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.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Prince Paul
SXSW Music: Lucky No. 7 List
SXSW Music: Lucky No. 7 List
Action Bronson, Deerhoof, Laura Marling, and 160 more

Kevin Curtin, Feb. 13, 2015

SXSW Live Shot: Stones Throw DJ Night
SXSW Live Shot: Stones Throw DJ Night
Four waxmen wear their grooves OUT

Thomas Fawcett, March 16, 2014

More by Thomas Fawcett
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
Dallas Acid blows some bubbles, KUTX remembers the Armadillo, and more music for the moment

Aug. 14, 2020

Colombian Folkloric Post-Punks Nemegata Drop Four-Star Debut
Colombian Folkloric Post-Punks Nemegata Drop Four-Star Debut
Local trio finds the fire of the jaguar

July 3, 2020


Dino 5, Prince Paul, Yo Gabba Gabba

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle