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As of November 8th, 2010, Milwaukee UP has officially made the move to OnMilwaukee.com.  This WordPress account will stay active as an archive of everything written before November 8th.

Please visit the new (On)Milwaukee UP by following THIS LINK.

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Milwaukee UP is moving.  MOVING?!  Yes, moving (and it’s a good thing)!

Let me step back and explain what’s going on here.

I started this blog a little over 8 months ago after 3 things took place.

1.)  Dana Coppa talked about the lack of coverage Milwaukee Hip-Hop gets in his interview with Milwaukee’s AV Club.

2.)  Rapper SPEAK Easy told me that I have a lot of good thoughts about stuff and that I should take some of the stuff that I’ve learned from my limited success and share it with the public at large.

3.)  While he was in Austin, attending SXSW, Tarik Moody of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee threatened me with physical harm if I didn’t start a proper blog after I decided to rant about something on Twitter.

That, in addition to my deep love of Milwaukee Hip-Hop and the scene, was enough to get the ol’ wheels a turnin’ and Milwaukee UP was born.  At first, I didn’t honestly know what was going to happen with it.  I didn’t know if artists would take what I was doing seriously.  I didn’t know if people were honestly interested in reading about my thoughts on different topics.  I didn’t know if people, when it wasn’t time to be seen for popularity’s sake, were really interested in reading about Milwaukee Hip-Hop.

Well, even though there were so many questions floating around in my head, I began writing and quickly populated the blog with posts about how to not be racist, how to properly promote one’s music, how to book shows without counting on a promoter, and I started getting interviews from people within the scene.  Things kind of took off on me, and essentially I haven’t looked back since.

Within the first week or two, I found Milwaukee UP mentioned in articles by the Shepherd Express and Third Coast Digest, and I was asked by blogger Zillz of ZillaSays.com to join up with his website.  Within the first month or two, I received emails from the writers around the city of Milwaukee that I aspire to be like, complimenting the blog.  I even received emails from two people that I greatly respect that contained offers to write for their publications.  At this point, I was slightly overwhelmed with everything because I didn’t expect people to take what I had been doing, so seriously.  Sure, I was serious about it but I didn’t know that it would be looked upon as being something serious.  I turned one offer down and gave the other person enough reasons to rescind their offer.

Several months went by and post after post I saw a steady amount of traffic coming into the blog.  It wasn’t a ton, but it was enough to continually validate that there was a market for what I was doing.  It was just a matter of time for the word to get out more and more about the blog, and I had the patience to wait, to cultivate, to grow.  I by no means was/am perfect with Milwaukee UP and though I try to be unbiased, it was easy to tell what I really personally enjoyed and what I was posting about just to help pass around the information about its existence.  I know some people are probably upset with me about that, but as I always say, if you don’t think I’m doing a good enough job…please do better than me because I am not the end all, be all, answer to writing about Milwaukee Hip-Hop…not even in the slightest.  Through those several months I also tried to do my best to write for ZillaSays.com to gain more eyes from his national readers, but I was still trying to organize myself and I had to step away from the opportunity.

Bottom line, the main reason that I started Milwaukee UP was to get more eyes on what Milwaukee Hip-Hop was doing.  I wanted the eyes from both inside the city and outside of the city to have a place where they could go to whet their appetite so that they’d dig for more, and though the ZillaSays.com thing didn’t work out extraordinarily well, I know that it worked to some degree just as I know that there are people out there that found out about something going on in Milwaukee Hip-Hop solely through my blog.

That’s why when I was approached by OnMilwaukee.com a second time, after 8 months of doing the blog and finally understanding things much better than when I had begun, I had to jump at the opportunity being presented to me.  It’s nothing super-duper fancy…I’m not a staff writer, they didn’t give me the key to their business or anything like that.  But, what they did do is provide for Milwaukee UP a place that can potentially grab tens of thousands of eyes instead of hundreds of eyes, daily, in the market that YOU, the scene, primarily service and ask for support.  They provided a place for a steady Hip-Hop column that digs a little deeper and will hopefully fit in with their excellent writing about music, culture, and all that is Milwaukee.

