‘Renegades of Rhythm’ DJ Shadow + Cut Chemist – New York

DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist forged their third turntable project, the 'Renegades of Rhythm Tour', from their careful curating of records from Afrika Bambaataa's collection.
Cut Chemist

If you are a fan of hip-hop, you owe it to yourself to catch the ‘Renegades of Rhythm Tour’ currently making its way across the states. For this event, two renowned turntablists, DJ Shadow (Josh Davis) and Cut Chemist (Lucas MacFadden) sifted through the historic and legendary record collection of Afrika Bambaataa to create a 90-plus-minute set encompassing all of hip-hop that they are currently touring (dates below). At New York’s Irving Plaza, Bambaataa himself was present in the balcony enjoying the proceedings and perhaps watching with a bit of diligence, given the duo were working with some rare acetates, demos, originals that he has owned, and maybe even performed with, for the past few decades. In an introduction, Shadow held up a record for the audience to show them the giant chunk missing from the near the edge, yet they still planned to spin it in their set. Also on site was hip-hop photographer Joe Conzo, both working from the pit alongside the media and displaying a gallery of his own legendary pieces of hip-hop history from the ’70s and ’80s in New York.

As Rolling Stone noted about the first night, “The show came with visual education too. One of the videos running behind Shadow and Chemist was a montage of Bambaataa’s actual records, screen shots of platter covers with his handwritten notes and, often, tape across the titles and artists (no doubt to prevent rivals from cribbing his sources). That parade was a gas in itself: Thin Lizzy’s Johnny the Fox; Life on Mars by the Philadelphia International disco-futurist Dexter Wansel; records by jazz man Grover Washington, Jr., Latin conga maestro Candido and the ’70s progressive British rock band Babe Ruth.” Attendees were awash in hip-hop history as the DJs took them on a journey with mini-sets that spanned the early days of the genre or regional variations, like Baltimore’s go-go scene, and a set of Bambaataa’s own classics like “Renegades of Funk” and “Planet Rock”. Working with a hundred or more records in one night isn’t easy but these wizards made it look that way and, more importantly, had a lot of fun doing it.

Tour Dates:

9/9 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage

9/11 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte

9/12 – Atlanta, GA – The Loft At Center Stage

9/14 – Orlando, FL – House of Blues

9/16 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues

9/18 – Austin, TX – ACL Live

9/19 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues

9/20 – Houston, TX – House of Blues

9/22 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom

9/23 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues

9/24 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theater

9/26 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre

9/27 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up Aspen

9/29 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

10/1 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues

10/2 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues

10/3 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium

10/7 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater

10/8 – Seattle, WA – Neptune

10/9 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroo