zondag 27 februari 2011

First Dutch rapping on vinyl (gimmick records)

The first real rapping in the Dutch language has always been a topic of discussion. Ofcourse it got pushed to a higher level around the mid '90's by the likes of OSDORP POSSE and EXTINCE but there were attempts long before that, some more meaningful than others no doubt! It is said that Rotterdam rappers BLONNIE B and DEF RHYMZ were doing Dutch rhymes on stage in the late '80's but as far as vinyl releases go there's not a whole lot to mention. Here's four releases that definately should be seen in the zeitgeist they were made in!


In 1980 a Dutch coverversion of the JOE BATAAN track "Rap o clap o" was released on RCA records by DANNY BOY. The track was called "Repper de klep".
This was recorded early 1980 when the two top spots of the Dutch Top 40 hitlist were occupied by rap records: SUGARHILL GANG's "Rapper's Delight" and JOE BATAAN's "Rap o clap o". Someone must have had the idea to jump the bandwagon and do the same in the Dutch language. The result was a track "rapped" by a 13-year-old school kid, talking about his frustrations on the matter of everyday homework from school.

It wasn't much of a success: the record only charted #38 in the Dutch Top 40 hitlist at the end of March 1980 and remained there for two weeks, although it faired better than KURTIS BLOW's classic "The Breaks" which didn't even get in the so called "tipparade". It was clear that rap music was considered a gimmick at that time and was not taken seriously. To be honest: this attempt did not help the acceptance of rap at all, nevertheless EXTINCE paid hommage to the record in 2007 by sampling the record for a track also called "Repper de klep".


DANNY BOY returns that same year but this time with a very credible track!! I only found out about this recently (thanx again J4!). The track "Diskomix" is a greatly produced funky, boogie, synth track. The Dutch rapping is still a bit corny but very bareable I must admit! The guy raps about making discomixes in his bedroom and driving his dad crazy playing them loud. Production was done by HAN GREVELT and PAUL NATTE and the mixing came from the hands of RUTGER KROESE who we would here more of in the years to come.


As corny as "Repper de klep" but luckily a whole lot more funny was WIJK 7's 1982 release "Voor je het weet, ben je gek!". This obvious cover of "The message" by GRANDMASTER FLASH has a guy rapping about troubles in society in a real thick accent as spoken in Dutch city The Hague.

"Tis net een jungle die stad, tis geen wonder want deris altijd gedonder"


Recently I got introduced to this track by J4 (thanx T). It's a fun party record with Dutch rapping that's pretty good considering this is 1984!
The group is called FURN and the track consists of a very decent boogie production with vocals that talk about this new phenomanon called electric boogie in the streets of Holland.

Cover 7" single

Seems this is the 2nd release on a Dutch recordlabel called "Ashok records". Not too much more info to be found except the brain behind the track was a guy called STANLEY KANHAI.

The lyrics of the 1st verse to get you in the mood (lol):

He jij, kom uit de klei
Probeer eens deze dans met mij
Blijf niet zitten in dat hoekie
Doe met mij de electric boogie
Zelfs al breek je dan je nek
de electric boogie, da's the gek
Gedraag je nou eens positief
Doe de breakdance en wees actief

Grab a full rip of the single right here:

In 1986 the radiowaves must have been dominated by holiday tunes. Ofcourse MADONNA had her smash hit "Holiday" and soon after MC MIKER G & DJ SVEN (I think they came from Belgium....) released their infamous "Holiday rap" into the world. But I guess the suffering didn't stop because behold; HAAGSE HARRY EN HOLLANDSCHEVELDSE HENDRIK dropped the ultimate bomb "Holland rep" (undertitled "Dutch version holiday rap".
The track is basically MADONNA's "Holiday" instrumental with 2 guys "rapping" about a holiday can be best spend. A guy with a big accent as spoken in city The Hague is all for lying on the Scheveningen beach with a beer in his hand, as an older sounding guy with a an accent as spoken in the Drente provence has more faith in spending vacation in his own provence. It seems the voice of the older guy is meant as a parody on old Dutch rightwing politician BOER KOEKOEK from the Drente provence.

