Posts Tagged ‘new york’

In 2000 years from now, it’s reasonable to think that Hip Hop’s story will be contained and accessible in a collection of texts that are as significant as the Bible, the Quran, the Torah, the Tripitaka, and the Vedas. In our sacred Hip Hop text, I foresee the opening sentence reading as follows:

“In the beginning, there was the DJ [or Disc Jockey/Crowd Controller/Cut Master/Mix Master]. For thou extremities, serving as an extension of thine heart and projecting the passions contained within thine soul, controlled the emotion of the crowd, and quelled the collective angst.”

I grant you that my zeal for the Hip Hop DJ is perhaps extreme [and even blasphemous based on the reader] but it is appropriate. Hip Hop culture started with the Disc Jockey. And it would be because of this foundational role, Hip Hop would be conceived and nurtured into the global powerhouse of a culture that so many of us have come to support and love. But like anything else that is nurtured, it inevitably matures and morphs into something that is an exact manifestation of its own hopes and dreams. And that is a refined, highly skilled, and progressed version of its predecessors and younger self.

With certainty, it can be stated that Hip Hop’s DJ Pioneers hoped for the progressiveness of the discipline and absolutely, DJ Rob Swift has contributed to leading the effort of fulfilling these hopes. More than a DJ, Rob Swift is a skilled Turntablist; a musician of sorts whose instrumentation is a result of his skillful and admired manipulation of sound through a carefully crafted and honed technique.

This week on TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) Radio, D.D. Turner and stats kicks it with the legendary, DJ Rob Swift. During their park bench-esque conversation, the duo discuss with Rob his DJing roots, growing up in Queens, his foray into academia, and a host of other topics. And because we’re sure of your inquiry about the playlist, we’re proud to announce that it’s ALL ABOUT THE DJ.

By: D.D. Turner , Founder/Executive Producer/Host
TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) Radio
Twitter: @TCOHHL_Radio/@HipHops_Wizard
Instagram: @HipHops_Wizard

**You know the drill! Don’t be a #Turdbird! Visit to listen to our show archives. And while there, subscribe to our station to stay updated on our latest show releases.**

In Hip Hop context, how would you define the title, Lyricist? Here’s my submission:
Lyricist [liruh-sist] : One whom is endowed with the ability to express popular thought and perception through the skillful execution of rhyme sequences, patterns, and constructs all while adhering to the sacred tenants of Hip Hop culture.

This definition explains [Coney Island] Brooklyn, New York City’s, Torae Carr exquisitely. As a polished Emcee, Torae has committed himself to an undeniable consistency over the years by delivering lyrical craftwork that is replete with formidable punchlines and observations that go straight to the heart, mind, and soul of his fans. And to reinforce the complimentary perceptions of those of us that comprise his loyal fan base, our celebrated TorGuide has blessed us with, Entitled; a full length project that satisfies the expectations of even the most unforgiving Hip Hop music critic. From “Get Down” to “C.I.’s Finest” to the “Shoutro,” Torae takes us on an explorative journey of his own maturation, offering disclosure along the way through his lyrical prowess about his life experiences, love, and loss.


But to think of Torae as only a lyricist is as absurd as regarding Imhotep as only the High Priest of Heliopolis. Torae’s career also boasts his role as a regular SiriusXM radio show host where his self-titled TorGuide show provides quality Hip Hop programming to the masses. And most recently, he has proven his versatility and discipline yet again by submitting himself to the realm of acting, appearing in the pilot episode of the VH1 feature, The Breaks.

Torea’s interest in disciplines outside of Emceeing is implicit and speaks to the idea of long term career sustainability perhaps being the desire of most Lyricists and Rappers but is only achieved when there is a willingness to explore brand expansion opportunities that go beyond the scope of music; consider the careers of Ice Cube, Will Smith, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Ludacris, Ice T, Common, T.I., and Mos Def. And now, Torae.


Torae has borrowed a page from the golden playbook of our Hip Hop transcending elder statesmen/women by pursuing and mastering fields outside of the culture. And like these legends, his journey of self-exploration and maturation through music has prepared him for the realization of his life’s path. And as he has showed us through his hard work, sacrifice, and determination over the years, he’s not just deserving of all of the good things that are to come for he and his family, he’s Entitled.

