This is the spot where you’ll get to hear from the man himself–The legendary Egyptian Lover. He’ll be dropping science on all you youngsters about his journey back in the day and todays hip hop scene. Each month he’ll share his stories, his views and opinions on hip hop.
Written by – Egyptian Lover
This month I am going to tell you how it was in the 80’s when Uncle Jam’s Army gave dances for 10,000 party people. It all started with High School dances at lunch time, then local parties at Hotels, then auditorium parties that held 2,500 people, then the Big One The L.A. Sports Arena. The main guy in Uncle Jam was Roger Clayton and he was the brains behind the way we promoted the dances. He made the commercials (That was off the Hook) and also programmed the music for the parties. He was the one who taught me about how to rock a party.
“Don’t play the hot songs first” because then you wont have anything eles to play the rest of the night. So I learned how to play the new songs first, just to see if the crowd liked it enough to play in the main set. Then we would play all the slow tempo songs about 100 bpm.
Then there was the Prince Set. I had to play all the Prince music. It was my favorite. I played “Let’s Work”, “Head”, “Lady Cab Driver”, “Irresistible Bitch”,”Erotic City”, “When Doves Cry”, “Kiss”, any and everything he and his friends put out. Exspecially “Free World” by Jessie Johnson. This song touched me so much I did my own version of it called “Freak-A-Holic”. This is where I got my freaky style from. The Prince era was incredible. I wanted to be the Prince of Rap. So I did. I learned how to make my own beats, music, words, record lable, distribution, and did it all by myself. Just as Prince would have done if he was not with Warner Brothers.
I mixed those records with passion and you could tell that I really put my all in it. There was even word that Prince use to listen to KDAY to hear my mixes of his music. The mixes were so popular that KDAY had to record some and put them in regular rotation.
As if it was a real song mixed that way. My name was on the radio all the time. As a D.J. for Uncle Jam’s Army and also a D.J. who mixed “Irresistible Bitch” by Prince. But when they played it on the radio they said “Here’s Irresistible Bitch by Prince and The Egyptian Lover”. Everyone thought I was making records with Prince.
WOW! Those were the days. I owe a lot to Uncle Jam’ Army and KDAY for giving me my start.
Back to the programing…
After the Prince set- then we went into the hot Hip Hop songs, Run DMC, Whodini, Kurtis Blow, and a few R&B songs thrown in if they were hot. Then came the fast stuff. Planet Rock, Electric Kingdom, And the Beat goes On, Scorpio, and all the 128 BPM songs. That is when the Party hit the highest peak. Just to see all 10,000 party people freakin’ was a sight to see. “Freakin” that was the dance we did called “The Freak”. Everybody did this dance. It was the best way to meet a girl also. Grinding on one another for 6 or 7 songs in a row can make ya fall in love. Then ya got the gangsters thanking you for playing the Parlament Funkadelic songs, and the Mod crews thanking you for playing the Prince stuff, and the freaks thanking you for playing Rick James, Bar Kays, Con Funk Shun, One Way, Gap Band, Herbie Hancock, and all the other stuff we played during our mid tempo set. If you were at an Uncle Jam’s Army Dance then your life was changed. Uncle Jam Parties changed my life. It made me want to become a D.J. and make records. After hearing Kraftwerk at an Uncle Jam Party I knew that was the style for me. First I heard the record from my high school sweetheart, then I heard it at Uncle Jams, then I heard Planet Rock and I was hooked. Egypt, Egypt was in the works.
I bought an 808. Only because Africa Islam told me that is what they used on Planet Rock, I went home and programmed all kinds of beats. I still own that 808 and 5 more since then. I can remember playing the 808 Live at the dances and the crowd would go wild.
I still do it to this day and they still go wild. I Love that Drum Machine.
Check out one of my D.J. Shows if you can. I’m touring all over.
O.K. I’m off to the record store to pick up some rare records… yes I still use vinyl. It’s the only thing for me.
See ya next month… when I talk about Vinyl vs. C.D.’s
The Egyptian Lover signing off.