Disclaimer: Before we continue I should reiterate something, it is impossible to capture the full Hip-Hop experience of any place. There are so many artist and layers that one can really only speak to their experience. Thus the same with my Hawaii Hip-Hop post. What I’m aiming for in these types of post is for you to take a look into the sounds of these artists for yourself and dig deeper to get an understanding of what the world is like on their side. Hip-Hop used to be like the news for us. Straight from the source and when done right, we knew the stories of every neighborhood of every rapper we listened to. I would like to push that idea in these post.
Let’s us begin with a story, YEARS ago while visiting my wife’s family on Oahu she wanted to take me to Ryan’s at the Ward Center. I, being the b-boy that I am, was on the constant lookout for people that were into Hip-Hop like I was. I came across a shoe store in the Ward Center and asked if I could drop off some CDs for people to take for free. They reluctantly obliged and luckily a cat named Jus Bone picked it up and played it on his Got Rice? Show on KTUH 90.1 FM. Upon my return a few years later my man Creed Chameleon introduced us and he put me his radio show, the next time I came out had me live on stage at Hip-Hop at the Trops a dope underground spot that featured local artist and an extremely energetic open mic.
Things like this seem like standard business for Jus Bone. The true embodiment of a tastemaker, similar to the likes of Red Alert, Kevin Sakoda, Julio G and Mike Nardone you can find Bone playing new artist’s music, putting on shows for new artist and talking about new artist. This is tough, thankless work for anyone familiar with how things go in the world of hip-hop. Up and coming rappers are often late to soundchecks/interviews, a little too big for their own name, hungry but lacking information/direction and sometimes a bit delusional. Bone seems to handle this all in stride, being an outlet for the sound of Hawaii Hip-Hop.
There’s a person like Bone in every city with a thriving Hip-Hop community, one who has the natural desire to dig deep for new sounds and bring them to the surface. These are the lifeblood of the scene and without them, a lot of energy is lost.
Every 1st Saturday of the month he runs a spot called “DOPE” at Hawaiian Brian’s. In it, you’ll find the purity of a Hip-Hop scene. DJ Jaba One playing nothing but heat on the ones, an open mic where MCs were hungry and ready to show their skill, and a list of new (or newly heard) cats ready to perform and let loose. The energy was perfect, it was exactly like the energy at Hip-Hop at the Trops 3 years ago. So much so I had to jump on the mic (and fail miserably lol) to show and prove. If you’re ever on Oahu check it out. Make sure you give Jus Bone a shout.