In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop Culture, 206 Zulu News will be spending the year highlighting important moments in the dynamic history of Hip Hop. Through a series of photos and flyers from monumental events, we’ll take a deeper look into some of the instances that have shaped the culture over the years.
The first installment in our series will be DJ Lady Lady Love remembering a flyer for a live show that took place at the Hartford Civic Center in Connecticut on April 6, 1980. DJ Lady Love, who played the event, also happens to be the woman that MC Sha-Rock deemed as the first solo female DJ in Hip Hop. She remains active in the Hip Hop community today, continuing her live performance career, radio work, and community organizing. In her words, this is her memory of that night…
“So, April 6, 1980, at the Hartford Civic Center. That was what that flier was. The event was promoted by Ray Chandler, who he was a big promoter of (Grandmaster) Flash and everybody, and some of us were on a bus to go up to Hartford, Connecticut from the Bronx. So on the bus was Spoonie Gee and the Treacherous Three, which was Kool Moe Dee, Special K, and LA Sunshine.
I can’t remember everybody who was on the bus. I just remember them because Spoonie sat in the front seat, LA sat in the middle, and Special K came and sat next to me. And as he sat next to me, he asked me, ‘So who’s going to be your MC tonight?’
And I was like, ‘I don’t have one,’ because the person who I usually DJ for was Woody Wood and he had his own spot on the show. So this was my first solo thing without him and I didn’t have an MC. I was just going to play.
Special K was like, ‘No, I’m going to be your MC.’
And I was like, ‘For real?’
He was like, ‘Yeah, I got you. Don’t worry, I got you.’
So it was Infinity Machine, that was the one providing the sound system at that time. At that time, Infinity Machine and Disco Twins were like, the biggest ones in Queens with the system. It was King Charles and everybody, but those two were the biggest two. And I had played with them a lot of times already before. But I played with Woody. Like I said, Woody was my MC.
So we get up there, and it’s huge. The Harvard Civic Center was huge. This was the biggest place I had ever played. So now it’s my time to go, and I start. Special K, he was right there, and he got on that mic. I cut up Seven Minutes of Funk. I did (Dance to the) Drummer’s Beat, and Special K rocked for both of those things for me and he kept saying my name. He’s like, ‘I want everybody to know who you are.’
And he kept saying my name. ‘Special K and DJ Lady Love!’
And it was amazing. Now when he got off, Divine from Infinity machine… Divine, Disco Kid, and Wildcat… now they got on. So I had them MCing for me, too.
Meanwhile, I was the only female DJ on the flier and everything. And when I was done, this little boy, because it was an Easter show, so it was kind of like all ages… he came up and asked me for my autograph. And that was the first time anybody (did that). I was like, ‘You want my autograph?’
He was like, ‘Yeah, you’re amazing!’
And I gave him my autograph, and I was so in the moment, I never really listened to what it was that Special K was actually saying on the mic. And I didn’t know there was a recording of this. I found the recording. Somebody told me about it in 2010. And I listened to it.
And the rhyme that he made up… he told me, he said, ‘I made it up right there just for you.’ And it was about me. And I couldn’t believe it. He said something like, ‘This pretty, pretty mama just as pretty can be… got on the bus and sat next to me.’
And I was like, ‘He’s talking about me! I just got off the bus!’ And I said, ‘K, that rhyme you did for me back in the 80’s, that was about me?’
He said, ‘Yeah, I wrote that right there off the top of my head as I was doing it, for you.’
And I felt so proud, because all these years, I thought it was something like a routine that he had already had. I did not know that he made it up right on the spot.
But it was an amazing night being in Connecticut. The Funky Four was there. Kurtis Blow was there. Spoonie Gee was there. Woody Wood was there. I was there. And it’s one of my most memorable dates that I played, this flier. The Easter flier was the best time that I had. Being on the bus with them, I wasn’t even focused on whoever else was on the bus. It was just the fact that I was hanging with Spoonie Gee and the Treacherous Three. That’s all I could think about.
We all became friends after that.
I’m Lady Love and that’s my flier story.”
For more information on DJ Lady Love: