Bay Area hip hop artist Rappin’ 4-Tay talks about the Player’s Ball in the 1970s and how it has changed over the years. The Player’s Ball idea came from a scene in the 1973 blaxploitation film, The Mack. The lead character was a pimp that attended The Players Ball in Oakland, CA. The party has been a November tradition since 1974, when pimps around the country celebrate Bishop Don “Magic” Juan’s birthday. Past events have featured performances by Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Cypress Hill, Ice-T, Too Short, George Clinton, and more.
Psycho Les is an emcee, DJ, and hip hop producer from Queens, NY. He is known internationally as a member of the group The Beatnuts. Les began producing and DJing at age 15 and later met JuJu through a mutual friend in high school. While digging for records, Les and JuJu met Afrika Bambaataa who introduced them to Native Tongues members De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and the Jungle Brothers. In 1990, The Beatnuts produced their first records for Stereo MCs and Monie Love. The original group included Fashion and Al Tariq, and they later worked with Common, Pete Nice, Fat Joe, DJ Richie Rich, Kurious, and produced a full album for Chi Ali. The Beatnuts became even more popular for remixing songs by MC Lyte, Da Lench Mob, Naughty By Nature, and others. In 1993, The Beatnuts released their debut album, Intoxicated Demons, followed by Street Level in 1994. Stone Crazy was released in 1997 with the single “Off The Books”, that featured the first on-record performance by Big Punisher. In 1999, the group released A Musical Massacre, which was their most successful album and featured the single “Watch Out Now”. In 2001, they released Take It Or Squeeze It with the popular single “No Escapin’ This”. In 2007, Psycho Les released his debut solo album, Psycho Therapy, on his own label, Pit Fight Records. He joined Al Tariq and Problemz to form the group Big City and released the album The City Never Sleeps. In 2008, Pit Fight Records released U.F.O. Files, a compilation of previously unreleased Beatnuts songs. The Beatnuts most recently partnered with the Tha Alkaholiks to work on an album under the name LIKNUTS.
ShoreShot is an emcee from Brick, NJ. He began recording music in the early 2000s, and released his debut album, Slowly But Shorely, in 2010. Sooner after, he collaborated with New Jersey singer and producer EWald to record Shore’s second album, The Progress Report. In the beginning of 2013, ShoreShot released the single “Sho Love” with the chorus sung by the students at Russell O Brackman Middle School in Barnegat, NJ. 100% of the song’s proceeds will be donated to local families affected by Hurricane Sandy, starting with Holy Family St. Vincent de Paul Society in Union Beach, NJ. In 2013, ShoreShot will be releasing his third album, The Return Of The Tides.
Tyler James is a singer/songwriter from Burlington, NJ. He began singing at age 13 in commercials and various competitions. He studied Music Performance at University Of The Arts and later met Carol Riddick who became his mentor. In 2008, Tyler formed the band Tyler James & The Exchange and released the album, After Tonight, in 2010. Tyler is working on his debut solo album, Expectations, and is recording with producer Dilemma at Sigma Sound Studios.
Rocksteady DJ, graffiti artist, and hip hop producer JS-1 talks about his upcoming album, It Is What It Isn’t. He breaks down the creation process and professionalism when working with Erick Sermon and KRS-One. Other features will include Soul Khan, Rasheed Chappell, X-Clan, O.C., and dozens more.
Faez One is an emcee from Philadelphia, PA. He is a member of the collective Army Of The Pharoahs and has worked numerous times with Jedi Mind Tricks, Outerspace, and Snowgoons. In 2010, Faez released an album with Marxman called Philly’s Elite, followed by a 2012 solo release, My Own Worst Enemy.
Techniec is an emcee from Long Beach, CA. In the 90s, he was a member of the LBC Crew alongside Bad Azz and Lil C-Style. They were signed to Doggystyle Records in 1997 and became the first group executive produced by Snoop Dogg. LBC Crew’s debut album, Haven’t You Heard, remained unreleased until 2011. They were featured on Snoop’s sophomore album, Tha Doggfather. Techniec later formed Bloc Rebel Media, designed to further his vision of music, hip hop, audio, and visual. The first release on Bloc Rebel Media was The Blacklist, a collaboration album between Techniec and producer L’s, with features from Bad Azz, G Malone, Bo Roc, Enzo Ten, Marc Spitz, and more.