Brain Rot: Hip Hop Family Tree, The Blackout of 1977

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32 Responses to “Brain Rot: Hip Hop Family Tree, The Blackout of 1977”

  1. Jeb Adams says:

    I love this with all my heart. 

  2. privatedick says:

    Just worth mentioning that “Chiba” was a strong strain of Colombian marijuana popular in 1971-72. Usually referred to as “Colombian Chiba” or the more desirable “New York Chiba”.

  3. dculberson says:

    No joke, it is fascinating to read this history.

  4. rewhu says:

    Education and entertaining. Excellent work!! I’m looking forward to the following installments.

    Under “Our Story Thus Far” I wish there were youtube links.

  5. derek prowse says:

    I fully support this story, and am eager for the next episode – and that it may never stop.  also, I like it.

  6. seyo says:

    The artist needs to brush up on his understanding of what a dominant eye is and how it relates to aiming a weapon. The frame in which DJ Disco Wiz draws his revolver shows that the artist is ignorant in this regard, yet anyone who has ever fired a weapon instantly sees the artist’s error.

    • jarmstrong says:

      I have fired a weapon and have no clue what a “dominant eye” is and I do not claim to see error in the illustration. I’ll not assume artist error.  I’ll give the artist credit. Perhaps DJ Disco Wiz was not professionally trained to fire a weapon and had never actually fired one before.  Perhaps Wiz’s right eye was weak. Perhaps… well, you get it.

      This story is bad-ass and is wonderfully illustrated.

    • MrJM says:

      Umm… Is it “Shit Only Wannabe Tough-Guys Give A Rat’s Ass About”?

    • CSBD says:

      I am right handed and left eye dominant.  I shoot like he does if I bother to  focus with one eye… or don’t shoot with my off hand.

      • seyo says:

        “I shoot like he does if I bother to focus with one eye”

        Doubtful story.

        • nachoproblem says:

          I am right handed and left eye dominant. I have terrible astigmatism in my right eye and I would never be able to shoot the way you describe, even if most people do. There is nothing doubtful about it. Your assumptions are just not reliable.

        • Mister44 says:

          Which part is doubtful?

          Using the dominant eye? Many use that method if left eye dominant.

          Not focusing with one eye? If you take any practical pistol courses, you will see you don’t close an eye when you shoot.

    • Ummm. I think “need” might be a tiny bit strong of a word here, and “ignorant” is definitely too much. I don’t think you’re a lunatic or an asshole for pointing it out — it’s genuinely awesome that you know that — but I do think this is probably something that most people would not consider a critical error.

      And yeah, jarmstrong makes an interesting point — you’re assuming that his CHARACTER, or the real Disco Wiz, had the faintest clue how to fire a gun at this point. (This may or may not be relevant. IANAshootist.) Not to mention that it’s totally peripheral to the plot and theme of the comic — if this were 100 Bullets, you would have every right to nitpick the ballistics. If he’d fucked up the stereo rigs, maybe you’d have something. ;p

      I think this is one of those situations where “Fine, a WIZARD did it, okay?” is a perfectly valid response to your complaint, enlightening though it genuinely is. :)

    • dculberson says:

      Actually, DJ Disco Wiz himself, in the 1983 documentary, “Which Eye of DJ Disco Wiz is Dominant, and subordinate to that question, Is He Right Or Left Handed?” claimed that on this night, he closed his right eye while simultaneously preparing to shoot with his right hand.  His reasoning for engaging in this audacious act was that while he was usually right eye dominant, he had sustained a mild injury in that eye  due to the great hip hop glass battle migration of 1976 and was as of yet unable to afford a new pair of contacts – remember this was the 70′s when contacts were hideously expensive, hard shelled, and had to last you for years.  So he had reduced acuity in his right eye and thus was dependent primarily upon his left eye for detail vision.  In 1978 he was wealthy enough to afford to replace the right contact, so over time his brain readjusted and he returned to mainly closing his left eye when preparing to shoot.  But Piskor here was really doing his homework when he drew the comic and knew that for this brief but formative period, it was accurate to have DJ Disco Wiz shown with a gun in his right hand and his right eye closed.  You know, either that or NOBODY GIVES A FUCK.

