DJ UMAMI | THE INTERVIEW

State your stage name and profession for the record.

DJ Umami, professional DJ.

I think that’s the first time I called myself that.

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

I’ve owned turntables for a little over 12 years. Originally just bought them to let off some steam during a really crazy period in my life. The good homie Cutso was patient enough to show me how to beat match and I just kept going.

I was working the door at Gwrex’s party at Poleng called Strut. One day he asked me if I was down to do an opening set the following month. I laughed at first, and he was like, “why not? Fuck it, man.” So I did. That was my first gig. Strut in May 2008.

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

I don’t really want to give away my age, but as soon as I was old enough to go out, I was drooling over sets from Music Machine when it was at SOFA lounge. I can’t really pinpoint a specific time, but I know that past vibe is still hanging on by a thread. Where DJs were playing golden era hip hop, soul and funk and it was nutty from front to back.

I remember going there by myself just to catch The Bangerz play. I would also hit up PST a lot when it was at Levende (now Brick & Mortar) and followed it to 330 Ritch. In Oakland, I remember catching The Oakland Faders at Luka’s and wondering where has this party been all my life. I used to follow most of Fran Boogie’s Parties, so I was no stranger to the legendary Triple Threat DJs.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 10 minute vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?

I’m extremely blessed to know and call most of my influential DJs my big brothers. I’ve learned so much and have been put on by them. When I’m up and playing with some of these cats, trust that I’m nervous AF. The thought of trying to find self-worth next to (usually) men that have been killing the game for years gets me sweating bullets and is a setup for failure.

The only thing that gets me in the right headspace is usually focusing on the crowd rather than which DJ is behind me or in the building listening to my selection or transitions. When the crowd is fuckin with you, that’s when you prove your worthiness. I know that doesn’t directly answer your question, but I guess it’s because it depends.


“When the crowd is fuckin’ with you, that’s when you prove your worthiness.”


Peaches Crew 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.

The Peaches Crew was started by Masaye Waugh at Skylark in SF. She wanted to do a weekly party that featured women DJs, so we were handpicked by her and essentially became a family more than a crew. The core group was Deeandriod, Lady Fingaz, DJ That Girl, and myself. We’ve then since added members Pony P, Deejay Andre, and Lady Ryan and some have also left because they’ve had to move. In our going on 8 years together, we’ve established multiple residencies around The Bay that we all rotate.

It’s been so important to have theses badass women in my corner in this male-dominated field, as they have been such a motivating force within my life (I know I just quoted Aaliyah). From time to time, we get together in a non-club environment and shoot the shit, eat, drink, share music, have mini scratch sessions, and update each other with our dating lives. It’s so hard to get anything productive done though because we have so much fun when we’re together.

Favorite burrito joint?

I try to stay away from burritos these days because they make me hella sleepy. They are, in fact nature’s giant sleeping pill. But if I’m going to spoil myself, Papalote’s adobo burrito with avocado, extra Papalote Salsa please.

Curry or Kobe?

No disrespect to the Black Mamba and the career that he’s had, but Curry all day. Curry’s already had one more MVP awards than Kobe has, one being unanimous, and his career is still pretty young. But, people would say my opinion is totally biased, which it is.

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?

I love going up to wine country for little staycations. I recently visited Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga for a couple days after a seven gig in four days weekend, and it was just what I needed to reboot. But most of the time, I really love just being at home chillin’ with a cup of tea.

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

This changes a lot. I’ve had Goldlink’s “Crew” on heavy rotation lately. I tend to lean towards R&B rather than hip hop. I feel like it’s a perfect balance of both, or maybe just enough for me. Music that is timeless versus trendy tends to resonate more with me, so I get juiced when I find soulful artists these days.

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

Shout out to my sisters in the Peaches Crew. Follow us on IG to stay updated with our shenanigans @peaches_crew.

Shout out to my kids, Demarcus & Ajrien because they’re awesome and maybe one of their friends will read this and my kids will finally think I’m a little cool…or not. Whatever. Love you guys.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat at @djumami
Like me on Facebook at Facebook.com/djumami
Check out some of my mixes at djumami.com

DJ LazyBoy | The Interview

State your stage name and profession for the record.

DJLAZYBOY aka GREG FRESSSH aka GREGORY THE GREAT aka GANGSTA SUSHI aka HARDBOILED GREGG aka YOUR MOM’S FAVORITE DJ

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

I started djing in December 1999. My first gig was at this teen center. They had a dance night and I had a dope collection of cds. I asked to rock one night and when I dropped my songs and the girlies screamed, I knew I found what I wanted to do. My first paying steady dj gig was at a bowling alley in Santa Rosa, Ca. on Saturday nights called Continental Lanes. My homie from 1st grade Forrest hooked it up. It was definitely an open format gig, and all I really had was house and radio hits on vinyl. They had tons of DVD’s and CD’s though so I would drop music videos, take requests, and try and slip in as much radio house hits as I could. My jam at the time was “Papi Chulo” by Funkdoobiest. They could only handle so much of that Wild 94.9 stuff there.

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

I’d have to say the battle era. Even though I wasn’t a part of it, looking back, some of the most legendary relationships were made during that era. All of the gods were in the battle circuit and became friends just like I am with folks in the battle circuit today. The difference is that djing was so young that many of the folks were pioneering techniques and styles. I mean ISP, Beat Junkie Sound, Oakland Faderz, Triple Threat Djs, Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters, FourOneFunk. I WISH I could cruise down the street and see cats in their garage juggling, scratching, mixing, and that’s how it was in Daly City back then. For me being from West Sonoma County me and the homies would travel down to San Bruno every Sunday to see Ales1 and Teeko mix it up and talk about their week at Ultra Sounz. That’s what life was for us. We just wanted to be accepted and more connected with our “older brothers” in the game. Shout to Rob, Ajax, and Kendo (I don’t think kendo worked there but he would always ask “so what do you think of Amen” LOL). Good times.


“That’s what life was for us. We just wanted to be accepted and more connected with our ‘older brothers’ in the game.”


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?

First of all… I’m a “Control Vinyl Purist” so you probably wouldn’t catch me rocking an all vinyl set, unless I came into some serious money and could afford it! If I did rock it… I have some seriously dope transitions like this one from “My Thang” to “Funky Child” to “Sideways” that puts a look on your face like you smell some piss! So I’d just do creative transitions, and be super different. I got to open for Z-Trip 3 years ago and in my set I rocked an auctioneer selling over a bass heavy beat into some other tracks about money. He’s definitely my dj hero. Lately cats in Oakland have been coming out with cases of fresh vinyl, carrying themselves like they are the shit, but can’t even mix with them. I saw one guy out of a crew of 5 actually mix. I immediately went up and offered him free one on one mentoring because it felt like I needed to feed the hunger that separated him from his homies. Perhaps that would help them to step it up and find a desire to push themselves further into the rabbit hole. Back in my day (2000’s LOL) if you went up and let a song play and then just dropped the next track you would get kicked off the tables. I never heard from him. I definitely want to dig through my vinyl go out and show them how it can be done. I am probably coming off super arrogant right now, but those of you who grew up on vinyl and see these types of newcomer djs doing this know how cringing it is to be in the same room and watch this go down.

You’re known as a fierce competitor in the battle scene. Do you identify with being a battle DJ first and foremost or something else? Which do you like doing more, showcasing, competing, or party rockin’? Why is still important for DJs to showcase skill in their sets, i.e., scratching, trick mixing, etc.?

HAHA! I didn’t know that I was! I guess now that I look at it I suppose I am. I’m just a dj who sees the battle scene as an opportunity to showcase talent. It’s like a recital for djs, where we get to write our own show and perform it. I don’t battle to prove I’m the best. I don’t think I’m the best at all, but I know that I’m dope! I know that I’m creative. I know my place is to entertain the people who paid to have a great time and hear great music, so I do it with skill, precision, and a style that only lazyboy can. The dj scene here in the bay and many other places is super clicky. I’ve been trying to earn my stripes for years here, and even with Shortkut vouching for me, and many others who stand by me, I am just starting to get the recognition I’ve been working so hard for. I give it to the battle scene for providing me that platform. I still haven’t gotten booked at many of the places I want to spin at, with many of my favorite bay area legends I’d love to share the crowd with. So I use the battle platform to show everyone what I’ve got in hopes to finally be accepted and invited to rock a crowd. So to answer your questions, I identify as a well rounded dj first and foremost. I mostly enjoy party rocking which allows me to showcase with a competitive mindset. See what I did there? LOL. Here’s why I feel it’s important. This day in age there are a blahzillian amount of “DJs” out there undercutting those of us who have dedicated our lives to this as an art form and career. The way that we differentiate ourselves is by how we get down. Selection will ALWAYS be first, but your style is what the listener will use to separate you from the next guy with a laptop and a library.

Favorite burrito joint?

