Editor’s note: It’s our great pleasure to present another excellent guest pelanguero: our homie and goalkeeper
DJ Smokestack. Smokestack is an Oakland based B-boy, DJ, and avid funk connoisseur, and if you haven’t already heard his compilation of Bollywood disco, Shitala, you need to ask somebody. Along with crews Forever We Rock/Horsepower, Smokestack represents a rich tradition of b-boying fundamentals in Northern California. You can read about his record-digging adventures here:
For even the infrequent reader of La Pelanga, it’s clear there’s only one rival to the “Pelanga” flavor they bring – the beautiful game of futbol! Of course, on this first guest post I want to keep that flavor going, but gotta first pay homage to what initially connected me with the folks – playing pick-up ball in the park.
Though basketball is the undisputed champion of the hip hop aesthetic in the US, there is definitely a voice for those who, like me, like to juggle a soccer ball to the sounds of the Dungeon Family or Hieroglyphics. Professor Whaley of San Francisco’s Bored Stiff crew is one such voice. Waley, a veteran in the Bay Area’s public school classrooms and rap scene, rhymes with much swagger, while also possessing some often missing ingredients in today’s hip hop charts – a real grassroots commitment to social justice and integrity (ouch!).
While P-Way’s 2000 “From All Angles” full length is quality straight through, my attention today goes to “Copa Mundial”, the first song that truly merged my love for futbol and rap music. I may not have grown up playing ball in the Bay Area, but Copa gives me the chance to reminisce on my own teenage glory days in Texas and imagine what it would be like to grow up having your style of play influenced by such cultural diversity!
P-Way lays it down simply…”more people play soccer than football, basketball, and baseball combined”. While this is just cold fact, sadly in the US there still lingers an ignorant soccer-hating mentality, bred from latent american-centrism. Though it’s clear the sport continues to make advancements in the popular and collective conscious of the US, there is much ground to cover in order to foster a true sense of love for the game in the country as a whole.
All that aside, the music itself is solid, blending a nice mix of conga, afoxe, and other latin percussion with tinges of P-Way’s own dubbed-out trumpet playing and a bass heavy hip hop production style. If you’re feelin’ it, there’s a free download online along with the full album and other Bored Stiff productions…