As the sun peaked through on an otherwise stormy weekend, DJPK sat down and chatted with Scott Hansen, the frontman and creator of ambient electronic band, Tycho. This Treasure Island Music Festival set marked the end of Tycho’s Division Tour and homecoming to the Bay, promoting his Grammy nominated album, Epoch. Scott and DJPK talked about the inspirations of the new album, as well as themes and where the project is headed in the future. Scott will be in Los Angeles with the rest of Tycho tomorrow night to see if Epoch is dubbed Best Electronic Album of the year at the 59th edition of the Grammys.
Hip hop is uniquely powerful because it sits comfortably at the borderline between poetry and song. It bridges the gap between the two, and in turn contains the qualities of both song and spoken word. Unlike poems (or any other word based message), music has the upper hand of getting caught in your head for long periods of time. This is a vital tool for those trying to spread a political message–– having the power to keep words in someone’s head is just about the best way to spread a political agenda. Just think, what if on the same day, at the same time, the whole world (including all the world leaders), had the chorus to Queen Latifah’s Black on Black Love repeating in their head? What about Salt n Peppa’s feminist anthem None of Your Business? Would political decision making be affected? Similar to poetry however, rap is much more lyric based than any other musical genre. Because of it’s fast paced nature, rap is able to squeeze an immense amount of lyrical content into a short two minute song. It is not tied to traditional song structures in the same way as other music often is, and in turn, rap can really pack a punch.
With so much political power, hip hop is the perfect art form to be leading many of today’s revolutionary movements. It reclaims oppressive spaces through its loud, commanding, and aggressive nature, creating a genre of wildly popular music. Unfortunately, most artists in modern mainstream hip hop have very little interest in women’s issues. First and foremost rap addresses racism–– a critical issue for men and women both nationally and globally. Too often however, these political anthems are not intersectional. I’m sure most of us know the feeling of thinking we’ve found a great new rap song until about thirty seconds in when the artist starts describing how he’s going to force women to have sex with him. Suddenly your foot stops tapping and you’re not feeling as empowered as you were a second ago. Of course there are countless male rappers out there who don’t do this, but I think we can agree this is an all too familiar feeling for those of us who seek out rap in our day to day lives. Which is why, now more than ever, it is time for female hip hop artists to finally have their time in the limelight.
It’s interesting to note that, generally speaking, female rappers are much more likely to include political lyrics in their songs than male rappers. There are many possible reasons for this, but one of them is simply that women have to work much harder than their male peers to get the mic in the first place, so are probably more inclined to say something that really needs to be heard. Unlike what was mentioned earlier, female rappers are consistently intersectional and most songs will engage with both gender and race, rarely choosing one. One of the most common threads in hip hop by women is the idea of ownership over their own body and sexuality, two things which are often portrayed as under male control in mainstream media. There is little more refreshing to me as a woman in the United States than seeing another woman stand up, take control, get angry, and rile up a crowd all while being sexy as hell.
With all of this said, now more than ever it is time for us, as hip hop consumers, to support and nurture female rappers. They stand strong in solidarity against sexist and racist rhetoric that is too often a structure for our society. Female rappers are a triple threat: they are women, they are usually people of color, and they refuse to be silenced. They are prepared and capable to be our generation’s revolutionary leaders––if only we would open our ears and listen to what they have to say! The hip hop industry has been paving the way to produce political leaders for years, it’s now time to give these women the platform for their own voices and a fan base to support them.
So where do we begin?
For starters, tune in to Queen Beats every Tuesday night from 12-2am on KZSC, Santa Cruz. (88.1FM or kzsc.org) Next, like Queen Beats on Facebook and stay updated with what women are up to in the hip hop industry: https://www.facebook.com/QueenBeatsKZSC/
Call in! Make requests! Enjoy! We are the generation that is going to give these women their space, so let’s start now!
*artists shown in included images– top: Alphamama, bottom: Akua Naru, featured image: Soom T
Hello all you jazzy listeners and KZSC supporters!
Peace and Jazz y’all.
|True North||Leslie Pintchik||
|Pintch Hard Records|
|Otis Was a Polar Bear||Allison Miller||
|The Royal Potato Family|
|Astral Progressions||Josef Leimberg||
|World Galaxy / Alpha Pup Records|
|Day Breaks||Norah Jones||
|Blue Note Records|
|You & I (Deluxe Edition)||Ala.ni||
|Shelter from the storm||Barb Jungr||
|Harlem On My Mind||Catherine Russell||
|Language of the Heart||D’erania||
|Soul Eyes||Kandace Springs||
|Capitol Records, LLC|
Rest in Power to Mose Allison & Sharon Jones.
