As a huge fan of Deep Crates, I was practically drooling in anticipation of reviewing this film. So when I received a copy of Deep Crates 2 in the mail a little while back, I became so excited that I actually didn’t want to watch it. I know it sounds a little strange, but like a little tease, the DVD sat on my living room table for over a week. Every day I came home from work and had a little internal debate with myself about when I would have a block of time large enough to watch it the two or three times it would take to obtain the necessary full viewing satisfaction.
The tough thing about being a record digger is that it’s often difficult to have conversations with non-collectors about records, so I almost lost my mind when the first thing I heard was Pete Rock saying “I’m a vintage vinyl person, cuz that’s how Bambaataa did it, that how Jazzy Jay did it, that’s how Grand Wizard Theordore did it, that’s how D. ST did it, that’s how my man Eric J from the hood did it. Ya know what I’m sayin’… we were record dudes.” From that moment I knew this DVD would be in constant, heavy rotation and prepared myself for nightly visions of dusty vinyl.
Where the first Deep Crates volume was focused almost exclusively on vinyl digging and collecting, the second installment opens up a bit more and spreads further into the production and engineering aspects of Hip-Hop. Although there was a broader focus this time, don’t get it confused, Deep Crates is about record digging and is not an instructional video on production or a manual on how to dig. This is a film for lovers of hip hop and the original records and producers responsible for making the art form.
With extensive interviews and bonus material, Pete Rock is by far the highlight of the film. There’s something about seeing Soul Brother #1 in the basement surrounded by vinyl and samplers that just makes me feel little bit better about my record habit. Since the greatest strength and success of the project is its ability to ability to maintain a personal vibe, viewing is similar having a intimate conversation with a the vinyl equivalent of a martial arts master revealing his vast knowledge and closely guarded style secrets.
Other great additions were interviews with Jake One, Marley Marl, 45 King, K-Def, Domingo, DJ Doc, and DJ Muro along with a quick vinyl excursion to a number of Japanese record spots. Most of us never have the chance to travel to Japan for a break, but this perfectly illustrates the extremes that must be taken if your goal is to be a top sampling producer. Perhaps the the funniest part of the film, was Grand Wizard Theodore wearing a t-shirt of himself! It’s all good though, I guess at this point he can pretty much wear whatever the hell he wants.
Watching Deep Crate 2 is probably best compared to watching ten years of Super Bowl highlight films or the feeling (I can only imagine) of finding doubles Impeach the President in the dollar bin. By striking a perfect balance between vinyl digging and production culture, Deep Crates 2 was able to bring insight into what was, and still is, a highly secretive and close knit group of extremely talented tradesmen. For those looking to be explicitly told what to sample, how to sample, or technical manual on how to make beats, this is definitely not the thing for you. However, regardless of your motivations, consider this to be an essential part of your Hip-Hop apprenticeship and make sure that you go out and get your hands on a copy immediately!
The director Jeremy Weisfeld aka Beat Dawg is well known and highly knowledgeable beat digger and dealer within the vinyl community. Make sure you check out his site Beatdawg.com for rare wax and essential DVD’s.
View the Trailer for Deep Crates 2.