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

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Issue # 713
March 28, 2016

! ? What’s Upper ? !


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September 7, 1963 - March 26, 1995

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

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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 the 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

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The impact
Malik “PhifeDawg” Taylor
made on my life

by DJ 3
rd Degree

Malik “PhifeDawg” Taylor was born on November  20, 1970 in Brooklyn, NY and died March 22, 2016 from complications related to his battles with diabetes and kidney failure.

PhifeDawg was the founding member of the legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest. The group formed as teenagers when Phife got Q-Tip to start a group called Quest, then later added Ali-Shaheed Muhammed and Jarobi. Their debut album, released April 10, 1990 on Jive Records, featured hits like “Can I Kick It”, “I Left My Wallet In El Segundo” and “Bonita Applebum”.  On September 24, 1991, the group released what some would call one of the greatest rap albums of all-time, “The Low End Theory”. This album was defining as both Phife and Q-Tip stepped up their rap game and we got to hear Busta Rhymes roar like a dungeon-dragon. The featured cuts on that album — “Buggin Out”, “Excursions”, “Jazz (We Got)”, “Check The Rhime” and “Scenario” — catapulted the group into the stratosphere. I was hooked. I was really hooked when I heard “Can I Kick It’ but the group’s third album, “Midnight Marauders”, gave me my all-time favorite song “Electric Relaxation”. The sound of that song and the delivery from Tip and Phife take me to a whole different world every time I hear it.

Phife called himself the “Five Foot Assasin” and “The Five Footer” and for me, a rapper only 5’0” became a huge influence when it came to rhyming. Rakim gave me the soul, KRS taught me to be conscious, Chuck D taught me to be political and Phife taught me to love the art and have fun.

His death at the age of 45 caught me off-guard. We knew he had been sick for a very long time with his diabetes and his two transplant surgeries. His death is my loss. I feel selfish saying that but it is true, as we will not get to hear new music or his witty and smart talks about his love for sports.

Today I got to do something very special. My Aunt, who happens to live in New York City, also happens to be friends with Malik’s Mom. I got to send her a message and share with her my thoughts on how much of a positive impact her son had on my life. I thanked her and sent her my condolences. It was special for me to do that.

Rap won’t ever be the same again. I’ve now lost two of the icons that I revered as a young kid. Jam Master Jay made me want to be a DJ. Phife made me the rapper I am today. I will always have the music he left behind and the memories of dancing to his music and watching him perform.

It has been an honor, sir — may you Rest In Peace!

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Here is the 5 hour tribute to the Phife Dawg (R.I.P.) show that aired on Chicago's WNUR's “Dedicated” with DJ 3rd Rail.

Each song features Phife Dawg, either as a solo artist with
A Tribe Called Quest or as a guest on a song. This is how "Dedicated" pays tribute to a Hip Hop Legend.

Please take a minute to "share" or "tag" someone who is A Tribe Called Quest fan. This whole mix is done strictly on vinyl, no Serato, CD's or mp3’s:

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Since 1988, he's the voice you hear on “The Prop Shop” every Saturday night on WCBN radio at the
University of Michigan.

Hailing from Metro Detroit,
DJ Chill Will can claim 15 years of experience as a DJ. While he is well known for breaking some of the biggest acts in Hip Hop at Detroit's famed Saint Andrews Hall, he’s quickly establishing himself as a key Top 40/ Dance DJ as well. Able to rock any type of crowd, Chill Will has made his mark from Radio to Dance Clubs. He’s performed at sold-out shows and rocked various residencies and events like The North American International Auto Show for Scion.

Chill Will has DJ'd celebrity events and after-parties for some of the hottest acts in Hip Hop and R&B —
Wiz Khalifa, Slaughterhouse, Jadakiss, Eminem, D-12, Nas, Common, G-Unit, Rick Ross, Trey Songz, Chris Brown, Ludacris, MGK and Yelawolf, just to name a few!

Recently, one of Chill Will’s biggest moments came when he was awarded a mixshow at Detroit's New
98.7 AMP Radio (WDZH) on Saturday nights. He continues to mix at WCBN FM (University of Michigan) and Holiday weekends at WJZE FM in Toledo, Ohio. With 8000 new viral followers this year, his popularity is clearly growing — the buzz is evident!

DJ Chill Will has also been featured in various magazines and newspapers. You can catch him in
The Source, Rap Pages, Hits, Gavin, CMJ, Impact, Underground Soundz, Urban Network, RapAttackLives.com, Hip Hop Weekly and the Detroit News.

It’s safe to say DJ Chill Will is heard
by almost 1 Million people every Weekend!

Follow DJ Chill Will on Twitter: https://twitter.com/chillwill734

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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

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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

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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.

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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 Rhoda “Dove”Clark celebrating on Monday, March 28th


to Jay Force (WRFG-ATL), Sum-In-1 and

to my homie4life, MC Hammer

all celebrating on Wednesday, March 30th

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