Jud Nester
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Jud Nester


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The best kept secret in music


"Abstract Art"

Abstract Art
Abstract Workshop spent eight years bringing hip-hop to OC: Now they're bring their own music to the world
Thursday, March 2, 2006 - 3:00 pm

Scotty Coats, Jud Nester, Cocoe and Josh One. Photo by John Gilhooley
Even though it starts and lives and thrives in Orange County, the story of Abstract Workshop has a little more Hollywood hip-hop in it than you’d think—Suge Knight makes an offstage appearance in the late ’80s, hoping to manage DJs Scotty Coats and Jud Nester’s baby boy band, and DJ Cocoe suffers a bullet wound outside a club in Anaheim in 1994, shot innocent-bystander style while waiting to get paid for deejaying. But that’s just the cheese around the real center: the preternatural ambition of four local producers and DJs—each with experience and resources that together stack into skyscrapers—who eight years ago made the handshake meetings that took them from random sets of dudes spotting other random sets of dudes to the powerhouse collective responsible for the longest-running independent hip-hop club in Orange County.

Before underground venue-packers like Zion I headlined the Knit or Atmosphere headlined the Glass House or Aceyalone headlined the El Rey, they all took an unfamiliar drive down the 5 to meet with the four workmen—Jud Nester, 29; Scotty Coats, 29; Kosta “Cocoe” Tsimahidis, 30; and Josh One, 30—behind the Abstract Workshop. Most famously, Phife from A Tribe Called Quest once plugged more than 700 people into Costa Mesa’s Tiki Bar—“A full-on rock club!” says Cocoe—on a Wednesday night. But most tellingly, Abstract is still going, outlasting not just the downer guy who told Cocoe underground hip-hop couldn’t be done locally way back in 1998 (“That was my drive,” he says) but venues (like the Tiki Bar) and clubs and even certain formats of music: CDs will be obsolete in two years, but Abstract will be celebrating their 10th anniversary. And they’ll be celebrating the second anniversary of their own long-time-coming record label, the next logical progression for guys who set up a lasting home for hip-hop in the 714 (before it turned into the 949). First they made a place for the music, and now they’re making the music itself.

“We used to invite people in,” says producer and MC Jud Nester, whose vocals carry five of the six songs on the very first Abstract Workshop label EP, available for digital download Friday from abstract-workshop.com. “And now we’re pushing outward—we’re bringing our vibe to the world.”

* * *
“To say, ‘Yeah, I’m Orange County hip-hop,’ that brings a chuckle,” says Jud. But that’s a bit unfair: OC labels like Ubiquity (officially world-class, thanks to the Label of the Year award they won from the BBC) and Sound in Color routinely release and promote national and international hip-hop/soul/funk artists, even if they don’t always get the local shows to go with them. And super-producer Madlib and super-group the Lootpack (which would disband into components still flourishing in independent hip-hop today) came out of Oxnard, which—though it is the lima bean capital of California—can’t be much more cosmopolitan than Orange County.

So it’s not so much that OC is so awful as that it suffers the short side of the Long Beach/Los Angeles axis—drive toward Leimert Park, and you can be an LA rapper and enjoy the various glories thereof. Drive the other direction, and the freeway eventually empties into a floodplain of bedroom communities long figured to have petered out—if they ever petered in—sometime around the year punk broke. But the suburbs deserve their shot too, and so the lifers in Abstract—all except Josh still live locally—remember a lively local scene. There were lots of little things in OC: the Palace club in Anaheim, says Josh, where Cocoe and Fountain Valley’s budding Beat Junkie J.Rocc would deejay, clubs and parties in Santa Ana and Fountain Valley and even Irvine, or Koo’s touchstone freestyle nights, where the open mic sessions, graffiti wall and breakdance crew would incubate most of the 21st century’s local hip-hop musicians.

“I wouldn’t change where I grew up,” says Josh, who now lives in LA but admits to liking Long Beach better (“You can put that in,” he says).

“It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at,” says Cocoe. “I feel my knowledge of music is pretty deep, and I’m from Garden Grove, dude—there’s no record store there! It’s what you go and dig for and what it becomes.”