So, effective as of this coming Monday, November 8th, OnMilwaukee.com will be featuring my writing and this Milwaukee UP WordPress account will become an accessible vault of all that was done previous to that date.  I hope that you transition over to OMC with me, and not only that, I hope you dig in to all of the Milwaukee publications that write about music and culture because there’s a lot of great stuff happening in Milwaukee no matter what statistics say about it.  For a scene to truly be a scene and a community to thrive, it’s crucial to be as involved as one possibly can be.

Shout outs to Bobby and OnMilwaukee.com; Steve and AV Club Milwaukee; Evan and the Shepherd Express; DJ of Fan-Belt and Third Coast Digest; Seizure Chicken and all it’s great writers; Tarik, Jordan, Marcus, Adam, and the entire staff of 88Nine; Erin, Ryan, Dori, Kid Cut Up, DJ Bizzon of WMSE and the whole crew there; Geraud; Mr. Potter; and all of the other great writers or personalities that inspire me to get better at putting words together to form sentences.

However the BIGGEST shout out goes to anybody and everybody who has ever read Milwaukee UP once, twice, or repeatedly…I sincerely appreciate all of you!  Let’s continue to work on supporting a scene that is honestly worth supporting.

(On)Milwaukee UP!

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On Sunday the group The Cranberry Show released a new mixtape called Halloween Webtape, mixed by DJ Advance.  If you follow TCS then I know you will be familiar with at least 1 track on it.  Go ahead and grab it RIGHT HERE to see what they have instore for you.

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Nacido Negro sent me a new song called “Guilty” in which he samples the haunting song “Knights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues to help drive home an angry track about a myriad of topics.  Peep it.

You can also see Nacido Negro tomorrow at Y-Not III at the MATC emcee battle, beginning at 9PM.  DJ Bizzon will be spinning the event.

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Coming off of Milwaukee’s first attempt at hosting a Hip-Hop Honors show, honoree Coo Coo Cal has released a new single called “Where Dey Do Dat At?” which will be found on his new album Mandatory Release.  You can check out the track right here.

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Halloween weekend is almost upon us and that means events galore for you to pick from this coming Friday and Saturday.  Here a couple of events with a Hip-Hop backbone that you may want to consider.

Friday

91.7 WMSE and Hot Pop’s Hip-Hop Series is having a special Halloween edition in their series that features Fresh Cut Collective, A-Biz, and the MadKids (Kid Cut Up and DJ Bizzon).  The event is being held at Bayview Brewhaus and it begins at 9PM.  There is a door charge of $10 and it is a 21+ event.  There is going to be a costume contest, judged by the members of Fresh Cut Collective, and prizes will be awarded to the winner.  Hmm…a bunch of guys judging a costume contest…I’m not trying to say that they’re going to select the foxiest dressed lady in the house, but guys don’t count on walking away with a prize.  I kid, I kid.

You can check out the event information RIGHT HERE.

If you are in the Waukesha area and don’t feel like making the drive into Milwaukee, Amerikas Addiction is going to be performing at Club That, with doors opening at 10PM.

You can get more information about this event RIGHT HERE.

Saturday

An all ages event known as Terror At The Mall, is going on this Saturday from 6PM-8PM at Grand Avenue in the space that was previously occupied by Old Navy.  The League of Young Voters Education Fund is putting on the event that offers performances by Prophetic, Lah-Kid, The Cranberry Show, and others, in addition to having DJ Infotek and Homer Blow on the 1′s and 2′s.  The show is being hosted by Free and Rosci and there will be a special guest appearance by 106 and Park’s Terrance.

The “grown and sexy” edition of the night starts at 9PM and they remind all of you who are of proper voting age to vote this November 2nd.

You can check out the event information RIGHT HERE.

Also going on this Saturday, though later in the night, is the event being billed as Folloween at Stonefly Brewery starting at 10PM.  You are going to get performances from many of the performers that participated in the event written about just above this one…Prophetic, Lah-Kid, and The Cranberry Show.  Also joining those gentlemen on the bill are EMP representatives Streetz N Young Deuces.  The event is $5 for those who wear a costume and $7 for those who choose to go as themselves.

You can get more information about this event RIGHT HERE.

Well there you have it.  Make sure you have a fun and SAFE Halloween weekend!

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As the title of the article states, the event known as Hip-Hop Hates Breast Cancer was a great success this last Saturday night at Milwaukee’s Cactus Club.

