Monthly Archives: June 2010

An interview with Gold Medal Winner Christine Nesbitt

I’ve been fortunate enough to conduct a lot of interviews over the years. I’ve met and talked with some pretty famous people who I really admire. You’d think, by now, interviewing celebrities would be a piece of cake for me, wouldn’t you?

Unfortunately, that is not the case. This interview in particular was a bit difficult for me. I don’t know why, but I was completely star-struck by Christine Nesbitt.

I remember watching her gold medal performance at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. I was at home on my couch but I was catching the event live and not on a rebroadcast. The 1000-metre speed skate event was held at the Richmond Olympic Oval on February 18th at 1:00 PST and Christine Nesbitt owned the top of the podium at the end of the event.

She crossed the finish line with a time of 1:16.56. That is an amazingly fast race. Just think about it for a second – that is a whole kilometer in only a minute. Christine admits, “it’s the fastest self-propelled sport,” but apparently the ice there was not as fast as it possibly could be. “It was slow ice compared to what we’re used to skating at high altitude in Calgary,” she said.

Slow ice? I couldn’t even imagine traveling that fast under my own power, maybe in my car, but on a pair of skates, simply amazing!

Nesbitt appreciates all of the support that the country and the city of London has, and continues, to show her. “It was the energy of the crowd when we raced that was just incredible. And it was so great to do that in Canada.”

It really was inspiring to see her race and take home a gold medal. I know I was jumping and cheering at her performance and I wasn’t the only one. “We knew the whole country was cheering for us but it was nice to come home and see the montage on the streets of London when we won our medals, they went crazy, and everyone in the JLC went crazy. And it was great.”

She laughed when I told her that I went crazy from my couch as she won her event too.

Interesting fact about Christine, she plays the trumpet, although she admits that she is a bit rusty and hasn’t been practicing as much as she should. I think we can forgive her for that considering all that she has been able to accomplish. She admits a love for music, especially “jazz and rhythm and blues.”

What can we look forward to in the future from Christine? She plans to be at the next Winter Olympics. “Four more years and maybe a couple more gold medals then.”

Well, we wish her all the best. I know I’ll be cheering her on for sure. If you want to hear the entire interview, you can download it here or stream it with the player below. Thanks a lot for tuning in!

P.S. After posting this interview I learned that Christine was hit by a car while bike riding home from a workout. That is terrible news for an athlete. I wish her a speedy recovery. You can as well by going to her Twitter – http://twitter.com/cnezzy


MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Inspiring a Dream

This February people all over Canada were electrified by the energy and excitement of The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. It was amazing to see so many of our athletes put in stellar performances and take home some medals in the process.
London, Ontario had more than its fair share of medal winners. I especially loved seeing Christine Nesbitt take home a gold in the 1000m speed skating event. And of course, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were just beautiful to watch as they captured Gold in the Ice Dance event. 

The city of London had hoped to welcome the athletes home with a huge celebration in February but unfortunately things couldn’t quite come together then. The athletes had commitments and continued to remain busy for weeks afterwards. However, we finally had the chance to get them all together and honour them last Monday at the John Labatt Centre.
The event also honoured our summer and paralympic athletes which was really great to see. The arena was packed full of fans sporting red and white. The crowd was energetic and loud as we honoured our local heroes.
It really was an inspiring event. I was proud to be there in the media section amongst A Channel, The London Free Press, AM 980 News, and 106.9 The X.  I felt like a little fish in a big pond and held on to my media pass with pride and excitement.
I was able to do short radio interviews with;
Stay tuned to this blog for coverage of this event. I will have articles, podcasts, and transcripts to share with you all week long. Also be on the lookout for my articles in The Londoner Newspaper and for the interviews to air on Morning File on 93.3 CFMU in Hamilton.
Here is a closing thought from David Duncan,
 “Too often we don’t stop and reflect. Myself as an athlete, this gives me time to reflect as well as what’s gone on in the past year but also the community in general. So they know the unsung heroes that are out there. They put in the work every day but don’t really get seen. These kind of celebrations are great. It showcases the people that made it to the top, but there are thousands of us in London that are trying to make it to the top. Hopefully, people will give that some thought as well and come out and support their local athletes”


MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Undeniable Talent

Every now and then a new artist comes along with so much talent that it simply just can’t be ignored. It happened back in 1997 when a new artist started to garner a lot of attention and rightfully so.

I took me a while to actually see that talent though. Like a lot of other listeners, I was caught up on what I considered to be inappropriate imagery.

However, if you looked past the subject matter of his songs, you couldn’t help but see the brilliance of his writing and his performance.

Yes, I am talking about Eminem.

English teachers, bloggers, and poets, people who would never consider themselves to be hip-hop fans, sing Eminem’s praises for what he can do with the English language. He can paint a vivid story and deliver it in such a novel way that his work really has no rival.

It took his song “Brain Damage” to get me to stand up and take notice. He can rap words that don’t even rhyme by focusing on the syllables and how they are pronounced. Some rappers try to do this but it is so obvious that they were trying. Eminem does it effortlessly and does so in a story rhyme that doesn’t call attention to the brilliant mechanics of how it was put together.

For example. Eminem rhymes “orange juice” which would be impressive enough since nothing really does rhyme with orange. However, he takes it even further by matching up every single syllable of that phrase and rhyming it repeatedly over a few seconds of time.

Not content with that, Eminem does the same thing with “chocolate milk.”

Here is the lyric

“Then I got up and ran to the janitor’s storage booth
Kicked the door hinge loose and ripped out the four inch screws
Grabbed some sharp objects, brooms, and foreign tools
‘This is for every time you took my orange juice,
or stole my seat in the lunchroom and drank my chocolate milk.
Every time you tipped my tray and it dropped and spilt.’”

Here are the slant rhymes

– storage booth – door hinge loose – four inch screws – foreign tools – orange juice

And then,

– chocolate milk – dropped and spilt

Wow! That is simply amazing.

Eminem’s first album was a huge success, both critically and commercially. He continued to release great albums with amazing wordplay but some people seemed to stop noticing his craft.

“You ain’t even impressed no more; you’re used to it.”

That’s what he said on “Business” off of the Eminem Show. He was completely right. He was still giving us some amazing rhymes and wordplay. I don’t think it’s even debatable that those first three albums are hip-hop classics.

I lost interest in what he did after those classic albums though. I wasn’t sure why either. He was doing the same thing he had always done. In fact, that is what had me writing him off. He hadn’t seemed to grow as an artist. It was the same old, same old and I wasn’t impressed anymore.

Encore had some great moments and his new material for Curtain Call was good as well. But his last disc was absolutely horrible. I hated Relapse and had almost completely written Eminem off. His long hiatus didn’t help matters in my mind either. I thought he was done.

And I then I heard Recovery.

What an amazing album. It’s almost like he had heard my thoughts from the past few years and he decided to address them all.

Eminem even admits that his last two albums weren’t up to snuff. He says, “The last two albums didn’t count…I’ve come to make it up to you… I finally feel like I’m back to normal… The new me is back to the old me”

So Eminem has recaptured what it is that makes his music great. I was actually blown away by this new album. Best thing I’ve heard from him in a long time. The album captured me from the opening few seconds and didn’t let me go. There are some great moments that made me laugh out loud, or cheer like I was in front of the stage marveling at what he was able to do with a lyric.

Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of this disc. It is a great tapestry of tracks that starts and ends perfectly. In fact, it’s the best hip-hop album I’ve heard in a while. The album came out last week so go to the record store or download store and support real hip-hop and good music. Peace!