* * *
After Jud and Scotty met in that pre-Knight boy band—really, they were called Kinetic Krew and they were supposed to cheese out New Kids-style, until the producers (who were also supposedly working with DJ Quik) discovered Jud could rap—they found themselves the hardest hip-hop dudes in Mission Viejo (“Coto de Caza, those streets were tough!” laughs Scotty), listening to Melle Mel and breakdancing on their own linoleum while other kids spent - OC Weekly (Cover)

"The Great Hip Hop Hope"

The Great Hip-Hop Hope
Beneath the underground with the Abstract Workshop collective
By Andrew Asch
Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 12:00 am

Photo by Jeanne Rice
It was like a plot from a hip-hop-hater’s handbook. DJ Cocoe was waiting in the parking lot of wannabe bling-bling, long-since-defunct Anaheim club Prestigio Towers, looking to get paid a lousy hundred bucks for his night spent spinning Top 40 rap songs.

He didn’t pay much attention to the gangsters who were booted out of the club earlier that evening. Instead, Cocoe was thinking about rent and how the hundred was barely going to put a dent in what he owed. It was 1994. Cocoe was 18. He certainly wasn’t thinking about being shot.

First he heard the rapid pop-pop-pop of an automatic pistol. Then he saw frightened people running in every direction around the parking lot. He knew it was for real when his friend Flip yelled with anguish and shock, "I’m hit! I’m hit!" Cocoe darted over to Flip, who had caught several bullets in his abdomen. Then a bullet found its way into Cocoe’s left thigh, narrowly missing a major artery. A friend pushed Cocoe back into the nightclub, where the shooting and shrieking continued. Half an hour later, Cocoe was inside an ambulance rushing to UC Irvine Medical Center, fearing for Flip and not knowing what the hell was going to happen.

Through much of his teenage life, Cocoe’s Greek-immigrant dad and the thinning ranks of authority figures in his life all said that nightclubbing was no good, that hip-hop attracted a bad crowd. Cocoe was close to saying they were right, but he didn’t want to surrender. He knew hip-hop could be positive, but no one else was stepping up to defend it from the gangstas and the haters.

Years later, the wounds have healed, and Cocoe’s still making an argument that hip-hop can be a constructive force through Abstract Workshop, his club and music collective. Abstract Workshop celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, and the club has only experienced one minor fistfight in its history. That’s after bringing to Orange County some of underground hip-hop’s top names, such as Aceyalone, Phife from Tribe Called Quest and Atmosphere. More important, Abstract Workshop has given OC’s hip-hop scene a place to call home.

"They’re the voice for independent hip-hop in Orange County," says Diego Carlin, who co-promotes Memphis Café’s Diggin’ Deeper club. "They’re kind of like the last stand for this sound."

No one saw that in Cocoe’s future back when he was shopping around for a venue to house his hip-hop night. Club owners looked at him with disbelief every time he said he wanted to do a hip-hop club dedicated to art and peace. "It was the whole thing that hip-hop was going to bring nothing but troublemakers," Cocoe says. "And here I was, a kid with dreadlocks, telling them that this club was going to be different."

If that was a laugh, a little relief from the comedy came after he met DJ Scotty Coats and MC Jud Nester. Coats and Nester played at the Tiki Bar (now Club ROC) and persuaded the owners to green-light Abstract Workshop in 1998. The catch was that they’d be exiled to clubland’s Siberia—Wednesday nights. But that was all right. Cocoe, Coats and Jud Nester—all who later formed the Abstract Workshop collective with a host of other folks—wanted the club to fly under the radar anyway.

"It was an abstract workshop where we got to know one another sonically," says Coats, recalling how they came up with the name. "Between 20 and 30 people showed up—five of Cocoe’s good friends, five of my good friends, and so on. They were almost practice sessions. We’d DJ with three turntables and two mixers. One of us would be juggling beats; the other would be scratching over it. We’d see what we do musically."