woensdag 23 februari 2011

24K; the path of the righteous

Being from pretty much the south of the country, I didn't have the money or the means to check out the national rap acts in the west of Holland at that certain point in time ('90/'91/'92). So the first live rap performances I checked out were pretty much the local acts like D.A.M.N., NORTHSIDE STYLAZ, DOPE POSSE, BUGAS etc. etc. But hold on....these were some great groups and the hip hop scene was vibrant as hell in the Brabant provence....reckonize! The group that really stood out at that time and kinda rolemodelled for the rest was 24K from Eindhoven...a crew that 'till this very day doesn't get the props it deserves.The in 2002 published so called bible of dutch rap history "Van Brooklyn naar Breukelen" doesn't even drop 5 lines on 24K....that's just plain disgracefull in my opinion. So y'all know what I need to do right? Here goes....

February 1989....the group 24K was formed by 4 individuals who all were already doing their thing in hip hop for some time. DJ WAN-2, who had been dj-ing for some years and was an excellent breakdancer aswell, just had left the group D.A.M.N. and hooked up with beatcreator and dj ZAR-1. A rapper was found when bumping into ENB, an American guy who was living in Holland for some time. MC FIXX IT shortly joined the crew but was soon after releaved of duty due to a lack of rap ability. When searching for another rapper that could match the skills of ENB, the answer came when ARC-S was seen performing with his group TDL-POSSE (The Living Dream). The thunderous voice and CHUCK D like delivery made ARC-S the missing piece of the 24K puzzle.

Check ARC-S rapping on this 1988 TDL-POSSE demo track "As my dream goes on" (this track re-appeared on 24K's first album in a new version):

The various rapcrews in the west of Holland mostly had b-boyish, braggadocious repertoire. 24K decided, like D.A.M.N., to take a more social conscious path with their music. The songs they wrote during this time have messages regarding topics like the use of drugs, apartheid and racism, politics, use of violence etc. Influenced clearly by the likes of PUBLIC ENEMY but without the black militant attitude.

DJ WAN-2 - ENB - ARC-S - ZAR-1

The group started making demo tracks and sending them to various record companies....without any luck ofcourse because it was common belief that there wasn't a big enough market for hardcore rap. If it wasn't for a young lady working in a record shop in their hometown Eindhoven we might have never heard of 24K. It was SASKIA SLEGERS who loved the demo and was amazed by the fact that this quality in rap music was around in her city. Annoyed by the fact that recordcompanies totally ignored the group, she decided to step up and release the album her damnself. 24K took their demos to "Tango Studio" in Eindhoven and the record got produced and mixed. Musicproducers in that time were totaly clueless on making decent sounding rap music so the groupmembers had to be present each step of the way to avoid their music getting fucked up. Allthough it is still said that ZAR-1's beats, as made on his Amiga 500, didn't find their way onto vinyl sounding as they should have been.
SASKIA SLEGERS eventually had 3500 copies of the album pressed (1989), and called her recordcompany DJAX. She managed to distribute the album by driving around Holland in a busted up car...accepting the fact that the distributors would only pay her for the records when they actually had been sold to the public.

Saskia Slegers

DJAX recordlabel logo

The first pressing of the album "No enemies" sold out within a week, mainly due to their ever increasing fanbase in the south of Holland. This gained them recognition and a lot of performances around the country. The Dutch media hailed the release as being the first Dutch rap album, which wasn't exactly true as there had already been albums out by MC MIKER G ('87), URBAN DANCE SQUAD ('89) and D.A.M.N. ('89). Abroad the release made some noise in Germany, Switserland, Spain and even reached no. 18 on Tim Westwood's black music list in England.

24K, as drawn by famous
Swedish graffiti artist Pike

Allthough the album obviously had no single track released seperate as a 12" record....it was definately the title track of the album "No enemies" that almost became an anthem in the Dutch rap scene. The trademark sample was taken off the track "Love buzz" by famous Dutch rock group SHOCKING BLUE. The track defines exactly what 24K stood for:

“People, look at yourself! Your colour doesn’t matter. Be proud of yourself. No one is better. Don’t let violence, poverty destroy your ability! Strive for peace. We have no enemies!”

