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DJ :: Blog

Spinderella's First Spin

Wednesday, February 22: 10:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
DJ Spinderella demonstrates the art of DJing with vinyl

On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, Spinderella – the Grammy Award–winning DJ, producer, rapper and writer – appeared in the Museum's Foster Theater for a live interview and DJ demo performance. Over the course of an hour-long interview with Director of Education Jason Hanley, Spinderella talked about her career, influences and more.

As a true hip-hop pioneer, Spinderella rocked the turntables as a member of Salt-n-Pepa, the iconic female rap group that would sell more than 15 million albums and singles worldwide. Her career started before she even finished high school.

"I didn't set out to be a DJ," said Spinderella, recalling how her first interest in music came from poring over her father's vinyl collection. "I was in high school. I was in the cafeteria, going to lunch, and a young lady just came up to me and was like, 'Would you want to DJ for a girl group?'" At that time, Spinderella aka Dee Dee Roper was still new to DJing, learning a few tricks from her high school boyfriend, who she accompanied on gigs. Soon, she began spinning on her own.

"Everyone had heard about me DJing – and that was a very rare thing back ...


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Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "The Message"

Wednesday, January 25: 2:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's "The Message" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler) didn't want to make "The Message." His emcees, the Furious Five, apart from Melle Mel (Melvin Glover), thought it was a bad idea. But when this grim slice of urban journalism hit in the summer of 1982, it was as inevitable as Woody Guthrie once had been: It was politics taken to the streets. Until "The Message," rap had been largely celebratory music, reflecting its block-party roots. When Sugar Hill Records eminence Sylvia Robinson pushed for "The Message" – ultimately a collaboration between Glover and studio percussionist Duke Bootee (Ed Fletcher) – the others balked: who wanted to take their problems to the dance floor? Still, the song took off, reaching an audience that had once dismissed rap as idle boasting, countering such notions with lead rapper Melle Mel's repeated, weary conclusion: It’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under. For all its success, though, the song had its detractors. While many considered it the greatest rap statement of all time, others called it a sop for white people. However, like most groundbreaking records, "The Message" transcended the rhetoric. It cleared the way for a new kind ...


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Jump To It: DJs Pay Tribute to Aretha Franklin

Tuesday, October 25: 1:45 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
MC Lyte pays tribute to Aretha Franklin

With a career that spans more than 50 years and a catalog of music that embraces gospel, rock, jazz, blues, funk, pop standards and more, Aretha Franklin earned the royal sobriquet the Queen of Soul with her passionate, expressive musicianship. Franklin's influence is expansive, her music resonating with generations, breaking down style barriers and fostering an eclectic appreciation of sonic possibilities. In celebration of Franklin's lasting impact, on Friday, November 4 at 8:30 pm, the House of Blues Cleveland will transform into a hotbed of soul, R&B and dance, as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum presents Jump To It, welcoming internationally recognized DJs MC Lyte, Mick Boogie and O-Dub to spin a lively mix of classic Aretha Franklin tracks and cuts by the soul and R&B purveyors who followed her lead.

"I can remember the first time I saw Aretha Franklin perform 'Respect' in the Blues Brothers film," says MC Lyte. "It was my favorite scene in the movie! She commanded attention with a no-nonsense attitude. I loved it!" For more than 20 years, the multi-talented MC Lyte has been a creative force in the world of hip-hop and beyond. Her ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Exclusive Interviews, Event
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