Plus, Buffalo Killers come home, Yugos rock OTR Skate and Dallas Moore preps new single
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Cincy Hip Hop icon Mr. Dibbs pays tribute to late local Hip Hop artist Skandal Da Ruckus Man with new EP to benefit Skandal's daughter.
by Mike Breen
Release of "Deadworld Reborn" to benefit late Hip Hop icon's family
One of the biggest names in Cincinnati Hip Hop, DJ/producer Mr. Dibbs, yesterday released a tribute EP in honor of late fellow local artist Skandal Da Ruckus Man. Skandal passed away last month after a battle with leukemia, leaving behind a legion of friends, fans, students and family, including his daughter, and conjuring a ton of heartfelt "R.I.P.s" from artists inspired by him. About a year ago, Dibbs (born Brad Forste), one of the Midwest's most respected and influential turntablists, found himself in the hospital suffering from the effects of Cirrhosis of the liver, a shocking turn of events for fans that led to numerous artists reaching out to raise money to help with his medical bills. In the message included with his new 5-track release tributing Skandal called Deadworld Reborn, Dibbs writes that he actually was technically dead for 53 seconds while in the hospital, not too long after issuing his then-latest release, Deadworld. Dibbs — a member of the popular Rhymesayers crew, tour DJ for Atmosphere and a founder of Cincy Hip Hop institutions like the DJ collective 1200 Hobos and the legendary Scribble Jam festival, to name but a few of his accomplishments — writes that he was in the hospital for several weeks but that it wasn't as bad as it could have been because his longtime friend Skandal was at the same hospital, fighting his leukemia, and the pair hung out together as much as possible. "Holed up in the hospital for a few weeks, I was an inadvertent resident of an impromptu hip hop retirement home," Dibbs writes. "Battling leukemia on the floor above me was my longtime friend Marcus 'Skandal da Ruckus Man' Mitchell. An epic MC and producer, of equally epic bodily proportions, Skandal’s heart was big, but his production skills and lyrical largesse were even bigger. I dragged my sometimes half-incoherent ass, IV and all, down the hallways and into the elevator to visit my homie. The nurses always thought I was lost. Fuck that. "I was FOUND…in the strong lifeline we’ve all come to know and love as Skandal. He was my pusher man…keep on pushin’, Dibbs, until you get to the other side of you."Deadworld Reborn is a dynamic mix that blends tracks from Deadworld that feature artists ranging from Doseone, Brother Ali and Murs to Juliette Lewis and The Black Keys. The release also features the Dibbs/Skandal collaboration "Where Pigs Fly," which you can sample below. Deadworld Reborn (which has already been drawing attention across the web) is available as a "pay what you want" download. All proceeds are being donated to Skandal's family and daughter Chloe. Click here to purchase Reborn and read the rest of Dibbs' tribute to the man he says "gave me back my fucking life."According to Rhymesayers, the release will be issued on picture-disc vinyl soon, featuring the image at the bottom of this post."I wish I could be like that dude," Dibbs writes. "He made me feel important enough for me to be reborn. I am doing it. I am doing it now."For more on Skandal, read Mildred Fallen's 2005 interview with him here, her recent tribute to him here and Kathy Y. Wilson's essay about him here.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 24, 2012
News of the Oct. 10 death of Skandal (government name:
Marcus Mitchell, aka Skan, Skandizzle and Skandal Da Ruckus Man) after a
protracted battle with leukemia pinged through the ether like a metal
ball in a pinball game.
Remembering Skandal Da Ruckus Man, local Hip Hop icon
6 Comments · Wednesday, October 17, 2012
I’m grateful to have known Marcus
“Skandal Da Ruckus Man” Mitchell the last 15 years. The veteran MC,
producer, DJ and the man behind Sharkface Entertainment died on Oct. 10
at 36 after a bout with acute leukemia.