-D.D. Turner, Founder – #TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend)

Click the below links to hear our recent interview with Torae:

The “Torae” Chapter (U.S. Version)

The “Torae” Chapter (International Version)




I’ve recently had the opportunity to hear Macklemore and Ryan Lewis‘, Downtown; a multi-layered and bouncy banger that is complemented by the fast paced yet well enunciated flow of Macklemore. And if that’s not enough for the Hip Hop/Rap aficionado, the song features some of Hip Hop’s most celebrated legends; Kool Moe Dee [of The Treacherous 3], Grandmaster Caz [of The Cold Crush Brothers], and Grandmaster Melle Mel [of Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five].

Speaking honestly, up until my recent introduction to this song, compliments of my selective viewing of the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, I’ve generally assumed a “Whatever” regard for the prowess of Macklemore; being a stark critic of lyricism while understanding that my subjective opinion is nothing more than personal perspective, I historically find myself only engaged by the careers of a few Emcees. But after my exposure to, Downtown, I suddenly find myself interested in Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and their trajectory into Hip Hop’s stratosphere and beyond. To know me, D.D. Turner, is to understand that my sudden interest in the duo has been precipitated by the groups willingness to pay homage to the legends by granting them the opportunity to be featured on a mainstream song.

To the Black Emcee/Rapper that didn’t find it necessary to grant a similar opportunity to our beloved legends, you should fuckin’ be ashamed of yourself! So often we hear the argument that Hip Hop culture, albeit universally accepted and celebrated, is ascribed to us as Black people and that it is only because of our permission, that others are able to partake of its concessions. Realizing the arguably extensive roots of Hip Hop culture, I consider this to be factual. However, being the fruit of such a legacy, today’s Black Rapper/Emcee that finds themself endowed with the fortune of mass appeal, has the responsibility of celebrating the legends in a manner that supercedes the mere occasional shoutout reference on a song, and provides the invitation of a feature, much like what Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have done for Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Caz, and Grandmaster Melle Mel.

Perhaps the graciousness of the Seattle Hip Hop duo will spark something in their fellow Emcees/Hip Hoppers, placing the realization of their own conscious or unconscious disregard for the lyrical legends before them. Bringing the expression of my perspective to an end, I find myself confronted with the very distinct feeling that we will now begin to see an increase in song appearances by our most celebrated and lyrically capable legends.

Shit! You all should have been doing this from jump.

By the way, Eric Nally…Dude, you’re destroying your knees!!

*Artists seeking guidance on a legendary Emcee capable of holding their own on a mainstream song feature, I bequeath the following list unto thee:

– Chuck D
– Rakim Allah
– KRS One
– Kool Herc
– Afrika Bambaataa
– King T
– Trigger Treach
– MC Lyte
– MC 8ight
– De La Soul
– Big Daddy Kane
– Special Ed
– Bone Thugs & Harmony
– Bahamadia
– Kool G Rap
– Lin Que
– Brother J
– Chubb Rock
– Wise Intelligent
– Everlast
– 3rd Bass
– Rob Base
– CL Smooth
– W.C.
– Jeru The Damaja
– AZ
– Mic Geronimo
– Sauce Money
– Tragedy Khadafi
– LL Cool J

By: D.D. Turner, #TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend)

Another awesome review! Thanks for the analytic review, Terrance.

Reader Review

“Okay. Several reasons why you should check out this series:

1) The level of writing is phenomenal.
2) The story provides an image of Fantasy/Sci-Fi over the constant presence of the Hip Hop culture/lifestyle. This is the connection to today’s teen.
3) The story is absolutely clean and free of derogatory subject matter.
4) The story provides a new and refreshing take on Teen/Young Adult literature.
5) The story dispels the myths concerning urban culture and the position that Hip Hop plays in it.
6) All around captivating and fun story. This is a must have.

An excellent work of literature by a great talent.”  -TPG

This review represents merely one of several positive accounts of readers that have indulged our literary series, The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend. But don’t take our word for it…Derive your own conclusion by visiting today.