They hoped to create an intimate vibe with the club. But after the first nine months, it had become about as intimate as a searchlight’s glare across a Lover’s Lane. Crowds of up to 500 people started turning up, even on their rotten Wednesday nights. Whenever someone really big like Phife came out, crowds swelled to more than 700. And when huge mobs started coming to check out an Orange County unknown, that was when they knew that people were dropping by just to have a good time.

It could still be dangerous—but mostly for artists’ egos. Like an edition of Abstract Workshop that took place this past August at its current home, the Detroit Bar. It was promoted as a head-nodding art night at which Bay Area turntablist Ricci Rucker was going to perform with some of the Abstract Workshop regulars such as Josh One and Cocoe. Not everyone was into it, though.

"Play some fucking music! We wanna dance!" screamed some kids close to the end of the dirge-like scratch symphony. Cocoe got the message and was soon spinning some James Brown, De La Soul and Black Eyed Peas. The rebellion was quelled, but Cocoe concedes the kids had a point: "It was a Saturday night. We were trying to p - OC Weekly

"The Unknown"

Good shit...good shit.....good shit. I'm glad to have these guys
on my side. Don't sleep! Now excuse me while I take
another listen."
J.Rocc - Beat Junkies - Hip Hop Pressline

"Jud Nester (Artist Review)"

Eight years after its inception, Orange County , California’s legendary Abstract Workshop Collective is proud to introduce
Abstract Workshop Music – A new home for modern eclecticism.

In true Workshop fashion, their debut record is a combination of
creative works and collaborative efforts showcasing Abstract
Workshop Music’s first recording artist, the ever-talented Jud
Nester. From the square wave bass pulsations and crisp, modern
production on “Eluding,” by The Workshop’s own Josh One, Cocoe
and Jud Nester, to the appearance of Abstract Workshop’s first
lady, Erinn Karman on“OK Sexy,” this piece of wax is positioned to
be a collector’s item for all discerning vinyl lovers and music
enthusiasts. “Destiny” sees additional production by E “Danger”
Coomes – having worked with the likes of DJ Quik and Kanye
West, “Danger” adds his trademark spice to the mix. Coming on
strong, this plate takes off right out of the gate to give you an
eclectic blend of modern electronic production with influences
derived from Soul, Funk, Down-tempo, Drum and Bass, House and
Jazz - with a strong urban and hip hop drive - placing The Abstract
Workshop in their own original, sonic playground. Each and every
groove weaves smoothly in and out of Jud’s nimble lyrical stylings
– voice and sounds working in unison to increase the vibe with
every note. Side A was produced to its finality by Cocoe at the
Abstract Workshop Studio in Huntington Beach , California , while
side B was produced by Jud Nester at the Lab Rat Recording
Room in Long Beach , California . This EP is but a sampler of the
serious sounds to come from Abstract Workshop Music. - BPM Magazine

"U shoulda seen her on Myspace"

"U Shoulda Seen Her On Myspace"
A listener's "Anthem For the Myspace Generation" http://www.judnester.com/ pop »

Played on the Tom Leykis Show and has a presence on the home page of his website. (www.blowmeuptom.com) - Tom Leykis Show

"Myspace.com Song"

With MySpace.com getting lots of negative publicity in the media these days, you gotta know that MySpace is the "IN" thing right now. If you ain't on MySpace, you AIN'T happening! So peep this, straight outta Organge county, Cali, artist Jud Nester drops his debut joint "U Shoulds Seen Her On MySpace" (Abstract Workshop Music). Not to be taken so serious, but this joint is funny & I think we need something like this to get away from a lot of Hip-Hop out now that's only glorifying bling bling & gangsta'ism. So if you're lookin' to play a Hip-Hop joint that'll make ya laugh & ease some tensions, put on Jud Nester on your wheels! - www.rapattacklives.com


Reppin' Southern Cali is artist Myka 9 whose new track features Jud Nester with "Trees" (Citrus Recordings). Early feedback's been nuttin' but positive: DJ PrizMatik (WFTU-NY): "The beat is real dope, Myka 9 is dope!"... L-Precise (CJSF-Canada): "It's cool with a nice chill vibe"... Nick Nack (Mixtape DJ-Austin): "Very hot. Definitely feeling it sir." Dropping soon...




