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Uncle Jamm's Army
Uncle Jamm's Army1982

Origin

Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Genre(s)

Hip hop, Old school hip hop, West Coast hip hop

Years active

1978-1988

Labels

Freak Beat, Dunk Yer Funk

Past members

Egyptian Lover, Ice-T, DJ Pooh, DJ Bobcat, Djkittkatt, DJ Battlecat

Uncle Jamm's Army is a former American hip-hop crew based in Los Angeles, California in the 1980s. Their singles "What's Your Sign", "Dial-a-Freak", and "Yes, Yes, Yes" were influential to the electro, old school hip hop, and early West Coast hip-hop genres.

History Edit

Later in 1978, Arthur "Gid" Martin, who was friends with Rodger at Narbonne High School and first met at Henry Clay Jr High School, and his brother Tony Martin were attempting to give a party and asked Rodger to DJ for them. Rodger suggested they join forces and start promoting dances together, with Rodger spinning under the name Ace of Dreams and later Mr. Prinze. But they needed a name, a name that would catch everyone's attention. Later that year Funkadelic released an album entitled Uncle Jam Wants You. The name Uncle Jamm's Army hit home and was adopted. The group became the number-one dance promoters and DJs on the West Coast of the United States. Before forming Unique Dreams and Uncle Jamm's Army, Rodger spun records for a mobile DJ organization called LSD formed by Larry Grisby. Assemblyman of Gardena Steven Bradford & Former City Councilman of Carson Darryl Sweeney (Gardena High Alum's). After LSD stopped payment on his $25 check, Rodger told them that one day he would form his own organization and put them out of business. Uncle Jam's Army, along with Alonzo (Wrecking Crew) Williams (Gardena High Alum), were among the earliest hip-hop DJs on the West Coast and helped to bring the electro scene there. The group was influenced by Prince, Kraftwerk, East Coast electro. In the beginning, the Army first played funky disco but when Sugarhill Records started putting out great rap and funk hits, rap had finally reached the West Coast. Their major competitors during Uncle Jamm's run to supremacy was L.S.D., Z-Cars (Curtis Garrett- Locke High), JC2 Production (John Carter-Locke High School) and Bay Phi Si/Westchester Bay Lockers (Curtis Jackson- Westchester High). In December 1978, Alpine Village was the site of the groups Breakout Dance. Packing the house, standing room only! They never looked back, they were on the road to the top.

The "Alpine" Days Edit

By the beginning of the 1980s, the Army's popularity had grown. Rodger saw that a larger venue was needed; and Alpine Village in Torrance CA was the site of the groups Breakout Dances to standing room only! They never looked back; and they were on the road to the top. Summer 1980 brought "Shake Your Pants" and what later to be known as "The Twins", "4th of July" and "Labor Day Groove". All three occasions set record attendances to dub Uncle Jam's Army, "The #1 Dance Promoters in Los Angeles. Other venues such as Long Beach State; Veteran's Auditorium, Culver City; Pasadena and Santa Monica Convention Centers; the Hollywood Palladium; the Los Angeles Sports Arena were among the major venues used to entertain the masses.

In 1982, Rodger opened his first Music Store, The DJ Booth (Slauson & Western Avenue), catering to all the local DJs and selling 12-inch records.

n 1983, the DJ group expanded further and Uncle Jam's recruited underground DJs and MCs who were creating a cult following. The most well-known being Greg "Egyptian Lover" Broussard, Tracy "Ice-T" Marrow (who used to dance for the group at the Sports Arena events), who was later a gangsta rap pioneer, and later Mark "DJ Pooh" best known for producing 3 Strikes and Friday 1, 2 & 3, and Bobby "DJ Bobcat" Ervin (Death Row Records). The group name also would change to the Uncle Jam's Army (dropping one "M" in Jamm). The electronic sound of the group was influential on West Coast hip hop, as G-Funk pioneered by Dr. Dre continued the tradition of an electronic sound in hip-hop music.

By 1988 the group disbanded as the music in the industry changed from Fun Rap to Gangster Rap. A new era had arrived and violent music was the vice. But Rodger refused to disappear and forged forward with his love of music and started D.J.-ing at Pizazz Night Club in The Marina 1989. In 1990 Charles Alvon joined him splitting duties. By 1991 Pizazz shut the doors and Rodger proceeded to open his second store: DJ's Records in Pam

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