If you don't know the track then shame on you and check it out here:

Early 1990 the album was followed by a 12" release called "Twenty four ways". The vinyl holds the new tracks "Twenty four ways" and "Distribution of drugs" but also a great remix of "No enemies". On the title track features ENB's American cousin, a rapper called SHAKESPEARE. This guy dropped an album in 1989 called "My old jams still slam" which I personally recommend to everyone (it's really hard to find though!)
Grab a rip of the 12" right here:

The 12" made sure the public's anticipation of a second album was kept on a high level. Unfortunately big trouble hit paradise when rapper ARC-S totally dissapeared without family and friends knowing where he was. It turned out ARC-S had trouble coping with his career as a rapper and combining it with his regular life, and had "run off" to his motherland at the Antillian Islands. It would take him 10 years to return...

The rest of the group decided they wanted to keep going as 24K and release a second album.  To replace ARC-S they choose rapper D-ROCK a.k.a. C-MC. D-ROCK had been a member of underground respected rap act MELLOW MC'S and could hold his own on the mic.

In 1992 the long awaited second album by 24K was a fact...."Words....yet unspoken"....again on the DJAX recordlabel. Unfortunately previous successes could not be repeated; the 1989 fanbase was diminished due to house music taking over the last few years. The remaining fans were expecting more "No enemies" and were dissapointed by the sound of the new album. In my opinion this is all a damn shame because the second album definately had his highlights as can be heard for example in this track right here:

A dissapointed ZAR-1 left the group soon after and D-ROCK moved on becomming the rapper of eurohouse act 2 BROTHERS ON THE 4TH FLOOR. DJ WAN-2 formed a DJ duo called SPINMASTERS with DJ WAXBUTTER (previously of rapgroup WHITE WOLF), playing eclectic sets of house, rap, funk etc. He's also know for producing the famous track "Incredible" by GENERAL LEVY, a jungle music anthem. In recent years he had some succes with his production of tracks for Dutch underground rapper KEMPI.
I don't have a clue where ENB went from here...

Here's some live video footage of ENB performing with DJ WAN-2 in 1992, just before 24K finally dissolved:

DJ WAN-2 and ARC-S at one time reunited for a single 24K performance at the "Back to planet rock" mass hip hop event in Eindhoven...it was pretty cool to see after all those years.

maandag 21 februari 2011

FUNKY TRIBE ; we don't have one DJ but two!

This topic could not have been made without the help of DJ AUTOMATIC....thanx bro!

Around 1985/86 a young Otto van den Toorn started DJ'ing, influenced by a DJ who went to the same school as he did. This DJ was Ramon Voorn, younger brother of Orlando Voorn a.k.a. DJ FIX (check previous topic on this blog). Ramon was known as DJ BLACK BASS and Otto took the name DJ AUTOMATIC T. They both at first joined the group BORN FREE MC but AUTOMATIC soon left to replace DJ ALIEN of the notorious Rotterdam rapgroup MOONRUNNERS in 1989. When rappers BLONNIE B and KAY BLACK left the MOONRUNNERS in 1990, one of the rappers to replace them was COLT45. After the unfortunate breakup of the MOONRUNNERS later that year, AUTOMATIC T and COLT45 decided to continue performing and making tracks together. AUTOMATIC T proved to be a talented upcomming producer using the infamous Roland TR808 (the ultimate booom computer), a Casio SK1 sampling keyboard and a Tascam 4 track. With uptempo hardcore raptracks (Colt45 mastered the English language as he spend part of his childhood in New York) they performed around the country as duo COLD 45 AUTOMATIC at youthcentres, small rap venues etc. etc. This was all love, no pay steez....sleeping at the homes of friends....just having a good time. AUTOMATIC was worried lots of times for COLT45 not showing up at the shows. COLT45 had the habit of travelling by railway without actually getting a ticket so he often got into fights with the transit autorities.

In 1990 the idea came, after a brainstorm with rapjournalist KEES DE KONING (later CEO of Dutch recordlabel Top Notch), to form a loose collective of rap acts that could be booked for shows. Involved artists were COLD 45 AUTOMATIC, DJ BLACK BASS, female rapper LJ FRESH, SOUL PATROL (being MC RIV MASTER) and duo 2 BROTHERZ IN BIZNIZ (DJ FIX & MC TEN) and this collective was named FUNKY TRIBE. It was around this time that a demo tape was recorded aswell.

