Hip-hop's next generation learns to beatbox
By Thomas Fawcett,
1:35PM, Tue. Apr. 15, 2008
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.