What exactly is success you may be asking?  To me, success for the event started well before the night actually happened.  When I began organizing the event a couple of months ago, the artists that would be found on the bill fell into place with relative ease.  People weren’t just taking the attitude of “yeah, I’ll do it” but rather “YEAH!! I’ll do it!”  Going into an event with the artists as pumped about doing it as I was turned out to be a great blessing because it led to easy communication exchanges.  There were a few changes that had to be made to the lineup for the night, but that’s bound to happen as people remember other obligations…but all in all it was smooth sailing.

With that said, I have to acknowledge and thank the following:

Stricklin, AUTOMatic (and JDL), DJ Bizzon, The Hollowz, SPEAK Easy, Misen Lync, and Diva.

Another thing that you need to make an event successful is a venue that is supportive of what you are trying to do and the Cactus Club was exactly that.  When I struggled to find sponsorship to cover the facility and sound fee, the Cactus Club stepped up and said that they would take care of it themselves.  Now that is a great thing because it allowed 100% of the door money to go towards the benefit, thus maximizing the effort.  Some people may ask, “why did you pick the Cactus Club?”  It’s simple…they have GREAT sound, a great set up for shows, and hardworking bartenders. 

When you put all of that together, that makes for a great live music experience in my opinion.  I have to thank the Cactus Club and it’s people (including Alex the awesome sound guy) for all their hard work and for allowing us to rock another great show at their venue.

Yet another thing that led to the event being a success before the night took off was the willingness of the press and those interested in attending the event to talk about it so that buzz could surround the event and maybe catch the eye of some people who typically may not think about going to a Hip-Hop show, a Hip-Hop show in Bay View, etc.  It really creates awareness that there was an event going on in the first place, and that’s all an event organizer can hope for…people knowing that the event exists so that it can be placed on the brains of people and readily accessible to them when they flip through their mind’s Rolodex for stuff to do.

I have to thank to following media for their coverage:

Jordan Lee and 88Nine Radio Milwaukee; Dori, Kid Cut Up, DJ Bizzon, and WMSE; Geraud Blanks and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; Bobby Tanzillo and OnMilwaukee.com; Steve Hyden and Milwaukee’s AV Club/The Onion; Evan Rytlewski and the Shepherd Express; and ALL of the blogs like Run-MKE, etc.

Lastly, but certainly the MOST important group to thank, all of the people that showed up to the event.  All 138 of you that came and paid the $5 in exchange for some good music, and all the people that maybe weren’t able to make it but STILL told people about the event so they could go in their place…thank you!  Never in a million years would I have thought we’d double PLUS some what we did with the Hip-Hop Hates Multiple Sclerosis event in April.  We had 65 paying customers then, and I was hoping for 75 this time…and holy crap the Cactus Club got SLAMMED! 

With a few extra donations, we raised $700 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure…and that is a gift that’s going to be given to them in the name of the Milwaukee Hip-Hop community…artists and fans, regardless of what artists or fans didn’t show up to the event…it was a success for you, for us.

At the end of the night and in the hours after the event had finished, I was asked by several people “when’s the next one going to be?” and “what is Hip-Hop going to hate next?”  At this time, “I don’t know” is my answer to both questions.  The one thing that I do know is that I am not going to try to make the next one bigger and better and more, more, more.  Somehow, if that becomes the focus for me, the essence of the event is lost because it’s no longer about the music and community coming together with me and other to do something good…it becomes about ME, and that is NOT what I want.

All I know is that in the future, some time in the first or second quarter of next year, there will be another Hip-Hop Hates event.  It will be at the Cactus Club.  It was feature performers that put on a helluva show.  It will be fun.  It will go to benefit a good cause.

Again, I want to sincerely thank everybody that was involved in the night as a performer, worker, volunteer (shout out to LaShonda and Chris Hill, as well as Marquis and Resa Norris for holding down the door when I was running around “organizing” stuff), and ALL of you that came to the event or thought positive thoughts about it throughout the night!  If I missed anybody, please forgive me but know that I thank you too!

Warmest Regards,

JC Poppe

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Triple S, also known as Big Trip, has a new song floating around that I believe is part of his new EP that’ll be coming out fairly soon.  The joint is called “Make Your Move” and you can peep it right here.

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EMP’s Streetz & Young Deuces are back with a new song as they ramp up for another mixtape release in the near future.  Check out SNYD’s new joint “Do My Job” (produced by Marcus Williams) right here.

