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Live Music At The Zebra Cocktail Lounge – Raggae, VJ/DJs, Hip Hop

Lots going on this week at the Zebra, something for everyone.  Reggae with Yabba Griffiths, World Champion VJ DJ Crime, and Black Mask returns with Living Legend Scarub

yabba griffiths
via Zebra Cocktail Lounge

Thursday, April 14th

Reggae -  Yabba Griffiths – www.yabbagriffiths.com

Tix $4 @ the door

A multi-talented musician whose repertoire includes vocalist, songwriter, performer, arranger, bandleader, guitarist and producer, Marcus Yabba Griffiths was born in Manchester Parish, Jamaica, and from age 11 he lived in Kingston. A member of the vocal group, Gold Tones, Griffiths recorded a single entitled “Girl Exposer” for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle Label, and caught the attention of Rendford Cogle (songwriter for the Melodians). Cogle wrote “Lock Love Away” for Griffiths to sing on Sonia Pottinger’s Hi-Note label and, in 1969, the song went to #8 on the Top Ten charts in Jamaica. This same year he recorded a song for Clancy Eccles, “Don’t Break The Heart That Love You,” and later re-recorded the song – and another which was never released – for Clement “Coxsone” Dodd of Studio One.   Moving from singing to playing quitar as a studio musician, Griffiths worked with the great musicians and singers of Jamaica – Bunny Wailer, Soul Syndicate, Gregory Isaacs, Roots Radics, Carlton and Family Man Barrett, Winston Wright, Lynn Taitt, Jackie Mittoo, Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar, The Tamlins, Bobby Colphat, and many others.   Griffiths joines Charles Hannah and The Graduates in 1972, and 1974 found him touring Jamaica with Solid Foundation. During this time, he recorded the first version of his big hit, “Devil Woman,” featuring the Tamlins; Devil Woman was released as a single in the U.S. and U.K. in 1976 and captured “hit song” status in metropolitan New York and Chicago.   In 1976, he toured the U.S. with Big Youth and the band Creation. After the tour ended he joined the Black Eagles (now known as Morgan Heritage), then moved to New York City in 1977 to form Yahtova (God Love). Still based in New York, Griffiths, with Patrick “Shaka” Hochen, founded Traxx in 1979; Griffiths and Traxx relocated to Chicago, IL., in 1980, briefly joining forces with Aligator Records.   Marcus Yabba Griffiths & Traxx released its first album, Thrill of Victory, in 1986 on the New York based Gysai Label; Thrill of Victory was named one of the best new albums of the year in Europe. During the summer of 1989, Griffiths met producer Greg Errico, a founding member of Sly & The Family Stone, and Errico produced Traxx’s second album, Reviver, recorded in Sausalito, CA.   Griffiths’ third album, Only Yabba, was recorded in 1997 and released in 1998 on Myjaki Records; Only Yabba features 11 songs including “Baby Sugar,” a re-make of “Devil Woman.” Good Reggae Music, and ep-cd featuring four songs, was released in 2000 on Griffiths’ Su-Cram Records label.

dj crime
via Zebra Cocktail Lounge

Friday, April 15th

Electro/Video Mashups – 2011 World VJ Champion DJ Crime with DJ Fresh Cutz –

Tix $5 @ the door

When the words, “and now your 2011 World VJ CHALLENGE Champion in the discipline of Video DJ, DJ CRIME!” were announced at the 2011 awards ceremony of the Miami WMC VJ Challenge, a prestigious international event which sees competition between live sets, technological developments, conferences, video mixing and more audiences of fans and VJ’s from around the world became enraptured in the Video DJ movement.

Now in its 26th birthday, the Winter Music Conference in Miami brings together the biggest names in international music. The numbers speak for themselves for the 2010: 3763 registered participants from 70 countries and over 100,000 admissions for five days non-stop music, workshops and entertainment.

