Neil Armstrong | The Interview

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State your stage name and profession for the record.

DJ Neil Armstrong, professional old guy at the club.

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

DJing now since 1995, so 21 years. 1st gig, real gig… I guess opening up for the X-Men, for Fat Beats release party of Rob Swift’s video maybe? I can barely remember the gig I did last week so… yeah my memory is crap.

What’s your favorite DJ era in NYC and why?

Oh for sure, early 90’s to late 2000’s. Golden Era of Hip-Hop. We used to do shows with Company Flow and The Arsonists and there were girls there and people used to just get down and have a good time. No holding up the wall, the b-boys hung out with us, the skaters hung out with us. I have a video of one of our early performances, we’re just doing turntablist/battle routines. Harold Hunter was there chilling…it was really like that in new York, all the cool kids of the era just colliding and having a good time.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 5 minute all vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?

www.thefuture.fm/mixes/42087/djneilarmstrong/nonstop-original-live

5th Platoon is undoubtedly an institution. Talk about the history and influence y’all have had and what it means to be a part of such an important crew in NYC DJ history.

Appreciate the kind words. I guess if you were to stretch out the timeline of that great era of turntablism, our crew was the “middle child” of the greats . When you mention battle crews, 9 times out of 10 a knowledgeable older school DJ would say, X-Men, ISP, and The Beat Junkies. If you ask a later DJ, they probably would mention the Scratch Perverts, the Crash Dummies, The Allies…

Well, right smack dab in the middle of everything was my crew the 5th Platoon. We had to battle EVERYONE. I battled personally every single one of the X-Men. In competition we had to battle the Beat Junkies, we battled Shortkut, Vinroc had to beat members of the Scratch Perverts….we had to battle Craze, and I.Emerg who came late. Had to battle Vajra (Chris Karns), and DJ Shiftee and DJ Enferno and all the new school cats.

Our crew as a collective did a lot of damage in the battle scene. I.Emerg was the last US champ to win back to back DMC world titles for the US. Vinroc won the ITF back to back. On top of that we had one of the premier female battle DJs of the time DJ Kuttin Kandi on our squad, raising the bar for what females could do in a male dominated art form.

But still, in the whole scheme of things, we were the “middle children” of the era, the Scotty Pippen to Jordan, the Klay Thompson to Steph Curry. At our height we were fighting the X-Men, members of ISP and the Beat Junkies as the established crews… and on the other side we had A-Trak and Craze and the Crash Dummies/Allies to coming up behind us.

On top of that we came up in the era before videos and social media, so a lot of what we did is just lost in history.

As the turntablism scene has changed dramatically from its heyday, I don’t really know what our real status is in that world anymore. I like to believe that somehow the new kids still know what we did as a collective and I’m sure some folks out there do.

I personally will always really love that point in my life as a turntablist DJ, but like everything, that was just a “stepping stone” , a chapter in my life that set me up for the next part of the story…


I personally will always really love that point in my life as a turntablist DJ, but like everything, that was just a “stepping stone” , a chapter in my life that set me up for the next part of the story…


Favorite pizza joint?

hmmm… right now maybe maybe Di Fara in Midwood, Brooklyn .

Lebron or Carmelo?

hmmm… I guess I gotta say Carmelo cause i’m a Knicks fan.

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind in the world?

My crib in Jersey City, or with my wife out in Tokyo.

What’s a current favorite album you’re listening to now that you think you’ll still be listening to 10 years from now?

Whole album? hmmm….. thats a tough one, cause I rarely listen to whole albums. Possibly Kendrick M.A.A.D. City? Don’t know if you would consider that current at this point though.

Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

Shouts to all the folks who have ever listened to one of my mixes, all the folks who have hired me to DJ for them, and all the people who came out to party with me.


djneilarmstrong.com

instragram.com/djneilarmstrong

twitter.com/djneilarmstrong

facebook.com/djneilarmstrongfanpage

Shortkut | The Interview

Shortkut perform during Night 1 of Red Bull Thre3Style World DJ Championships 2013 at the Adelaide Music Hall in Toronto, Canada on the 5th of November, 2013.

State your stage name and profession for the record.

Shortkut

Wax Juggler and selector for Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Beat Junkie Sound, Triple Threat DJs.


How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

Djing for 29 years. First gig was in a garage party in Daly City.

What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

The late 80s. At a young age, mobile DJ crews were like rockstars to me. And the era of the mobile sound system in the Bay Area was different than any other scene I’ve experienced or heard of.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 5 minute all vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?

Everything in my crate of 45s.

The Invisibl Skratch Piklz have undoubtedly become an institution. Talk about the history and influence y’all have had and what it means to be a part of such an important crew in Bay Area DJ history.