The Freedom of an Open Door

The Freedom of an Open Door – a short story
by Chase March
Locks only keep honest people out. That’s what his dad used to say and he never understood it. He always locked his door even though he wasn’t afraid of those honest people.
There were nights where he’d forgotten to lock it. In those mornings, his heart would skip a beat as he realized that he had been unprotected during the night. The next moment though he always felt relief that he hadn’t needed that lock.
His door isn’t locked right now. The screen door lets the cool spring breeze in and it feels good to have the freedom of an open door.
He’s been alone for years. Ever since she broke his heart. He knew that she might need the freedom of an open door one day. A place she could escape to if ever she needed it. No one would know about this place. She’d be safe here. That’s why he had insisted that she keep the key when she’d left him.
He hadn’t thought about that key in a while; it had been so long. She probably had forgotten all about it too. Perhaps things had worked out just fine with her and …
It still hurt to even think it …
him.
There, he completed the thought and then he rolled over and fell asleep for the last night he’d ever spend in this apartment.
The next day, he looked around at the empty digs before locking the door and moving on with his life.
She was nervous and scared to use the key after all these years but she did. She’d needed the freedom of the open door today. She wanted him to be there to tell her that everything would be okay. She needed him for that.
When she opened the door, her heart sank. Seeing the place empty at that moment broke her heart. She fell to the ground crying, closed the door behind her, locked it, and cried some more.

THE END

An Interview with hip-hop artist Future

Future is an up and coming artist from Mississauga and we caught up with him at the Stylus Awards. You can read this interview, stream it with the player at the bottom of this post or download it for free. And don’t forget to check out all of our coverage from the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards. Enjoy!

Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards and I’m here with Future. How’s it going, man?”

Future: “It’s going great at the Stylus Awards. Future, straight out of Saga City, T-dot, know what I’m saying?”
Chase: “Excellent. So you’re an MC?”

Future: “I’m a reggae and hip-hop artist. Coming straight from Jamaica to Canada, expanding my horizons and just trying to put in work, ya know, work hard and see what can happen.”
Chase: “Very cool. So how did you get into hip-hop?”
Future: “I’ve been involved in hip-hop my whole life, music as a general. Coming out of Jamaica, we represent Bob Marley and a lot of artists that are very significant to the first world. I’m just trying to bring my point of view, me as a young man coming up and my whole different type of flavour I bring to the game.”
Chase: “So we’re here at the Stylus Awards, giving love to the DJs. Do you have any favourite DJs who are here tonight.”
Future: “I like DJ Ill Kidz. Big up Wrispect. Big up all the reggae DJs too. I’m coming straight out of Saga City. We have a lot of music that we’re trying to put to you guys in the 2010. There are a lot of artists coming up on my label, which is 786/876 records. We have a track out now called ‘Lemon Face’ which you can see on YouTube if you just put in Future ‘Lemon Face’ you can see our video.”
Chase: “Are you active online?”
Future: “You can find me on Facebook – Jason Da Boss. My producer Snares has done most of my tracks that I have, that are singles. His name is Killer Snares. If you hear me say, ‘Snares on the Beat,’ that’s what it is. He has a lot of good beats out there for people who want beats too, ya know?”
Chase: “Very cool because I see too many MCs who have a MySpace page and they’ll be rapping over someone else’s beats.”
Future: “And that’s the thing with the game. You gotta come with your own beats. I find a lot of artists don’t do that. They’re trying to do over tracks on beats that they got from the producer. That’s one of the things I knew growing up, to make sure you have your beat man right behind you and then you’ll be alright. You can do whatever you want with each track that you go and produce in the studio. It’s not like you’re wasting time going over people’s beats.”
Chase: “Exactly. It’s part of paying your dues too. If you want to be an artist, you’ve got to come with the whole package.”
Future: “You’ve got to come with the whole package. That’s what it is. I make my own hooks. I write my own verses and everything. So the talent is there. There’s a lot of versatility too.”
Chase: “So we’ll spin one of your tracks right now. It’s been nice meeting you. Thanks a lot for stopping by DOPEfm.”
Future: “Alright, man. DOPEfm, you know what it is. H-town back to Saga City. Future. 786/876 Records coming to you.”

Arghh! What now?

This is my workstation. A laptop computer, stereo speakers, and a USB microphone. It’s how I’ve recorded all the on-location interviews I have done since signing on with CFMU.

I use a free recording program called Audacity.

I really like how easy this program is to use. You can layer multiple tracks and you can amplify and change the volume of sections.

I can fit all of my recording materials into my backpack and can do radio interviews pretty much wherever I want.

This weekend, I went to a small venue in London, Ontario to interview D-sisive. I then went to Toronto the next night to interview Eternia. The following day, I went to Toronto with the rest of the DOPEfm team so we could cover the Much Music Video Awards.

And last but not least, last night, I went to the Olympic Celebration held at the JLC to honour London’s Olympic Athletes. I was able to get interviews with Gold Medalists Christine Nesbitt, Tessa Virtue, and Scott Moir.

I can’t wait to share all of these interviews with you. I have a lot of work to do in the editing and piecing together of these radio shows.

The only problem is that my laptop seems to be slowly dying.

First off, two of the three USB ports stopped working. The headphone jack now produces a strange ticking sound that fortunately isn’t showing up on the recordings. And the latest problem, is that the keys aren’t working right.

I tried to save the show last night as “JLC” and I when I typed in those three letters this is what I got, “13c”

The “m” doesn’t seem to work at all any more. Some letter keys produce numbers now but then again, so do the number keys. I pretty much can’t spell or type up anything on it now.

So all of my saved files have some really weird file names now. I can work with that as long as I can continue to run Audacity just fine. I really can’t afford to buy a new computer right now. I just hope that I can continue to produce these segments for you before it dies on me.

Stay tuned for some great content.

Rochester Interview

rochester juice Pictures, Images and Photos
Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March and I’m here at the Stylus Awards with Rohecster. Just a reminder to the listeners out there that you can catch this again on the podcast or you can read the transcript on my blog. So, how’s it going man?

Rochester: “Whats up, what’s up? I’m chilling. Having a great time.”

Chase: “Yeah, it’s pretty nice that we have this award show honouring the DJs and the producers and all the behind the scenes things.”

Rochester: “Definitely.”

Chase: “But you’re on the mic too right?”

Rochester: “Yeah, I’ve been rapping since I was about 18 years old.”

Chase: “Excellent. So do you do any DJing or producing?”

Rochester: “I try to but I really suck. That’s why I’m like, ‘Let me just leave it up to the DJs man,’ because there’s some things that people are meant to do and some people are just not meant to do them. I think DJ was one of them for me. I like picking and selecting music, ya know what I mean, but I could never blend or scratch really, really well but I appreciate the art, definitely.”

Chase: “Awesome! So are you here supporting some of your producers?”

Rochester: “I’m more here for the DJs because you gotta show love for the DJs because it’s the DJs who put me on. Rochester would never be where he is right now – Did I just use my name in the third person? Oh my God-”

Chase: “We’re radio though so it’s not like we’re seeing you image.”

Rochester: “Okay cool.”

Chase: “We want people to know who you are right?”

Rochester: “True, true, true. So Rochester, myself, wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the DJs. They really spun my music on the radio, on the mix shows, college mix shows, in the club, and really helped mew get my stuff out there. So, I always show love, always.”

Chase: “Yup, that’s what we do here at DOPEfm. We’re an overnight show, Saturday overnights. We spin your stuff. Definitely.”

Rochester: “Beautiful.”

Chase: “That’s what’s really cool to see this because usually there is more of a focus on the MC rather than the DJ. So we’re here showing love to the DJs.”

