Hip-Hop's TRUE VOICE for college rap radio, internet rap shows AND mixtape dj's since 1985!

Stacks Image 225

Issue # 712
March 21, 2016

! ? What’s Upper ? !

Rapper Phife Dawg, a member of rap pioneers A Tribe Called Quest,
has died at the age of 45.

Stacks Image 75385

News of Phife Dawg's death emerged on Twitter, where producer/broadcaster DJ Chuck Chillout posted a R.I.P. message in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Tributes have been pouring into social media as news of his death spread. The musician had been struggling with ill health and diabetes for several years and died at his home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Malik Isaac Taylor was born in 1970 in Queens, New York.
He co-founded the rap group A Tribe Called Quest in 1985 when he was 15 with his classmates Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Phife appeared on all five of their albums, acting as a punchy foil to the smooth lead M.C. Q-Tip on tracks like Check The Rhime and Scenario. He nicknamed himself the Funky Diabetic and the Five Foot Assassin, a clear reference to his height. His self-deprecating swagger became one of the band's trademarks.

Their biggest hit came in 1991 with the single Can I Kick It? The band got together recently to perform the song on Jimmy Fallon’s show to mark the 25th anniversary of their debut album ‘People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm’. Can I Kick It? was one of the band's more atypical songs - a gleeful barrage of nonsensical wordplay, based around a sample from Lou Reed's Walk On The Wild Side. Despite the song's enduring appeal, Phife was not a fan.
"It's hard for me to get into
Can I Kick It? for the simple fact that
I hated my voice back then," he told Rolling Stone.
"It was high-pitched . . . and I couldn't stand it."

Along with De La Soul and Queen Latifah, the band was part of an overall movement that challenged the macho posturing of rap in the '80s and '90s. Their socially conscious lyrics addressed issues like date rape and the use of the N-word in the track Sucker Niga, and avoided the hip-hop cliches of gunplay, gangsters and expletives. Musically, they fused jazz with hip-hop, often rapping over a drum loop and an upright bass. Complex and atmospheric, their 1991's ‘The Low End Theory’ has often been ranked among the best hip-hop albums of all time.

Disagreements between Q-Tip and Phife eventually derailed the group and in 1998 they announced that their fifth album, ‘The Love Movement’, would be their last. When the group disbanded, Phife continued to battle diabetes. Occasionally he would reunite with the group for live shows, mainly to help cover medical costs of his type 2 diabetes (often mistakenly reported as type 1).

In 2008, Phife suffered renal failure. He received a transplant from his wife but was back on the waiting list for a kidney four years later. "It's a strain on me as far as going where I want to go, doing what I want to do," he said. "When I was on dialysis the first time, my stepson was playing basketball [and] I couldn't practice with him. I wanted to go out and run with him and things of that nature, but I didn't feel good." "It's really a sickness," he added in Beats, Rhymes & Life, Michael Rapaport's candid 2011 documentary on the group. "Like straight-up drugs. I'm just addicted to sugar."

At the time of his death, Phife was working on a solo record, ‘Muttymorphosis’, which he described as "basically my life story”. A clip from the first single, Nutshell, was released last September, but the full track has yet to surface. Last year he reflected on his career.

"It's odd in a good way. I never expected it to be this big. I just thought we were going to be celebs in the hood. Like, honestly, within 25 years, when you go to places like Australia and Japan and Amsterdam and London and Germany and these people know [the songs] word-for-word, it's crazy”.
Rapper Phife Dawg
Stacks Image 77639
Tune in Live to 89.3FM or Log on Live to Chicago's WNUR this Sunday 3/27/16 from 12 midnight-5am (CST) Mon to DJ 3rd Rail's “Dedicated” show featuring music from A Tribe Called Quest paying tribute to Phife Dawg, may he R.I.P.

“We had the honor of meeting him and he was one of the most humble people we have ever met. Although he will be missed by millions, his music will live on in our mixshows, until we meet him again. Please take a minute to tell us about some of your favorite Phife Dawg/A Tribe Called Quest songs or solo and cameo records.
Our Facebook group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/329633950398576/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter: twitter.com/dj3rdrail
Please "share", "tag", "comment" & "like" what will be a historic night. Listen to not only classics, but LP cuts, remixes and unreleased gems. All done correctly with only vinyl records. This is how you pay tribute to a legend. Leave the mp3's, cd's and computers alone. Thank you Phife for blessing us with so many great records.” DJ 3rd Rail


Stacks Image 61594

DJ Rob One 3/16/2000 (R.I.P.)