Still trips me out how far we’ve gone and how I’m part of that crew. Been a fan of Dee, Q, Mike, Apollo and for them to put me down was an honor. From the days of the late 90s when those Turntable TV videos came out, it was us just messing around…didn’t think it would reach the world the way it did. Glad it spread what we did to the masses.

Favorite burrito joint?

Papalote no doubt, but my first love is La Cumbre.


“From the days of the late 90s when those Turntable TV videos came out, it was us just messing around…didn’t think it would reach the world the way it did.”


Curry or Kobe?

Kobe Beef is superior to a Curry beef dish.

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind in the world?

Maui

What’s a current favorite album you’re listening to now that you think you’ll still be listening to 10 years from now?

99.9% – Kaytranada


www.djshortkut.com

instagram.com/shortkut

www.facebook.com/shortkut

CUTSO | THE INTERVIEW

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State your stage name and profession for the record.

Cutso.

Professional vibe purveyor, producer, remixer, host and mixer on Rebel Pop Radio on Wild 94.9, tour DJ for Lyrics Born, upscale sparkling water enthusiast.

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

I first got serious around 93-94. Didn’t play my first gig until 96. It was a house party in Eastside San Jose. Unfortunately, my big DJ debut was cut short when a fight erupted. Dude got stabbed as the fight moved outside. Fortunately, he was OK. That’s when my friends started calling me Cutso. Just kidding. That’s not how I got my name. But dude really did get stabbed though.

What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

From 1993-1999. I was taking more of an interest in DJing at that time, and meeting everyone that shared the same passion for it. We were earning stripes rolling with mobile crews, making 4-track mixes (or two dual tape decks if you were broke, but crafty), mixing with three decks and learning about scratching and beat juggling. That all evolved into battling and turntablism, as we know it. And of course, that’s also what motivated us to buy our first samplers and drum machines and start incorporating production. There was so much progress and innovation in the art form of DJing/turntablism in just that six year spread alone! And at that time, we were dreaming up what the near future had in store for music technology. We were the last of the analog children and the first of the digital children. Crazy times.


“There was so much progress and innovation in the art form of DJing/turntablism in just that six year spread alone!”


You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 5 minute all vinyl set to prove your worthiness.

What records do you choose?

Tom Tom Club “Wordy Rappinghood”
Freestyle “Don’t Stop The Rock”
ESG “Dance”
Bucketheads “The Bomb”
Steely Dan “Peg”
Prince “Let’s Work”
Show Boys “Drag Rap (Triggerman)”
Masta Ace “Born To Roll”
UGK & Outkast “Int’l Players Anthem”
Too Short “Freaky Tales”

Rebel Pop Radio has become a bit of an institution. Talk about the history and influence it has had and what it means to be a part of such an important outlet for DJ creativity in this day and age.

Growing up on Bay Area radio, we always had the cleanest DJs. Bay Area radio has always championed DJ skills and choice selection. With Rebel Pop Radio, TRUTHLiVE and I are trying to keep that tradition alive by putting on some of the world’s baddest club DJs, established and up-and-coming alike, and focusing on choice selection and skills. It’s our way of contributing to the evolution of the art. Providing a forum on a commercial dance radio station to catch wreck and show the world that real DJs still exist.

Favorite burrito joint?

Lorena’s in San Jose, Papalote in SF.

Curry or Kobe?

As far as beef goes, I prefer Kobe over Curry. I’ve always enjoyed curry more with chicken. It holds the flavor much better than beef. But really doe, Curry ’cause Dubs for life. But there’s no denying the beast that Kobe was.

Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

Shout outs to my crew, The Bangerz, TRUTHLiVE and my Rebel Pop Radio/Wild 94.9 fam, the homie Lyrics Born, the Bello family, all my friends inside and outside of my professional life. To you, Platurn, for giving two shits about a young player like myself. To anyone that decided to click, repost or even read the first couple of lines of this interview, thanks for your time. And to the whole entire Bay Area. Couldn’t quit you if I tried. Unless you force me out like you’re doing to all of my friends.

Goldenchyld | The Interview

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State your stage name and profession for the record.

Goldenchyld – DJ / Producer

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

I’ve been DJing for about 20 years now. Damn, that makes me feel old as f***. I don’t think I can remember my first gig ever, but I started doing house parties, cotillions, and school dances in like the 8th Grade and my freshmen year in High School.

What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

Well, I remember the late 90’s early 2000’s being super exciting in the Bay Area. It felt like the Bay had world class DJs and high level events highlighting DJ culture super frequently. It felt like the Bay Area was an epicenter for DJ culture. All aspects of djing from digging, selection, to technical ability were all held in a very high respect by the whole community. I guess being exposed to that so early on left a huge impression on me, and I find myself wishing it could go back to that at times.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 5 minute all vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?