Hmmm… Papalote, but I’m more of a taco guy really and I’ve gotta shout a spot you may never have guessed to have one of the best tacos ever. Eastside West on taco tuesdays. Get “The Vampiro”. I know it sounds like a strange place, but trust me. Go there, get that, and thank me later.

Curry or Kobe?

Curry. C’mon son!

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?

To unwind sometimes I enjoy going where the people are. Downtown San Francisco on a sunny day feels great. Also hiking in Marin, Sonoma County. Taking a drive through the wine country back roads. Hitting up random food spots in cities I’ve never been. Hopping on a train or a bus and ending up wherever. I’m a very spontaneous person and that’s the best way for me to unwind.

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

I listen to a lot of playlists, mixes, and podcasts. Mostly self help books on dating an socializing. LOL I’m such a dj nerd. I’m a drake fan and I could definitely hear “Take Care” 10 years from now. I can ALWAYS listen to “Uptown Saturday Night” Camp Lo, “Dookie” Green Day, “Smash” The Offspring. “They’re all gonna laugh at you” Adam Sandler.

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

I def gotta shout Platurn for this dope interview and giving me a spotlight to share some of what goes on in the mind of the boy they call lazy, thank you! Shortkut, Gordo/MOM DJS, Chuy and Hugo Gomez, Dinga, Sizzlak and Casa Rasta, Eddie Marz, Patrick Malone, Beset, Ousa, Mr. Murdock, Classic, Samantha Mineo, Crimson, TypeOne, Antriks, Ajaxx, Illborn, Expo, Ynot, Luis Orozco, JB, Tamayo, Cal, Fabian, Mark Maiden, Kendo, Dan Rosenbach, all for putting me on. Zhaldee, MytyMyke, Phil Drummond, Ease for keeping me informed on dj battles. GoldenChyld, Z-Trip, Ferno, Danny West, David Neito for offering help guiding myself in this career, Cutso for saving my ass, Marvell for ALWAYS being there for me. Apollo, Jam, Mr. Choc, Rectangle, Revolution, Spinbad, Icewater, Jazzy Jeff, JFB, Rafik, PriMO, Tony Tone, J. Espinosa, Byte, Four Color Zack, Craze, Enferno and many more for inspiration. Shout to my sponsor Class Acts 93 y’all should carry some of the gear at TRUE. It would be a nice fit. Shout to all the groupies and cuties out there! If it wasn’t for y’all it would be that much less fun for us! A MASSIVE SHOUT OUT to ALL of my fans and those who believe in the boy they call Lazy! You help me each and everyday and what is a dj without a crowd?!

Catch me on social media FB/IG/TWITTER : @djlazyboy

www.djlazyboy.net

MIXCLOUD: @djlazyboy23

Lean Rock | The Interview

State your stage name and profession for the record.

What up! My name is Lean Rock and I’m a bboy/dj.

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

I’ve been playing music for about 12 years but honestly I would say I didn’t really start djing until about 6 years ago. My first gig was Ken Swift’s Raiders of the Lost Art back in 2005. Looking back at that gig I wouldn’t really consider myself a DJ.

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

I’m originally from Boston so I grew up around more djs from the New York/Philly/Boston area. I didn’t really know much about the Bay Area dj scene until I met Paulskee. He put me on to a lot of gems and Bay Area legends mainly from early 80s to late 90s (Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters, Apollo, the Filipino mobile Dj movement, etc.). I was familiar with Qbert, Mixmaster Mike, and Dj Shadow as a kid but I didn’t really know much about the Bay until Paul schooled me. Derrick D, Shortkut, and Swiftrock (R.I.P) were probably the first Bay Area djs I heard play out live. The moment I heard them play, I knew the Bay was on another level. I really appreciated hearing how tasteful they were with selection and how skillful they were. On the skilled dj tip they were better than most djs I’ve ever heard… they could also rock a party and they could also kill it at the bboy jam. You know that saying jack-of- all-trades… master of none… a lot of Bay Area dj legends I know are the master of all trades. I’m going with the 90s generation but don’t take my word on that because my knowledge isn’t so deep on Bay Area dj history.

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?