The Advanced Reading Copy of “The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend – Cipher and the Lost Relic of Pangea’s Core” is now available. Get if for free with the purchase of book #1 (Paths of Grand Wizardry) at this year’s Harlem Book Fair… Taking place on July 21st.

#HBF #harlembookfair #chroniclesofahiphoplegend #ddturner #COHH


Get the Advanced Reading Copy of book #2 (Cipher and the Lost Relic of Pangea’s Core) for free with the purchase of book #1 (Paths of Grand Wizardry) at this year’s Harlem Book Fair…Taking place on July 21st


As we celebrate the arrival of this joyous time of the year, let us not trivialize what this holiday season truly provides for… The ability to give thanks for those who truly matter most in our lives and an opportunity to use the resources that we have been granted to be a resource and inspiration in the lives of others. As such, we’d like to extend our appreciation to everyone that has supported The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend.

“I’ve fixed eyes on the divine sketch of thine own destiny. And to the scope of my optimism, I stretch digits to a sky that is unbound by a ceiling of complacency…” – D.D. Turner, 2011

Simply stated, D.D. Turner has a way with words; in his possesion is a raw ability to conjure his own ideals in a way that appropriately uses philosophic rhetoric. And I can assure you that it is not a result of his recent fracture of the left Tibia plateau… He has always been this way and if you ask him where it came from, he will surely attribute it to the tremendous clutch that both Hip Hop and literacy have on his life. But to understand Derrick “D.D.” Turner, you have to get to know him. Despite his apprehension to make public a summary of his biography, I submit the following to you:

D.D. Turner, Scribe – Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend is Derrick Dwayne Turner (born March 16, 1978),
best known by his Author pseudonym – D.D. Turner, is an American Author and
creator of The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend literacy series. He is also credited with creating the new
literary genre of Hip Hop Fantasy; a style of creative writing where the cultural phenomenon of Hip-Hop and the creatively limitless genre of fictional fantasy become joined.

Derrick Dwayne Turner was born in East New York, Brooklyn to Ellen Abney-Turner, a New York City Board of Education administrator, and Warren Turner, Long Island College Hospital department supervisor. He lived in Linden Houses from birth to the age of sixteen. The younger of two boys resulting from the union between Ellen and
Warren, Derrick was often labeled as the “Creative Dreamer” according to the accounts of his parents. “Derrick was extremely smart but always had a problem with day-dreaming. In elementaryschool his report cards always said two things, ‘he is a day-dreamer and he is shy’. This day-dreaming is what caused him to bring home just mediocre grades,” said his mother in a recent discussion. “I guess back then he was charting a path to success in his own way,” she continued proudly.

Growing up in East New York, Brooklyn was no easy task; during the 80’s and early 90’s, the south-east section (East New York) of the borough was amongst New York City’s highest ranking locations for drug-related homicides. Hence, the time appropriate, yet, less respectable name of Homicide Central (refer to fellow East New Yorker, Jeru the Damaja reference on debut single, Come Clean) was granted to the Brooklyn sub-section.

But despite what East New York had to offer, Derrick remained concrete in his pursuit of greatness and never fell clutch to the ill lifestyle(s) that many of his peers found themselves victims of. He often credits his older brother, Corey M. Turner, a New York Attorney, with providing a tangible concept and example of remaining focused and not succumbing to what Criminologists refer to as the Social Perspective Theory (an institutional theory that concludes individuals and their correlating mannerisms are often times a direct reflection of their environment and circumstances). “When the ‘knowledge-of-self’ movement had become prevalent in Hip-Hop during the late 80’s and early 90’s, I was introduced to it by my older brother. I have sound recollections of him coming
home with the first A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, Public Enemy, X-Clan, Brand Nubian cassette tapes. To supplement the music, he would also come home with books that would explore the cultural richness of our African and Black history,” Derrick offered in a recent discussion.

“Some of my peers had older siblings that taught them how to chop weight, hustle, and work the corner. My older brother taught me how to chop down stereotypical barriers by developing a sense of intellectualism through education and self-enlightenment,” he continued. This shared discipline is one that Derrick carried into his college years and continues to employ as a major fixture in his life today.