Sheez. That’s a heavy question. I might get into some Shakiyla – Poor Righteous Teachers, maybe some Wind Parade – Donald Byrd to Black Moon – Buck ‘Em Down, and maybe some RJD2 – 1976, and Sure Shot – Beastie Boys. At least I’d definitely work those in!

Rumor has it that something highly noteworthy is in the pipeline for San Jose nightlife, something DJs and connoisseurs of quality music are sure to be excited about for years to come. Care to comment?

Yes! San Jose has a great community of musical creatives, and we seem to have lost a ton of our music / nightlife venues due to city constraints over the years. That is turning around now slowly and we have more and more people of our generation going into business and creating the spaces we need for DJ culture to survive. I’m happy to say I’m involved with one of those projects with some very great and capable people and we are looking to open in late September / October of this year.


“San Jose has a great community of musical creatives, and we seem to have lost a ton of our music / nightlife venues due to city constraints over the years. That is turning around now slowly and we have more and more people of our generation going into business and creating the spaces we need for DJ culture to survive. I’m happy to say I’m involved with one of those projects with some very great and capable people and we are looking to open in late September / October of this year.”


Favorite burrito joint?

Super Taqueria in San Jose!

Curry or Kobe?

Curry all day!

Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

Shout out to all of my Bay Area DJs that keep the culture alive from top to bottom! Shout out to my crew The Bangerz, shout out to DJ Nappy, and shout out to TRUE and the Pirate DJs!!!

djgoldenchyld.com

twitter.com/goldenchyld

mixcrate.com/goldenchyld

instagram.com/goldenchyld07

The Whooligan | The Interview

The Whooligan_Press 1[photo by Jack McKain]

State your stage name and profession for the record.

The Whooligan and my daily grind differs from day to day – I am a DJ, a business man and most of all, I love bringing people together. In terms of “titles”, I am the Director of Worldwide Bookings and Partnerships for globally respected record label and music platform, Soulection. I also co-manage Producer and DJ, ESTA. and take part in many of our Artist Development initiatives within our platform.

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

I’ve been DJ’n; learning and loving global culture, spreading good vibes and progressive music for over 12+ years now. My first official DJ gig was at John Colins in SF’s SoMA District. 90 Natoma to be exact! That was their first location, pre-Serato, 3 crates deep, and I filled in for one of SF’s legends, DJ RAS CUE. The owners loved my sound and kept me on as their resident for over 8 years, I’m forever indebted to them. They gave me my start and they were the first cats to believe in me back home.

What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

Wow, where do you even start? I can honestly say that the Bay has produced some of the best DJ’s in the world – I have mad love for my peoples in New York, Miami, Chi, Philly, LA, but something about the (Filipino) mobile DJ culture from back in the day really set the precedent. I think that original style of party-rocking that you hear so much in the club, in the Bay, nowadays, came from that era. ISP to Triple Threat, Oakland Faders, F.A.M.E., list goes on. The beauty of every era is that I think DJ’s that followed really respected what the architects did and flipped their own styles on top of it. I used to work at Amoeba Music in SF and had the honor of growing up with some the Bay’s best and most influential, so big shout out to all the DJ’s [in the Bay] that put me on and supported me from day one.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 5 minute all vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What [artists] do you choose?

Ok Ok… I’d rock Oscar De’Leon, Hector Lavoe, Willie Colon, MJ, Prince, Stevie, Tribe, JAY DEE, Pete Rock, Gangstarr, Outkast, Simpleton, Chaka Demus & Pilers, Nas, The Lox, Mary J, Sade, SSO Orchestra, Patrice Rushen, Shaun Escoffery/Spinna, Kenny Dope, Hiero, Ice Cube, Biggie, D’Angelo…I hate these kinds of questions, but it’d be the craziest party-rocking, quick mix set ever lol so much dope music that raised me foreal..

Soulection has become an institution. Talk about the history and influence it has had over the years and what it means to be a part of such an influential movement.

Soulection’s history is deep and you can write a book on just that alone, but what I can say is that historically, the one thing has held us together and allowed us to move the way we do is purpose. Soulection serves a purpose – we are a family and a platform here to empower and educate. You know, we’ve endured growing pains too – we learn something new every single day, and every day is a new challenge for us.. but we hit these challenges head on and regroup accordingly. It’s not all just touring and traveling the world and putting out music and a walk in the park as everyone thinks… it’s a lot of sacrifice and blood, sweat and tears. Literally. You know, we’ve let go of some people along the way, some people have left on their own will, but it’s only made us stronger. I love the fact that my team is mad resilient and straight up loves what they do to the fullest though. We’re crazy positive and realistic and just out here trying to spread love and catch good vibes. Life is too short and there’s already so much drama and negativity in the world, we just want to do good for one other, and our supporters and for our generations and families to come; and you can feel that in the music. That’s the influence I think we’ve had.. our music and live shows are 100% inclusive, everyone is down, everyone is a part of this movement. We don’t exclude anyone for any reason, and like I said, relationships and connection and positive vibrations are the most important things our society needs today. I’m just grateful to be honest, and I’m here to learn as much as I can and give back and work hard and put my people on indefinitely. I don’t ever take my responsibilities and relationships for granted and I especially don’t go one day without acknowledging my squad, our team, our artists and DJ’s, global community and all of our blessings.


“I’m just grateful to be honest, and I’m here to learn as much as I can and give back and work hard and put my people on indefinitely.”


Favorite burrito joint?

Papalote in SF…. Triple Threat Burrito and Mexipino joints are fire – don’t ever play yourself if you visit SF and don’t hit up Papalote.

Curry or Kobe?

Steph all day – I’m from the bay, so it’s been an honor to see him transform into the champion he is today. He’s a true inspiration, a leader and real low key and genuine. Keeps his head in the game and just balls, that’s rare with some high ranking athletes. I can’t hate on Kobe though. His influence and command of the game is beyond commendable, with sports in general. They’re both two of the greatest players of my generation, so I respect them heavily.

 

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[photo by Anna Sian]

Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

Peace and blessings to my family and our supporters and promoters and fans and community worldwide. We’ve all trusted in each other to deliver a vibe that the music ‘industry’ hasn’t seen in a long time and I’m proud and grateful for to be a part of that movement. We’re only getting started.

I am @thewhooligan across all social media platforms.

Much love and bigs up to DJ Platurn!

soundcloud.com/thewhooligan
mixcloud.com/thewhooligan

Joshua Bruner [the interview] | #TRUE20

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Name, position at True & dates worked there?

Joshua/Josh/J/Sweet Brother Numsi. 2005–2015

Work experience prior to working at True & what is your current occupation and employer?

My work experience prior to True was unremarkable. Worked retail for a long time. Delivered pizzas for a while. Made t-shirts and b-boy videos and tried to slang them at events. Did lots of other stuff on the side. I took a job for a little while doing product photography and light html/css work with some Quark thrown in for good measure. Taught myself everything I needed to know and tried it out. It didn’t go anywhere good, and it didn’t last long. That was the pressure that led me to working at True. Lost my income and room, so I blanketed the city with resumes. True was the only place that called me back.
Since True I’ve been working full time for a new home care company in the city, designing and deploying printed collateral and materials. I also work in collaboration with the rest of the design team to develop the brand and public image of the company via printed works, event materials and development of aesthetic themes to use offline and online. It’s fast, but my years at True have helped me to think myself out of tight schedules and move quickly. It’s just a redirected version of what I was doing there.

Fondest memory of your time working at True?

There was a golden era for sure. I couldn’t pick the best of these times, but there was a stretch between 2006 and 2009 when everything was moving so fast. Events, parties, designs, collaborations, etc. The whole bay was moving the way it should. I look back on those times because I hadn’t seen that type of energy before or after. There wasn’t a “before work” or “after work”. It sounds kinda ridiculous when I put it into words, but everything I was doing then felt like it was connected. Work all day, party all night, back to the shop in the morning to get some designs in or make sure the shop was taken care of. All connected.


 “There was a golden era for sure…the whole Bay was moving the way it should…everything I was doing then felt like it was connected.”


Worst memory of your time working at True?

Definitely walking up to the store the morning of the fire. I felt like someone ripped my heart and half my brain out. My hangover that morning didn’t help. I had been hearing the sirens all morning (I lived at the corner of Haight and Ashbury at the time, but on the 4th floor, so I didn’t catch what was happening). I finally cracked my eyes open around 6:45am to look at my phone and saw messages from the Jose the store manager, Shortkut, and a couple random friends who were catching the early morning news. The store had burned. I ran downstairs and ran into my worst fears. Not only was a retail store full of clothing burned down, but an office full of irreplaceable artwork, sketchbooks, hard-drives and mixtapes. So much was lost in there. I still trip off it regularly.

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Tell me about some of the people you met while working at True, customers & co-workers. Any good stories?

So many folks. So many customers were fam (many were the opposite, haha). I still keep in touch with a lot of folks I met as customers to the shop. Jorge Anzaldo is doing his thing now, and I remember him as just a good kid that used to come shop. Berner used to come in on the regular. We had the kooks too. The old white dude with dollar signs tatted on his face who dropped loot. The dreadlocked caucasians who would make their way down from humboldt every couple months with loaded pockets and wanted nothing to do with anything except ALL the LRG the could walk out with. The more famous folks that came as customers were always super friendly. Ghost, Biz Markie, Yasiin Bey and Dave Chappelle. Robin Williams was a regular for years. Mike Epps came in stoned AF one day and had us cracking up for a half hour. One of the funniest ones I can remember was when Murs came in one afternoon. The store was packed and he rolls in with just shorts on. His shirt was hanging half off his arm and he looked like he was having a nice day. Comes in, browsing the t-shirt table slowly, going through everything super deliberately. Shopping. A co-worker says “You want me to show him out?” He thought he was one of the street kids that would come in on one and act up and we’d have to show the door. Haha. I had to let him know, “It’s cool, that’s Murs.”

When it comes to the employees, everybody who came through those doors is fam. Most of my closest folks are people I came into contact with during my time at True. Mike, Nick, Hiro, Rome, Janelle, Pam, Huy, Monique, Jern, Rommel, Marcie, Rush, Abdul, etc, etc. Everybody really. Even more when you count all the people who were employees before I was even there who have been around regardless. Dheen, Joey, Jordan. The lists are too deep. Then there’s the industry folks that I came in contact with. Another story, but just a close and just as important. Stussy, FTC, Huf, Milk, Poleng, Super 7, etc.


“The time I spent at True was all valuable. One long lesson. Everything I do now in my job has it’s roots in the fast moving aspects of working at True.”


What did you learn (if anything) during your time working at True that continues to be useful to you today?

The time I spent at True was all valuable. One long lesson. Everything I do now in my job has it’s roots in the fast moving aspects of working at True. I learned that the world can’t be saved with t-shirts. If you think your philosophy can be explained in t-shirt graphic, you should probably rethink your philosophy. I learned that everybody thinks they can get rich off t-shirts. I learned nobody gets rich off t-shirts—this game is hustle. I learned that everyone who is involved with streetwear has enough great ideas to fill one season of a clothing line (the 1-Season theory). The problem is it took 5+ years of thinking to build that season in your head. What happens after you drop all those ideas at once? You can’t wait another 5 years for your next season. Think about that before you jump (you might have enough to fill 10 seasons, and that would be dope, just consider that you might not). I learned how to work in a budget. I learned to hone my pragmatism at True. It’s really easy to mock up amazing things that no one has ever made before, but it is far more difficult to figure out how you will make these things within a reasonable budget. At the same time, I learned how to think outside of budgets, and how to take my criticism and make my ideas more realistic. There is a lot more. I don’t want this to become a book.

Any advice to future employees or customers of True?

Pay dues. Haight and retail and the industry have changed (they always do). Blah blah blah. If you ask me, and I know I could come off as a bitter old man but, not too much of it is for the better. Somehow True has held on through all of it though, so there should be something to learn from there if you want to take the time to extract it. Knowledge isn’t easily handed over or transferred, so if you plan on working with people, it helps to have a reputation that can speak for itself. That doesn’t come from talking hella shit off the top. It comes from listening and learning. Putting in time. If someone’s been doing something, they probably know something about it—not complicated. They might not have all the answers but they have an understanding. Put up with older people clowing. There are lessons in that. Don’t take shit, but listen. Remember that where you are has existed long before you go there. The people that were there are now in amazing places. It doesn’t happen by accident. In business, in law, sales and design. At Northface, Nike, Supreme, Diamond, Gap, Levis—and so many more. As designers, managers, creative directors, buyers, etc. Watch the changes happen and learn from them because this industry changes on a whim, but you can learn how to react to those changes. There isn’t much longevity around, so soak some in when you have the opportunity. I sound like a broken record of clichés right now, but please bear with it. That’s me on the left (I think that’s big Joey on the right. My mind’s old and blurry I can’t be sure).

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Deejay Theory [The Interview]

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State your stage name and profession for the record.

Deejay Theory.

Producer, selector, remix artist.
Original “DJ Theory” but that’s another story.

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

Officially DJing since 2000. My first gigs were in a banquet room in the back of a Chinese restaurant in Massachusetts. I was about 16 and they were super lit! Can still taste the scorpion bowls.

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What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

Growing up on the East Coast, we were so hugely inspired by the Bay Area as the holy mecca of turntablism in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The fact that dudes were cutting and juggling records in the club was a thing of beauty, and one of the main reasons I moved to SF.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 5 minute all vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?

That would depend on the crowd! BUT…

VA “Showtime” Riddim
Big L “Flamboyant”
Grace Jones “Pull Up To The Bumper”
Aretha Franklin “Jump To It”
Rockwell “Somebody’s Watching Me”
Eddie Murphy “Party All The Time”
The Diplomats “I Really Mean It”

Faction Sound, LargeUp, Tormenta Tropical…all institutions. Talk about their history and influence over the years and what it means to be a part of such influential movements.

DJs as solo artists require support from friends and affiliates on multiple levels. These are the people that push us forward and remind us why we’re doing what we’re doing every day. As my lane has become much more focused over the years, so has my team, and i’m thankful to align with such good folks. Faction Sound is about to celebrate our 15th Anniversary, LargeUp continues to push Caribbean culture into the stratosphere, and Tormenta is still going strong every Second Saturday at one of the last remaining clubs of its kind in SF (Elbo Room). Blessed to rock with them all, as well as Bay Area veteran J Boogie as our duo “Brother in Arms”, and more Bay vets DJ E-Rock and Miles Medina for our syndicated radio show “The Bassment”.


“DJs as solo artists require support from friends and affiliates on multiple levels. These are the people that push us forward and remind us why we’re doing what we’re doing every day.”


Favorite burrito joint?

Papalote fa life.

Curry or Kobe?

Only Kobe I like is on a hibachi grill with a volcano onion surrounding it.

Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

Gonna keep it in the Bay for this one. S/o to you Platurn for welcoming me FOB, as well as the whole Bay Area for supporting yet ANOTHER DJ on the home soil. But that’s really what we do out here, we throw love instead of shade, and honestly why I’m here today – I’ve never felt like an outsider since day one. The love and appreciation is unparalleled, and I’m thankful to be a part of that energy every day. The fact that I even get the opportunity to rock with dudes like Shortkut and Apollo still blows my mind, let alone call them friends. More love to my ace J Boogie, The Whooligan, Cutso, Goldenchyld, Sazon Libre crew (Mr Lucky, C Double, Baysik), Oro11, Kush Arora, Umami, Mr E, Teeko (MVP), Beset, Papa Lu, Francis Chiser, Carey, Fran, Chuy, Matt Shapiro, MoPo, Dials, Team Terrible, Mixologi, Northern Nights, Truth Chute crew, all my Bay Area reggae family, my Faction Sound squad DJ Arems, Tanner, and Iron Lyon and too many more. Blessed to be surrounded with the best folks!

Deejaytheory.com is the home base.

Twitter & Instagram @deejaytheory
Facebook.com/deejaytheory
Soundcloud.com/deejaytheoryofficial

DJ MR. E [PAPALOTE] | The Interview

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State your stage name and profession for the record.

DJ MR.E – Restaurant Owner/Chef, DJ and promoter.

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

Got my first 12’s in ’87. Was doing tape deck parties since ’85.

What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

Well for me personally, ’98-now.
98 was the year I somehow ended up spinning at my first SF residency inside DECO at a party called Beat Lounge. The residents were Shortkut, Vinroc, Apollo, Derrick D, Code, Tonga Kid, SpydaMonkee to name a few… Ever since then I was and still am blessed to know these DJ Gods and be a small fish in the best DJ pond in the world.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 5 minute all vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?

Well it’s funny that you ask that because my first set at DECO was in front of Shortkut, Q-Bert and Vinroc, everyone else was downstairs still or at the bar. I was dry-heaving and shaking. I got a hold of myself and played Redman – blow your mind into Alkaholics – damn into make room into some Jeru etc… Just fell into the shit I love.


“I was dry-heaving and shaking…just fell into the shit I love.”


Papalote has become a Bay Area institution. Talk about the history and influence it has had over the years and what it means to the Bay to still have it around to this day?

We are going to be 18 years old in March. I’m stunned and speechless. Folks from all over the Earth fuck with the Salsa. I set out as the chef to make the freshest burrito possible, and keeping it healthy too. We don’t use microwaves or fry anything in house. We use no lard. That’s always been my goal. Being a DJ/promoter and knowing a ton of folks in the industry helped out a ton in the beginning. Israel from Zebra records held most his meet-ups there. I remember in 2004 I walked in and was admiring a Slick Rick 12″ that I had hung by the register. I looked into the dining room, and my dude Gene was eating at in the back against the bright red wall with Slick Rick!! I was frozen in disbelief. I’ve fed Kendrick Lamar there, Maseo, Large P, Premier, Pete Rock AND CL, The Pharcyde, The Dogg Pound, all the Beat Junkies, The artist Miguel, Keysha Cole, Goapele, KRS ONE, Madlib, Mobb Deep, The Beatnuts, Cee-Lo, Kelis, Vince Staple… In 2006 I created a burrito dedicated to Bay Area Legendary DJ Crew Triple Threat DJs, Apollo, Shortkut and Vinroc. In 2010 that burrito helped us beat Iron Chef Bobby Flay on Worldwide TV. We’ve since been featured on numerous tv shows. My only hope is that a young brown youngster can see me and be inspired. I hope I’m making a difference in the world.

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Favorite burrito joint (besides your own)?

That’s a tough one, late night I kill a Farolito one but feel like death for it later. I really only eat my burritos. But TACOS, I fuck with El Gordo Taco Truck in Oakland on 42nd and International. Best in the Bay all day. I do have to say that SF Mission Burrito Game is the best in the WORLD. You can go to NY, Japan, Brazil, Amsterdam and they all boast “Mission Style” …even the Iggy Azalea of burritos, Chipotle, was influenced by The Mission. I’m forever grateful for the SF Burrito ancestors like La Cumbre, El Faro, La Taqueria, San Jose, Vallarta, Pancho Villa, El Toro, Cancun in the Mission for allowing me to be. I’m humbled to even be mentioned in the same sentence. I salute y’all.


“…even the Iggy Azalea of burritos, Chipotle, was influenced by The Mission.”


Curry or Kobe?

Look man…. Kobe. I’m a hoops fan first. The numbers don’t lie. Curry is sick and he’s Def probably the best shooter the league has ever seen… But he’s not on Kobe’s level yet. Win a few more chips and a few more MVPs and a few more all-star appearances and then we’ll talk.

Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

Shout out to you Platurn. You’re inspirational. Shout out to TONGA KID and Derrick D. Shout out to Box Kev, Chuy Gomez, Mind Motion, Scotty Fox for puttin me on radio game. Shout out to Kool Kyle and Santero for letting me rock with them and believing in me. Shout out to Fran Boogie and Randall for the best times ever. Salute to Rob Swift. Big up J-Rocc for bringing me around Dilla and being so musically inspirational. Thank you to my Brother Carlos for naming me “Mr.E”. My Brother Mario for being my biggest fan, and my brother Vic who’s timing and vision helped birth what is now Papalote. Shout out to Teeko who’s taking the bay and beyond to another level. Shout out to Blaqwest and Mr. Groove and the Waxworx Fam. S/O to my mentor Demetrious DJShaboo out of Marin City. S/O to my Wife who’s epically put up with me and my kids who I breathe for. Shout out to pops for having 8 tracks and LPs of Sonora Dinamita, Eek a Mouse, Silver Convention, Stars on 45, Herb Albert, Isaac Hayes and everything in between at my disposal and for taking me to Record Factory to buy my first 12″ Planet Rock. Shout out to Ma Dukes for puttin’ up the loot to buy my first 12’s. And finally, big up to the best DJ in the world imo SHORTKUT and the Triple Threat Crew, Apollo and Vin. I’m so grateful for all the lessons, love, guidance and inspiration. Love and Light to another major influence DJ SwiftRock (R.I.Love).

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Folks can find me on snapchat now-a-days…

Username: djmr.e

www.snapchat.com/add/djmr.e

Chapin Atchison (the interview) | #TRUE20

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Name, position at True & dates worked there?

Chapin Atchison

 

I started in 2006 a month after I had first moved to San Francisco, at Haight, upstairs

in the attic, processing new inventory and doing billing/accounting/receiving stuff.

A couple months later I was sent over to Walnut Creek to be Assistant Manager, then

I became the WC Store Manager a couple months after that. That same year I created

a new online shop for trueclothing.net, staffed it and managed the warehouse

inventory as well. After that, I became a buyer for the mens, womens, and footwear

categories for the WC store and began travelling for the trade shows with the crew.

Then I started doing product design/development, and collaboration based capsule

collections, with True and other streetwear brands toward the end of my first

round. When I left True for the first time it was in 2009, but then I came back a few times

over the years to help manage or design product. I still try to contribute in any way I

can to this day…


Work experience prior to working at True & what is your current occupation

and employer?

Before True and SF, I lived in Florida, I worked at a small tech company doing

super nerd sh*t, but I hated it. Since I had been skateboarding since I was 8 years

old, I worked at Skatepark of Tampa as an Assistant Manager for a few years

before I came out to SF, that was more of my environment and pace. I also built

rare Japanese Sports Cars and sold car parts on Ebay and sh*t like that. I hustled other

sh*t on the side too. I went on a pretty crazy career path right after I left True in 2010 though.

I had a retail shop of my own in Manhattan for about year, started my own blank

apparel production and manufacturing company, founded a creative agency for

graphic and web services, opened a new retail store and art gallery in Hayes

Valley a bit over a year ago, developed, designed, and branded an eyewear

company for 3 years, which I just recently sold, as an entire operating business.

I’ve also DJ’d a nice set of events and venues, and I am currently in talks with

some high profile musicians about creating some new lines of apparel with them

very soon.


“Man, you can’t just pick one…

there’s so much magic that happened inside those stores.”

 


Fondest memory of your time working at True?