I think it’s safe to say that my specialty is playing obscure breaks. So I’m definitely going to rock out some obscure joints that most peeps probably aren’t hip to. I’m definitely “nerding” out in this situation. Most of my dj heroes are hip hop heads, so I think they would definitely appreciate hearing some breaks. I mean that is the foundation of hip hop culture right? I’ve been fortunate enough to play at the Tools of War park jams in NYC every year and play with most of my dj heroes…I’m not really big on sharing titles of breaks but I’ll give you a little something:

3rd Avenue Blues Band – Come On and Get It
Keef James – Find Your Own Way
Kaleidoscope – Tempe Arizona
Mandrill – Get It All
XXXXXXX – Hey Hey Na Na

Talk about what it’s like to DJ for b-boys and battles in general. Is it challenging? How different is it from rockin’ clubs? What methods do you use to prepare for specific gigs? Any other insight for DJs that want to get more into the b-boy scene?

This is going to be long because there is just so much to bring up…. I feel like just like anything else in life… it’s as challenging as you make it. You can either play it safe and play all the known joints or you can be righteous to the people and put them on to something dope they aren’t up on. It’s either you’re in it for the quick fix or you’re in it for the long run. Just like anything else you have to put in the time if you want to do it right. The basic dj mixing skills are definitely required to play bboy battles but in general most dancers get annoyed with over the top scratching/juggling when they’re dancing. Most bboys and bgirls aren’t too keen of it because when it’s overdone it overpowers the music. It’s better to be funky and clean on the cuts. It’s also best to keep the beat steady on the juggles. Rocking a party is definitely the same in this sense. It’s about BALANCE. Through my experience, I would say selection is most important to the dancers. As long as you keep a nice flow going on the mix and you’re playing the right joints for them, they will go off. There are 2 approaches you need to learn in order do well at a bboy event.

The first approach is the cypher approach, which is pretty much like rocking a party. This is considered the “down time” at most bboy events but for me it’s the time to go in. Cypher time is a true testament to how well you control the vibe and how well you’re really rocking the jam. This is your time to shine. There is nothing forced at this moment. This is the perfect time to take people on a journey. Your job is to play music that will touch different feelings and different emotions. I usually play more feel good classic/unknown boom bap hip hop joints and classic funk/breaks joints during the cypher time. Depending on the crowd at the event (mixture of dance styles or just normal folks), I will go even a little further with my music selection (maybe some House, Future Funk, etc.).

The second approach is the battle approach. Bboys and bgirls are kind of forced to dance to what’s given to them in a battle. So the battle approach is definitely more about giving the dancers something a little more energetic to keep the spirits up. So I tend to play my more up-tempo breaks and up-tempo funky joints (JB style) for battles. I try my best to keep it funky and not too fast. For battles I usually play tracks in the bpm range of 110 – 125. I’m personally not a fan of dancing to stiff drums. As a bboy, I need to be just as loose as that drummer is. I need that natural swing or it just doesn’t that funky feel to it.

I highly suggest keeping the music going in between battles. This keeps the vibe and flow of the event going. When you cut the music off the vibe dies down and I feel like the host goes a little overboard with the talking. So keep that music playing to keep everyone in check. Quick mixing is also very important to playing bboy battles. You want to make sure you’re not playing the same track for too long (unless there are multiple sections on the song you can flip). I would say play a track no longer than 2 minutes. You want to also make sure you bring in the next record at the right time during a bboy battle. You don’t want to interrupt the dancer’s flow or energy in a battle. So you bring in the next record either as soon that bboy finishes his round or as soon as that next dancer comes out. It’s very important to pay attention to the dancers and try your best to read their movement. The next song you bring in should also match in energy. This is important when it comes to keeping the energy up in a battle. Most djs are all over the place with this. So it’s all about putting the right pieces together to the puzzle.


“You don’t want to interrupt the dancer’s flow or energy in a battle. So you bring in the next record either as soon that bboy finishes his round or as soon as that next dancer comes out. It’s very important to pay attention to the dancers and try your best to read their movement. The next song you bring in should also match in energy. This is important when it comes to keeping the energy up in a battle. Most djs are all over the place with this. So it’s all about putting the right pieces together to the puzzle.”


Since playing at bboy events are so focused on one particular crowd (bboys & bgirls), the idea of playing at a bboy event is pretty simple. As long as you keep it in the realms of up-tempo hip hop and funk you will be good. The hardest part of it is finding the music for it since there really isn’t a lot of good music made specifically for breaking. Apache and Its Just Begun are considered bboy classics, but these records weren’t made with bboys in mind. They just happen to have the feel that was needed to make bboys go off. Digging is key.