Rochester: “I’m glad they started this 5 years ago because it is crucial to the game. And you can see how important it is because it brings everyone together. We all realize how important the DJ is.”

Chase: “Yeah, there’s quite the turnout today. It’s packed in here.”

Rochester: “You see how important the DJs are. Everyone has shown up, even Drake showing some love. Every artist is here. Every DJ is here. Driving out from Newfoundland out to BC, so it’s good.”

Chase: “Could you tell us something about the 411 Initiative?”

Rochester: “Yeah, What’s the 411 is my non-profit, not necessarily mine but I’m an artist in it and I work hard in it. It was created by Tamara Dewitt and she hollered at me about 5 years ago and asked me if I wanted to do something a little bit different when it came to teaching kids about different topics. Topics such as domestic violence, gun violence, crimes against women, HIV and AIDS, Black history, Asian history, women’s rights, and things like that.

Because you know when you go to high school, the assemblies are so boring. I remember falling asleep in class, I was talking to girls, I was doing whatever else I could be doing during these assemblies. So I wanted to do something cool and she wanted to do something cool and that’s how What’s the 411 got started. We’ve been touring across Canada about 5 years now and we’ve hit up every single, almost every single high school, even Native Reserves out in Calgary and different Community Centres. We’re working with a Community Centre called Brookside and that’s in Coburg.

We started an actual record label. It’s called the Rebirth Project. It helps kids that are aspiring to be musicians or artists actually figure out what it is they want to do. Everybody wants to be a rapper, right? But sometimes maybe that’s not your niche. Maybe you’d be better as a graphic designer, or maybe you’d be better as a producer, or just a writer, or something like that. So there are other options in music and that’s what we’re giving them the option to do.”

Chase: “That is so cool! I just talked to Boi 1da and I asked him how he got into production and he said because he couldn’t rap or he wasn’t so good at it. So you know that there are those other elements. I myself tried to get a rap career going.”

Rochester: “How’s that going for you?”

Chase: “Well, now I’m on the radio, so-”

Rochester: “That’s okay. We all find out, eventually.”

Chase: “Yup, we all find out. I tried to get that popping but ya know, I love hip-hop so much that I’m still involved in it. I’m writing and blogging and all that stuff. But I still rap and I’m a teacher so I appreciate this What’s the 411?”

Rochester: “You need to love the art form enough. It’s not just about making money all the time. I really feel truly in my heart that if I wasn’t doing this for money or going on tour, seeing the world or whatnot, I’d still be doing this. If there wasn’t a dollar in my pocket, if there wasn’t any ambition to move forward. It’s something within you that you love to do. Hip-hop is not just a music. It’s a lifestyle. It’s who you are. And once it’s in you, it’s like a virus, you can’t leave it alone.”

Chase: “Yeah, I still beatbox and I teach so when I erase the board I usually beatbox and do a vocal record scratch like duffa-dufa-duffa.”

Rochester: “Sick, sick! Your students must love you, man.”

Chase: “I bring hip-hop into the classroom. We did a Run-DMC song for choir. I got this rap choir thing going.”

Rochester: “That’s amazing.”

Chase: “I teach Grade 3 so it’s the little kids.”

Rochester: “What’s your last name?”

Chase: “March.”

Rochester: “Mr, March. I wish you were my Grade 3 teacher man. ‘Mr. March, you’re dope bro! Mr. March is ill!” Yeah man!”

Chase: “I can’t help it. I go around beatboxing sometimes in class and the kids remind me I’m beatboxing and I’m like, ‘Oh, I didn’t even notice I was doing it.’ Because hip-hop is inside you and it’s just something that you love. It’s cool that we can all come together and celebrate it.”

Rochester: “That’s what the Stylus Awards is all about. I wanna see all the DJs out here doing there thing man. Did you see the awards at all?”

Chase: “I’ve been stuck backstage here all night so unfortunately no.”

Rochester: “Well, I gotta get back, man. I gotta get back and see all these guys and stuff like that.”

Chase: “So what can we look forward to from you in the future? Are you coming out with an album?”

Rochester: “Yeah my new album is called ‘Genreless.’ Any other past material from me, you can find at Rochesterforever.com. So anything you haven’t heard or if you’ve never heard me before, just go to the website, check me out. My stuff is on iTunes as well but it’s also at Rochesterforever.com. Check it out!”

Chase: “Nice! Are you on Twitter?”

Rochester: “@Rochesterjuice, always gotta plug the Twitter.”

Chase: “Alright, well thanks a lot. It’s been a pleasure sitting down and talking with you.”

Rochester: “Thank you man. Thank you. Bless!”

Danny D Interview

Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March and I’m here at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards with Dance Club DJ of the year, Danny D.

You can download this interview from  the DOPEfm page, read it here, or stream it with the player at the bottom of the post.

So, how’s it going man?”

Danny D: “Good. How are you?”

Chase: “Pretty good. So, what’s it feel like getting this award?”

Danny D: “It feels really special because this is the first year for this category and I’m honoured to be the first one to receive it. It’s a sign of bigger and better things to come. I’ve worked hard for all these years to get to where I am. Ya know, hustling. I started out in the industry not knowing anybody, not having those connections to get in. And people keep asking me, ‘How’d you do it?’ and I hope I’m a testament to all the up and coming DJs that hard work pays off. So just keep working hard and the results will come.”

Chase: “Nice. So how did you start? What kind of gear did you have when you originally started out?”

Danny D: “I just had my two Technics, a little, I don’t know what it was, maybe a Pyramid mixer or something. Ya know, one of those old mixers where if you pressed two cue buttons at once it bled through. It was bad. But you know what? It’s a stepping stone. It’s where I learned. I just locked myself in the basement for hours and practised and practised and practised. And I hustled.

I’m not gonna lie, I did catch a lucky break but it was being in the right place at the right time. But to all those up and coming DJs out there, that might happen to you and you have to make the most of your chances. Sometimes you only got one chance to make it. You gotta take the bull by the horns and make it happen.”

Chase: “Definitely. So, do you have an online presence?”

Danny D: “You can go to MySpace – DJ Danny D Online. Facebook and Twitter – The Real Danny D. And of course Z103.5.com, all the links are up there, you can email me. I’m easily accessible, and of course every day at 5 o’clock on Z103.5 as well.”

Chase: “Nice. Do you have a favourite record to mix?”

Danny D: “Genre of music. I like the electronic stuff, the house, trans, but I’m a music lover and I love all kinds of music. I’m very versatile in the music I can spin. I play dance and splice in some rock, or remixes of rock stuff, the trans, sometimes on the radio show I’ll throw Spanish music down. It’s what the people want. I’m the people’s deejay for a reason because I play what the people want to hear.”

Chase: “Alright. Thanks a lot Danny D. Congratulations on your award.”

Danny D: “Thank you so much for having me.”

Chase: “Alright, peace!”

Quick – What’s the last CD you bought?

Quick, answer this question,

What’s the last CD that you bought?

Were you able to answer in a few seconds?  If not, why not?

If you didn’t answer Shad, Pigeon Hole, or Drake, you need to go out and support dope hip-hop right now.

I think it’s important to support local talent. These Canadian hip-hop artists are really putting in work. I bought their CDs, here’s proof

There are some amazing hip-hop releases dropping this summer. I plan on picking up the Sweatshop Union releases soon. D-sisive is also dropping an album next month that will be a must own. I also bought Nikki Yanofsky’s album earlier this year because I listen to all sorts of different music.

Reflection Eternal has a lyric in one of their new songs that says, “you can like rap again.”

True, true! Hip-hop is not dead. 

Go out and support the artists. Don’t just download stuff for free.

