Kan-Dee Rappers Delight

Belle Glade based hip hop group Kan-Dee-Krew formed in the mid-1980s.

Hip hop culture has undeniably solidified itself as a worldwide phenomenon. The mouthpiece of the culture is its music, the aural representative so appealing to so many people. Hip hop originated in the Bronx, New York, in the early 1970s. Its rise is attributed to DJ Kool Herc, who looped break beats on his turntables to keep dancers out on the floor. As the MCs who rapped over the break beats achieved greater notoriety, the limelight shifted from the DJs to the MCs and evolved into what is commonly understood today as hip hop music. By the mid-1980s, hip hop was storming the airways nationwide and there was no stopping the momentum, despite dissenters who dismissed it as a fad.

Kan-Dee-Krew at a performance for a medical center, Wellington, 1987

Kan-Dee-Krew (left to right: Emanuel Harden, Charles Plummer, and Terrance Coffie) at a performance for a medical center, Wellington, 1987

Belle Glade based hip hop group Kan-Dee-Krew formed in the mid-1980s. The Krew consisted of Terrance Coffie, Emanuel Harden, Rodney Rumph, Duane Rumph, Charles Plummer, and Elijah Thomas. Heavily influenced by Run-DMC (one of the most popular hip hop groups at the time), the Kan-Dee-Krew delivered energetic lyrics with accompanying vocals that overlap. Unlike some of their counterparts, however, the group focused on the betterment of the community, using hip hop music as a way to connect with children and the underrepresented by advocating for education and warning against the dangers of drug abuse with songs like “Education” and “Crack is Whack.” This doesn’t mean that the group shied away from a little braggadocio and style, showing off with songs like “Fresh” and “Nikes and Reeboks.”

In February 1987, the Kan-Dee-Krew performed for a classroom of students at Pahokee Elementary School as part of the Palm Beach County Folk Arts in Education Project. The goal of this performance was multifaceted: the children learned how a vernacular art form is transferred to new practitioners, while at the same time received positive guidance through the music’s content that was delivered in the fresh form of hip hop, making them more receptive to the Krew’s message.

Kan-Dee-Krew’s “Education” speaks of the necessity of having a good education to pursue one’s goals in life. Those familiar with Run-DMC will certainly recognize the heavy influence. And, check out that accompanying beat box.

“Education,” by Kan-Dee-Krew
[audio:http://floridamemory.com/fpc/memory/collections/folklife/blog/KanDeeKrew_1.mp3|titles=Education, by Kan-Dee-Krew|artists=State Archives of Florida]
Download: MP3

This next excerpt is entitled “Fresh.” Also accompanied by a beat boxer and hand claps from the class, listen to Emanuel Harden, a.k.a. Kid Chilly, rip a bombastic verse.

“Fresh,” by Kan-Dee-Krew
[audio:http://floridamemory.com/fpc/memory/collections/folklife/blog/KanDeeKrew_2.mp3|titles=Fresh, by Kan-Dee-Krew|artists=State Archives of Florida]
Download: MP3

More Info: Catalog Record

Scallop Season

Scallop season is in full swing in the Florida Panhandle! Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission’s
website for more information on bay scallops, currently in season, and calico scallops. Check out a few historic photos of the scallop industry in Florida.

Scallop boat "Charlie G," Port Canaveral, 1987

Scallop boat “Charlie G,” Port Canaveral, 1987

 

Sorting scallops on deck, Fort Pierce, 1960

Sorting scallops on deck, Fort Pierce, 1960

 

Basket of scallops after the sorting process, Fort Pierce, 1960

Basket of scallops after the sorting process, Fort Pierce, 1960

 

Scallops Hawaiian style, Tallahassee, 1960

Scallops Hawaiian style, Tallahassee, 1960

 

National Lighthouse Day

Happy National Lighthouse Day! On August 7, 1789, the Federal Government took over the responsibility for building and maintaining lighthouses in the United States. More than 30 still operate in Florida today, including several offshore lighthouses in South Florida.

