Malcolm McLaren, hip hop, punk & colonization

Malcolm McLaren died on April 8, 2010.

He was best known for managing punk icons, The Sex Pistols, and glam rockers, The New York Dolls, but was also very influential in bringing hip hop to the mainstream in the early 1980s in collaboration with the World Famous Supreme Team.

As McLaren explains in a recording featured in a tribute mix by DJ Premier, he was introduced to hip hop in New York after approaching one of the original hip hop DJs, Afrika Bambaataa, on the street because Bambaataa was wearing a Sex Pistols t-shirt.

Family members reported that McLaren’s last words before he died were “Free Leonard Peltier”, a Lakota/Anishinabe warrior imprisoned for decades in the U.S because of his involvement in the American Indian Movement (AIM).

McLaren’s former partner had made “Free Leonard Peltier” t-shirts and his step-son was wearing one at the time. His other son reported he was proud of his step-son for supporting Peltier.

www.whoisleonardpeltier.info

McLaren had been inspired by the anti-state communist group the Situationists in the 1960s and had tried to go to Paris to take part in the rebellion of May ’68 there.

Afrika Bambaataa was a former member of the Black Spades street gang in the South Bronx who was inspired by the anti-colonial resistance of the Zulu people in Africa against the British and decided to use his DJ skills to build the hip hop culture and the Universal Zulu Nation organization as a positive alternative to standard street gang life. In Bambaataa’s song, Renegades of Funk, North American indigenous Lakota warrior Sitting Bull is mentioned.

The hiphop-influenced rock group, Rage Against The Machine, did a popular cover of Renegades of Funk, as well as producing their own song, Freedom, about Leonard Peltier.

Leonard Peltier, and more recently fellow AIM warrior John Graham, were both extradited from Vancouver to the U.S. under fraudulent circumstances as part of the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) of repression against indigenous resistance and other resistance movements.

For more about John Graham see:

ourfreedom.wordpress.com

grahamdefense.org

DJ Premier speaks well of the connection between the rebellious nature of punk and hip hop in his tribute mix to McLaren.

Another connection was made by the group the Beastie Boys who started off as a hardcore punk group and soon integrated hip hop into their repertoire, and who are now the longest continuously running group in both genres. The  Beastie Boys and the hardcore movement itself had been largely inspired by the Bad Brains, an all-Black jazz-fusion and reggae group who played a major part in creating the new hardcore style. Part of the hardcore movement was a reaction against the negative and self-destructive aspects of punk and tried to create a more positive culture as an alternative, in some ways mirroring the evolution of Bambataa’s movement. Both hip hop and the hardcore scene inspired by the Bad Brains have roots in part inspired by Jamaican dub and deejaying.

To listen to DJ Premier’s tribute mix for Malcolm McLaren go here:

Malcolm McLaren Tribute Mix by DJ Premier at mixcloud

Or here:

Malcolm McLaren Tribute Mix by DJ Premier at usershare

Tracks:

Malcolm McLaren – It Was A New York Phenomenon
Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK
Malcolm McLaren – Zulu Nation Party Interview
The World Famous Supreme Team Show – World Famous Supreme Team Show on (WHBI) #1
World Famous Supreme Team – Buffalo Gals
World Famous Supreme Team – World Famous Supreme Team Show on (WHBI) #2
World Famous Supreme Team – World’s Famous
World Famous Supreme Team – Do Ya Like Scratchin’? (Feat. Malcolm McLaren)
Malcolm McLaren – Let It Flow (Do Ya Like Scratchin’?) (Feat. KRS-One)
Malcolm McLaren – Seeing Bow Wow Wow Show (Live)
Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy
Malcolm McLaren – 42nd Street
World Famous Supreme Team – She’s Looking Like A Hobo
Art Of Noise – Beat Box (Original Version)
Art Of Noise – Close (To The Edit)
Malcolm McLaren – El San Juanera
Yes – Owner Of A Lonely Heart
Yes – Leave It
Art Of Noise – Moments In Love
World Famous Supreme Team – Hey DJ
Malcolm McLaren – Shout Out (Feat. Burn One & Forrest Gump)

And here’s what DJ Premier wrote about McLaren to go along with the tribute:

THIS WEEK’S SHOW IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MALCOLM McLAREN WHO PASSED AWAY APRIL 8, 2010….THIS MAN GAVE BIRTH TO MANAGING THE LEGENDARY AND REBELLIOUS “SEX PISTOLS” IN 1977 AS WELL AS “BOW WOW WOW” AND LATER EXPOSING THIS HIP HOP CULTURE TO EUROPE AND PUTTING OUT THE HISTORIC LP WITH THE “WORLD FAMOUS SUPREME TEAM RADIO SHOW ON WHBI IN NEW JERSEY WITH JUSTICE ALLAH THE SUPERSTAR C AND DIVINE….

HIS INFLUENCE TO MAKE HIP HOP BE RESPECTED WORLDWIDE GAVE US FROM CLASSIC HITS, TO RESPECTING THE MC AND THE DJ BY RECORDS LIKE “BUFFALO GALS”, “DUCK ROCK”, “SHE’S LOOKING LIKE A HOBO”, “HEY DJ” AND MANY OTHERS…HE MOVED ON TO WORK WITH JEFF BECK AND BOOTSY COLLINS AND WAS AN ADVISOR TO THE BRITISH ARTIST ADAM ANT AND WAS AN ORIGINAL FASHION DESIGNER THAT REFLECTS ON THE CLOTHES THAT PEOPLE ARE ROCKIN’ IN THE GENERATION TODAY…….

TEAMING UP WITH TREVOR HORN ON THE PRODUCTION TRANSFERRED THE MUSIC AND THE BIG BREAK BEATS INTO ARTISTS GETTING A NEW STYLE OF MAKING RECORDS WITH GROUPS LIKE “ART OF NOISE”(Beat Box, Moments In Love, Close To The Edit), “YES”(Owner Of  A Lonely Heart, Leave It)…..ON BEHALF OF THE CREW FROM LIVE FROM HQ, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN AND SHOWING THE MUSIC BUSINESS THAT REBELS ALWAYS GET THEIR POINT ACROSS WHEN THEY CLOSE THE DOORS ON US AND WE DON’T NEED AN INVITE TO THE PARTY…..WE INVITE OURSELVES AND WE ALWAYS GET IN !!!!
REST IN PEACE !……………..dj premier

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