Go to their concerts as well. It’s a great weekend for live shows. I’m going to see the Shad / D-sisive / NGA show tonight. I already interviewed Shad and the NGA interview I did last month will air this weekend on DOPEfm. Tonight I will be interviewing D-sisive. I’m really looking forward to that.

Lissa Monet Interview

Our coverage of the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards continues today with Female DJ of the Year, Lissa Monet. You can listen to this interview with the player at the bottom of this post, you can read the transcript, or you can download it for posterity.

Enjoy!

Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March and I’m here with Female DJ of the Year, Lissa Monet.”

Lissa Monet: “Hey Hamilton! Everything is good. Everything is amazing! I won an award tonight.”
Chase: “That’s pretty awesome. We’re at the 2010 Stylus Awards and they have a girl category. Hip-hop almost is a male dominated culture and same with deejaying. I mean, there’s not a lot of female DJs. Why is that, you think?”
Lissa Monet: “It’s intimidating. If you want to get really technical about it, it’s expensive. Before Serato, I was spending close to $600 a month on vinyl alone. So, it’s intimidating at first because you have to buy all the equipment and you have to practise. And you don’t really see the returns right away because you have to spend a lot of time practising your craft before you can actually start going to the clubs and getting the exposure. So, it’s long process and I feel that some females are intimidated by that and that’s why they aren’t a lot of females doing it. But it’s so rewarding. If you love music, all that stuff doesn’t mean anything.”
Chase: “Definitely, and that is what is kind of cool about your name because some DJ names, you can’t tell who it is. I don’t know if it’s just me but every time I hear a new name in hip-hop that’s a female, I give that an extra ear, ya know? I mean, I got really mad when Tanya Morgan turned out to be three guys. I was like, ‘There’s a new girl MC, maybe this is gonna be the new-”
Lissa Monet: “I thought the exact same thing.”
Chase: “Yeah so I was mad about that for a while. But I kind of like them now because like the Barenaked Ladies, they’re not really barenaked-”
Lissa Monet: “Exactly, and they’re not really ladies.”
Chase: “But they’re amazing, right? So it’s all good. But it is definitely cool to see females in DJ culture and in hip-hop.”
Lissa Monet: “It’s unique.”
Chase: “It definitely is. So how did you get started in deejaying?”
Lissa Monet: “I got started like any other DJ. I started going to clubs and just really taking in the DJ aspect of the party. I wasn’t really into partying. I was more into standing behind the DJ booth and seeing the reaction from a crowd when a DJ would play a specific song. And that kind of took to me. So, one of my DJ friends, Kap’n Kirk from 4 Korners was like, ‘Why don’t you just start DJing. You know all the songs. Old school, new school. Why don’t you just start?’ And I was like, ‘Okay!’ and I used to go to his house and he’d teach me how to mix music and I’d mix on his turntables until I was confident enough to go out and buy my own turntables and practise at home. So that’s how I pretty much got started.”
Chase: “Very cool. Do you find that there is more of a competition or a camaraderie among DJs?”
Lissa Monet: “Definitely a camaraderie and it’s an amazing, amazing feeling to know that you can go to a club and DJ with anotehr DJ and it’s not all about competition. A lot of us are easy-going and we’ll get together at the beginning of the party to see who wants to play early or during the primetime set. It’s whoever feels to do whatever at the time. Nobody feels slighted because they don’t get to play, with some DJs it’s like that, not all the time. But it’s always good to have that feeling when you can come to a party with other DJs and play and not have to feel like you’re competing with each other.”
Chase: “It definitely is. So it must be a really cool thing to be here at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards among DJs and producers and a lot of people that don’t normally get the shine because it’s put on the MC a lot of times-”
Lissa Monet: “Or the club promoter, or other aspects of night life. The DJ has always been behind the scenes because we show up early and we leave late and nobody really sees us, we’re behind the booth. But it’s coming to the point now where DJs are becoming personalities and they’re becoming branding machines and they’re becoming these conglomerates of big business. It’s amazing to know that it’s come to a point now where us DJs can get recognized for some of the things we do outside of just playing records.”
Chase: “Definitely. Do you think video games like DJ Hero and games like that have contributed to that and how do you feel about them?”
Lissa Monet: “I’m not a big fan. I actually suck at DJ Hero. I’m like, ‘This is nothing like the real thing. What am I doing? This is insane.’ But it’s for anyone who ever has a love for the art of deejaying and I would never take that away from that person. But for me, personally, I can’t play it. I’m horrible at it. I suck. And this is coming from the Female DJ of the Year.”
Chase: “It’s funny because I am a teacher and I brought a record into the class and the kids were like, ‘That’s a big CD,’ and then they start talking about DJ Hero and ‘that thing’ they are sliding back and forth. I was like, ‘That’s a crossfader and this is vinyl.’ So I was educating them on that a bit. But I guess games like this are kind of a stepping stone into that culture.”
Lissa Monet: “Right, it kind of peaks interest and helps them learn about it and that’s why I would never take it away from, anybody because anything that can peaks somebody’s interest into diving into a world of DJing is always amazing. It’s always a good thing.”
Chase: “It’s pretty amazing to think of how times have changed from when I was a kid until now. Like you said, you had to invest tons of money to start out in it. Nowadays you don’t have to do that at all, right?”
Lissa Monet: “I think you still do. It still costs a lot of money to buy turntables. It still costs a lot of money to buy mixers. The Serato box is $600. So it’s still a hefty investment and you really have to be passionate about it, in order to take it to another level.”
Chase: “So when you’re using Serato, you’re still using vinyl to control it and the needles and the turntable and the mixer.”
Lissa Monet: “And that’s the amazing thing about Serato, the technology allows you to use both vinyl and CD. So for the DJ who isn’t into CDs, they can still have the comfort of playing on turntables. They can still cut and scratch and do all the things they would’ve done if they brought 10 crates of vinyl.”
Chase: “Yeah, the technology is amazing these days, isn’t it? Do you have an online presence?”
Lissa Monet: “I am. I’m on Facebook. I’m on Twitter – DJLissaMonet and I have a blog which is LissaMonet.com/blog and on there you can download all my mixtapes and read posts about stuff that I like and things that I’m doing. It’s pretty cool.”
Chase: “It is cool. I’m on Twitter and I’m a blogger too. I’m gonna have to look you up and start following you.”
Lissa Monet: “Let’s follow each other.”

Chase: “It’s been awesome linking up with you today and talking about music. Congratulations on your award and all the luck in the future.”

Lissa Monet: “Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.”

Slakah the Beathchild & Tinksek Interview

Slakah the Beatchild is a talented producer who has worked with artists such as Drake, Divine Brown, Glenn Lewis, Nelly Furtado and Melanie Durrant. He is in the groups Art of Fresh and Slakadeliqs.

Tingsek is a soul artist and producer from Sweeden.

Photo credit – Stefan Isaksson

I caught up with them both at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards. You can download the podcast of this interview for free, you can read the transcript below, or you can stream the interview with the player at the bottom of this post. Of course, you could do all three. Stream it now as you read and download it so you can listen to it whenever you like.

Without further ado, here is the transcript of the interview.

Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March. I’m hear with Slakah the Beatchild and Tingsek. How’s it going?”

Slakah: “It’s going great man.”

Chase: “Excellent. So I hear this is your first time in Canada.”

Tingsek: “It is. I’ve been here for two weeks. All thanks to this guy right here, Slakah. I’m loving it.”

Chase: “Nice. So Slakah, we play a lot of your songs. You’ve been making some noise for a while, producing a lot of different artists. So how did you get started in the production game”

Slakah: “Ya know what? Music has always been a part of me. It’s like how a hand is part of my body, music is a part of who I am. It’s just always been there. As I got older it grew and manifest itself into who I am and it was inevitable.”

