Or my man Red Alert Going Way Back by Just-Ice

The legendary Kool DJ Red Alert, protégé of Bambaataa and key figure in Hip Hop radio, first with 98.7 Kiss FM and later with Hot 97. Uncle Red is responsible for breaking more Hip Hop music than anyone else in the business, including classic groups such as Boogie Down Productions, Ultramagnetic MC’s, and the Jungle Brothers.

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You can ask Kool Herc Going Way Back by Just-Ice

DJ Kool Herc, the originator of Hip Hop and the inspiration for Afrika Bambaata and Grandmaster Flash.

Herc’s now-legendary parties began in 1973 in the West Bronx and established the blueprint for the first wave of Hip Hop DJs and MCs. Known for having the loudest sound system in town, his crew The Herculords would often dominate rivals simply by drowning them out.

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Breakout, Sasquatch Going Way Back by Just-Ice

Another shout for DJ Breakout whose sound system, Mighty Mighty Sasquatch, had 15-inch speakers made from 55 gallon steel drums. Despite looking like garbage cans, they sounded loud and clear, establishing Breakout and Baron as worthy competition for The Herculords.

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On the other side of town, the mics in their hands
The lecherous, treacherous also perpetuous MCs cold in command
Going Way Back by Just-Ice

This might refer to the Treacherous Trio, a short-lived crew consisting of Grandmaster Caz (who later joined the Cold Crush Brothers), Whipper Whip and Dot-A-Rock (also briefly in Cold Crush but best known for the Fantastic Five).

Another possibility is Harlem’s Treacherous Three. They didn’t really jump off until 1980 though.

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With Breakout, and Baron, and the Funky 4 Going Way Back by Just-Ice

The Funky 4 MCs were the first incarnation of the group Funky 4 + 1 who had a hit with “That’s The Joint” in 1980.

The original MCs were K.K. Rockwell, Keith-Keith, Rahiem (who later joined the Furious Four), and pioneering female MC Sha-Rock. Handling the music were DJ Breakout and DJ Baron with their Mighty Mighty Sasquatch sound system.

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I can't forget where we used to ill
With the young Sound Masters in Castle Hill
Going Way Back by Just-Ice

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The L Brothers, Grand Wizard Theodore Going Way Back by Just-Ice

Grand Wizard Theodore is a pioneering Hip Hop DJ from The Bronx. He invented scratching and needle dropping.

The L Brothers were Theodore and his older brothers Mean Gene and Cordeo (the L stood for Livingston, the family name). They later became the Fantastic Five and had a hit with “Can I Get A Soul Clap” in 1980.

Theodore and the Fantastic Five (aka Fantastic Freaks or Fantastic Romantic) feature prominently in the film Wild Style.

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But anywhere Uptown, you always heard the sound Going Way Back by Just-Ice

In the context of this song, Uptown probably refers solely to The Bronx although it more commonly covers Harlem too, and sometimes doesn’t include The Bronx at all.

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Up top, every weekend rock
Either 131 or around that block
Going Way Back by Just-Ice

IS 131, an Intermediate School in the Soundview section of The Bronx, doubled as a venue for Hip Hop shows. It appears briefly in the video for this song.

Also see the 123, another Bronx school / Hip Hop venue.

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In the Hill, not a thing was chill
Sound Masters on the loose and acting ill
Going Way Back by Just-Ice

The Sound Masters were a crew from Castle Hill in The Bronx — the first crew that Just Ice ran with. He was originally a DJ but found that he enjoyed the creativity of writing rhymes more. Some of his friends from the crew are mentioned later in the song: Tre Dee, Shelt La Rock, and Dr Kik.

See this interview for more on Just Ice’s early career.

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