Where were you when you first heard Black Moon? I can tell you where Flea Market Funk was. I was working at a college radio station and the head of the Hip Hop department (R.I.P Sure Rock Holmes) was hiding, no locking up records that included Black Moon so no one else could play them. At this point we only had the 12″s, so if you couldn’t find them (or get to them), you were out of luck as a DJ. Relegated to Pharcyde and Y’All So Stupid compact discs, I had to make due without. The record Enta Da Stage to me (and a lot of others), changed the game in Hip Hop in a lot of ways. Last night, at The Brooklyn Historical Society the Bodega Education Initiative of Brooklyn Bodega held their first (of hopefully many) Told It First Hand lecture series. The story of Black Moon and the making of that record was told personally by two founding members: Evil Dee and Buckshot. Hosted by Brooklyn Bodega President Wes Jackson and co-moderated by Check The Technique’s Brian Coleman, the two spoke candidly with these Brooklyn natives about what this record meant to them and the Hip Hop audience 20 years later.
“If the beat didn’t blow a fuse in the studio, the beat was wack.”- DJ Evil Dee on making beats for Black Moon
From their inception, the formation of the group and getting signed to Nervous Records by DJ Chuck Chillout, to personal stories about the struggle of being on a record label that didn’t know Hip Hop, to the natural progression of going fully independent with Duck Down Music, the audience got an inside look at what it took to really to be in their shoes as artists. Repping Bushwick (Evil Dee) and Crown Heights (Buckshot) respectively, and proudly I might add, Black Moon helped put Brooklyn on the map in a multitude of ways. Their high energy was just what Hip Hop in 1993 was lacking. Buckshot’s fashion choices and specific head wear were echoed all across the globe, proof that it was more than the music, it was the Brooklyn lifestyle. Everyone Black Moon touched, including an audience member from Trinidad that confessed his crew wore bubble goose vests in the heat because of them, wanted to have that look. Their music was a movement. The beats crafted and records sampled by The Beatminerz were enough to satisfy the mainstream Hip Hop heads as well as the streets, which solidified the Brooklyn sound even more. Evil spoke upon his philosophy on making a beat, the same philosophy he uses today; hard drums, hard, filtered bass lines, and any sample will work. The two also divulged how the sample from the remix of “I Got Ya Open”, Barry White’s “Playing Your Game Baby” was discovered by Buckshot and how it was initially rejected by the band. Luckily for us, Evil Dee made it work and it’s one of the most recognizable samples to ever come out of Brooklyn. Told It First Hand came with no attitude, no cool factor, and no bullshit. You heard the story of a record that changed (and shaped) Hip Hop in more ways than people realize. It was evident in the Q & A, that had a bastion of Brooklynites from all over the borough, who told stories of how Black Moon always gave back to Brooklyn, gave the youth hope, and put Brooklyn on the map, that the band had touched people in many positive ways. Still promoting positive attitudes to the fullest, both Evil Dee and Buckshot left no stone unturned in the highly informational and entertaining hour and a half. Black Moon set the bar high for the first sit down with Brooklyn Bodega, in a series of many to come. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming lectures. Brooklyn stand up!
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