Straight up, I’m keeping it 103 on this one (see Young Jeezy, Thug Motivation 103): Ozone magazine is a stand-up print publication for listing me as their New York rep for the fourth annual DJ issue. Respect Julia Beverly’s editorial conglomerate, as one of the dominant portals for rap music. It’s physical place in the transitioning magazine industry is a sigh of content, not the belly-up position of a bi-montly book on it’s way out. Deejays, whom have seen similar twists, and turns, or rather skips and scratches (outside the groove) share their thoughts on breaking new talent, the perks of being a musical ambassador, and even name their worst deejay experiences. Even Superman had his off-days. Learn about DJ Treats below. Then read the full uncut interview.
Photo by Christian Torres
How did you get your big break as a DJ?
I was called by John Monopoly—Kanye West’s former manager—to spin at XXL Magazine’s Late Registration (2005) party for Kanye’s sophomore album. At this very party, I was asked by Def Jam’s execs to premiere “Diamonds” in front of Jay-Z, Beyonce, Jermaine Dupri, Amerie, and John Legend. I was later joined by Kanye and Common in the DJ booth where the performed a live version of “The Corner” followed by a freestyle over Amerie’s “1 Thing.”
What’s the strangest thing someone’s offered you to play their song?
Have you ever taken money to play a song? [Graph/Poll Question]
Unless you count a wad of cash pelted at me before they even made the request, no. I just kept doing my job.
What’s the best mixer? [Graph/Poll question]
TTM 57SL Mixer for Scratch Live
What are the extra perks that go along with DJing?
Traveling (for free), building an iron stomach to all the filth you take (food, criticism, *ahem* requests), practicing condescending lines, and believe it or not, insomnia—imagine what you can do when you barely sleep.
What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve ever had while DJing?
Almost electrocuting myself while connecting a speaker. Dying before a gig, [now] guess who would have had egg on their face.
How do you deal with a shady promoter?
I respond with some ignorant records in my repitoire: i.e. The L.O.X. “Fuck You”, Young Jeezy “Who Dat”, The Diplomats “I Really Mean It”, “Keep It Thoro” Prodigy, and “Breakfast” LeLe.
What are the positive and negative effects of internet and blogs posting music?
Positive: If you’ve ever spent over $100 bucks at a time on vinyl, you know the relief of downloading an mp3 for free.
Negative: An internet hit not necessarily a radio hit.
How has the recession affected the DJ game?
Where it once took a commitment to invest money in equipment, and time in building a skill, today people don’t have the dedication to this craft that takes sometimes a lifetime to perfect. So people turn to the accessibility of iPods, which widens the playing field. The greater impact is that the pay rate for a DJ has also gone down—concentrating higher payments to DJ’s with corporate connections, or top-level booking agents. Sad but true.
How do you feel about DJs that belong to multiple crews?
It can work like the benefits of a polygamous relationship. But at the end of the day, the house always wins.
Who is the best artist to work with? Why?
Micky Factz. There is no limit to what he’ll rap over.
Who is the worst artist to work with? Why?
The kind that doesn’t practice their craft.
If you could go on the road with any artist who would that be and why?
The Roots. I’d want to be the Glengarry Glen Ross of their shows—always be closing.
If you could battle any legendary DJ who would that be and why?
DJ Rectangle. His Ultimate Battle Weapon record series had tons of great samples and breaks I used to practice scratching and beat juggling. I’d like to go back in time to his 1993 DMC U.S. Championship, just to lose though. If I won, I’d alter the space-time continuoum, causing eons of unknown changes in the DJ world—the kind that could possibly level music forever.
Give us your predictions for the next big artist(s) & why.
Mickey Factz, Supreeme, and Jade. I’m a huge supporter of risk-taking in music. Like myself, these artists are willing to take chances creatively, ultimately raising the bar for how far musicians push themselves.
R.I.P. the late greats DJ Roc Raida, and DJ AM.