Chase: “That’s the best answer I’ve heard all night. That’s awesome. Music really is inside of you right? If you have it, you have it.”

Slakah: “Exactly.”

Chase: “It’s like Jordan Sparks, right? It would be like No Air if we didn’t have music. It’s just so much a part of you, it’s so ingrained, it’s just like breathing to some people.”

Tingsek: “That’s what music is all about. The feeling you get from listening to it is the same feeling you get from making it. Music is a part of your soul and everything. People forget that, but it’s important to remember.”

Chase: “And we’re here at the 2010 Stylus Awards and it’s pretty awesome that this is honouring producers and DJs. I mean. the MCs are still here but the focus is on where this music started from. Everything that is hip-hop or club or dance or any of the music that we are talking about today is all based on the DJ. That’s the original. That’s where it came from right there.”

Slakah: “They’re the original marketing.”

Chase: “Definitely. So you’re a producer but do you deejay as well?”

Slakah: “I do DJ sometimes as a part of my set because I’m all about delivering and giving people music that they wanna hear, that makes them feel good. I like evoking emotions and if it’s by performing, by spinning music, whatever the medium be, I want to deliver that emotion. So I do incorporate spinning into my set. I wouldn’t call myself a DJ but I can spin, ya know what I mean?”

Tingsek: “I definitely know what you mean. I’m not a good spinner but seriously, DJs are really important for music so it’s great to be here to give the love to the people who actually promote that.”

Slakah: “They break records man. That’s why every year since I’ve known about the Stylus Awards, I’ve come to support it 100% because I love the DJs man. The music industry is a cold, bitter place but the DJs, I love ‘em. Promoters and major labels, I hate ‘em. But the DJs, I love ‘em.”

Tingsek: “DJs are in the same game that we are.”

Slakah: “Exactly.”

Chase: “Yeah, it’s guys like us here at DOPEfm, who do this for the love. We’re on college radio. We do a seven hour overnight show on Saturday and I don’t see money for that. I’m blogging and doing podcasts and things like that out of the love for it. So it’s awesome to be able to sit down with and meet people who I spin their music. I’m so glad to be here.

So Slakah, can you tell us a bit about your creative process?”

Slakah: “My creative process begins in my heart. Your heart is the central place for emotion and to me, that’s the most important thing with music. It has to pull at your heartstrings because if it can do that, it’s gonna last forever.

And timeless music is so essential to everything. I think of artists like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley. The music they made was timeless. Why was it timeless? Because it evoked an emotion. So when I make music, I try to get on the same plane as that. Evoke an emotion so that the music is timeless.”

Chase: “Do you use samples? I know some producers are getting away from samples and it’s almost been a trend lately that sampling is out but it seems to me like it’s coming back in.”

Slakah: “One of my favourite producers is J-Dilla. J-Dilla can take a sample and make it sound like it wasn’t a sample. You can’t recognize what sample he used. So he’s turning a sample into something musical. So I do sample but he’s my teacher. So when I make music and I sample, I try to make it completely different from the original sample. I try to reinterpret it but I do also play original music as well. I use the best of both worlds. Sometimes I combine them, sometimes I do all original, sometimes I do all samples. How about you man?”

Tingsek: “I never work with samples. I sample myself. I sample things like putting this bottle down on the table. I make my own samples. But I truly respect the producers who work with samples but like Slakah is saying, there are two different ways of working with samples. You can put a sample in the middle of a production and not doing anything with it, or you can actually make that sample something of your own. That’s what I respect the most if you work with samples. I’ve never worked with samples but I might just try now. I’m really intrigued. It’s a game of its own, ya know?”

Chase: “Yeah, I started with production a long time ago and I had an AKAI sampling keyboard and if you wanted a crisp sample you could get like one second of it because of the sampling time. So I would spread samples over several keys and replay them and chop it up, and like you said, make it unrecognizable. You’re not just gonna hear a David Bowie sample and automatically recognize it, or Rick James, ya know?”

Slakah: “Puff Daddy.”

Tingsek: “It’s too easy.”

Chase: “So I respect when producers can take something and chop it up like that and it’s an artform unto itself as well.”

Tingsek: “Absolutely. That’s what I was trying to say.”

Chase: “It’s cool. You don’t have to use it, you can use both, like you say. It’s also interesting to see how hip-hop is using a lot more live instrumentation now too. It’s really expanding.”

Tingsek: “The musicians need to get credit. That’s what it’s all about really.”

Slakah: “That’s where it all started.”

Tingsek: “That is where it all started. Being able to play an instrument and compose on an instrument is not just something you learn in a day. It’s a lifetime. I’ve never produced hip-hop. I’m a soul producer but just now hooking up with Slakah and other producers, it’s a whole new world to me and I’m so intrigued. I’m just at the beginning of getting to know this world. This is great!”

Chase: “Very, very cool. Are you active online? Can we find you on Twitter?”

Tingsek: “I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace

Chase: “How about you Slakah?”

Slakah: “I’m everywhere online, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, just Google Slahak the Beatchild or Google real music, you’ll find me.”

Tinsek: “We’re there everyday.”

Slakah: “Just to add, Tingsek, he’s really humble but this dude’s music will change your perspective on how you hear music. You have to listen to this guy’s music.”

Chase: “Well, we definitely will. Thanks for giving us this CD. We’ll be spinning that for sure. Thanks a lot for sitting down and talking with us. It’s been an honour.”

Tingsek: “Thank you.”

Slakah: “It’s been a pleasure.”

Teaching Tip Tuesdays – Leadership

Imagine that you belong to a group of children. You all want to do something, but you can’t decide what exactly. (1) Three boys want to go on a hike. Two girls want to go to the mall. One boy thinks watching television is just fine. The last boy doesn’t seem interested in anything at all. It takes an hour of arguing (2), but finally most of you agree to a hike – except the two girls who want to go to the mall won’t agree, and they leave the group.(3)

Those of you who are left arrange to meet outside the school in an hour. Everyone goes home to get their swimsuit and lunches. At the time of the meeting, everyone in the group shows up except for one boy. He thought you were all meeting at the church (4) – he never did make it on the hike. There is also a problem because one boy was sure it was a bicycle hike. (5) After some more arguing (6), you agree to wait while he takes his bike back home. That takes half an hour.

There are problems on the hike, too. One boy scrapes his knee, and you find that no one has brought any bandages. (7) There is also one boy who thought you were going to cook your lunches (8), and he has nothing to eat except raw wieners. This would be alright if someone remembered to bring matches, but no one has. (9)  Finally, when you get to the pond where you were going to go swimming, you find a “No Swimming” sign because of the pollution. (10)  It is too late in the day to get to a different swimming place. Tired and unhappy (11), you all head back home. None of you ever want to go hiking together again.

What was wrong with this group? What was missing? You can answer in one word – leadership. Reread this story, and every time you see a (#), figure out how a good leader would have changed things.

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This is a great activity to have the students work on in small groups.

I actually found it in one of my old Scouting books. I adapted it a little bit and you can do the same. You can tailor it to fit your neigbourhood so that it can really engage the students. For example. there actually is a swim hole near our school that the kids often go to. Everyone in my class recognized this right away.

After each group has come up with the 11 things that could have made the trip go smoother, you can have the groups share their responses.

I like to use this activity early on in the school year and then assign leadership positions to the students in the class. They have seen the importance of strong leadership from this story and so it can inspire them in their role.

