[UPDATED INFORMATION] Due to high demand, Cut Chemist & DJ Shadow’s Renegades of Rhythm vinyl-only tour is continuing throughout November in new territories across Canada and the U.S. Check out the additional tour dates below!
“I would consider Bambaataa to be one of the three biggest musical influences in my life, along with Grandmaster Flash and Kurtis Mantronik,” Shadow tells Rolling Stone. “He was a DJ with a vision and a sense of purpose, with a desire for social change. He wanted to use the music to help foster a revolution, and the reverberations of this concept are still being felt today, and probably will be forever. His ability to embrace and incorporate all different types of music and art, and contextualize them with a hip-hop mentality, is what the entire culture is based on.”
DJ Shadow on Afrika Bambaataa in Rolling Stone
Turntablists DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist recently announced their Renegades of Rhythm Fall tour in celebration of the legacy of the Universal Zulu Nation founder, Afrika Bambaataa.
“This has never been done before, definitely not on this scale. They’re HIS records, with his blessings. This isn’t just ANY copy of ‘X’ breakbeat, it’s THE copy, THE copy that started everything. Not just any records, the MASTER OF RECORDS’ records.” – DJ Shadow.
DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist will be mixing only vinyl from Afrika Bambaata’s permanently archived collection at Cornell University. DJ Shadow states, “His collection includes not just Soul and Rap, but also Soca, Calypso, Dub, Salsa…it’s obvious that this music was important to him, and it’s reflected in his own music. For example, when the Soulsonic Force is singing an African chant, it actually comes from a Manu Dibango record. That’s when being a crate-digger comes in handy – you have to be able to pick up on the references and reiterate them.”
Johan Kugelberg is a memeber of Zulu Nation and established the Cornell Hip Hop Archive in 2007. Kugelber introduced Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow to Afrika Bamaataa and suggested the idea of the tour celebrating his collection. “Hip Hop ultimately is multi-generational and communicative, and an ongoing grassroots network” he says. “This tour will bring together hip hop fans over generations.”
Sorting through the over 40,000 vinyl collection was daunting. “The first sort was to make sure we didn’t leave anything important behind. We definitely over-pulled,” adds Cut Chemist. DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist focused on the appearance of the records to help narrow their selections. “It was pretty clear what he played a lot and what he didn’t. The sure-shots were covered with tape and the jackets were beautifully tattered; that made it easier after a while to pull records.”
“The program will be multifaceted,” DJ Shadow explains. “Bambaataa as artist, exploring the influence of his classics like ‘Planet Rock;’ Bambaataa as collector, and the genre-defining breaks he discovered; and Bambaataa as peacemaker and force for social change. He influenced an entire generation worldwide, so we feel a great obligation to get it right.”
Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow had the full support and blessing of the tour from Afrika Bambaataa himself. “I call on all who love Hip-Hop to come out, see them, hear them,”says the Godfather. “My story is our history in DJing.”