First Funky Tribe demotape, A-side

First Funky Tribe demotape, B-side

The track "Gangster groove" as heard on this demotape, with vocals by LJ FRESH, was later that year released on vinyl through a small Belgium label but this time with vocals by COLT45 (raps) and RIV MASTER (singing and raps).

Grab a rip of the 12" here:

After a while a few artists left the collective and the maintaining acts joined forces to form a group, keeping the name FUNKY TRIBE. Consisting now of DJ AUTOMATIC, DJ BLACK BASS, COLT45 and RIV MASTER, the group expanded with 2 female dancers being DEF and LOOSE to hype up their live shows.
Check this tv item that was broadcasted by VPRO on Dutch national television in 1990:

Colt45, Riv Master, Def & Loose doing
the typical hip hop dancing for that time

Automatic - Riv Master - Def - Colt45 - Loose

Def - Automatic - Riv Master

The crew performed a lot of shows and built a huge name in the still small Dutch rap scene. The early use of DAT-tapes had a big impact on the sound of the shows.....meaning the sound of the tracks (treble, bass) would blow away that of the other groups and destroyed some P.A.-systems here and there. Automatic T was big on the use of new technical gear (he actually did reviews of hardware for musicproducers for a famous Dutch musicmagazine at that time).
To experience the full energy of a FUNKY TRIBE show I've uploaded a 25 minutes live recording. This was part of a show done in Amsterdam in 1990. As always the show started of with a spacey intro before the roof got tore off. Songs to be heard are "I just laugh when you say your style is hardcore", "Serious", "Do it", "Stage maniac", "Funky Tribe is an original thing" and "Boing boom tschak".

Grab the recording here:

The Tribe's energetic shows and booming sound got them a record deal with BOUDISQUE Records. For their first 12" record the Tribe recorded the tracks "88 keys" and "Metaphore mountain". Unfortunately, as so often was the case with early Dutch rap groups, the tracks never hit vinyl because of recordlabel bullshit politics. Fact was that RIV MASTER was also member of early house group QUADROPHONIA and signed to Belgium recordlabel ARS which didn't give RIV MASTER permission to record for other labels.

The unreleased tracks can be downloaded here:

Colt45 - Black Bass - Riv Master - Automatic

Around 1991 house music took over in Holland and pushed rap to the background. The Tribe slowly dissolved and was over by 1992. Only COLT45 continued to make noise in the rap scene (later on using the new moniker ROWDY). RIV MASTER, AUTOMATIC and BLACK BASS started travelling through Europe bringing the new house/techno sound to the audiences as DJ's. BLACK BASS quit soon after, and AUTOMATIC and RIV released some house music productions using aliases like SOUL PATROL, ORION, SUPERMATIC, SONIC WARRIOR, WARP FACTOR 1, EUROMASTERS, UNLIMITED SOUL etc. AUTOMATIC especially gained recognition for his remixes of 2 UNLIMITED tracks.

SUPERMATIC - "Bumrush the sound"
DJ AUTOMATIC with rapper MC MD (1991)

RIV MASTER has since built a big career as house dj LUCIEN FOORT while AUTOMATIC now composes music for both television and radio commercials, computer games and short film. But don't think the love for hip hop has gone....in 2007 he produced the track "Attack on Alpha" for Dutch rapper MARSHAL BLUEBERRY and when a dope old school rap act is performing again in Holland you might spot AUTOMATIC walking around with a big ass photocamera or even being the dj for some NY rap legend:

T La Rock feat. DJ Automatic on wheels (Amsterdam 2007)

zondag 13 februari 2011

Classic flyers from classic times

These were submitted by DJ Automatic....thanx!

According to DJ Automatic this might have
been the first big Dutch rap show.
Rotterdam (March 1st, 1986)

City rap wars!

First big media coverage on the topic of Dutch rap

Well respected Dutch musicmagazine "OOR" published a large article on the flourishing rap undergroundscene in Holland in their issue dating from oct. 17th, 1987.

Featured artists are Moonrunners, Rudeboy, Small Boys and Miker G.

Download a high res scan of the article here: