King of the Beats (with interviews with Rahzel, Raekwon and GZA)

King of the Beats (with interviews with Rahzel, Raekwon and GZA)

The legacy of NYC’s Hip Hop has never been disputed. West Coast and Southern rap artists all pay homage to the heritage of this great city. From Zulu Nation and Kool Herc to the NYC Hip Hop veterans who are no longer with us, such as BIG and Big L, New York has been the home to the best and most talented Hip Hop stars in this country. Giving birth to the movement this city also has high expectations. When T.I. is the only man to go Platinum in ’06, everyone is shocked and borderline appalled at how NYC managed to ‘drop the ball’. Well, the best and the brightest do have the highest expectations. The West Coast brought us Dre, Snoop, Cube and the recent addition The Game. Still, the latest was not without some help from QB’s own, Mr. Jackson. The South has its own veterans, such as Luda and has seen a rise recently with T.I., Juvenile and Lil Wayne’s successes. Still, it would be illogical to compare the list of Hip Hop artists from any area of the country to NYC alone. Even mid-west’s own Common and Kanye find it cozy here. DJ’ing, MC’ing, graffiti, break dancing and even Hip Hop fashions all originated in this remarkable city. Some of the recent songs, like Busta’s New York Shit and Hi-Tek’s Where It All Stared At, talk about the legendary Hip Hop heritage of this phenomenal city.

King of the Beats DJ competition gave just another reason for NYC to shine. Holding their finals in Times Square in BB King’s, this contest gathered not only the competitors for the top spot, but also some of the most renowned old school artists.
Kudos to Da Beathoven for taking the $5,000 prize and the honor of the being #1 home. The kid held his end throughout the entire competition and brought a whole support team with him. It was as if he never had a doubt, showing off in front of the crowd, passing his cards backstage and posing for the cameras.

The event was hosted by the King of beatboxing himself, the one and only Rahzel with DJ JS-1 DJ’ing for him. Several members of the Wu also performed. Raekwon, GZA, U-God and Inspector Deck all stepped on stage to share their old school skills and support the contest.
There were also several other NYC’s Hip Hop stars at the event. Busta’s presence was nothing new. The man had done changed and has no intention of looking back. Granted, New York Shit will become a classic and the man himself is a Hip Hop icon. Still, his recent choices and behavior left many surprised, if not shocked. One other NY veteran, DJ Premier, was his usual smiles and exuded nothing but friendly and warm demeanor. Immortal Technique and Just Blaze were the judges and gave everyone even more of a NY feel. North Carolina’s native and New Jersey’s resident throughout most of his life, George Clinton, was his usual pleasant and congenial funky self.

Rahzel, Raekwon and GZA also answered some questions for WNT about their present state of mind and their views on today’s Hip Hop scene.

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