I got the extreme pleasure of bringing you Sacramento, the man, the creator, master planner, Hip Hop enthusiast, mentor, and a very good friend of mine Mr. Roy Machado. Some of you might know him as Nino. I know him as successful, if you looked up the word in the dictionary a picture of him would be placed in the number one spot of the definition. Bass player from The Addict Merchants, Owner/Partner of Twelve’s Wax Emporium and Twelve’s Entertainment, member of the North Star Universal Zulu Nation as well as creator of The Catalyst paper; well he is one of my beloved friends and a Sacramento native Hip Hop preserver.
Born in the Philippines his musical influences differed from what we in the States call genre music. His labeled “American Music” was that of Depeche Mode, The Platters, The O’Jays, and Chuck Berry. After entering the United States his musical influences grew into adding genre/labels to his favorite groups like NWA, Beastie Boys and pretty much anything and everything that tuned us in every week to YO! MTV Raps to that of famous TV music station The Box.
Since 1996 Nino has been on the go sharing his soul and love for music with Sacramento for many years. Starting as a garage band, the Addict Merchants formed from Valley High School classmates. The group consisted of a drummer, bassist, sax and vocalist Mike aka Dot. While staying as a garage band, entering college at Sacramento State University A.M. hooked up with lyricist Freeze and his best friend EJ who was a keyboard specialist. After rocking a couple of times together they were added to the A.M. crew and thus formed the first Jazz/ Hip Hop group in Sacramento.
rollingwiththenewly While getting their first gigs with the added crew members Nino also had his minds focus how he can promote local Dj’s. How to get Sacramento to see the talent that these DJ’s posses? He began greasing up his mental wheels and decided he would open up a record store. Not only will this be a way to showcase local DJ’s but will add a record store that our generation would be able to grab the latest record, mingle with the best and would also bring something new and fresh to the community.
As Twelve’s Record Emporium kicked off Roy was also using the confines of Sacramento State’s Halls to promote the record store but to also use as a platform to bring the freshest in Sacramento Hip Hop to us in the form of shows. From live MC performances to B Boy Battles and Films that captured what this freedom, struggle, peace, and community Hip Hop movement was all about. Hip Hop shows then were nothing less than Amazing. Roy recognized that no one, I repeat, no one in Sacramento was paying any attention to the hip hop music scene that Sacramento possessed. SNR and The Bee never had a single article out to tell us where and when to find Hip Hop here in our little city. So instead of buying an ad in these papers who could give a damn about our scene he used the record store, the Sac State stages as an advertising tool. He then went back to sharpen his swords. Finding out that starting a local paper that focused on music and its community effects would be a positive move. The 12 page paper, The Catalyst, was birthed. Those swords were damn sharp too.
Being successful in everything he touched in a matter of a few years he went back to the iron room and made new swords to puncture the sides of non hip hop doers. In 1998 the North Star Zulu Chapter formed. Consisting of only the best in Hip Hops DJ’s, B-Boys, Graf Artists and MC’s in the Northern area it’s fair to say that they helped Sacramento blow up the music scene. Dropping bombs on the scene they became the most successful preservers to this day. Maturing and following the Universal Creed nothing could stop this crew.
As his name became well known in all of the hoods our city consists of, a guy, in which I will not name any names here, approached him about doing some shows with his team of DJ’s at Scratch 8. A three month deal was made, where a couple times a week Nino would book his DJ’s to perform with Scratch 8 featured artists. The first night was successful for Nino and his team. “It was never meant to happen this way. It was a three month deal and that was it” he tells me. If I remember correctly this was one of the first underground shows I attended and was taken back by the vibe, talent, positive and aggressive movement that was present. I knew then that my love for Hip Hop just expanded and was real. I could touch it, see it, taste it…I could feel it. KRS One, Masta Ace, Abstract and Del were just some of the artists that we were blessed to see. “It spread like a wild fire” Nino says. Nino was most influential in bringing soul, backpack hip hop and legends all to one stage to vibe together.
Years had gone by with a non stop focus on building a positive music community. Giving to the people is what made him happy. Seeing his friends that were capable of going further than Sacramento was refreshing to him. This movement was moving at top speed. Before I knew it he was the man who ran Sacramento Shows and brought the illist acts out to Sacramento; The Roots, Mos Def, Common, Lauryn Hill, Del the Funky Homosapien, Questlove, Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock, Living Legends and the Legendary Afrika Bamaataa. Oh man the list goes on and on but you can sum up what this crew created in these words from the man himself “An authority of authenticity.”
Print, shows, records and an ever growing Zulu tribe you may ask yourself “How in the hell?” Yea, my thoughts exactly. He just won’t stop, a machine, a non stop progressive movement all in one body. Providing Sacramento with many avenues to see, witness and feel the music we love when Hip Hop Shows were not allowed in clubs/venues in Sacramento. They now welcomed them. Twelve’s Record store closed up shop in 2005, the Twelve’s DJ’s took over many cities in the States, The Catalyst members moved up, Universal Zulu Nation was running strong, venues and the community started embracing Hip Hop as an art form that was not to be messed with and Twelve’s Ent carried on shows till 2006. Successful? I would say so. After my talk with Nino I felt such an incredible joy and sadness at the same time. You see he made it all real, he made it come alive here in our city, and he made non believers into believers. It’s bitter sweet.
Nino now has a new venture,yes you heard me correctly, DotLabel.com. This new independent record label and media source is host to local musicians that need to be heard. This site allows you to view and witness greatness but also was birthed from a friend, fellow musician and band member of the Addict Merchants, Mike aka DOT, that we lost not long ago. To keep this movement on a steady roll DotLabel.com is sure to be a victory. Let’s not forget Nino has never let us down. Giving us more than any of us has asked for. Stay tuned to more of what is in store for Sacramento by checking this site on a regular and keep Sacramento Hip Hop alive. Big Ups to Nino a wonderful friend, mentor and blessing.