reviews

DJ Supreme's Hijack DVD - Hip Hop Connection

February 2006

A real historic artifact, this.

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DJ SUPREME PRESENTS TURNTABLE TRIXTERS [HIJACK 1986 – 1992]
(WWW.DJSUPREME.COM)

The full story…?

Although their recorded output is minimal – one album, less than a handful of singles – and their career came to an abrupt halt 14 years ago, Hijack's influence is immense. The south London group and their HQ Squad family held technical and lyrical sway over London's hip hop scene in the late '80s and early '90s; their second single, Hold No Hostage/Doomsday of Rap, upped both ante and tempo; they signed to Ice-T's Rhyme Syndicate label, the first British group to gain such recognition from the US; and the speed-of-light scratching of DJs Supreme and Undercover meant they became revered figures in the annals of turntablism.

This DVD sets out to etch Hijack's story into the hip hop history books, and does a fine job despite key limitations. As well as lacking much in the way of Hijack music – the extras include a rudimentary black-and-white, single-camera film of a 1990 Glasgow gig – the only member of the band who speaks is Supreme. This isn't as problematic as it could have been: as Shaka Shazzam, Icepick and Gunshot's Alkaline tell it, he was the key figure. But without Kamanchi Sly and Ulysses, this exhaustive history falls shy of being definitive.

Still, anyone who has ever wondered about the band's rise and mysterious break-up will pore over the lovingly accumulated detail. Accounts from both sides of the battle Supreme and Undercover had with Pogo, Bizness and Cutmaster Swift bring a legendary encounter to life; Ice-T's recollections of working with a down-for-whatever crew are illuminating and amusing; and throughout, with the likes of HKB Finn, Mell'O' and Blade offering their thoughts, there is a strong sense of the wider context, of the growth and development of the UK scene that birthed Hijack, but which they irrevocably altered.

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