I hope you have found these Teaching Tips useful. Next week will be the final chapter for this school year. I think it is important for teachers to actually take a break over the summer. I will be doing my best to do so. Of course, a teacher can never really turn of the teacher part of his brain. I know I will probably still collect resources, and come up with ideas for the class. I may occasionally share these with you over the summer but for the most part, I will be posting other content or possibly even taking Tuesdays off.

Boomtown – Awesome TV

I can’t believe that this show almost completely slipped by my radar. It is amazing and one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. Unfortunately, it got cancelled five years ago.

I had never heard of it before. I saw it in the 2 for $10 bin at the grocery store. I picked it up and was intrigued by it. “One crime. Different points of view. Until you’ve seen them all, you won’t know the truth.”

I flipped over the case a few times and thought, “for five bucks I can’t really go wrong, especially considering that I’m getting 18 hours of television.”

I started watching the show and was really blown away by it. The storytelling was absolutely phenomenal. The pilot episode had a beautiful book-ended opening and closing. It was poetic, and perfect television. I don’t say that very often.

The show focuses around seven characters. There are two detectives, two uniform officers, a paramedic, the district attorney, and a reporter. Not only do we get to see the stories from their perspectives, we sometimes also get to see scenes from the victim, witness, or perpetrator’s point of view as well.

The technique of jumping to different points of view isn’t just a gimmick. It is used to reveal character or to further the plot. It allows for mystery and suspense. It also is very realistic because we don’t get to see the entire story in real life either. We see it from a specific perspective.

It’s a shame that this show didn’t grow to become a hit. It’s theatrical and really gives us something new. It isn’t your typical cop show. I’m glad that I own it on DVD now. It really is one of my favourite shows of all-time. And to think, if I hadn’t of found it in the cheap bin, I wouldn’t even of known of its existence.

There was a second season but it was only six episodes long and it doesn’t like it will be released on DVD. I hope I can find those episodes one day because I would really love to see more.

Cadence Weapon Interview

Cadence Weapon was at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards to accept a posthumous award on behalf of his father. T.E.D.D.Y was inducted into the Stylus DJ Hall of Fame for his groundbreaking work in Canadian radio. We had the chance to sit down and talk with his son who is also a well-respected musician himself.

You can download this interview, read it, or stream it for free. Don’t forget to tune into DOPEfm and this blog for all of our coverage of the 5th anniversary of the Stylus DJ Awards. Enjoy!

Chase: “Alright this is Chase March for DOPEfm and I’m here with Cadence Weapon, how’s it going man?”
Cadence Weapon: “It’s going good. How are you doing?”
Chase: “Pretty good. I see that you’ve got a Stylus DJ Award in front of you. Can you tell us what that’s for?”
Cadence Weapon: “This award is to commemorate my father being put in the Stylus DJ Hall of Fame this year. It’s a posthumous award. He passed away in 2003 but I’m very excited that he’s finally getting his due.”
Chase: “That’s excellent. So we know you as Cadence Weapon and the weird, genre-blending stuff you do.”
Cadence Weapon: “Hybrid tunes.”
Chase: “Hybrid tunes. Nice! I’m assuming your dad was a big influence on you getting into music.”
Cadence Weapon: “Definitely. Having a DJ in the house as my father, I was hearing every kind of music you could imagine. He would bring me into his DJ show which was on CJSR 88.5 fm in Edmonton. He would bring me in sometimes and I would get to play on the radio. That was very much influential in making me want to DJ and rap and make beats and all that stuff.
He is a contribution to Edmonton, which is why I’m here. He was the first person to play hip-hop or R&B or any urban music. In the late 70’s when it was not even a blip on the radar of Canadian radio, he was there. I think it’s amazing that this has finally happened. I know it has to be in the 21st Century and he has to be gone but it’s happening. I’m proud of him.”
Chase: “This is the 5th anniversary of these awards and it’s really cool to be putting that focus on the DJ. That is where this whole culture, that’s where hip-hop came from, from the DJ and guys like your dad. So it is really cool to see him being honoured this way.”
Cadence Weapon: “I think it’s really nice. I also think, as a whole. the idea of a mixshow DJ, they don’t really much credit in hip-hop culture. Historically, you rarely hear of people who were making stop tapes and pause tapes and things like that. It’s nice to have an awards who that is strictly focused on that and it’s nice to see people come out to it and really want to be a part of it, to be involved and supportive of the community in general.”
Chase: “Definitely. That was a big influence for me. I was always listening to college radio and mix shows and taping that stuff. I taped Mastermind Street Jam and I taped stuff from CFMU all the time. Yeah, that’s where it came from and you just build on that.”
Cadence Weapon: “That’s kind of the foundation, ya know? There are so many instances where you hear classic rappers be like, ‘Well, if it wasn’t for hearing this song on a weird mixtape before you could buy a rap CD in a store.’ ya know?”
Chase: “Totally. So can we look forward to a new Cadence Weapon record soon?”
Cadence Weapon: “Yeah, I just finished recording a new record here in Toronto actually. Toronto and Brooklyn. We’re just finishing mixing now. It should be out at the beginning of next year in 2011. It’s called ‘Roquentin’ and it’s a wild journey. It’s all live band and it sounds like Talking Heads with rap on it.”
Chase: “Nice. Well congratulations to the posthumous award for your dad there. Big ups and respect to you and your fam. Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.”
Cadence Weapon: “Thanks for having me.”
Chase: “Alright, peace!”
Cadence Weapon: “Right on!”

Boi 1da Interview

Boi 1da took home Canadian Producer of the Year at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards. I had the chance to catch up with him backstage for an interview. You can download the interview for free, you can stream it with the player at the bottom of this post, or you can read the transcript.

Please check out all the interviews we did for DOPEfm at this year’s Stylus Awards. It was a great event and I was glad to be there covering it for our radio show. So without ado, here is the interview.

Chase: “Alright, this is Chase March and Daddy J for DOPEfm and we are here with Canadian Producer of the Year, Boi 1da. How’s it going man?”

Boi 1da: “I’m good. I’m good. I’m just feeling great right now.”

Chase: “It’s nice having that statue on your knee there, eh?”

Boi 1da: “Of course.”

Chase: ‘We’re at the 2010 Stylus Awards and you’ve been dropping heat like crazy for a while. You’ve really been making a name for yourself. We’ve been spinning a lot of your tunes.”

Boi 1da: “I appreciate that a lot man. If it wasn’t for people like you, then I wouldn’t be me right now.”

Chase: “Definitely. So, can you tell us how you got started in the production game.”

Boi 1da: “I got started when I was 16. I actually used to rap and then I didn’t feel comfortable rapping. I really have nothing to rap about. I grew up in Ajax. I didn’t have a bad life really, you know what I’m saying? So I really had nothing to rap about. I wanted to incorporate myself in music in a different way so I decided to take it upon myself to start producing and I just got addicted to it. And here we are today.”

Chase: “Nice. So what kind of gear did you start with.”

Boi 1da: “I started FL Studio 3. Now I use number 9. They used to call it Fruity Loops back in the day but now’s it’s FL Studio. I still use that, ya know, same number same hood.”

Chase: “Wow, nice! You’ve been working with a lot of artists lately. Is there anybody you want to work with that is still on your wish list?”

Boi 1da: “I want to start working with pop artists like Katy Perry, Britney Spears. Ya know I’ve been doing a lot of hip-hop. I’ve done a lot of work with hip-hop artists. I’m trying to get into different realms and different genres and just get out there.”

Chase: “You’re pretty active online. You’re on Twitter aren’t ya?”

Boi 1da: “Oh yeah, I’m on Twitter. I tweet sometimes.”

Chase: “Yeah, I really like how the fans can connect with the artists and how a lot of artists are out there making connections with the fans.”

