DJ Red Alert
Back in the day when B-Boys dogged clubs like The Roxy, The Tunnel, Kiliman-jaro, and Disco Fever, downtown heartical dons rammed dancehall checking for hardcore reggae and wicked dubs. Uptown Stetsasonic, Jungle Brothers, Afrika Bambaataa ruled with Zulu Nation. Up stepped a selector spinning the Cold Crush Brothers, Kurtis Blow, Yellowman, Monyaka, Denroy Morgan, Michigan & Smiley, the Fat Boys, Rakim, EPMD, and Salt-N-Pepa.
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"This is Coooooool DJ Red Alert"...and he's come to nice up the dance with a multi-artist street soul spectacular entitled DJ RED ALERT'S PROPMASTER DANCEHALL SHOW, featuring the premier single "The Glock" by 13-year-old toasting prodigy Vicious.
Hip hop busted from the underground. On higher ground rub-a-dub called rockers. The buzz was "Red." KISS-FM tuned in. Saturday nights were never the same. Sophia George, the "Girly Girly" toaster, caught the ears of subway riders tuned into boom boxes. Shelly Thunder, Doug E. Fresh, The Taxi Connection...it was an overnight romance.
DJ Red Alert: "In the mid-`70s, a fellow by the name of Kool Herc brought with him from Kingston, Jamaica to The Bronx, New York a new creation called hip hop music. In Jamaica, this new creation was called toastin' and dubbin'; we in hip-hop called it rappin' and mixin'."
For years, reggae was regarded as a music embraced by foreign whites. Now, it was young Blacks who were imitating the immigrant mack daddies. Hybrids emerged: Heavy D., Shinehead, a host of others. Foxy Brown's apology left Tracy Chapman "Sorry." "This is Coooooool DJ Red Alert."
"Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, and many others kept breaking this new mode of music called hip hop until the mid-`80s, when KRS-1 brought back the originality of reggae and combined it with hip hop. In 1988, when I was on tour with Boogie Down Productions, the show opened with a version of a dancehall record. After the tour, I was inspired to play reggae on the radio--which, in turn, opened the doors for dancehall music and its artists."
Brooklyn posses began to hang uptown, Bronx clubbers traveled south. Before long, hip hop married dancehall: Names like Super Cat, Shabba Ranks, Patra, Red Fox, Shaggy, Rayvon, Screechie Dan, Mikey Jarrett and Cutty Ranks were spoken along with KRS-1, Ice-T, Bobby Brown, Kool Moe Dee and Daddy-O. "This is Coooooool DJ Red Alert."
Now the selector is getting his props with shout-outs from Sugabear & Silver, Bobby Konders & Mikey Jarrett, Resident Alien, and Shaggy & Rayvon with "Boom Fi Di Red Alert," "Papa Props," "Mack Daddy (Red Alert Special)," "Pum Pum Master" and "Big Up (Hip-Hop Remix)." The only dancehall DJ to win two Grammies joins his colleagues to give Red a big up: Shabba Ranks is rough and raucous with "Mi Nuh Ramp With It." No grooves separate Ranks from his female counterpart Patra, who claims she "Love All The Men." The only female to survive a "Strictly Dancehall" national tour adds her hotness to Coooooool DJ Red Alert.
Straight out of Flatbush, Red Fox & Screechie Dan deliver "Pose Off (Hip-Hop Mix)." Fox is doubly sly with Naturally on a cut called "Let's Chill." Cutty Ranks chats up "Living Condition (Special Red Alert Remix)," and Shaka II is his own "Black Busta." Shaggy & Rayvon are extra large spenders on "Big Up (Hip-Hop Remix)," and when Daddy Sylva tackles "Stretch To Fit," radio will yield to dancehall. But the secret weapon is Vicious, a born Jamaican gunning against "The Glock."
This package is the brainchild of Coooooool DJ Red Alert. After ten years on the circuit, he's decided the weekend should come every day. Instead of waiting, here it is: DJ RED ALERT'S PROPMASTER DANCEHALL SHOW. "It shows you," says Red, "how one form of music has reached out to another. Hip hop and reggae live on!"
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