Here’s the recap video for the first annual Day N Night Festival in Orange County. This was actually the first music festival I’d ever been to, and while I’d love to comment on all the things I felt went wrong or hit my Kanye rant about the state of today’s hip-hop, I think I’ll just focus on the positive and let you watch the video for yourselves.
Festival highlights include:
- Being actually impressed with Lil Yachty & his braid-driven stage presence
- YG tearing the stage down before ASAP Rocky came on and moaned about acid
- Lil Uzi Vert hopping that trashcan
- Interviewing Allan Kingdom
- Sitting in the parking lot for 5 hrs. Saturday due to terrible traffic organization (shouts out TAPS)
- Seeing the live performance of Fetti, with Playboi Carti, Maxo Kream, & Dash
- Being offered Xanax 4 seperate times
- YG performing songs from 2010 and his mostly hometown fans knowing every single word
Accidentally buying beer for a 16 y/o and watching him run from security
- YG perform FDT
- YG proving why he’s #2 west coast rapper behind Earl Sweatshirt
He started programming The Golden Road on June 18, 1997 as a 30th anniversary celebration of the Monterey International Pop Festival–the same festival that made stars of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Ravi Shankar and Otis Redding. Art’s musical taste ranges from A to Z (The Association to Frank Zappa); he loves The Grateful Dead, classic rock (Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Dire Straits), blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, early Fleetwood Mac), hard rock (Midnight Oil, The Who), and punk rock (The Clash, forever). He likes to feature upbeat and melodic songs, live performances, and long jams on The Golden Road, every Wednesday from 3 to 6 pm this summer. He also appreciates jazz, folk, Celtic, African, Brazilian and Caribbean styles.
As a writer, an editor, and an animal rights advocate, Art has written PSAs for KZSC about animal welfare, and other issues close to his heart. Art has also contributed to the Metro alternative newspaper, covering topics such as The Grateful Dead archives, the 10th anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s passing, animal welfare, cats, and the invasion of Iraq. Art was on the air, programming a show called Earwax during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Art’s columns, criticism and commentary in Metro Santa Cruz won an award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and he was voted the third Best Writer in Santa Cruz by Metro readers in 2005. He’s traveled extensively, making friends on four continents–Art is pretty sure the world is round, and “Love that’s real will not fade away.”
On September 8th, Harvard University turns 380! So it is rather fitting that such a venerable institution would also have 8 decades of broadcasting under its belt. In 1940, the Harvard Crimson Network, WHCN, was one of America’s first college radio stations. In 1943 there was a change of call letters to, WHRV (Harvard Radio Voice). Then, on February 1st of 1951, WHRB was born. But it was not until 1957 that the Harvard Radio Broadcasting Company Incorporated acquired a commercial FM license at 107.1 (which was moved over to 95.3 a few years later).
With such a long history, it is no surprise that WHRB has some historic programs. Hillbilly at Harvard is a country music show that started all the way back in 1948!
Then there is, Sunday Night at the Opera, which has been on the airwaves for over 50 years now. And it sure shows when you see the size of the station’s classical music collection; truly extensive and probably one of the largest of its kind among college radio stations.
Since 1994 WHRB has been in the basement of Pennypacker Hall, just a minute walk from the heart of Harvard Square. The hall was built in 1927 and Harvard acquired it in 1958. My guess is that the station has one of the most unusual lay outs in all of college radio. There is a small maze of corners to turn and short hallways to walk down, leading to unlabeled doorways. Behind most of these doors are rooms containing the separate parts of WHRB’s music library.
WHRB publishes its schedule three times a year, and it has to be the most densely packed and well detailed program guide of any college radio station in the nation. We are talking the really fine print. Plus, each Winter and Spring feature “orgies” in which concentrated blocks of air time are devoted to a whole host of composers, artists, genres, subjects, concepts etc. It’s a tradition that is the stuff of legend. Back in 1943, as the story goes, an undergrad was so happy to have passed some rather difficult exams, he went ahead and played all 9 of Beethoven’s symphonies in a row. So, as a nod to this legend, the “orgy periods” are timed to coincide with major exams because the station actually gets short staffed with all the students out taking tests. Because, I have to guess, that graduating from Harvard is even harder than getting into Harvard.
Many thanks to Robby Erikson for showing me around the station.
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