Boi 1da: “Yeah, it’s needed because they help you out a lot. So why not connect back with the fans, the people who are making you who you are because without the fans and without people supporting you, you’re nothing. You gotta connect with them someway, somehow.”

Chase: “Definitely. What’s the first record you ever bought?”

Boi 1da: “The first album I ever bought was The Slim Shady LP by Eminem. That was the first album I actually went into the store and bought. It’s crazy because I actually have two records on the new Eminem album coming out on June 22nd called ‘Recovery.’ So from going to buying his album as the first album I ever bought, to listening to it, to now making beats and working with him, it’s a crazy feeling.”

Chase: “That’s amazing!”

Boi 1da: “I’m a huge fan of him.”

Chase: “That must be like a dream come true. You must be so happy with where you’re at.”

Boi 1da: “Of course. I thank God every day. I could be doing a lot of other stuff but I got the ability to make music and it feels great that I’m doing it and people are enjoying it.”

Chase: “That’s awesome! We are an overnight hip-hop show here at DOPEfm so we make sure that people know your name. We don’t just focus on the rappers. And that is what’s really cool about tonight at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards because we’re looking at the behind the scenes stuff.

Now I can finally put a face to the name of all the records we’ve been spinning. It’s pretty cool to be able to sit down and talk with you here So congratulations on the award. We’re gonna continue to spin your stuff and look forward to all the great things you’re gonna do in the future.”

Boi 1da: “I really appreciate that man. Thank you guys a lot.”


MusicPlaylist

Jester and Chief Interview

The Worldwide Wakeup Show on 89.5 CIUT won College Radio Show of the Year at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards. The talented DJs from that show stopped by the DOPEfm booth for this interview.

You can stream it, along with all of our coverage of these Awards, at the bottom of this post. You can download the podcast for free and you can read the transcript here. Enjoy!

Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March and I’m here with the winners of-”

Chief: “College radio show of the year.”

Chase: “And we got Jester and we got Chief. How’s it going guys?”

Jester: “We here. We good. Just enjoying the little run of our three-peat. We’re like the running of the bulls right now.”

Chase: “Nice. Well, while we were driving here we put on Flow 93.5 and you were spinning. You’re a regular in the Toronto scene here, heard a lot on the radio. I was doing some research before coming here though and I found out that your CIUT show, The Worldwide Wakeup Show, had just been cancelled. And you’ve been doing that for like 15 years.”

Jester: “Almost. It would have been, probably next year, it would have been about 15 years.”

Chase: “That’s crazy! But you’re still making moves right? You’re still on Flow and we can hear you regularly.”

Jester: “Right.”

Chase: “So you two are a team right? How did you get together and start this?”

Jester: “Originally the show started, a while back, with my high school partner. His name was Mike and he goes by the name of Prodigy. He left and got a job at Flow and it was me alone doing Worldwide. Chief and I were friends forever.”

Chief: “We actually came from two different crews. He was playing with a crew called K.O.S. I was with Baby Blue and we just vibed from Day 1 and the whole thing came up. The slot opened and he came to me and I was like, ‘Yeah sure I’ll take it. No problem.’ We just ran with it from there and the show just grew and grew and we just kept going and it’s been going ever since, up until recent.”

Chase: “Nice! Yeah, I remember Baby Blue Soundcrew. They were a big name back in the day too. It’s really nice that they have this 2010 Stylus Awards here.”

Jester: “Absolutely. Five years running!”

Chase: “Yep, this is the 5th year and if I’m not mistaken, out of all the five years, you might be the most nominated person here.”

Jester: “Maybe, yeah.”

Chase: “Quite possibly.”

Chief: “We might have to do some research on that one.”

Jester: “But I think you might be right.”

Chase: “So how did you get started deejaying?”

Jester: “As everybody does, they start off with making mixtapes for their friends, high school, and eventually taking it to the high school dances, university dances. We can both attest to that. We’ve both done our fair share of high school and university dances.

It was just a given. Everything I did was music, everything. From working at Play De Record for like ten years with Eugene and Donna. It was just a given. It’s fantastic.”

Chase: “Very, very cool! So what kind of gear do you use?”

Jester: “Serato. Every DJ uses Serato. I got the TTM 57, that’s a must, that’s the Serato mixer. Yes, it has to be Serato. Nothing less.”

Chase: “Are you active online?”

Jester: “You can find us both on Twitter. Mine is @ThisIsJester.
Chief: “And mine is @DJChief.

Chase: “Yeah, I really like Twitter and the immediacy of it and how you can connect with your fans. It’s really cool to be able to have that conversation up there.”

Jester: “Definitely.”

Chase: “So what can we look forward to from you in the future?”

Jester: “For myself, a lot of production. I’m still on the radio. Still doing radio whether it’s Internet or commercial radio. I’m working with an artist by the name of Nirvana Savoury and another artist by the name of Nea. A lot of projects that you’ll hear about real soon. Or log on to ThisIsJester.com and you’ll hear about everything.”

Chase: “Sounds good. So Chief, can you remember the first record you ever bought?”

Chief: “Woah, the first record I ever bought. I think it was a 45. It was a reggae song. I think it was called ‘Duck’ and it was on a Jammies label. The first album I ever bought was Musical Youth ‘Pass the Dutchie.’ I think those were the first tow records that I actually bought.”

Chase: “Do you have a favourite record to mix because when I first starting off, I had a few that I just liked mixing? Do you have a favourite mix?”

Chief: “Honestly, I don’t have a favourite mix because when I started I was mixing with tape recorders. I never even started with records. I just found anything that could play music and I was using it to mix. I didn’t really have records until later on when I actually had a job and could afford to buy records.”

Chase: “That’s pretty awesome. So you were like counting and holding the pause button.”

Chief: “Pretty much. I know you know about that. That’s exactly what it was and then you’d just wait for the song to hit that one count and you came across. That’s how it was.”

Chase: “That’s pretty cool! I love the whole ingenuity of hip-hop and were are able to do things with whatever we have. Just turning a tape deck into an instrument and making a set. That is awesome! The fact that kids these days don’t even know what tapes are is kind of sad but the fact that we have this award show brings a spotlight to that and the whole culture. It’s not just on the rappers, it’s on you guys because hip-hop started with the DJ and we need you guys. It’s awesome to be able to have this night to honour you and it’s been really cool sitting down and talking with you both.”

Chief: “Thanks man, take care.”

Jester: “Big shouts to 93.3, Hamilton holding it down.”

Chase: “Alright, peace!”


MusicPlaylist

Comics Meme

I found this meme at Calvin’s Canadian Cave of Cool and decided to give it a try.

