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Jazzy not happy with state of hip-hop


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DJ "Jazzy" Jeff Townes isn't happy with the state of American hip-hop.

Jazzy Jeff, a well-travelled hip-hop enthusiast.

Jazzy Jeff, a well-travelled hip-hop enthusiast.

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Genre

DJ/Dance, Hip Hop/RnB

Location

Tank

Address

3 Bridge Lane, Sydney

Date

22 July 2006

Tickets

$30

Phone Bookings

(02) 9251 9933

Online Bookings

www.tankclub.com.au

Preview

Philadelphia DJ and producer "Jazzy" Jeff Townes isn't happy with the state of American hip-hop. He has more insight than most. In 1986, when hip-hop was still knocking on the mainstream's door, Townes hooked up with a young MC called Will Smith. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, as Smith then called himself, sold 10 million albums worldwide on the back of such pop-rap hit singles as Parents Just Don't Understand and Summertime.

"Unfortunately, music - and especially hip-hop, something that started out very pure - has been taken over by corporations that have prostituted it," Townes says.

"[Outside the US] it's going back to its early days. That's one of the reasons I think I travel as much as I do, because a lot of the places outside of the US have a much greater love and appreciation than the United States for music."

Spending 200 days a year on tour, mostly outside the US, Townes gets many opportunities to hear the world's take on hip-hop. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans don't.

"It's a shame," he says. "[Travelling] I try to grab as much music as I possibly can. I can walk into a record store and there's 5 million records, but when I turn on the radio I only hear 10. They're trying to tell me there's only 10 good records out of 5 million.

"It's turned into a political thing. I always thought radio should play everything and let you decide what you like. Now radio only plays what people pay them to play or what sells the most soft drink. This is an art we're talking about and we're missing out."

The well-travelled hip-hop enthusiast must know something about the Australian hip-hop scene.

"Well, no, I don't. That's one of the exciting things - I have no idea about what I'm going to be hearing or seeing. That kind of catches you off-guard, because I'm not tainted. I like that.

"Just travelling around, you find some incredible talent out there. It kind of reminds me how the United States was when hip-hop was just starting to break ground. I get that a lot from a lot of the places I travel [to]."

Townes will be able to expose overseas audiences to Australian and New Zealand hip-hop if he gets a chance to go record shopping.

"One of the things I pride myself on doing is not playing what's popular," he says. "I play what I like. I think that was the whole essence of a DJ back in the day: you trusted his musical tastes. I don't care where I get the music or how I get it, if it's something that moves me I'll play it. I'll play something from the UK in Africa, something from Africa in Australia and something from Australia in the United States."

The American hip-hop audience is notoriously insular. Does he think they'll appreciate it?

"Well, that's one of the reasons I don't play so much in the States."

http://www.smh.com.au/news/gig-reviews/jaz...3166510518.html

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Yeah Jazzy Jeff is right on point here, it's definately wack that the radio plays the same garbage all the time when there's a lot of artists out there with fresh songs that deserve some spins...

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:2thumbs: MAN I FEEL HIM ON THAT-BEINGA D.J. I HAVE TO PLAY WHATIS ON THE RADIO FOR THE AUDIENCE THAT I DEAL WITH BUT DAM I WISH THEY COULD BE MORE OPEN-MINDED ABOUT MUSIC. THERE IS SO MANY TALENTED ARTSISTS WITH SOME SERIOUS MATERIAL OUT THERE BUT THE BIG COMPANIES ARE ON THE "BANDWAGON" IDEAL. WHATEVER IS HOT-MAKE DUPLICATES AND MASS PRODUCE IT WHICH ENDS UP SATURATING THE MUSIC SCENE!!!!

I THANK JEFF FOR PLAYING HOW HE PLAYS WHENEVER I GET TO SEE HIM HIT THE TURNTABLES. IT IS HIM AND OTHER DJ'S LIKE HIM THAT KEEP ME GOING. I HOPE ONE DAY THINGS WILL GET BETTER AS FARAS BEING MORE ORIGINAL AND DIVERSE WITH THE MUSIC SCENE!!!!

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