The story: Video Dj Veteran and producer DJ Crime, started from humble beginnings in Seattle Washington   For over 13 years, Hon Michael Rabbat (aka  DJ Crime) has been one of the foremost pioneers of the video electronic club music scene. He has successfully innovated the video mash-up to new heights, while remaining on the cutting edge of all video mixing technology. It all began when he started DJing electronic club and rave warehouse parties in downtown Seattle. At first it was like a fantasy, insane parties, drugs, girls but like everything good it had to come to an end. “after a while the illegal warehouse rave scene just became so sketch, parties kept getting busted, cops threatening to seize my records, dj equipment, pay, it was just time to move on.” It was around this time that video was first introduced to Dj Crime. “My friend owned Pete’s nightclub and they had one of the first DVD video systems in America installed”. Dj Crime got his start. He learned video editing out of necessity but it soon became a valuable tool in his arsenal. “The only problem was they weren’t that many clubs DVD ready, so It made touring as a DVDJ and playing my mash-ups for crowds nearly impossible.” He then continued his relentless performing and touring as a DJ until he was able to purchase his very own DVD Turntables. After touring a bit, he soon found his way to the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada.   At first the goings was rough, a new city, limited budget and no solid connections. “I was literally down to my last couple hundred dollars, if I didn’t get a DJ gig soon, I was gonna have to stiff my roommate on rent, move back to Seattle, and re-think my career choice.” During a chance meeting he met legendary dance producer Mo, who saw DJ Crime’s unique video talent as the future of the DJ world and was able to land Crime his first Video DJ residency at the brand new Rum Jungle inside the Mandalay Bay. After he got his start he never looked back and has literally stayed on the forefront of the Las Vegas video scene, creating new content for all types of new clients. All of a sudden, every club in Vegas was adding flat screens and video projectors to their clubs and they needed a steady flow of content for promotions, commercials, advertisements, video fliers, and almost any type of media you could think.  As video became more and more mainstream so did the demand for his services. Futuristic video clubs started popping up all over the US, and Crime was getting booked to headline the red carpet grand opening celebrations. This meant more work for DJ Crime as these new clubs began hiring Crime directly to program and create custom video content for their highly elaborate video systems. Many clubs are still utilizing his custom content to this day. Within the club elite inner circles, it soon became clear that if you wanted high quality video production and performance, DJ Crime was the man for the Job.  If you have the chance to see DJ Crime perform it will sure to be an experience you will soon not forget. Touring is tough work and still eager to earn a bigger name in the industry he took his game to the battle circuit as he found out about the VJ Challenge in 2009.  In 2010 he competed and earned 2nd place, this only fueled the fire to succeed harder. However, after he competed, the very best video djs in the world also found out about the VJ challenge and decided to enter themselves. For the first time ever there was a clash of the video titans in 2011. In the end it was DJ Crime who walked away the victorious. “He Charlie Sheened us, juggled and scratched, very DJ style, hitting every technique,” said judge Justin Kent. The victory of DJ Crime in Miami once again confirms his unique niche as a pioneer and legend in the world of Video DJs.

black mask
via Zebra Cocktail Lounge

Saturday, April 16th

Hip Hop – Black Mask with Scarub of Living Legends

Tix $7 @ the door

When he wasn’t watching Yo MTV Raps of Pump it Up, Scarub, like many other L.A. hip hop heads, grew up listening to the all hip hop radio station, KDAY.  It was during these early years that Scarub first gave himself the name Quaz (the kid who did), and later Mudd Foot, before settling on Scarub as hi mic moniker.  Scarub first hit the stage during an 8th grade talent show and he hasn’t looked back since.  As a student at L.A.’s Hamilton High, Scarub hooked up with fellow students Eligh and Murs and the trio formed The 3 Melancholy Gypsys or 3MG.  Scarub, like the rest of 3MG, eventually made the move up to the Bay Area where he hooked up with Mystik Journeymen and was put down the The Living Legends crew.    BLACK MASK: In the summer of 2006, nine friends formed the original Black Mask and band with Maulskull, America Smith, B-Nuggs, INfluence, Noby One, Joe Kirschner, Dean Wakerlin, Dustin Thompkins and Milton Minasko to play their very first shows in a bar constructed entirely from ice on the slopes of Big Sky Montana and the Zebra Cocktail Lounge in Bozeman Montana before touring the northwest and playing local Zebra shows with artists like Louis Logic and J.J. Brown, Josh Martinez, The Flobots, Verbal Kent of the Molemen, The Let Go Crew, Nappy Roots, Del, Tha Liks, RJD2, Gza, Shwayze, Awol One, Abstract Rude, Wu Tang, Souls of Mischief, Yin Yang Twins, Tame One, Mix Master Mike, Sleep, 2Mex, Hiero, Grieves and many others. The Black Mask originally performed with a six piece band with drums, keys, guitar, bass, triggers and turntables as well as three mc’s. After releasing an entirely free album titled, “Free.P.” and the followup titled “Facade Dreadnaught” with guest appearances from Moka Only, Josh Martinez and Verbal Kent, Black Mask downsized to strictly an mc/dj/production outfit with Maulskull on beats and lyrics, INfluence and Noby One on dj/production, B-Nuggs and America Smith on lyrics as well as long time friend/rapper/beatmaker Mic-B and Joe Kirschner on Keys for recording the album, “Serious Joke” which included guest appearances from Celph Titled, Eternia, Louis Logic, Tha Alkoholiks and Verbal Kent of the Molemen. By the summer of 2009, after a twisted tour schedule, an eviction, two nights in jail, Maulskull and America Smith being homeless and the rest of the group barely on speaking terms, it was time for a change, so after securing reliable sofa surfing spots and enough loot and support from Jeremiah at Jereco Studios in Bozeman Montana, Maulskull and America Smith went to work on a new album along side newcomer, Raph aka Stanlee Sprinkle to create “Ugly Stick” completed in the spring of 2010 with guests Sleep and Josh Martinez and 14 tracks of a brand new style from the mask. The trio of lyricists now sit on top of Maulskull’s finest productions to date with a list of unique song concepts and a new style and approach to hip hop music. Black Mask is infinite on its quest for hip hop re-definition and stays in their new Denver recording studio and on the road almost constantly so expect good things from them in the coming years most definitely.

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