Tuesday, June 15, 2010
IKANDY MAGAZINE FEATURE
What is a "Real DJ" to you?
From my perspective, a real DJ actually mixes and blends music. It annoys me when people just play a song then fade out of it and the next song starts without any effort to mix. A real DJ can actually mix and blend at the very least – without depending on sound effects or simply screaming their own name all over someone else’s music. A real DJ breaks new music. Not just from the majors – that’s easy. Break new music from a new artist. I love being the DJ that will break a new record from a new artist.
Where does your determination from being a "Real DJ" come from?
It annoys me that so many people are calling themselves ‘DJs’ with absolutely no DJ skills at all. Simply playing music does not make you a DJ. Windows media and iTunes can do that! A damn ipod and mp3 player have just as much talent! I used to just shake my head and keep it moving, but now I am beginning to air out these wack imposters. I think they are damaging the credibility of all DJs and clogging up the lane for real DJs. Public Enemy had the sample “No more music by the sucka’s” and I can hear that in my head right now lol.
What do you look for when it comes to approving new drops for a mixtape? How does one have that "IT" factor?
For drops I look for energy and of course say my name right. As for the music, you know the feeling when you hear a new song for the very first time and it immediately makes your face scrunch up and your head start bobbin…that WHOA factor? That’s what I look for. I evaluate new music just like an A&R does. If the song doesn’t grab me within the first 10-15 seconds then I’m on to the next one. Artists and producers need to think of that before they do these long intro’s and buildups. If the beat doesn’t come in bangin’ and I don’t hear somebody rappin’ or singing within the first 15-20 seconds….it’s to the recycle bin and on to the next one. I want to hear something unique and just pure dope. When I assemble the music for a mixtape I want to be sure that every single song is worthy and could stand on it’s own. I don’t want my fans skipping tracks 3, 8, and 12…I want them to push play and let it roll all the way through, then take it back to track 01 and roll it again.
Is there a certain confidence that a DJ should have when first entering the music industry?
If a DJ is brand new to the game then they should network like crazy, practice their craft, and learn as much as possible. The only confidence the DJ needs is the ability to jump on a set of wheels at any time in any place. I used to network in the clubs with other DJs and they gotta pee or smoke or get a drink sooner or later lol. If the DJ has legitimate skills, then by all means, walk with confidence and seize every opportunity to spin.
What are your most inner/deep feelings about the Barbie movement?
I really don’t have any strong feelings on it. I see it as another fad like psuede pumas and fat laces or kids wearing their clothes backwards or super bright neon colored clothes or…Hip-Hop has seen a lot of evolution and growth and will continue to do that forever with each new generation and each new movement. There’s room for all of it under the umbrella of Hip-Hop.
Explain what exactly is Mixtape Syndicate, for those who don't know about it?
The Mixtape Syndicate is a family of select DJs, a small core of DJs that stand out as the very best in the mixtape game. DJ Ykcor (Pennsylvania), DJ MLG (Spokane Washington), DJ HeadBussa (Tampa Florida), DJ Cannon Banyon (Columbia South Carolina), DJ Pimp (Paris France), and myself (Dallas Texas). These are real DJs with real mix skills. We don’t scream all over artist’s mixtapes. We don’t bury the music under a layer of sound effects. We put the mix back in the mixtape game. I am passionate about my craft as a DJ so I wanted to associate myself with other DJs that have legitimate skills. I can proudly say that I would vouch for every single DJ in the Mixtape Syndicate. In 2009 our Mixtape Syndicate family of DJs released over 300 mixtapes with more than 3 million hits/listens/downloads. In January of 2010 we are already more than 12 mixtapes deep with more than 75,000 hits. We are extremely selective when evaluating any DJ asking to join the Mixtape Syndicate, but we have to be in order to protect the integrity of what we stand for – real DJs, real mixtapes, real numbers. Our Syndicate network is growing and includes models, artists, writers, photographers, entrepenuers, etc.
What makes you unique from other DJ's?
I break new music. I am always looking for new music from new artists. I want to be the very first person to break a new record. I pride myself on breaking new music on my radio shows, in my mixtapes, and at the clubs. I grew up listening to DJ Red Alert and Marley Marl and Funkmaster Flex and one of the biggest reasons I listened to them work was to hear new music. I guess I’m old school in that mentality, but for me – I want to be THAT DJ that played the dopest shit first. I play music from every corner of the US and I think that makes me stand out, too. A lot of DJs pin themselves down with a regional flavor and I think that restricts them too much.
Do you have any influences? If so, who are they?
I grew up listening to DJ Red Alert, Marley Marl, and Funkmaster Flex so they all definitely influenced me on the radio side of the game. And look at Flex –still doin it! I’m a student of the craft so my influences would range all the way back to Kool Herc and the Herculoids to Jam Master Jay and Scott La Rock to Jazzy Jeff to DJ Screw…My greatest influence by far is DJ EZ Eddie D in Dallas TX. He is the one that introduced me to the club scene and to radio, not to mention numerous artists. He vouched for me when no one knew my face or my name. EZ Eddie D is the one person responsible for everything I have accomplished because he brought me to the game and gave me opportunities to establish myself as a respected DJ. You can still catch EZ Eddie D spinning every Saturday night from 5 to 7pm (CST) on 89.3fm KNON (www.knon.org).
Do you think music itself, inspires who you are as a person? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Music influences how people dress and talk in a huge way. Music sets trends and often sets the mentality of masses of people. Music serves as a common link for people that would otherwise never meet or talk or anything else. Music sets the mood for anything you want to do.
What aspect of a person, plays a big role in music to you?
Musically, I look for unique styles and originality. I look for lyrical ability, flow and cadence, a unique voice and sound. I look for production that stands out as unique and BIG. From a DJ’s perspective I appreciate artists that are on top of their hustle. Can I get drops from the artist? Can I get a verse for a project? Will the artist promote my shows when I tell them they are in the mix? Will the artist promote the mixtapes I do with their music in the mix? On the business side of the game I look for individuals and companies that have their priorities in line and are on top of their business. All of this figures into my ‘get lean’ mentality. Trim away the lazy fat hanging around and dragging everyone down. Get lean and roll with those that are fit for this.
Da' Hitman helped to launch iKandy Magazine with the iKandy Magazine Mixtape featuring music from Wreck-a-Mic, Chalie Boy, Doitall, Hezeleo, Atiba, Asia Lee, Kim Joyce, and more.
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Labels: iKandy Magazine