Last week, hip-hop was sucker punched with the announcement that Phife Dawg (real name Malik Taylor) of A Tribe Called Quest died at the young age of 45 due to complications from diabetes.
Hip-hop heads had known Phife had been sick as he even referred to himself as the “funky diabetic” in 1994’s Oh My God. Tributes flowed on the Internet like Old E being poured out to mark the passing of a corner soldier and anyone who loves hip-hop was affected.
Fortunately, life and love is about the passing of a torch. Last Friday night, the melancholy that surrounded Phife’s death was replaced by the soulfulness of Illa J’s show at The Wall (這牆). Chily Tee, Illa J’s DJ, had the right vibe by dropping some Tribe gems to get the crowd warmed up right before the headline act.
Photo courtesy of Spring Break on the Beach
Then, Illa J came out and basically blew the crowd of real school hip-hop aficionados away. On his second song, he asked the crowd, “Does anyone in here like D’Angelo?” and proceeded to sit down at the keyboard and churn out one of the most soulful renditions of Brown Sugar that I have ever heard.
In many parts of his set, he paid tribute to his brother, J Dilla, by playing his songs, sharing stories of growing up together, or talking about their group, the Yancy Boys. The most poignant moment came when Illa J started talking about A Tribe Called Quest, a group J Dilla had produced.
“Tribe put my brother on the map, so I’ve got a lot of love for them. Without Tribe, my brother wouldn’t be here [in spirit], and without my brother, I wouldn’t be here. Rest in peace, to the legendary Phife Dawg.”
BREAKING IT ON DOWN
Notorious destinations for spring break include Fort Lauderdale, Florida, South Padre Island, Texas and Cancun, Mexico. With a line-up of Top 100 DJs, a Red Bull Thre3style winner and a performance by a heavy metal singing, cross-dressing wrestler-turned-Japanese Internet sensation, Spring Break on the Beach, in Kenting, Taiwan might just have to be added to that list.
Tujamo, who will perform at the annual music festival, has the perfect anthem for spring break called Booty Bounce, a four-minute ode to the many ways the derriere can move up and down and around and around.
Danny Avila, 21, is a rising star in the electronic music scene, and Ladybeard last performed his heavy metal in Taipei in 2012 in a dress, and has since recorded a video on a selfie stick in Japan that has more than 13 million views.
Shintaro (real name Shintaro Iwamiya) won the Red Bull Thre3style world championship in 2013 and has been touring the world ever since. He came to judge the Taiwan finals in 2014 and had a good time by playing back-to-back with 2012’s champion, Four Color Zack.
In an e-mail interview, translated by his manager, Shintaro said that he had a lot of fans in Taiwan and always looks forward to performing here. He was impressed with the contestants in the Thre3style battle and is excited to see a lot of the local DJs do their things.
“Taiwanese DJs have a unique way of expressing their DJ skills and I love it,” Shintaro said.
2016 Spring Break on the Beach (2016夏都春宴) featuring DJs Tujamo, Danny Avila, Shintaro, Ladybeard and more is tomorrow through Monday from 3pm to midnight at the Kenting Chateau Beach Resort (墾丁夏都沙灘酒店), 451, Kenting Rd, Hengchun Township, Pingtung County (屏東縣恆春鎮墾丁路451號). Admission at the door is NT$1,300 for a one day pass and NT$2,500 for a three day pass and includes an open bar from 6pm to 9pm.
When Auntie Su (蘇) was evicted from her apartment last Monday, locals were so overjoyed that they sent thank you wreaths to the Tainan Police Department. “Justice has been served.” “Punish villains and eradicate evil,” read some of the notes. “Thank you, hardworking police for bringing peace and quiet back to Tainan!” a neighbor posted on Facebook. Auntie Su is a notorious “informer demon” (檢舉魔人), someone who is known to excessively report violations either for reward money or — depending which side you’re on — to serve as a justice warrior or a nosy annoyance. Usually they are called “professional”
In Taiwan’s foothills, suspension bridges — or the remnants of them — are almost as commonplace as temples. “Suspension bridge” is a direct translation of the Chinese-language term (吊橋, diaoqiao), but it’s a little misleading. These spans aren’t huge pieces of infrastructure. The larger ones are just wide enough for the little trucks used by farmers. Others are suitable for two-wheelers and wheelbarrows. If one end is higher than the other, they may incorporate steps, like the recently-inaugurated, pedestrians-only Shuanglong Rainbow Suspension Bridge (雙龍七彩吊橋) in Nantou County. Because torrential rains hammer Taiwan during the hot season, the landscape is scarred by
With his sugarcane juice stall at Monga Nightmarket (艋舺夜市) floundering due to COVID-19, things took a turn for the worse for Lin Chih-hang (林志航) when he was furloughed from a part-time job. The crowds are trickling back to this nightmarket in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), but Lin is now so busy that he has hired a friend to run his stall. As the sole driver of the night market’s delivery service, established on April 12, Lin takes on an average of 20 orders on weeknights and over 60 on weekends, with his father helping out when he is too busy.
Eslite Gallery will hold an open house at their new gallery tomorrow in Taipei’s Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. The doors to the new space will open at 4pm and will feature works by local and international artists. As a nod to the ongoing pandemic and Taiwan’s handling of it, the gallery also announced a project called Artivate, calling on 12 of its artists to emblazon details from their artwork on cloth masks. Participating local artists include Jimmy Liao (幾米), whose illustrated books with simple stories about people coping in the modern urban world have become hot sellers across Asia, and