The Power Of The Underground
The book, The Power Of The Underground 1989-1999, celebrates the 10th anniversary of DJAX Records.
In a galaxy far away called the underground, a soldier landed
with her spaceship Evoluon on planet Earth, eleven years ago. The ship was camouflaged as a museum for new
and fresh shit. This soldier started to grow and became a leader
in the fight. Now eleven years later she owns one of the worlds
strongest independent rebel bases: DJAX Records
Last century, 1999 DJAX had her 10th anniversary. Why are we so
damn late with writing about the book that was released to celebrate
this? Well you can blame it on HipHop time, Black time or on a Brabants half uurtje (Southern time). But the book traveled through the
hands from one reporter to the next and finally came to rest back
on my desk without an article. Thats why.
24k released two albums:
No Enemies and Wordz Yet Unspoken
It all started with her beliefs in a crew from Eindhoven down south in The Netherlands. 24 K, formed by the artist: E.N.B., ARC-S, Zar One and DJ Wan-2. Her faith paid off. It sold well. It was the beginning of more
and more classics.
"Bietet eine Menge an unglaublicher Eigenstandigkeit auf dem Hardcore-HipHop-Gebiet.
Die 14-kopfige Dope Posse hat mit dieserersten LP ihren Edelstein zum Euro-HipHop-Mosaik
sicher beigetragen und UK/USA gezeigt was Sache ist" IFE (Germany) 1991.
The Kay LC: Hard 2 Handle
"Hard 2 Handle was maanden voor haar release reeds een mijlpaal in de Nederlandse
HipHop historie. Nu is hij (Kay LC) zonder twijfel een van de vijf beste rappers in Nederland."
OOR, Kees de Koning (The Netherlands) 1992.
Sadly, in spite of the title No Enemies, the rise of Dutch HipHop tumbled down. Caused by envy and a
lot of other negative facets in the scene. A lot of peeps from
the bigger cities could not dig the fact that the Southside gave
them a run for their money with releases they could not match.
An album often overlooked is the Amsterdam compilation album produced by executive producer Zebulon Buckaneers, released in 1992. The album features artists like Divine King, Mark 1, ScratchE-Con, Lethal Frequency and of course Zebulon.
"When they come to write the history of house and techno, DJAX-Up-Beats will surely have their own chapter." Magic Feet 1997 Max Renn.
Miss Djax spinning wax
What she wants
Meanwhile Miss DJAX also started to focus on a new different sound:
House. As a DJ she became very successful and even more famous abroad
than in her home country. In 1991 she received her first invitation
for a gig abroad. In the House scene she got a reputation for
innovative and hard headed sounds. She just kept on doing and
still is doing what she wants. "I just refuse to go the accepted way. I want to develop my own
musical ideas, without following any trend. I hate predictability," says Miss DJAX in an interview with Penthouse Holland, February 1999.
She stopped concentrating on releasing HipHop in the English languages.
She did release Black Orpheus and Phat Pockets with The Hustle Goes On. The albums did not do that well. For two years E-Life had a contract with his band Dope Syndicate but never used it. E-Life: "Time wasnt ready." And the first break beat record should have been by DJ Oh Jay. But somehow the master was never finished. That explains also
the strange gap in the catalogue numbers, check the story in the
book. Some years later she started to release a new series of
records: DJAX Break Beats. With cats like Zebulon, Seda, P.W.B., DJ Alien, DJ Loes Lee and Meander. Great scratch and mix albums wrapped in designs that made every
release even a pleasure for your eyes.
Supposed to be
Osdorp Posse: Afslag Osdorp
"The Next thing that makes storm is the native Dutch rappers.
After the success of Osdorp Posse and the compilation CD De Posse, the stream grows as fast as
flue virus. For all you Dutch immigrants who are interested contact
DJAX." Flavor Magazine (USA) 1995.
Through a common girlfriend, DJAX received a demo tape, The Red One, of some kids called the Osdorp Posse. That posse made already some noise after their appearances on
VPROs TV program Firma Onrust. These kids were rapping in their native Dutch on a serious
level and not as a gimmick. In that time Def Rhymes was known for rapping in Dutch as part of his show. But nobody
thought it could be serious. "Rapping in our native language? No way! HipHop was supposed to
be in English!" Was often the opinion. But DJAX wouldnt be DJAX if she would
give a fuck what the general opinion was.
