Yo, Babies

Hip-hop's next generation learns to beatbox

Catch DJ Stegosaurus in human form Saturday at Mohawk.
Catch DJ Stegosaurus in human form Saturday at Mohawk.

He looked certifiable at the time, but Ol' Dirty Bastard now sounds prophetic rushing the stage at the 1998 Grammys to tell the world, “Wu-Tang is for the children.” Like all misunderstood geniuses, ODB was simply ahead of his time. A decade later, a generation who grew up on the Wu’s poisonous paragraphs is pushing 30 (holler!), and three decades after the birth of hip-hop, Rev Run is known more for his parenting skills. It was inevitable: hip-hop for babies.

This month saw the release of Dino 5, a concept album dreamed up by legendary producer Prince Paul. Five rapping dinosaur kids start a hip-hop band to play in the school talent show and, of course, teach life lessons along the way. Don’t cringe yet, check the lineup: Chali 2Na of Jurassic 5 as MC T-Rex; Ladybug Mecca of Digable Planets as Tracy Triceratops; Wordsworth as Billy Brontosaurus; Scratch from the Roots as Teo the Beatboxing Pterodactyl; and Prince Paul as DJ Stegosaurus. Now that’s a supergroup!

The baby dinos learn that just because MC T-Rex is big and scary, he’s really pretty nice. He’s also no joke on the mic and his cousins Pos and Dave (of De La Soul fame) drop by for a bouncy track about jumping up and down. Hip-hop hasn’t been this playful since 3 Feet High and Rising.

Kids have also been freaking out to Nickelodeon’s hippest underage dance party, Yo Gabba Gabba, which recently got the green light for a second season. The show, hosted by the boombox-toting DJ Lance Rock, features sporadic beatboxing lessons from Biz Markie and sage advice like, “Don’t Bite Your Friends.” Now that’s keeping it real.

DJ Stegosaurus – er, Prince Paul – plays Saturday at Mohawk.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Dino 5, Prince Paul, Yo Gabba Gabba

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