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Very often you can tell apart those who actually work hard for what they’re accomplishing from those who benefit from luck.  DJ Bizzon is one of those people who is hard at work to build up his reputation as not only a dope DJ, but as somebody who authentically loves Milwaukee and it’s Hip-Hop scene.

If you pay attention to fliers and Facebook, it’s possible that you’ve come across DJ Bizzon’s name quite frequently because I honestly don’t think this guy ever turns down an offer to DJ anything.  It’s that work ethic, and willingness to put in time, that got him an opportunity to step in as the co-host of the MadKids radio show that holds down the traditional Hip-Hop spot every Tuesday night on 91.7FM WMSE with the growing legend, Kid Cut Up.

I didn’t have a chance to chop it up with Bizzon until very recently and with tons of people telling me how dope he is and seeing his name everywhere, I knew it was time to hit him up for an interview so we could all get to know DJ Bizzon a little bit better.

Everybody loves going to a party where the DJ actually knows what he/she is doing on the wheels of steel.  On the other hand, a place can clear out pretty quickly if the DJ isn’t connecting with the crowd.  Have you ever had to get on the tables after somebody has completely stunk it up?  How did you bring the party back?

Well luckily I haven’t had to clean up a mess but I have had to do multiple different types of parties in one night.  Working at Brooklyn’s, they’d throw birthday parties for 50 year-olds and then start up the club night right after.  So, I’d see all the young people come in when the party was wrapping up with a “WTF?” look on their face ready to go home.  But, once the party ended I just had to bring it and transition from an old school set into newer stuff.  I’d usually drop a sample/break and then drop the new song that sampled it, and that let people know what was up.  Or, I’d show up and they’d surprise me with whatever random event was going on, i.e. Fashion Show, 70′s/80′s/90′s party, kids party…even baby showers!

Every DJ has some tricks up their sleeve in the form of certain songs they employ when wanting a certain reaction.  What is your “chill” song, “party” song, “end of the night” song, and “let’s get the ladies into it” song?

Hmmm, it’s so much.  I like to chill it out pre-party with “Selfish” from Slum Village, or any SV for that matter.  My party song is the Nick Catchdubs remix to “Champions” by Kanye West.  It has the “Mama Said Knock You Out” beat with some hype extra vocals.  I love it.  The end of the night song depends on where I’m at but maybe something like “Umi Says” from Mos Def.  It’s still uptempo but people can just vibe and relax, sing to it (we all do), and ease out.  Although, one night I played “Dear Mama” from Tupac and the entire club was singing it.  I’ll never forget that.  It’s one of my favorite songs and to see so many people knowing all the lyrics was cool.

If a person pays attention to what’s going on out there, they’d see your name all over the place.  You are on the MadKids show now as well.  How did you go about getting a lot of these gigs?

Really?  People know my crazy name?  Literally, just by asking.  The dominoes fell pretty cool for me.  I hit up DJ Madhatter about doing the Saturday Session on 88.9FM.  That led me to do a fund drive party and I met DJ Erich and Kid Cut Up which led to some gigs.  I asked Kid Cut Up about the show and just sitting in to learn radio and after some weeks, he asked me to do the show with him.  All the while I was DJing poetry open mics, just because I asked to do it, which led to my spot at Brooklyn’s.  I’m guessing people thought I was alright at DJing too, so the practice I put in definitely helped.

You are very vocal about Milwaukee Hip-Hop needing to grow and get back to a certain level of authenticity.  Please, if you would, break down for the reader how you could see Milwaukee Hip-Hop reach a greater amount of success while maintaining integrity.

Just by being open to different styles of rap and not getting caught up in boxes created by the media and themselves.  We all know about the segregation in the scene here but I feel it’s because people either don’t know, or choose to ignore, all that’s going on.  I’ve learned so much from talking with and listening to other DJs and I wish other artists would too.  Also knowing the history of the music and where it comes from so you don’t make the same mistakes.  People just try to do what they hear instead of what they really feel.  I love checking out a DJ or rapper and after the set learning more about them as a person.  If all artists would just tell their story, and not regurgitate what they hear, the success would come without sacrificing integrity.  Money does not equal success.

Serato has been revolutionary in the world of DJing.  Some people argue that it’s allowed a lot of people to DJ that shouldn’t be doing so while others champion the technology for what it can do for the seasoned veteran.  How do you feel about the DJ moving further and further away from vinyl?

