HANK SHOCKLEE : BOMB SQUAD PART1

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Well, what can you possibly say about a legend that has not already been said?

Well, I can add that we had a great experience hanging out with Hank (and his lovely Manager Jo-Ann) at the Generation Bass Festival!

Both of them were super great, down to earth, humble people, who we could relate to on more than one level. Man we’re fam now and I hope it stays that way :-)

It seems that Generation Bass might have opened up Hank’s ears to some brand new sounds that he’d never encountered before. I think what most impressed him was the wide range of music that we were covering, I think he found that fascinating.

What fascinated us, puting aside, that we were in the company of a legend, was that he seemed not to have lost any of the enthusiasm and passion that he must have held for music when he first started out. The fact that he was into Dubstep intrigued us as we’re hugely into the same. Subsequently, I’ve been getting him into DrumSTeP and he’s loving it!!

Man, it was so great to see that he was still very open to learning about new music, new artists and keeping an open ear to the underground! I enjoyed taking him around from venue to venue, introducing him to everybody and seeing the astonished look on their face and seeing him check out everybody!

It was even more surreal when we were left wandering the streets at 4am in the morning trying to find somewhere to hang out and eat! I suppose that’s part of what makes him so great, his ability to continue to relate to us ordinary folk :-) and maybe that’s what I liked about him most.

After all, this is the dude who produced one of the greatest albums ever, to have graced this planet. So we were in the company of a very important figure in the history of music, but it felt as though he was just like one of my homies’!

Here’s some info about Hank, punctuated with some pics from our meetings:

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[Hank & Jo-Ann)

Producer Hank Shocklee is one of the preeminent figures of the rap world. Producing successful albums for Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Bell Biv Devoe, and EPMD, as well as remixing albums for Peter Gabriel, Tricky, and Sinéad O’Connor, Shocklee pioneered a new brand of production in hip-hop music with his noisy, layered style based on equal parts rap, punk, and rock.

Starting his career as a DJ with the party crew Spectrum City, which included Chuck D among others, Shocklee helped run a nightclub as well as host mix shows at Aldelphi University’s student-run radio station.

After gaining momentum with his Spectrum City DJ Crew and the Super Spectrum Mix Show radio show on WBAU, the pause tape song Public Enemy #1 that was played on the air caught the attention of a just starting out Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin.  Hank put the group members together and got it signed to Def Jam in 1987.

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With the signing of Public Enemy to Def Jam Recordings and the eventual group’s rise to stardom, Shocklee’s efforts shifted to the studio full time and he assembled the Bomb Squad Production team. He served as Producer and Executive Producer for the group and led them to the success of 1 Double Platinum, 4 Platinum and 2 Gold Albums.  Shocklee also managed Public Enemy along with Russell Simmons.  Public Enemy soon became Def Jam’s biggest global act and went on the road for a series of successful world tours. As the Bomb Squad, Hank went on to also produce groundbreaking albums such as Ice Cube’s Amerikkka’s Most Wanted and many more classic hits for artists like Slick Rick, LL Cool J, Madonna, Janet Jackson and many others.

Shocklee’s success led him to MCA records in 1991 where he created the S.O.U.L. label with Bill Stephney and signed acts such as Ed Lover & Dr. Dre, The Young Black Teenagers, Son of Bazerk and released the soundtrack for the movie Juice which introduced the late Tupac Shakur to the world.  S.O.U.L. helped to create the template for MCA’s Black Music Department.  Always drawn to his creative pursuits, after a couple of years with MCA the S.O.U.L. label was dissolved and Shocklee returned to the studio and developing artists.   In 1994 Shocklee returned to MCA Records as Senior Vice President where he oversaw the A&R, Marketing, Promotion, and Sales divisions for the company. During his tenure there, he Executive Produced and supervised projects for many Multi-Platinum artists such as Mary J. Blige, Pattie LaBelle, K-Ci & JoJo, Gladys Knight, Avant, Res and Immature.

After many years of working within the confines of a Major Record label, Shocklee decided to pursue his visionary and creative interests and launched his own independent company, Shocklee Entertainment in 2000 along with fellow ex MCA employee Jo-Ann Nina.

GENERATION BASS FESTIVAL

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So Hank Shocklee came to Tilburg for 2 reasons:

1. To participate in an interview at the Pirate Conference.

Indeed the interview was great and provided an insight into his views on sampling and where he stands with that today amongst other things. I hope to be able to bring you the video footage very soon.

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2. To perform at the GB Fest on the Friday night.

I managed to catch half of his show because I was dj’aying at around the same time at the venue upstairs. The first half that I did manage to catch surprised me, although I expected a wikkid bangin’ set and it was, it was not made up of just Hip Hop but dirty, filthy, Dubstep beats too.

It was a killa set and we recorded it and so we’ll post that on the blog very soon!

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You can take a listen to Hank’s dj style via these 2 xcellent Bomb Squad mixes, Vol’s 1 & 2 that you can download for free!!!

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BOMB SQUAD MIX 001 http://ow.ly/2BhLm

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BOMB SQUAD MIX 002 http://ow.ly/2BhEk

There’s also vol’s 3 & 4 too but they’re coming with the Part 2 feature and the vids later on :-)

Remember to watch out for Part 2 when we’ll give away another 2 Bomb Squad dj mixes. We’ll also show some video footage of Hank at the festival.

For now, I’ll leave you with some great shots of Hank shooting some hoops and just wanna say:

Thank you so much Hank & Jo-Ann, you are both ultra-coool peeps and we’re so proud to be part of the fam :-)

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BOMB SQUAD LINKS:

Shocklee.com // News_Music_Film_Media_Tech

Bomb Squad // Live Electronics

Live & Direct // 24/7 on Twitter


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