While weâ€™re tackling the question of who â€œinventedâ€ New Wave, letâ€™s ponder another query: Who pioneered Turntablism?
Possible answer: One of the most bootlegged early turntablism records â€“ a three-part opus by Double Dee and Steinski that drove hip-hop fans into a frenzy and copyright lawyers into a frenzy of a more litigious nature.
Steve Stein was an advertising copywriter and weekend warrior DJ when he teamed up with studio engineer Douglas â€œDouble Deeâ€ DiFranco to enter a contest sponsored by Tommy Boy Records to remix G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kidâ€™s â€œPlay That Beat, Mr. DJâ€. Their remix was less a beefing up of an existing song and more of a total gutting and reconstruction. Humphrey Bogart, Herbie Hancock, the Supremes and even Culture Club all became part of the stew, a collage of sounds, samples and cuts from so many different sources, itâ€™d be tough to name all of them (but youâ€™re welcome to try).
Needless to say, Double Dee & Steinski won the contest.
â€œLesson 1: The Payoffâ€ made it to the promo-only white label stage and got quite a bit of radio play, but when it came time for a commercial release, the suits & ties stepped in and stopped it cold. â€œLesson 1â€ then made the bootleg rounds, its legend increasing in the process.
Two sequels followed, the creatively named â€œLesson 2: The James Brown Mixâ€ and â€œLesson 3: A History of Hip-Hopâ€. There was a recent effort by a UK-based label to put together a compilation of all the â€œLessonsâ€ â€“ they went as far as to begin licensing all the different sound sources, until bootleggers beat them to the punch once again by releasing â€œUltimate Lessonsâ€ on CD. At that point the label correctly thought, â€œWhy bother?â€
None of songs charted.