As Omaha’s Hip-Hop culture continues to develop, few people can lay claim to the level of influence and experience that DJ RIP (aka Mike Dunham) has donated to the cause. Known as “The Old Skool Specialist”, the Omaha native has been perfecting his craft since the early 1980’s. As the first Hip-Hop artist from the state of Nebraska to ever have a vinyl record pressed and released, RIP is familiar with Omaha’s Hip-Hop history.
“In the early 1980’s, there were many Hip-Hop shows and functions with various artists like Mario Scratch, Brian B, DJ Suicide, Star Steppers, and Harland Gunn. These guys were MC’s, DJ’s, Beatboxers and B-Boys who kept Hip-Hop flourishing throughout the 1980’s.” said RIP. “1987, there was a huge emcee battle called “The Battle of The Bands” that took place at the Civic Auditorium. There were over thirty different Rap/Hip-Hop crews that competed in that show. The number of participants shows that the Hip-Hop community in Omaha was definitely thriving at the time, but in 1988 when NWA came out, Gangsta Rap exploded. The Hip-Hop scene in Omaha was lost in the transition to Gangsta Rap and as a result, the Hip-Hop culture began suffering.”