She contacted them and offered a contract. Def P: "I thought this would be the only chance ever to make a record
so I wanted to put all my ideas on it. Because after this record
there would never be a second chance." May the 20th 1992 the first Osdorp Posse CD Osdorp Stijl was released. Osdorp would become the best selling and biggest
HipHop crew in The Netherlands. In total, the crew sold over 150.000
CDs. They inspired many new artists and there were many imitators.
A birth ground
A new genre was born, called: Nederhop. In general, its just HipHop. But some releases and bands are
so damn wack you really dont want to call it HipHop, while saying
that I have to admit that there are fans for every release who
digg it. And that is the power of DJAX Records. She releases a
lot of different sounds without compromising. By doing that the
company is a birth ground for new talent who have artistic and
textual freedom, something what they cant find any where else
op deze schijf blijkt dat de meest bescheiden HipHop
crew van België een goudmijn is van talent, creativiteit en vooral
orginaliteit. RifRaf (België) 1998.
ABN from Belgium released two CDs: Abnormaal
"Het DJAX label is steeds blijven geloven in de leefbaarheid van
de Nederhop en daar mogen we hen dankbaar voor zijn." Teek (Belgium) 1996.
Reading the book gives you a good overview over the last eleven
years and what DJAX is all about. With a good lay out and design
printed in a high quality its also a must for your eyes. The
whole story is written in two languages: English and guess what?
Japanese! Included in the book is a mini CD giving you an overview of
the DJAX sounds.
Tried to ban
You will not hear any release of DJAX any time soon on the popular
radio stations. Even the Spookrijders got boycotted at TMF while their song was a hit on the radio and on The Box. Sometimes funny things happen. The Osdorp Posse who wrote songs
as Dood Aan De Radio (Kill The Radio) released their CD Afslag Osdorp, it became the CD that broke down a lot of barriers for them.
From a news article: "
even checken bij disc-jockey Corne Klijn de opvolger van Frits Spits op Radio 3: "Schreeuwt Osdorp Posse nog steeds moederneuker?" Informeert
hij. "Dan kunnen ze het in Hilversum wel schudden. Ik ken geen presentator die dat op prime time zal
laten horen. Wat er gebeurt als-ie het wel doet? Dan is het afgelopen
met zijn carriere!" Trouw (The Netherlands) Jolan Douwes 1995.
It was also the time that DJAX switched from Rhythm Distributions to EMI Distributions. They marketed it well. It became the CD of the day. On that same station: Radio 3. That same radio station the
Posse chanted Dood Aan De Radio. Image that you turn on the
radio to check the news and you hear a song of a band that the
powers that be tried to ban as much as possible from the airwaves?
Took me a while before I was convinced that it really was on the
acts from DJAX clashes with the authorities. In the book you can find
out some more about the whole fight between the Spookrijders
and the Amsterdam Police Force. Illustrated some years earlier,
1992, in Weer Is De Smeris by Def P: "Smerissen
zijn er om de orde te bewaren/maar sommige zijn zelf de oorzaak van
gevaren/bij een demonstratie of opstand in de stad slaan ze met knuppels
willekeurig mensen plat".
When HipHop was brand new we were boycotted and never taken serious.
In the year 2G we are still are boycotted and not taken serious.
In all the years that followed, we learned that its not something
that only happens to HipHop music, it was proven that honest and
pure music, especially black/multi cultural music always bumps
into a wall that protects the powers that be. If you dont bow
down and compromise to their demands, you will get boycotted.
You can start a discussion or try to work with it. However, if
there is no respect for what it is, what we are and what we make,
than there is no reason for a dialog. It takes great people that
say fuck it and just do it because they believe in it. Miss DJAX
proved that you dont need Hilversum or any of the many middlemen
or to make any concessions to make good music and to do your thing.
DJAX Records: The power of the underground. 1989-1999. Let her
book be a source of inspiration for all of you rebels out there.
P.O. BOX 2408
5600 CK Eindhoven
© 1999 ART12/VanderHoek Publishing. All rights reserved.