by Mildred C. Fallen
Remembering the late local Hip Hop champ Marcus Mitchell
EDITOR’S NOTE: Marcus Mitchell, aka local Hip Hop artist and inspiration Skandal Da Ruckus Man, passed away this week after a battle with leukemia. In tribute, here is an interview with Marcus from March 2005, written by CityBeat contributor Mildred C. Fallen, from our archives. Check next week’s issue of CityBeat for more remembrances of the fallen Cincinnati music supahero.To dub Marcus D. Mitchell a “big man” doesn’t necessarily state the obvious. In some cultures, “big man” also translates as a local personality who speaks on behalf of his people, commences rituals and parleys with other “big men.” And facing foes, big men fight for honor.In 2000, Mitchell, better known as Skandal (or Skandal Da Ruckus Man), flew to New York to freestyle on BET’s 106 and Park and contended with other unsigned MCs on HBO’s Blaze Battle. Today, the self-described juggernaut of Supapowers has been reincarnated as an industry ghost writer and producer after someone attempted to rob him of his ambition last spring. While he was away, thieves carted away his studio equipment and masters. Although his property never resurfaced, he feels he knew the thief’s motive.“Damn monkeys!” he declares, still affected. “Whoever stole it was doing it to get at me personally, because they didn’t touch anything else in the house, not even money. It was Easter Sunday, at that! Man, they know they goin’ to hell!”Depressed and unable to produce tracks or record vocals, Skandal bounced back after supportive colleagues bartered their efforts. “A lot of cats just saw the opportunity (to barter) and was like, ‘You ain’t got no equipment? Man, I been wantin' to do beats with you for years,’ ” he says. Producers Fame and DJ Scott pitched in and donated many of the tracks heard on Vet Game, his first in a series of mixtape compilations to be distributed through the internet. Presented by Hall of Justice Entertainment and co-sponsored by Supapowers cohorts CJ the Cynic and Da Kid, Vet Game tongue-lashes antagonists, reprimands local radio and guides listeners of a tour of the Queen City, pointing out its idiosyncrasies. Rounding out the compilation are appearances from Trina Holidai and Michelle Hollis, Piakan, Science, Donte (of Mood), Hi-Tek and J-Wiz. “As far as the bangers, look for ‘Get Stole On’ and ‘Spell My Name Right,’ both produced by DJ Scott. ‘The Wrong Nigga’ talks about the break-in on Easter, when I was at Mom’s gate eating a plate,” he says. Thunderous vocals set violators straight as they detonate: “Y’all ain’t do nothin’ but put Skan/Back to ’96 with the hunger pangs.”Reloading, “The Big Payback” unflinchingly fires direct hits at local black radio and venue promoters for lack of support. On the other hand, he shouts out Big Kap of New York’s influential station, Hot 97, for giving “For the Queen” 30 spins in a week, and says the exposure opened doors for him to sell songs to other artists, which subsidized his upcoming CD, Vigilante World.“People don’t understand; you’ve got to invest in yourself before that big record deal comes,” he explains.“For the Queen” traces Skandal’s roots back to Woodward High School “Bomb Show” performances and huddling in rhyme-ciphers against out-of-towners on Fountain Square. “Before all the fightin’ and shootin’ started, we defended this city against all outsiders,” he says. “It was like something out of the movie Highlander.“(Cincinnati) always had a beast,” he continues, naming warriors who fell into obscurity. “Regan used to be the most feared in a MC battle; he passed the torch to me and Clips (J-Wiz). Now Ill Poetic is the beast.”“I used to really, really admire (Skandal),” says Ill Poetic, a solo artist and half of the duo Definition. He met Skandal following the Blaze Battle. “He was battling at Top Cat’s and I was amazed that Zone (the other half of Definition) knew him. He was just one of those people I kept hearing about.”Although the HBO Blaze Battle episodes are available on DVD, Skandal laments, “Ain’t no honor in battling anymore, so now songwriting is where it’s at. There’s money in it. Cats who are known for their battle rep often aren’t known for making hit records.”Skandal hopes his upcoming release, Vigilante World, will change that.“I got the formula,” he says. “The problem is that nobody is rockin’ the (Hip Hop) heads and the streets at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with making good music that people who don’t make music can jam to.” Having hosted local battles, he observes that today too many MCs lack originality and rely on trading insults to win battles.“(There) was a time when you could murder ‘em with style,” he says. “Now, you only get response from the crowd when you say a punch-line, which is what I don’t like about battling anymore."Skandal cites crowd-judged battles and MCs who deliver pre-written raps as the demise of the art form. He also emphasizes that styles differ from region to region.“A lot of New York rappers spit written (verses) in battles and call it a ‘freestyle.’ And in the Midwest we call freestyling right off the top of the head,” he explains. “We used to listen to the New York style, not knowin’ they was spittin’ writtens in a freestyle, and we thought New York was just ‘cold wit’ it’ off the head.”But since New York MCs assumed the precedent for battling, Skandal says he and his friends used New York as a benchmark in the beginning until they crafted their own niche. Endearingly, he refers to his friends Supapowers as “stand-up guys I’d take a bullet for.” But of everyone, his mother is his best friend.“She gives me an insight to things that you can only get from experience. I’m a true mama’s boy and if anybody got anything to say about it, come holla at me,” he says.His weightiest ambition is to appeal to the female market and he’s slimming down because he feels that MCs like Notorious B.I.G., Big Punisher and Heavy D were merely lucky to be seen as sexy.“They were rarities,” Skandal says. “When you’re fat, I don’t give a fuck, people are biased. I wanna have the whole package, not just the skills. I wanna have the whole market on lock.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The biannual Clifton Heights Music Festival returns this weekend for its fourth edition, taking over seven venues around the University of Cincinnati for two days of diverse, quality local music. Launched a year and half ago, the fest has become the best all-local musical showcase in town, growing from 35 acts to this year’s 80-plus.