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LIFE: DJ Red Alert: 30 Years of “The Bridge is Over”

Written by on March 4, 2017

With BX representer Remy Ma steady throwing shots at NIcki Minaj from Queens, the smell of interborough beef is in the air and hip hop’s competitive juices are flowing. What a time to be alive! The Bronx has a long and proud tradition of legendary MC battles, perhaps none more so than the epic Bridge Wars of the late 1980s, when Boogie Down Productions waged lyrical war on Marley Marl and the Juice Crew. Today happens to be a red letter day in that chapter of hip hop history: the thirtieth anniversary of the release of “The Bridge Is Over.” Three decades ago today DJ Scott LaRock and the Blastmaster KRS-ONE delivered the killing blow over a dancehall-flavored track laid down by Keyboard Money Mike and Ced Gee of Ultramagnetic MCs and the hierarchy of hip hop changed forever.

To make sense of this day, Mass Appeal reached out to Kool DJ Red Alert, who actually made a cameo appearance on the record, which he premiered on his groundbreaking 98.7 KISS FM mix show. “It made quite a stir,” Red says with characteristic understatement. The DJ who was instrumental in the breaking countless classic hip hop records and nurturing the careers of Native Tongues acts like The Jungle Brothers and De La Soul, broke down the roots of the conflict, going all the way back to when BDP was known as 12:41. Apparently they brought their record “Success Is The Word” to Mr. Magic who was not trying to play it on his Rap Attack radio show, leaving hard feelings all around. So when Magic’s boys Marley Marl and MC Shan dropped “The Bridge” the members of 12:41, now known as BDP, decided to bust a shot in their direction. The song “South Bronx”—also premiered by Red Alert—set the streets of NYC ablaze and elicited a response from the Juice Crew in the form of “Kill That Noise.” The follow-up to this somewhat lackluster answer track was “The Bridge Is Over” and the rest, as they say, is history. “The whole thing was fun,” Red Alert stresses. “It was all about the microphone and who demolished who.” Listen up ladies!

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What started as a humble graffiti ‘zine in 1996 would soon grow to be one of the most trusted outlets for youth-spawned urban culture. Today, Mass Appeal is a media collective led by authentic voices and inspired minds. We are a platform for radical creatives who are transforming culture.

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