Although Afrika Bambaataa may not have invented hip hop, he was the first hip hop idealist: He realized both the
artistic and the political potential of the culture. In the economically
devastated NYC of the '70s, Bambaataa propagated the idea that hip hop could be a surrogate for violence, and he transformed the street gang the Black Spades into the Afrocentric subcult the Zulu Nation. That sense of adventurous optimism bled into his music
as well. The electro-funk of his seminal early track "Planet Rock" was about 20 years ahead of its time. It not only predated the sound that the Neptunes and Timbaland would ride to fame and riches, but it also helped inspire such genres and subgenres as Latin freestyle, Miami bass, electronica, house, hip house, and early techno. On Saturday, Oct. 23, Bambaataa spins an
exclusive two-hour set in support of his recent album, The Millennium of the Gods, at the "True Skool 5-Year Anniversary" party at the DNA Lounge; call 626-1409 or visit www.true-skool.org.
-- Sam Chennault
DJ Doc Martin comes from Los Angeles, and I like that.
Whereas most notable DJ talent stems from the sanctified
streets of New York City or London, Martin cut his teeth on the house scene down south -- and here, producing eight-hour sets (whew!) at San Francisco raves, warehouses, and the deepest
underground parties. Now, after making the rounds at the Love
Parade earlier this month, he comes to Ruby Skye for an entire night of solo love. On top of his legendary blend of house and disco-ish tunes, he'll also churn out some pretty nifty acid, funk, and tribal beats -- completely failing, while so many other DJs
succeed, at making those genres sound really annoying. Catch
him back in the city on Saturday, Oct. 23; call 693-0777 or visit www.rubyskye.com.
-- Brock Keeling