When Rob Franklin left Madison for Chicago at the end of this summer, he departed from a city hip-hop scene that seemed to be slipping backwards into the tiresome pattern of municipal and media pessimism about the music that dominated early this decade. This was not due to Madison hip-hop artists themselves, but rather the outgrowth of several high-profile incidents of gun and knife violence over the summer at the popular downtown Club Majestic. Whether or not this resurgent bubble of negativity will persist, though, the real story of Madison hip-hop remains the work of those creating and performing the music.
Long before Franklin become well-known as one of Madison's favorite hip-hop artists as Rob Dz in the last few years, he had amassed an artistic record in town dating back to the late 1990s. One reminder of his earlier work is a music video shot in Madison and Beloit back in 2000, a reminder that creativity continues regardless of the hype du jour. Another stand-out in Madison's hip-hop history is Regime Records, responsible for another visual reminder dating from early this decade.
Both music videos follow below.
The first video features Dz performing along with J. Vocal on the track "Spit Sugar."
Up next is the video for "Hypnotik," which features the producer Ginx along with artists Stryfe, Benny Blanco and L.U.V. of Regime Records. It was shot in Madison in 2001.
The Madison-based record label Regime Records was co-founded in 1997 by Greg Doby, i.e. Ginx in his capacity as a producer. More information about hip-hop in Madison is available in a 2005 roundtable conducted for the Madison Music Project by Kenneth Burns.