Man, you can’t just pick one, there’s so much magic that happened inside those

stores. I’d say just Michael Brown man, he is just the most solid dude ever. He’s

like a second dad to me. He helped me through all the craziest life situations, as

well as enabled me to believe in myself, and accomplish everything I have done

to this day since I met him. He gave me unlimited opportunity to grow into

whatever I wanted to become. He gave me the tools to succeed, both at True and

on my own, and was humble enough to let me move on to my own endeavors

without any hesitation or resentment. I am so thankful for the chance to have

worked along side him, and to have learned so much from him, especially during

my full time days there. I still learn from him every time we talk.


Worst memory of your time working at True?

Ahh man, I hate to have to put this out there, but it was having to fire my own

Manager just two months into being the Assistant Manager. Mike was like, “Well,

you’re the one who is going to have to do this soon anyways, you might as well

get used to it…” So I fired my boss.


Tell me about some of the people you met while working at True, customers

& co-workers. Any good stories?

I don’t want to single anyone out, I kind of just had to do that… haha. But, you

could meet like 1000 customers in a single day there during the crazy sales.

Lines of people around the block the entire day… People frantic for the JOOG!

It was madness. Every day though, the customers ranged… The celebrities,

the regulars, the street-urchins, the babes, the tourists, the hypebeasts, the

hood cats, the jocks, the skaters, the musicians, the artists, the proud locals,

they were all strangers until they came in and hung out for a bit. You’d talk

about the gear or the music, and then you’d have a new friend ya know?

It was like that when you got hired too, no matter who you are, or where

you’re from, you get treated with respect and equality. You became a part of

the True Family once you were hired. Everyone always kicks it at each

other’s events, supports one another, helps each other out in life’s random

situations. I really appreciate the OG people who welcomed me into the city,

scene, and industry, and introduced me to their friends, who then became my

friends.


What did you learn (if anything) during your time working at True that

continues to be useful to you today?

How to sing every lyric, from every song, in harmony, from R.Kelly’s greatest hits.

How to backstock fold and floor fold a t-shirt. How to put a sticker on someone’s

back without them feeling it. How to date your sales reps. How not-to survive Vegas.

How to spot a stolen credit card. How to appease an angry Mom. How to get particle

board splinters out easily. How to not look stoned at work. How to set off a store

alarm by accident. How to watch bum fights – live. How to not look hungover at

work. How to have a store meeting where no one listens and everyone talks at the

same time. How to flirt with foreigners. How to separate a fighting couple safely.

How to call the police. How to call the fire department. How to love wack trends.

How to hate good trends. And a multitude of other sarcastic and practical things, but

you get the idea… To be honest, I owe the majority of my personal development to

the people and environment of True.


Any advice to future employees or customers of True?

SUPPORT THE MOVEMENT! SPEND MONEY DUMB TOURIST! STAY INVOLVED!

This place and these people have been doing it longer and stronger than Dolomite.

With each new era of staff and personality the legacy of True grows stronger.

Respect.

-Chapin

www.instagram.com/bemineco

www.bemine.co

nue-chapin

Daniel Huey (the interview) | #TRUE20

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Name, position at True & dates worked there?

Daniel Huey – SF Store Manager 2008-2012

Work experience prior to working at True & what is your current occupation and employer?

Nike Inc

Fondest memory of your time working at True?

Holiday parties and the random conversations we would have on the sales floor

Worst memory of your time working at True?

There were none!


“Man, where do I start! All the people I’ve encountered working at True are still people I still interact with or talk to today. We all went our different ways, but we still stay in contact and support each other’s ventures til this day! I can’t express how accomplished and bright these folks are and I am grateful to say I was part of something special.”


 

Tell me about some of the people you met while working at True, customers & co-workers. Any good stories?

Not sure if I have a specific one that I can recall at the moment, but whenever we had our TRUE SALES it was lit! All 3 doors would have sales going on at the same time – shoes, women’s clothes, and mens clothes. We worked hard, but time flew because we would all be working together to get it done and we never had an issues with theft (wonder why). I also remember getting invited to Vegas for the first time as an assistant buyer, I was a newb, but all the OGs took care of me on that trip – Ro B, Janelle, Hiro, Josh, and Chapin. Somehow I wasn’t the most out of pocket one on that trip to Vegas lol.

What did you learn (if anything) during your time working at True that continues to be useful to you today?

Man, where do I start! All the people I’ve encountered working at True are still people I still interact with or talk to today. We all went our different ways, but we still stay in contact and support each other’s ventures til this day! I can’t express how accomplished and bright these folks are and I am grateful to say I was part of something special.

Any advice to future employees or customers of True?

Contribute to the culture of TRUE and its legacy and have fun, but get it done and who knows where it can take you.

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