Alligator Reef Lighthouse, near Indian Key, 1873

Alligator Reef Lighthouse, near Indian Key, 1873

 

Sketch of Fowey Rocks Lighthouse, near Cape Florida, 1890

Sketch of Fowey Rocks Lighthouse, near Cape Florida, 1890

 

Carysfort Reef Lighthouse, near Key Largo, ca. 1900

Carysfort Reef Lighthouse, near Key Largo, ca. 1900

 

Pacific Reef Lighthouse, near Elliot Key, ca. 1950

Pacific Reef Lighthouse, near Elliot Key, ca. 1950

 

Aerial view of the Sombrero Key Lighthouse, near Key Vaca, 1954

Aerial view of the Sombrero Key Lighthouse, near Key Vaca, 1954

 

Aerial view of Sand Key Lighthouse, near Key West, 1989

Aerial view of Sand Key Lighthouse, near Key West, 1989

 

Kona Vernacular

Skateboarding originated in California in the 1950s and swiftly moved east to Florida. Kona Skatepark, located on Kona Avenue in southeast Jacksonville, opened in 1977 and is the longest-running skatepark in the United States. In the world of skateboarding, Kona is legendary. The picture below features one of the park’s most popular features that still remains firmly upright and imposing today: “The Tombstone,” a vertical wall measuring 6 feet above the rim of the bowl.

Ben French riding on "The Tombstone," Jacksonville, 1988

Ben French riding on “The Tombstone,” Jacksonville, 1988

In 1988, Gregory Hansen interviewed skateboarders Ben French and Shawn Roden as part of the Folk Arts in Education Project in Duval County. At the time of the interview, both French and Roden were high school students who spent every spare moment on their skateboards. Of course, Kona Skate Park was their venue of choice.

Skateboarder Ben French at Kona Skate Park, Jacksonville, 1988

Skateboarder Ben French at Kona Skate Park, Jacksonville, 1988

While you’re looking at the photos, listen to an interview excerpt of Ben French and Shawn Roden explaining some of Kona’s features for a glimpse into the life of young skateboarders in Jacksonville in the 1980s.

Excerpt from an interview with Ben French and Shawn Roden
[audio:http://floridamemory.com/fpc/memory/collections/folklife/blog/skateboard_clip1.mp3|titles=Interview with Ben French and Shawn Roden|artists=State Archives of Florida]
Download: MP3
More Info: Catalog Record

Take a listen to this interview excerpt to enhance your vocabulary of skateboarding tricks as French and Roden give in-depth descriptions of a wide range of tricks.

Excerpt from an interview with Ben French and Shawn Roden
[audio:http://floridamemory.com/fpc/memory/collections/folklife/blog/skateboard_clip2.mp3|titles=Interview with Ben French and Shawn Roden|artists=State Archives of Florida]
Download: MP3
More Info: Catalog Record

Lesser Known Florida Hurricanes: Carrabelle (1899)

The Atlantic hurricane season is once again upon us. It’s time for preparation… and a little history.

Satellite view of Hurricane Andrew, 1992

Some of the most famous storms in the annals of hurricane history made landfall in Florida. The Sunshine State is certainly not alone in suffering from tropical weather; Hugo, Gilbert, Katrina, and Sandy immediately come to mind.

We remember the devastation from Andrew, Charley, Donna, Jeanne, Francis and many others, but what about the lesser known hurricanes in Florida history? This series of blog posts takes a look back at lesser known hurricanes and other tidbits concerning tropical weather in Florida history.

Today, we look back at photographs from the 1899 hurricane season, when a storm packing 100 mile per hour winds slammed into the Florida Panhandle.

Carrabelle railroad depot destroyed by the 1899 hurricane

Carrabelle railroad depot destroyed by the 1899 hurricane

After first making landfall in the Dominican Republic, the storm passed over Islamorada in the Florida Keys on July 30. The storm reformed over the Gulf of Mexico and reached its peak intensity on August 1 shortly before landfall in the Panhandle.

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