The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend – The Creation

The fundamental concept for the Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend story came to Derrick on a clear spring afternoon while sitting in his car in New York City’s famed Wall Street area in 1999. Waiting for his girlfriend (now wife), he indulged himself in the revisit of LL Cool J’s 1995 release, Mr. Smith.

“I can’t recall the track number, but the song was titled ‘Hip Hop’. I heard the joint before, but on that day, it really moved me. The song starts off with LL talking and as soon as the track dropped, it was as if God began feeding me the synopsis of the story piece by piece. By the time song ended, I had the basic premise of the first installment completed, character names, and location…I went home that night and began building the story and haven’t looked back sense,” he offered.

After employing his writing artistry and crafting the first three installments of the series, he realized that a visual medium would be received best by the targeted audience. He immediately reached out to two of his childhood friends that were traditional artists. He also realized that someone with experience in the way of street promotions and marketing would also prove to be pertinent to the development of the story; for this task he reached out to another childhood friend, Chaz Staton. Eventually, Derrick would ask for the assistance of one last childhood friend for the purpose of handling the scant, yet important, task of addressing over-head and operational matters.

“During this time, I was heading up U.S. operations and production for a Media-Monitoring company that was based out of London. My office’s operation times were from 5am-3pm, 7 days a week, this was because we needed to capture all variations of relevant print media on its day of release and electronically transfer it to headquarters in London during the course of their respective business hours. This schedule was particularly good for me because after 3pm, 7 days a week, I had free office space, computers, scanners, and laser printers to help with the process of bringing the rough art work for The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend comic book to print,” Derrick offered.

“Also, the location was prime because it was in the heart of New York City; on the corner of Madison Avenue and 42nd Street. Whenever we had meetings, people would bug-out when they heard that our office was on Madison and 42nd,” he continued.

For four years following the creation of the first installment, Derrick and his hand-picked crew poured everything they had into the development of subsequent installments and marketing/promotions. As the fourth year rolled around, opportunities for exposure began to present itself less and with only three members remaining, including both Derrick and Chaz, the group began to question their approach in marketing and the choice of medium. These feelings led to a much needed period of assessment and ultimately to a 2 year hiatus.

In early 2006, Derrick Turner reached out to his remaining partners for the purpose of gauging their interest in revisiting the story that they had worked hard on just several years prior. He was pleased to see that they were equally excited and by the following day, the group of friends had come together to structure a new game plan.
Immediately, the friends got working on the re-introduction of The Chronicles of the Hip Hop Legend series. With Derrick handling the writing, one friend handling the art-work and layout, and Chaz handling marketing and advertising, Derrick was sure that they would touch success this time around. Unfortunately, in April of 2006, the friend that was responsible for artwork and layout had abruptly become gravely ill and was no longer able to perform his duties as lead artist. During the course of the following months, his condition began to worsen and it became evident that a recovery wasn’t realistic.

“During this time I began to struggle with myself because I felt like my back was up against the wall. While I was confident in my writing abilities, I new that my art abilities were seriously lacking; my children can draw better than
me,” Derrick offered while laughing.

“But once again, God spoke to me in a way that was clear, constant, and certain. And as I did previously, I followed his direction. The following day, I began writing The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend / Paths of Grand Wizardry; that was in July 2006. By November, I had a 32 chapter completed manuscript. And in January of 2007, my long time friend that shared in the vision of this series past away,” he continued in a manner that suggested that he still can’t believe it.

The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend and beyond

Entitled Paths of Grand Wizardy, the first installment of the Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend series has been released as a self-published work under the Turner Scribe Publishing Group entity, with both Derrick and Chaz at the helm. With solid distribution of the book, copies are available for purchase through all major book retailers throughout the world. Derrick is currently working on several other literary projects and has completed the second installment of The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend series (entitled Cipher and the Lost Relic of Pangea’s Core, due in stores in 2012). He has began working on the third installment with no title information disclosed as of yet. Both he and his business partner, Chaz Staton, are excited about the unique nature of the series and are looking forward to The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend growing into a global brand.

Derrick Turner currently resides in Texas with his wife and their four sons.

Book #2