1. Did you read comics as a kid?

I didn’t really get into comic books until I was about 12 years old. I remember one day, my family went to a flea market and I found a comic book seller there. I was fascinated by the books he had and it felt like I’d found something really special when I saw an old Gold Key Star Trek comic book. I paid $2.00 for a book that originally sold for $0.25 when it first came out in 1976.
2. Who bought you your first comic?
I bought that first Star Trek comic book myself and it started me off on collecting almost all things Star Trek.
3. Did you take any time away from comics? Why?
There was a point in time where I was buying six titles a month. I really couldn’t afford to do that any more so I cut down to just one title. You guessed it, Star Trek.
Things got really tight for me financially so I eventually stopped buying that one title as well.
4. What brought you back into comics?
Daredevil. I really enjoyed the movie staring Ben Affleck so I decided to go see what this character was like in the comics and immediately started to collect the hardcover editions.
5. Do you prefer getting comics monthly or in trades?
I much prefer to get the collected versions as opposed to the single monthly titles. The over-sized hardcovers are absolutely gorgeous. Plus, it’s nice to be able to read a complete story all in one place. I also like the fact that the trades have less ads in between the pages.
6. Do you know the name of your Local Comic Shop (LCS)?
I don’t visit the Local Comic Shop much anymore. I used to go to Comic 1 books in Stoney Creek all the time when I was buying those six titles a month.
7. Does your LCS know your name?
Back in the day, the owner of Comic 1 Books might not have known my name but he knew what titles I bought. It was pretty cool to go to that shop every couple of weeks.
8. Do you own any old number 1 comics (must date before 1980)?
I have Marvel Comics Battlestar Galactic from March 1979
I also have Marvel Comics Star Trek # 1 from April 1980.
9. Do you own any original comic art?
No. I wish I did though.
10. Do you bag and board your comics?
Yes.  That’s a must!
11. Where do you store your comics?
I have a bookcase dedicated to My Daredevil Collection. The rest of my comics are stored in plastic magazine holders inside a bookcase cabinet.
 

12. How many comics do you read right now, in either floppy or trade format?
I really only keep up with one title. That would be Daredevil. I am a bit behind on the series because I still am a bit strapped for cash. I wait until the trades go on sale before I pick them up.
I regularly borrow graphic novels from the public library though so I can read comics without actually having to buy them. It’s pretty awesome that we can do that these days. Back when I started collecting comics, you pretty much had to buy everything you wanted to read.
13. What would be your number one, all-time desert island, favourite comic series?
I think I’d have to say Daredevil. It’s had quite an amazing run from some of the best writers in the industry including Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis, and Ed Brubaker, just to name a few.
14. Do you follow comic creators on Twitter?
Yes I do. I follow 
15. Do you have a favourite comic creator?
I think J. Michael Straczynski is an amazing writer and I’ve really enjoyed his books as well as his television series Babylon 5. I’d have to say his is my favourite comic creator.
16. Do you harbour any aspirations to create your own comics?
I have no talent when it comes to the visual arts. I was thinking about creating a comic though using some digital techniques. I think I’ll just stick to writing novels and screenplays until I can find an artist that I could collaborate with,
17. Do you access comic news online, if so where?
No.
Time to pick sides…
Marvel or DC – I lovc both. The DC series of Star Trek was better than the Marvel one though.
Superman or Batman – Batman.
Spider-Man or Wolverine – Both characters are really cool. That’s a tough choice. I’m Canadian though so maybe I should go with Wolverine.
Iron Fist or Luke Cage – Luke Cage.
Nick Fury normal or Nick Fury Sam Jackson – I think the Ultimate version of Nick Fury. I don’t know why. Samuel Jackson just exudes coolness I suppose.
Spandex or real life stories – I love the traditional comic book hero. I have no problem with costumed heroes.
Golden Age or Silver Age or Modern Age – They all have something great to offer. The modern age is pretty amazing though, I must say.
Digital or paper – Paper, always. I love books!
Gotham or New York – Gotham
Hero or villain – Hero
Cape or no cape – No cape.
Cowl or domino mask – Cowl.


The World Cup in Your Classroom

The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. However it doesn’t seem to get as much coverage or attention in Canada as it should.

We seem to focus on hockey, football, baseball, and the Olympics with much more attention than we ever give to the sport of soccer.

I love soccer. I used to play on house league teams when I was younger. I studied the rules of the game and became a Registered Referee with both the Ontario and the Canadian Soccer Association. I even had the chance to referee a game of the Ontario Cup. That was quite the experience and one I will never forget.

It’s Teaching Tip Tuesday and since the World Cup gets under way this weekend, I was thinking it would be great to bring it into the classroom somehow.

It’s a great game and very accessible. You don’t need a lot of equipment to play. You don’t have to have a lot of money to invest in to start. All you need is a ball. You don’t even need a net. You can mark off a goal using anything at hand. That is one of the  reasons this is a worldwide game.

As teachers, we can use this popular event to teach about world geography, mathematics, sportsmanship, and citizenship. The possibilities are endless.

I follow Sean Banville’s Blog because of all the great Teaching Resources he posts. Today, he posted about the World Cup and shared quite a few resources. It’s a great place to start of you want to bring the World Cup into your classroom.

http://seanbanville.com/2010/06/07/the-beautiful-game-2010/

UPDATE – Sean has posted some other great activities focused on the World Cup

http://seanbanville.com/2010/06/15/world-cup-activities/

I’ve even heard of some schools holding a school wide tournament by placing the students into teams. Each team does research on their assigned country and plays under their flag. I think it’s a great way to get the kids involved in this event, to make it fun, and to tie in some learning about the world as well.
So let’s try it out. Let’s bring the World Cup into the schools.

The Illusion of Permanence Online


Markers
Originally uploaded by blip .

The Internet is always there for us. It is like a window into amazing resources that we can tap into forever. Right?

Wrong?

I spent over two hours looking for a teaching resource that I have used time and time again. I had the direct link to the lesson but when I typed it in, I found that the website was no longer there. I was sure that the resource I was looking for must be somewhere else online so I searched and searched and searched….

and came up empty.

I really wanted to share that resource with you for my Teaching Tips Tuesday series. In fact, there were three really great lessons on that site too. Fortunately, I printed them off years ago and have them stored in binders so I can find those resources quite easily whenever I need to.

I really wanted to share those lessons with you as well so I scanned them into the computer and posted them up on my blog. This way these resources will be easily accessible to us now.

We can’t assume that a great resource will always be available to us online. Last year, I warned about the OCUP website being shut down. Fortunately they let us know that this was going to happen. That website had some amazing unit plans but since they were so involved and detailed, I couldn’t really print them off without using a lot of paper. So I saved the PDF files instead of printing them off. I still have them and I have used them this year in my classroom.

The key point here is that if you find a great resource online, you have to save it somehow. Either print it off, or save it as a file on your computer and on a thumbdrive.

The fact that online resources can disappear is actually a bit scary. In fact, a few blogs have been shut down recently as well. The Internet is not a permanent depository. We need to remember this.

Reflection Eternal Concert

Talib Kweli is one of the most respected MCs and lyricists in hip-hop. He was been making great music since 1997.

Hi Tek has made a name for himself as a sought after producer and DJ. He’s produced hip-hop classics and has quite the catalogue of hits.

Together Talib Kweli and Hi Tek form the group Reflection Eternal.

They brought their show to the London Music Hall this past Friday night and completely rocked the house. They didn’t waste time between songs. It was just hit after hit after hit.

We heard the great Reflection Eternal songs, the classic Black Star joints, solo joints from Talib Kweli, cuts from the Hi-Tek albums, and some of the great songs Kweli has blessed for other artists. I was especially glad to hear him perform “Get By”

One impressive aspect of their show was the dual video screens on either side of the stage. As they performed some of their biggest hits, the videos played simultaneously. I was amazed that the timing was so on point that Kweli was actually synced up with the images.

They played an encore and didn’t stop there. Kweli got behind the tables and started an after-party right there and then. They invited all the ladies up on the stage and then let the guys joins them. The stage was packed. I should’ve taken a picture of that. It was a nice way of them to connect with the fans and close out the night.

Nineteen85 is a producer and DJ and he held down the stage for Shaun Boothe as the opening act of the concert.

I talked to Shaun Boothe at the Stylus Awards this past Monday so it was cool to be able to see his live show and link up with him again. He had an R&B singer as well as a guitar player / singer on stage with him. They put on an energetic show too.

Overall, this was a great concert. I’m so glad I finally got to see Talib Kweli live. He’s definitely one of the best lyricists and MCs in the game. What an amazing night!