African Alert Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary and the Golden Era of Hip-Hop This Saturday

Categories: Five Questions

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Courtesy of G. Wiz
The Turntable Orchestra -- DJ Alejan, G. Wiz, Nappy DJ Needles and Fly D-Ex at Vintage Vinyl.
In the past, the RFT has written about your work as a filmographer, including your documentary projects The Rink, about the rollerskating lifestyle in St. Louis, and the Man with the Golden Horn about Oliver Sain. How have things progressed since, and what projects or events of yours can we look forward to in the near future?

I'm working on a new movie called Background Check: the Story of St. Louis hip-hop from 1979 to 1995. I hit a wall with The Man with the Golden Horn. It's not that I'm not going to finish it. I've got a lot of information just sitting, but I realized that it'd be easier to do a film dealing with the musical aspect that I have on St. Louis because I know the people, the people know me and I've got my own background history. One of the problems I'm having with that is that a lot of people do not have product on themselves as far as pictures, film footage or video footage. That's what makes a documentary.

See also: Filmographer Ron Butts finds a worthy subject in Oliver Sain

The current project is moving at a pace where I need it to move faster. It's basically so many interviews and so much information. People have no idea how many artists were in St. Louis, and I can't get to all of them. There are 90 people I've interviewed for this movie, including DJs, break-dancers, MCs, record-store owners, promoters and fans of hip-hop -- a whole abundance of people. I'm trying to make it where It's like the world will know that St. Louis had a background foundation in hip-hop prior to 2000. You know, we were onto "Rapper's Delight" before most of the country was.

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Why did you choose DJ Kut, Wise Intelligent, Lyfe Stile, Nato Caliph and 3 KNGZ to represent African Alert at your 25th anniversary celebration at 2720? What else can people look forward to at the celebration?

Originally, I was trying to get particular artists that represented that particular show and the music we was playing at that time. The original person I wanted to get was DJ Premier because Gang Starr was the first group that African Alert brought to St. Louis in 1990. Unfortunately, he was tied up. I know Wise Intelligent has been here before, and he puts out an excellent show. He responded immediately when I reached out.

As far as the local artists that I chose, Nato has always been outstanding when it comes to his prolific lyrical content. He's another one of those wise kids. I've known Lyfe Stile forever. He's like a little brother, and I know he knows the history of African Alert because he used to listen to it. He's still doing his thing, and he's on that level of positivity. He knows the show and was around that show during the time it was in existence. I think it's only right that he represents also. 3 KNGZ is a group that I recently ran across. I listened to a couple of their songs and saw a video of theirs. They're in the same realm of positivity.

Look forward to fun, reminiscing, real hip-hop and laughter. Also, I created the video mix back in 1996 and so I'm going to be DJing and doing the videos with the music. I'm playing 98 percent music from the '80s and '90s: Wu Tang, A Tribe Called Quest, Xzibit -- just straight, clean hip-hop as if I was on the radio live. It's one thing just hearing that music again but seeing the video from Yo! MTV Raps you used to look at brings back a whole different feeling inside you of "I remember when it was like this."

African Alert 25th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, December 7, 8 p.m.
w/ DJ G. Wiz, Lyfe Stile, Wise Intelligent, Nato Caliph, 3 KNGZ, DJ Kut
@ 2720 Cherokee Performing Arts Center - $10-$12

For more info on the African Alert Anniversary event, check out the Facebook event page. Follow G. Wiz on Twitter.

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