The medium and the message

The medium and the message

Correction appended

If you caught the Beetnix show at Starr Hill last weekend, you got to see an opener who is very much affiliated with the group. The Supreme Council features turntablist DJ B-Easy, and rappers Scheem and Anonamys.

Anonamys says that his music, along with the Beetnix, tries hard to reinvigorate real hip-hop. “Hip-hop is not about materialism. It is about unity. We want to bring a positive energy back to it. And in that way, we want to try and reach out to kids and adults who have been influenced by true hip-hop.” Anonamys has been taking his message on the road, and last year toured from New Haven, Connecticut, to Panama City, Florida. He is also working on an upcoming Florida tour.

Turntablist DJ B-Easy is a big fan of the soundtrack to Unforgiven—and he’s got that Clint Eastwood stare down pat.

But it might be easier to check out his music on his second CD, The Interview, which was released earlier this month. Anonamys came in first in a showcase at Rapture, and he won a record deal with independent label AudioState.  Anonamys brought in nine producers for the 10 tracks, and Glitch from the Beetnix acted as executive producer on the project. You can find it at both Plan 9s, but also at a number of stores that carry a selection of underground hip-hop CDs. Both locations of Charlottesville Players stores will carry the disc, as well as Sexshuns on the Downtown Mall. You can also check out Anonamys’ new video at www.anonamys.com.

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The owner of Charlottesville Players, Quinton Harrell, says that he keeps about 100 CDs of underground hip-hop, R&B, reggae, reggaeton and go-go in stock at one time. As far as product, he says, “I have DJs who keep me on the cutting edge of what’s new.” Currently, he has a smaller number of Charlottesville-based DJs’ music in stock than he has in the past.

At the turntables on an Anonamys gig is DJ B-Easy. “I don’t do too many parties anymore, because I am not too big on Top 40. But whenever Anonamys goes out, I am there.” The two have been friends for close to 10 years. B-Easy has been DJ’ing for the past five years, but he really got turned on to hip hop music when he was 14 and bought his first mix tape at Charlottesville Players.

B-Easy says that since he bought that tape, he has studied a lot about spinning and making remixes. He has also kept up on what is going on with hip-hop music. He used to release more of his own music on tape. “In the past, I have put about 20 CDs with five remixes on each one. But my skills weren’t up to par, so lately I have gotten tighter with what I put out.” B-Easy decided that he wanted to wait until his product is absolutely perfect, and currently, he only has one piece of music available, a remix of the soundtrack to Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.

“I love that movie,” says B-Easy. “I try to use the themes, or I will find a really powerful phrase, and I’ll drop the beat right there.”

B-Easy has always had respect for the Beetnix. “They have so much energy.” And like that band, he always tries to be very conscious about what message is portrayed in his own music. 

At his shows, Easy will typically bring four crates of LPs. He goes record shopping most often at the Albemarle Plan 9, as well as a shop called DJs R Us off Broad Street in Richmond.  For a Supreme Council show though, he will usually use CDs instead of LPs.

Look for DJ B-Easy at upcoming Supreme Council gigs, and possibly in a slot on WNRN’s Boombox. You can also find him at crafts fairs in the area selling walking sticks that he likes to create.

Also, look for an unplugged performance by the Beetnix at Gravity Lounge on May 12. The band will also open for Guru next month in Chapel Hill.

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DJ B-Easy’s Influences: “That first mix tape that I bought was by Geo-Roc from Queens, New York, and it is still very much an influence on my music. It was a strong remix of a cappella over instrumentals, which is also what I do.” He was also influenced by mix tapes that he picked up by DJ Green Lantern from New York City, and Cosmic Strictly Skillz Kev out of Philly.

Correction March 20, 2007:

In the March 13 Plugged In column, it was announced that Beetnix would play at the Gravity Lounge on March 31. The actual date of the show is May 12. [This has been corrected]

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