Stacks Image 62808

Here's DJ 3rd Degree’s exclusive RAP ATTACK review on Dres & Jarobi aka evitaN

What do rappers do to stay relevant to audiences these days? In the world of the independents, artists need to be creative with visuals, word play and beats. Fans of independent rap artists want that raw sound and those dope flows. Two members of the legendary Native Tongue posse, Dres (from Black Sheep) and Jarobi (from A Tribe Called Quest) are evitaN, and they bring that raw and dope sound to their music.
Their new single out now titled “Higher” kicks off with a sample from the famous Saturday Night Live skit “More Cowbell”, then Jairobi lets you know they aren’t going to let rap music die. The track bangs nicely as Dres lays down his patented smooth-flow over the beat. Jarobi gets his chance too, throwing down a nice verse, which we haven’t heard in a long time. Snapping snare drums highlight the track under both MC’s rhymes as they get it in. Add this to your current play list. Go check out the song and video at: https://youtu.be/QcrpLN2IqUY

Stacks Image 63987


DJ 3rd Degree has been a self-taught DJ since 1981 when he started mixing New-Wave music via two tape-decks and one turntable. Many parties, clubs, events and shows later, 3rd Degree is still rocking the house!
“I’m the Host of the weekly internet show
The Coast to Coast Hip Hop Show with DJ 3rd Degree (www.endangeredspeciez.com), which airs every Friday at 4pm (pst).
Along with being the DJ/producer, I am one of two rappers for
The L.A. Sixs (formerly The Los Angeles Classics) and Super Dank Brothers. I’m multi-skilled and talented and love to work with cool, down-to-earth, positive people who strive to bring LOVE to the world thru music,” says DJ 3rd Degree!

Stacks Image 63969

Artist: King Khazm
Single: disAbility

Free MP3 Download:
Watch video: https://youtu.be/bQ3vsP2CDeQ

In honor of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The struggle for equity and access for all people continues.
Produced by
EarDr.Umz. Cuts by DJ Gumbeaux.
Recorded at The MAD
Lab. Mixed and Mastered by Dume41 at the Legion of Dume.
For more information, please visit

Stacks Image 63976

www.HipHopPhilosophy.com in FULL effect (l-r):
AC The Program Director, Nasty-Nes & DJ 3
rd Degree

Stacks Image 57997

Stacks Image 58009
Happy "92nd" Birthday! (March 12th) to my Sifu Taky Kimura from Seattle's Jun Fan Gung-Fu Institute. Not only is he my Sifu but he’s been a father figure to me for over 40 years. His friendship, guidance & generosity in sharing Bruce Lee's philosophy & martial arts has molded me into the man I am today.

Stacks Image 58005

Stacks Image 46583

KCMU RAP ATTACK #FBF 1988: I found this on You Tube — a rare recording of two of my very first RAP ATTACK radio shows aired in 1988. The first link is about 37 min long & you can hear my MasterMix around 10min 30 sec into it. Both aired on 90.3FM KCMU, 28 years ago. I was fired from KFOX in April of 1988 as the station was sold & they made it clear to me that the new KFOX would NOT play RAP/Hip Hop anymore. KCMU, based on the UW campus, offered me a Sunday night slot around July of 1988 to keep KFOX FRESHTRACKS on the air. I accepted the offer, went from AM to FM in 3 months & renamed my show KCMU RAP ATTACK. I wanted this show to sound just as good as if you're listening to a Casey Kasem American Top 40 show or any professional sounding show you'd hear on commercial radio. I didn't want to just yell on a mic & say my name in a mix or during the show so I invested $$$ in getting Professional Custom Voice Over Drops. I also made my own Drops & the rest is Seattle Hip Hop HISTORY!
Here it is from 1988 (28 years ago) yours truly,


H a p p y B i r t h d a y!

to DJ Revolution celebrating this Saturday, March 26

PEACE, LOVE & HIP-HOP UNITY (God Bless & Isa Mahal)