    • Mister44 says:

      Ah – but you’re wrong! People can be right handed and left eyed dominant. If so, then that is how he would shoot a gun. OR, like others said, you’re being an anal retentive jackass.

  7. Cool!  Can’t wait for the next one!

  8. zombiebob says:

    this is fn awesome, very interesting, and well told. Keep it up! Also love seeing the word butter used in such a way, I forgot about that (back in the early mid 90s a bunch of my black friends and aquintances at school, pretty much all from Harlem, used that term to describe anything that was, to use another term, cool

  9. wrecksdart says:

    Another great addition to the already excellent series.  All of which leaves me wondering where the artist sources his material?  I’ll assume (with the standard B.H. caveat) that he lived through this and is writing from memory, but can anyone recommend other materials to mine this vein?  Such a captivating story–I’d like to read more.

    • Ed Piskor says:

      I’ve been grabbing source material from a million different places. For instance, Grandmaster Caz and Disco Wiz articulate the above material way better than I had space/time for(I should have linked this vid with the actual post).  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2omq2XBrElM

      • Festus says:

        Ed, I’m assigning your Hip Hop Family Tree to my writing seminar for graduate students in history at a major Southern university. Also assigning Jason Lutes’ amazing graphic novel on Berlin during the Weimar years. You are both doing great historical writing–thanks.

    • noah django says:

      if you’re looking for more sources, may i recommend Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop and DJ Culture by Ulf Poshardt.  Upski’s Bomb the Suburbs and Chalfont/Cooper’s Subway Art (the original format has better info, the new coffee table release has better photos) are also must-reads.

      another great comic, NISE

  10. gwailo_joe says:

    I am highly in favor of this.  Keep droppin’ knowledge…

  11. sean says:

    I find it amusing that a site that is primarily aimed at tech nerds and filled with “white hipster” stuff- like Robert Anton Wilson, cigar-box ukeleles, Sci-fi convention stuff, 13th Floor Elevators videos, Georgian police pads, etc- nothing, I would venture, that appeals to 99% of the hip hop fans out there- is publishing this. It’s like “it cool now to be a white hipster into rap and hip hop, so here’s a little history on what you missed so you can sound knowledgeable next time you’re chatting with friends at the oxygen bar  in Brooklyn”. And if it’s a history,where are The Last Poets  and Gil Scott Heron, anyway? (Guess he got it wrong- the revolution WILL be televised). If there are any black boing boing readers out there, I’d be curious to hear their take on this. Boy, I bet THIS comment is gonna get a ton of trash tossed at it, huh?

    • ArtEff says:

      Sean, get off our lawn.

    • Mister44 says:

      Hey there. If your post is trash, don’t be surprised someone takes it out.

      One can listen to rap/hip hop (or in my case, break beats) and not be a hipster or a wigger or what other negative stereotype you want to assign to them.

      Also you might notice that the Boingers all have some unique interests. Maggie obviously posts mainly about science. Mark is huge into “Maker”  and DIY stuff – he has written books about it. Cory writes Science Fiction. LSD and alternative thinking has been a topic many times. And even then, sometimes they throw out something unrelated just because they find it interesting.

      So if you want just tech nerd stuff, try http://gizmodo.com/

      FYI – LOTS of tech nerds are into rap/hip hop -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKlDBi0cyIA

      And FWIW, Ed, I am LOVING this. It is before my time so I am actually learning something (from a comic!) Do you have it posted somewhere how you achieve such a spot on old comic book look? PS – Don’t forget Doug E Fresh when it’s time.

    • benher says:

      Also I Wuz InTo teH PUNK ROCCKxxxers LONG BE4 Teh GREEN DAYYYzzzz and TeH Nirvanas and Teh MisFitttszzz! AlsO I remEmbEr the PuNk episode of Chipppzzz and teh Kwincey M.D. … 
      …get ready for it…

      …Long before it got so popular!

    • 666beast1 says:

      You are of course correct.  It is wrong-headed and a waste of time to learn about cultures other than your own and believe that any stories could connect with a broader “human condition”. And why doesn’t this story follow the exact arc you’d like it too?, that’s a good question that everyone who reads boingboing would like the answer to.

      Here’s to more comics about GTO’s Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, and golf, you know =stuff white people like.

  12. ArtEff says:

    Thanks for doing this. it’s so great to see someone do this!

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