The brand that set the blueprint for sampled music celebrates with the help of several hip-hop notables
Featuring 6pm workshop with Scratch Academy
Record connoisseur and collector, music lover and historian, Louis Flores, better known as “BreakBeat Lou,” is a staple and legend in the music and entertainment industry. As a disc jockey and music producer, Breakbeat Lou is most recognized for creating “The Ultimate Breaks and Beats” Compilation with the Leonard “BreakBeat Lenny” Roberts. This seminal series has been sampled by many of hip-hop’s elite producers like DJ Premier (Gangstarr), Large Professor, The Bomb Squad (Public Enemy), Dr. Dre, Marley Marl and countless others. The series has been instrumental in the production of countless classic recordings over the years. Contemporary producers such as J Dilla, Salaam Remi, Rhettmatic, Mr. Len, Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez and Just Blaze continue to depend on the compilation. Flores’ work with UBB became the blueprint for sampled music and remains relevant and integral to hip-hop music and culture. The UBB Collection has also birthed various genres of music such as Drum & Bass. As a DJ, Breakbeat Lou has shared the stage with the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, KOOL DJ Red Alert, GrandWizzard Theodore, Biz Markie, Todd Terry, Rich Medina, Q-Bert, Lord Finesse, Boogie Blind, DJ Scratch and countless others. He has rocked from intimate club venues to festival stages, including Soundset Festival in Minneapolis, MN and the A3C Conference in Atlanta, GA. His record collection is elevated by the signature element of rare and un-findable 45s and recording sessions.
Born in Brooklyn, with a Jamaican background, Edward Archer is nothing short of ‘special.’ His lyrical flow and cleverly worded tracks certainly set him apart from his peers. Raised in Flatbush, before moving to Canarsie, Special Ed is thoroughly Brooklyn, capturing the epitome of East Coast style. Best known for his hot 90’s hits “I Got It Made,” a classic vaunting with an insanely catchy bassline, “Think About It,” a pensive, poppin’ track, further demonstrating his complex rhyming structure, and “I’m The Magnificent,” another vainglorious, relaxed anthem of chilled-out self confidence. The latter was actually produced by “Hitman” Howie Tee and released in 1989 on the Youngest in Charge album (which sold over half a million copies), recorded when Ed was only 16 years old. In 1990, he released his next record Legal, the title a reference to his turning eighteen, with the singles “Come On Let’s Move It,” a bouncy Jamaican flavored number, and “The Mission” a witty tale of urban comeuppance. He would later become a member of Crooklyn Dodgers, a super-group assembled to perform songs for the Spike Lee films Clockers and Crooklyn. Ed released a third solo album, 1995’s Revelations, with the harder sounding single “Neva Go Back,” and the revelatory track “Freaky Flow,” which received a remix by DJ Premier. In 2004, Ed released the mature yet reminiscent record Still Got It Made on his own label, Semi.
Sonny Cheeba (Salahadeen Wilds) and Geechi Suede (Saladine Wallace) hit the Bronx hip hop scene running. Their first came into the public eye with the addition of their 1996 single “Coolie High” to The Great White Hype soundtrack. Their 1997 track “Luchini” (better known by the popular refrain “This Is It”) would then tear up the charts, breaking into the Top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100, and crushing Hot Rap Singles chart, with weeks spent in the Top 5. Their first full length album would follow, 1997’s Uptown Saturday Night, a funky, jazzy record that showcased their lyrical deftness and received much critical and fan support. This effort represented Camp Lo’s initial collaboration with famed producer Ski (referred to as the “third member of the Lo” by Suede), and featured contributions from artists of De La Soul and Digable Planets. Camp Lo would go on to be featured on the albums of Will Smith, De La Soul and Aesop Rock. Later would come 2002’s Let’s Do It Again and then 2007’s Black Hollywood, 2009’s Stone & Rob: Caught On Tape and Another Heist, and 2011’s 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s w/ Pete Rock. Their last album, 2015’s Ragtime Hightimes, showed a return to form, in terms of originality, but the sound was totally fresh. Here they use more live instrumentation than ever before, and the record flows seamlessly with their ever-fluid lyrics. Now, Camp Lo continues to dominate the live stage.
Robert Hall, Jr., a local forerunner of 90’s rap and sizzling hip hop production, is best known as the former leader of the New York underground crew D.I.T.C. Brought up in the Bronx, Hall would soon become synonymous with his smooth lyrical flow, hence he adopted the epithet Finesse. In 1989, he teamed up with DJ Mike Smooth and signed with Wild Pitch Records. In 1990 the duo released their debut album Funky Technician, featuring production from future stars DJ Premier, Diamond D and Showbiz. Finesse then formed D.I.T.C., an acronym for “Diggin In The Crates,” with Showbiz & A.G. and Diamond D. Finesse hit the studio in 1992 and released his 2nd solo album, Return of the Funky Man. With guest appearances from Percee P and AG, the record’s title track climbed to #13 on the Hot Rap Singles chart. This also marked the start of his storied career in hip hop engineering. In 1994 Finesse made a production appearance on The Notorious B.I.G.’s classic debut Ready to Die, and in 1995 he produced the majority of Big L’s debut album. Returning to the mic in 1996, Finesse dropped the single “Check The Method” and the album The Awakening, with appearance by KRS-One, Kid Capri & more. Since then, Finesse has continued his stellar production work and has made cameos on popular tracks (like Fatboy Slim’s ubiquitous “The Rockafeller Skank” and Handsome Boy Modeling School’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll (Could Never Hip-Hop Like This) pt. 2”).