- www.rapattacklives.com

"Rap Attack"

Rap Attacks top 5 Conference Call picks
1 J DILLA So Far To Go BBE
2 TERMANOLOGY Watch How It Go Down Brick
Against The Grain Halftooth
U Shoulda Seen Her On MySpace Abstract Workshop

(http://rapattacklives.com/conferencecall_244.htm) - www.rapattacklives.com

"Underground Charts"

Underground Chart

The Shining Album (NEW) BBE

Get It (NEW) Koch

U Shoulda Seen Her On MySpace (NEW) Abstract Workshop

4 PROOF I Thought I Told You (NEW) Barak

5 LOUIS LOGIC & J.J. BROWN Misery Loves Comedy Album (NEW) Fatbeats


- www.rapattacklives.com

"Pick Hit Of The Week"






(http://www.rapattacklives.com/nastynews_242.htm) - www.rapattacklives.com


"U Shoulda Seen Her On Myspace" - Single (2006)
Abstract Workshop Music, I.S.
*getting airplay*
*online distribution*

"the Lab Rat" LP (2006)
Abstract Workshop Music, I.S.
*online distribution*

Abstract Workshop Presents- Jud Nester - EP Vinyl (2006)
Abstract Workshop Music, I.S., Ubiquity Records
*getting airplay*
*online distribution*

Myka 9 Citrus Sessions LP - (2006)
Citrus Sessions
*getting airplay*
*online distribution*

Sensational Librement Collection - Jason Blakemore - Production (2006)
Life Music
*online distribution*

Live From The Garage- Mix tape (2005)
Abstract Workshop, I.S.

SCUD "Scott Coats & Jud Nester" - EP Vinyl (2003)
Life Music

The Soundtrack in Dub - LP (2003)
Abstract Workshop, I.S.

Dubb Selekta -Remix- 12" Vinyl (2003)

Erinn Karman "Priceless" EP (2003)

Jason Blakemore "Ocean View" 12" Vinyl (2002)
Life Music

Vibration Workshop - EP (2000)

Positive Influence - 12" Vinyl (1993)
TNT industries

Live In The Corner - EP (1991)

Kinetic Krew - EP (1989)
K&K Entertainment


Feeling a bit camera shy


Jud Nester is a musical renaissance man who can be found anywhere good music is being
made or played. Ever since he was born Jud has shown a deep love for music. By the age of ten he was already writing lyrics and beginning to compose his own ideas for songs. By his teenage years he was performing live at numerous events, night clubs, and television shows with a group of friends. Already a veteran to the frontlines of the music industry Jud was poised for stardom at a young age when he withdrew from the spotlight and submerged himself into the underground music scene. Always honing his skills and talents Jud took every opportunity he could find that existed in the music community, from sound engineering school to working every aspect of studio and live productions. This led to establishing his own sound and production company, Imagination Sound LLC, to support his soaring aspirations. He has dedicated his life to the love of his craft
and over the years has accumulated the knowledge and experience needed for success. Once in his twenties Jud teamed up with long time, and best friend, Scotty Coats and D.J.’s Cocoe and Josh One to form the Abstract Workshop. Abstract Workshop is an eight year and running music and art event that has captured the hearts, ears and eyes of music and art lovers across the southwest and Hawaii.
Abstract Workshop recently expanded its vision by creating Abstract Workshop Music, the record label which facilitated the release of their original material. The first two releases have garnered local, OC Weekly, and international, BPM, fame boosting expectations for Jud’s next release. In 2006 Jud is positioned for lift off. With the support of Abstract Workshop, the foundation of local fame and the attention of the international music community, he is a name to know with a style to be recognized. Categorized in the hip hop, soul, and funk genres, Jud’s music breaks boundaries and fuses together all of his vast influences into a pop category with heavy urban and island influences. His first collaboration with the Fyre Department production team, “U Shoulda Seen Her On MySpace...”, will be the new anthem for the MySpace generation.