Happy New Year! We are excited to share with you a show that is exciting to us. If you know rap history you know that there are a few rap crews who get named off top: Run DMC, Public Enemy, NWA, De La Soul or A Tribe Called Quest.
Tajai L and Adisa R
Another one of those crews, is the mighty Hieroglyphics crew from Oakland, CA.Hieroglyphics is a collective of MC's. Their members include Del, Souls of Mischief, Casual, Pep Love, DJ Toure and Domino. They burst onto the the scene in the early 1990's and were revered and feared for having the ability to do what very few could. They could make amazing songs, plus battle anybody and come out on top. In 1993 the Souls of Mischief Crew dropped the album " '93 Til Infinity" and made the most hardcore critics of rap take note. Even within rap, many east coast magazines were snobbish of West coast rap crews. Hiero pretty much shut them all up. Especially "'93".
The album was visual, the beats were warm and jazzy. It had very street but also comedic without being clownish. Above all, it was original beyond measure. I was pretty shocked to see that no song from the album made it to the Rolling Stone Top 50 Rap Songs list ( they disrespected the west coast on that list). But that will be an entirely different show!!
This show- is all Hiero. 2013 is the 20th anniversary of the release of '93 til Infinity . I'm proud to say that I am the first journalist to feature Del for The Source and shortly after I did a feature on Hiero for RapPages.
I watched these guys build an empire. I watched them be one of the first rap groups to use the internet and start touring, selling merchandise and move units. In fact, for the next few weeks, we will have one member a week on the show. Each member is worthy of their own time and they will get it here on The Bishop Chronicles.
First up from Hieroglyphics, we have Tajai (follow him on Twitter @TajaiMassey) . In this interview we talk about the culture of Oakland rap prior to the rise of Hieroglyphics. We will set the stage for you and show you where people got their records, did shows, ate, went to school, and how they recorded music before the age of protools.
We also talk about Tajai's first experience looking at the politics of the rap industry and how he balanced going to Stanford University as he wrote classics as well as how he feels college affected the future of his own life and the group. He is currently attending a Masters program at UC Berkeley.