I, personally feel, just rock the party.  Technology makes people lazy in all forms of life.  With that said, you just have to make sure to stay ahead of the lazy people and be more creative.  If somebody can kill a party with Serato or wax, or a mixture…in the end they killed the party.  I do feel a DJ needs to learn the basics too.  Like I said before, in whatever you do, know and respect the history while you take it to the next level.  But, it’s very easy to tell when someone is wack and not using it right, the same way you can tell the difference between real oven baked mac and cheese versus Easy Mac.  The microwave is good for some stuff, but you know what tastes better.

What made you get into DJing?

Two things:  First, I would be out at a club and think of so many combinations of songs that sounded cool.  Second, I felt I could do better than most DJ’s out there.

I was always into music and DJing from an early age thanks to my Mom and Dad. Then, once I was able to go out and check out different spots, I wanted to be in control and get the place going…or just bring something different than what people usually heard.

DJs often find themselves with lots of different music in their repertoire, and not all of it is flattering.  I have a few friends that DJ and it’s always funny to hear them mention some of the stuff they have in their collection.  What are some records or artists that people would be surprised to know that you have, and listen to?  Do you have a crazy obsession with Conway Twitty or anything like that?

Naw, not that crazy.  I do like David Bowie and the Doors a lot though.  Datarock is DOPE!  Funny story though, I remember the first rap song I really got into was “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio.  In middle school I told this guy and he whispered to his friend, “man, this fool’s favorite rapper is Coolio”.  You live and you learn.

Let’s talk a little shop for the DJs that are going to read this interview.  What equipment did you start out on, what are you rocking now, and what is the perfect set up in your mind that you hope to have one day?

I started out on Numark HDXs.  They were CD turntables with hard drives on them.  It was perfect for me because when I started most of my music was digital.  Also, it was built like a regular vinyl table so it had a real feel to them.   I had a very basic numark mixer as well.  Now I have Technic 1200′s for turntables with Shure M44 needles along with a Rane TTM57 mixer.  It has great faders and Serato built in.  I’m very happy with my set up now but I wouldn’t mind a Rane 68, which is a 4 channel mixer with Serato built in to have 4 turntables at once.  An EFX-1000 would add some nice effects.  Any MIDI control with multiple banks would be cool for easy access, and 2 1000 watt subs wouldn’t hurt.

Are that any artists in Milwaukee or beyond that you want people to listen to or check out?

Yes tons:  Raze, A.P.R.I.M.E., Trellmatic, Frankie Flowers, SPEAK Eazy, One Self, J. Cole, Jay Electronica, Ali Ra, Sypher Squad, Ole P, Def Harmonic, Fresh Cut Collective, Black Milk, Blu & Exile, Madcon, Murs, and many others.  Sorry if I left anyone out but just keep your ears open for good stuff so y’all can tell me who to check out.

If somebody wants to get ahold of you to DJ one of their events, how can they do so?

My number is 414-899-5359.  Hit me up directly.  My email is djbizzon@hotmail.com.  Or just come talk to me on Mondays at Timbuktu for Sucka Free Mondays. On Facebook, look up “djbizzon miller” or “true hip hop takeover of Milwaukee”.  That group is for everyone to post events and information about Hip-Hop in Milwaukee.  I just want to provide people with a place to find events they would be interested in and something else besides Top 40′s.  I need all y’all help.

Any shout outs?

DJ Madhatter, Kid Cut Up, DJ E.Rich, DJ Webspinna, Him and Her, my uncle from yo mama’s uncle DJ JDL, DJ DMT, Why B, THOR, DJ D-Wood, Steve Marx, Cover Girl, Blackberry, Diva G, Papa Pro, K-W, Tre, G-Nana, Marcus Doucette, DJ Avets, Chalice in the Palice, One Self, WMSE, Radio Milwaukee, Ali Ra, Nigel Wade, Bobby Drake, Ecko…thanks for all y’all help.

Bizzon sent along a mix that he recent did that you can check out by downloading it RIGHT HERE.

DJ Bizzon is also the DJ for the Hip-Hop Hates Breast Cancer event happening this Saturday at the Cactus Club.  If you have $5, hate Breast Cancer, love Hip-Hop, and have a free moment or two, stop on by!

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