From an early age Jason "Jaz" Ford has had a great interest in music, growing up he would listen to the radio as much as he could and would fall asleep with his little green transistor radio, he loved all of the classic 50's, 60's, 70's 80's pop hits and so much more.
Once before he even knew what Hip Hop was he listened to Sugarhill Gang-"Rappers Delight" on a Solid Hits album and kept taking the needle on an odd the record to get all of the lyrics, this would have been around 1980.
It wasn't until 1982 however when he met an older friend who gave him a tape that had Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Patrick Gammon, Prince Charles and The City Beat Band and others in it, that he became addicted to Hip Hop.
The next day he went to a local record shop and picked up the Prince Charles and The City Beat Band-Stone Killers album and played it over and over (sadly someone stole that record many moons ago) and later on in 1983, he got the classic Street Music compilations and took up breaking...in primary school, he would often backspin the back of the classroom and was in a couple of competitions, granted he wasn't the greatest but he enjoyed it and also remembers getting down after seeing Beat Street the first time (he wasn't the only one haha).
Although never that good at Graf, Jaz did tag and did a couple of bombs back in the days.
All through the 80's, Hip Hop became an obsession and he bought many tapes and records, once he was in High School, he became known as the white kid with all of the tapes and records, and often had friends come around and see his collection and ask for dubs on tape.
During the 80's, he had a pretend Radio Station in his bedroom and used to his own Top 10 Rap tracks of the week, at High School he became involved in the lunchtime radio station and after he left High School he got his first on air opportunity with Valley FM and from all of the excitement on one death to dawn show, he accidentally took the needle off the wrong record (good one Jaz lol).
Around the same time and after many years of being a massive fan of Radio Active 89 FM and The Uncut Funk Show (which featured Welli legends, DJ TeePee, Mighty Mic C and DJ Rhys B and the orignal Three The Hard Way) which later became the Wednesday Night Jam (New Zealand's longest running Hip Hop show) he became friends with DJ's Mikey, Vicious and Big Daddy Cam (MVC Posse) and was invited up to the show, the first night there he said to Mikey and V, I want to do this and he eventually got his own small slot with Jaz's Jam's and Hip Hop News in 1990.
In 1990 Jaz had his first ever gig playing out live alongside Beatnik at the institution that was known as Cuba Cuba, Beatnik and Jaz also performed live at Naked Angel (back when Jaz was still rhyming, some demos were also made back in the days, but they got lost lol).
In 1991 DJ Mase-O (De La Soul) came up to the Wednesday Night Jam, which was especially moved to a Friday and joined the MVC Posse and myself for well over 3 years, rocking the ones and twos with mad classics.
In 1991 Mikey and V (Cam had moved to Australia) told me they were leaving and handed the show over to me.
Jaz was working at HMV from 1990-91 (big ups Cian O'Donell) and selling a lot of Hip Hop in the store, in 1992 Jaz worked at Tandys and gave them thier first Hip Hop section, which was quite successful and through out 1992 he played gigs at house parties and did a lot of death to dawns shows on Radio Active.
In 1993, Ebony Beats eventually got a residential night at another old Welli institution Clares Nightclub, along with Pop Up, Jason Guy-Clement, Don Luchito and others, Beats,Blunts and Bass was born and the crew also ended up doing a release party for Cypress Hill's-Black Sunday album.
From 1993 onwards, a lot of mobile gigs were played and Pop Up and Jaz were often found at
housewarmings and parties around the city.
In 1996, when Jaz was working at the legendary Flipside record store, he and the Flipside crew and others hosted a release party at the much missed Edward Street Cafe for the Stakes Is High album, the gig was a massive success with over 500 coming through the door over the night and many punter enjoying the special Native Tongue Shakers that were thought up especially for the night.
This was followed up with a release party for A Tribe Called Quest's-Beats, Rhymes and Life album, it was moderately successful, but nowhere near as massive as the De La one.
In 1997 Jaz and Vee hosted a release party at Hole In The Wall for KRS One's-I Got Next album and continued to play at all kind of gigs including a wild and incredible release party for Wu-Tang Clan's Forever album.
In 2006, Jaz was very lucky to be the support DJ for one of his favourite Hip Hop groups, De La Soul and in 2006 he left the Wednesday Night Jam and left for Melbourne, but eventually came back after six months after missing the Welli scene too much (although he needed to get away from it for a bit) and did a few Jams here and there, but depression consumed him and he also thought that it was time for others to get in and rock the show (big ups Omega B, DJ Kerb, Juse 1, Sticky Fingers, Don Luchtio, AL, Kurst One)
Jaz is also a writer and has also been on the team for the Back To Basics magazine, did reviews for Live magazine,
interviews for Stealth Magazine (Australia) and a magazine that Sounds record store had as well as many numerous reviews and interviews on various forums and websites.
In 2010 after more than a few years out of action, living independently joining Facebook and coming out of his illness, Jaz, with the support of great friends and his family, decided that it was time to get back out there and did Vibes "N" Stuff at San Francisco Bath House with Damien Govid in September and has other gigs lined up for later in the year.
Through out the years Jaz has played at the following places at some stage:
Cuba Cuba (first gig,1990)
Clares (regular gigs with Beats, Blunts and Bass)
Edward Street Cafe/Curve Bar
Cypress Hill-Black Sunday album release party (1993)
La Luna (both bars)
De La Soul Wellington show-2006
New Religon gig
Deeper Bass-Palmerston North
Various house parties, flat warmings, office parties etc
Globe Bar (Da Jam with Vishal)
Wu Tang Clan-Forever album release party (1997) The Lab
De La Soul-Stakes Is High release party (1996)
A Tribe Called Quest-Beats, Rhymes and Life release party (1996)
KRS One-I Got Next album release party (1997) (Hole In The Wall or Valve?)
Espressoholic 10th birthday party
Hole In The Wall/Valve/Bar Medusa
Metro (Mid City)
Southern Cross Bar
Good Luck Bar
and possibly a few others
Nothing but the finest in Hip Hop, old and new.
- Fri 29 Oct - Bar Medusa - Wellington
Yo! Raps back at it...
- Wed 27 Oct - Good Luck - Wellington