I became aware of hip-hop when Deborah Harry and Chris Stein played some on the radio on a station in New York where they were guest DJs. I happened, by mistake, to tape the show, and when I went back and listened to it, I was absolutely galvanized
Double Dee and Steinski was a duo of hip hop producers, composed of Doug “Double Dee” DiFranco and Steven “Steinski” Stein. They achieved notoriety in the early 1980s for a series of underground hip-hop sample-based collages known as the “Lessons”. Although they never had a hit record, they proved highly influential for subsequent artists such as Coldcut, DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, the Avalanches, and Girl Talk. Their music was not widely available on CD until 2008 due to their use of copyrighted material.
Steinski’s 2006 compilation CD, What Does it All Mean, contained a new track – “Number 3 on Flight 11”, a meditation on the 9/11 terrorist attacks – which has been widely praised. In their reviews of What Does it all Mean, Peter Shapiro (Wire magazine, June 2008) called the piece “a graceful (but still chilling) elegy to New York,” while Dean Biron (Popular Music and Society, 2009) referred to it as “one of the most remarkable pieces of music of this or any year … [which] manages the impossible feat of evoking hope, beauty, sadness and dread all in the one text.”