Epic interview with Digital Underground on Japanese TV back in 1991. Take a stroll down memory lane and bug out on this one!
Bay Area Hip-Hop royalty Blackalicious. Know your roots kids — legends in the game!
State your stage name and profession for the record.
Hello, my name is Proof. I’m a deejay, connector, and Massive Selector.
How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?
Hella long. Let’s just say I picked up my first set of (mis-matched) turntables sometime in the early 90’s.
What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?
The late 90’s, early 2000’s music scene in the Bay Area was my favorite because it was the most influential to me. At the time, I was really into funk breaks, classic hip-hop, turntablism and the Bay was ground zero for that scene. I remember going to Deco on Tuesday Nights for the original Beat Lounge to watch the best turntablists in the world catch wreck. The old Justice League (now The Independent) always had something dope going on (and the Twist mural was hella dope!) My favorite promoter at the time was Future Primitive because they not only produced ground breaking events like the Future Primitive Sound Session with Shortkut vs Cut Chemist (legendary Bay Area shit!) but they always had the illest flyers.
You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 10 minute all vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?
It really depends on the situation…time, place, crowd, are all factors of course. But if I only had 10 minutes, I’d probably play 3-4 of my favorite songs at the moment. I’ve found that if you play joints you’re really feeling, and play from the heart, you’ll connect with the dance floor.
Massive Selector has 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 collective in Bay Area DJ history.
Wow, where do I start. Massive Selector was founded in 2000 by a group of friends who shared a passion for art, music and underground culture. I actually didn’t join until 2001…I rocked a guest set at the first Massive Selector monthly “WORD” at Rawhide (who remembers that spot?) and I’ve been with the crew ever since. Since then, we’ve produced countless events and booked some of our favorite artists: DJ Jazzy Jeff, Gilles Peterson, Dwele, The Rebirth, King Britt, DJ Scruff, Vikter Duplaix, Mark De Clive Lowe, Daz-I-Kue, Peanut Butter Wolf, Egon, Madlib, Breakestra, Rich Medina, Stretch & Bobbito, DJ Spinna, ?uestlove just to name a few. This list doesn’t even include all the local heavies we’ve worked with throughout the years.
After making some noise in nightlife, we ventured off into new frontiers. In 2003, we had an opportunity to open our own venue, Poleng Lounge (formerly Storyville), a tea lounge, restaurant, and night club located in the heart of San Francisco’s upper panhandle. We tried to continue the legacy of Storyville by creating a space that put music first. Little did we know, the restaurant would be the star, and Poleng Lounge became the face of modern Filipino cuisine. In 2010, we launched The Summit (a nod to our monthly at Club Six) a cafe, co-working, and art space in the Mission that became one of SF’s most exciting new venues to open at the time.
Today, Massive Selector still produces annual events Wonder-Full: A Tribute to the Wonder of Stevie and Soul Slam: Prince & Michael Jackson which are going 13 years strong in the Bay. While most of the crew has gone on to do different things, I’m still holding it down. It feels good to know that something we started way back when is still contributing to the culture in a positive way.
“It feels good to know that something we started way back when is still contributing to the culture in a positive way. “
Favorite burrito joint?
Favorite burrito joint is El Super Burrito in Millbrae. I’ve been coming to El Supe since high school and what keeps bringing me back is how they steam their tortillas. They pre-steam their tortillas resulting in chewy, moist, perfection. That is key. I even bumped into Barry Bonds eating a burrito there back in the day, so you know it’s legit!
Curry or Kobe?
I was born in San Francisco, do I even need to answer this?
What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?
Running thru Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach with no head phones, just sounds of the birds in the trees is my favorite way to unwind. Ok I’m lying, I’m usually plugged into KNBR sports talk radio while I run!
What’s a current favorite album you’re listening to now that you think you’ll still be listening to 10 years from now?
This is a tough one. Too much good music out there, hard to pick just one. I’m still bumping Childish Gambino “Awaken My Love.” The Funkadelic, Sly Stone, and Prince influences are undeniable and I’m not mad at that. Not an album, but I’m hella digging the latest from 1-O.A.K. “Lost & Found.” If you’re a Bay Area DJ, this joint needs to be on heavy rotation!
Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.
You can catch me every 2nd Saturday at Straighten It Out at Madrone Art Bar in SF with my mellow DJ Jerry Nice playing our fav hip-hop, r&b, classics, and remixes. Check me out at Sweater Funk, the original boogie funk, modern soul, 2 step all-vinyl dance party every Sunday at The Knockout in the Outer Mission. I’ll be rocking Off The Grid in Fort Mason and Picnic in The Presidio this season as well. Shoutout to the original Massive Selector crew: DJ pantyROBber, D-Reel, Malex, Politik, Paul, Marco, Steve, Alex, and Desi. And BIG S/O to Platurn for putting me on!
Some amazing new music coming out of the Bay these days — support these artists and help spread the word!
DJ Crimson x Janelle Monae x OSA Vocal Rush – Tightrope