is common knowledge that DJ Jazzy Jeff and myself are the most famous Hip Hop DJ legends from Philadelphia...

Cash Money flashes the beats

The Thekla club in my hometown of Bristol, UK

"...When the first Philly DJ Day took place in 2008, I was invited to attend and help celebrate its launch. DJs from every decade in Philadelphia Hip Hop history attended and many group photos were taken of us to commemorate this day of unity.

Around the beginning of 2009, the organizers of Philly DJ Day received a proclamation, signed by the Mayor of Philadelphia, confirming an official Philly DJ Day to be celebrated annually. They proudly announced it. I was excited to read it myself!

To my surprise, my name was left off the proclamation though some of my friends were included...and was I naturally upset! DJs included on the first document included DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ AM (Rest in Peace), DJ Drama, Schoolly D, ?uest Love, King Britt and Rich Medina.

When I called Philly DJ Day to let them know about this error, they had not noticed that my name had been left out. They claimed that it was a typo or some mistake and that they would work on it. I wondered how something so important and final could be released and signed without review or edits.

By September 2009, the organizers said they finally fixed the problem, but when I viewed the updated document, it felt like my name was just thrown in for "honorable mention" and they changed the honorees around. At this point, I felt the second version aimed at pacifying me was more insulting than the first!

I wondered why other DJ legends weren't included on either document like the original DJ Spinbad, Lady B, Grandmaster Nell, DJ Miz, Too Tuff, Cosmic Kev, DJ Ran, Grand Wizzard Rasheen, Tat Money, Lightning Rich, Josh Wink and the list goes on!

There are so many DJs who trail blazed! Maybe it would have been better to just call it Philly DJ Day, not name anyone and have it be all inclusive. However, if the more accomplished DJs were to be highlighted, it would have been better that we all sat down had a chance to offer our input.

If the proper history of the Philly DJ is not going to be told, it's better not to do it at all. I give Philly DJ Day an A+ for effort but an F for history.

Yet Philly DJ Day continues to include my likeness on their website knowing that I am not happy with the organization and therefore I do not support it. When the Philly DJ Day organizers sent DMC (the longest running, most legendary DJ competition) a sponsorship proposal for 2009, which included my photo, they were turned down because Philly DJ Day wasn't even recognizing the only DMC Champion from Philly! DMC supports me 100%!

Thus, some may want to say that I am being egotistical or hard to deal with for standing up for what is right but I won't be written out of history. I have been silent far too long about the cliquishness that goes down in this city. I tour all over the world repping Philly to the fullest. The fact that I won the DJ World DJ Championship in 1988 and am the only DJ to bring this title to Philly speaks volumes. I was also inducted into the Technics/DMC Hall of Fame.

A great DJ is not made overnight! You have to put in time, blood, sweat and tears. You become known as a legend from your fans and fellow DJ's. I didn't give myself these titles, other people did. Rightfully so, I've earned my place in history. It's like discussing Philadelphia basketball and never mentioning Dr. J.

I would suggest that the organizers start over, regroup, sit down with the true legends and get it right.

DJ Cash Money

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Fun Gallery resurrected for '09

Galo hit me up about the Fun Gallery show in Los Angeles to celebrate what that space did to bring together the best of the 80's New York graffiti to the downtown art gallery scene.

Little did I know there were gonna be old skool hip hop luminaries there. Patti Astor aka "Virginia" the reporter in Wild Style, "Queen of the East Village" and co-founder of the Fun Gallery. I also got the chance to meet with Anita the photographer behind some amazing and never-seen-before pics of Dondi, Keith Haring, Futura and Kenny Scharf's work exhibited at the Fun Gallery.

Learn, yo!
If you want to know what it was like, here's an article from Charlie Ahearn published in Artforum 10 years ago in 1999.

Patti Astor as Virginia in 'Wild Style'

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