As far as preparation goes, if I’m not familiar with the party or the city I do my research on the party and city. I’m asking people I know that might have attended/played the party/gig and I’m also getting info from the promoter. In the breaking world, I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t work through experience and travel. It’s not as complicated as a party is for me because I’m definitely more known in the bboy community. As far as the set goes, I tend to prepare micro sets but I’m freestyling. You will never know the exact mood of any gig until you feel it out. Bboy events are usually very long too (much longer than most parties are). So you definitely need to prep up to play tons of tracks (at least 6-10 hours worth of tracks).. There isn’t a great variety of music that will be played at a bboy event compared to the variety being played at most parties… so digging is key in the bboy world.

The edits, remixes, and original production thing are also cool as long as it’s done right (and tastefully). Relying too much on remixes and edits gets a little corny considering a lot of the songs we dance to are already masterpieces (Kon makes some really good remixes though). You’re probably not going to make a James Brown song better than what it already is. As far as edits go, don’t just have the track looping the whole time… it’s boring. Give it a little flavor. As a dancer, I really feel like these remixes don’t give as much new inspiration as new music does. New music brings new feeling. Most remixes and edits are done in lazy fashion (especially in the bboy scene), usually with too many layers of drum breaks on top of the main groove. I think when some people make remixes they’re relying on the popularity/catchiness of a song rather than how well how they can be creative and flip it better to the point where it is almost unrecognizable. This is why I really appreciated hip hop remixes back in the days… because people actually made the effort to flip the original. They weren’t just throwing in a extra verse over the same beat and calling it a day. They were giving the songs new life. As far as original production, you need to spend loads of time on it and hire real musicians if you’re plugins aren’t cutting it. I personally hate it when the instruments sound super generic and unreal especially with horns and drums. Your drums need to be knocking….. I will just leave it at that.

Lastly, most bboy events lack females. I think this makes a lot of bboy events boring compared to parties. I feel like females bring a very dynamic energy that is needed to set the mood right. The female presence definitely lightens up the mood and definitely makes the environment more fun. So the party rocking scene is definitely miles ahead on that. So yeah rocking a party and bboy events are two different animals with plenty of similarities.

Favorite burrito joint?

My burrito game is weak out here (LA). I spend more time eating tacos. My go to spots for tacos are Guisados and Leo’s Taco Truck. The only spot I go to consistently for burritos is Papalote’s in SF and I’m barely ever in SF. (I have to add that I was really disappointed in the OG El Farolito).

Curry or Kobe?

I’m a Boston guy so this kind of a difficult question to answer. I can’t front though…I got a lot of respect for Kobe and Curry. Kobe has proved himself as one of the most fierce competitors in the NBA ever. Kobe definitely stepped up his game when it mattered most. He had the killer instinct that most players lack today. I think Curry is great role model on & off the court and I feel like he’s improved on his game faster than anyone I’ve ever seen in the NBA. I’m just not so sure if Curry has that same killer instinct that Kobe or Jordan had. I mean it’s really hard to compare them because they both play the game differently. They both can score but Curry relies more on shooting outside (Curry is a much better 3pt shooter). Kobe relied more on jump shots and driving to the hole. I think Westbrook would probably be the better comparison for Kobe. I think Kobe at his prime was a better all around basketball player than Curry is in his prime. I think this also comes down to size. Kobe has leverage on size…so typically you’re going to get more defensive attributes with size. Curry still has some years left in the NBA, so there’s still plenty left to prove. Curry is probably better for team chemistry and probably a better fit in most team rotations in today’s NBA. Kobe’s competitive attitude was his strong point but it also his downfall. So I feel like Kobe really thrives depending on who’s coaching him, his teammates and what system he’s playing under… while Curry would probably thrive under more coaches and thrive under more systems than Kobe would.

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?

I love going to Point Dume in Malibu. There is nothing that clears the mind better than the ocean. There aren’t a lot of tourist that go to Point Dume because it’s kind of a mission to get to and it’s also difficult to find.

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

My taste in music has changed drastically since I’ve moved to LA. I think I got exposed to loads of great music well beyond the funk & hip hop realm since moving here. My standards are a bit higher because the musical inspiration here in LA is much better than it was in Boston. Boston is a much smaller city with less going on in the arts & entertainment world. I’ve gained more of an open ear to different genres of music and I’ve went to more shows that made me feel uncomfortable (which I think is very important as a music lover). You know I’m a hip hop head but I really feel like hip hop music has really been inconsistent with the word “timeless” in recent years. I feel like it’s really shifting into sub genres. Most albums don’t provide the middle ground that’s needed to make a classic. There have definitely been some solid releases (ATCQ, De La Soul, Kendrick, etc.) in recent years but there really isn’t any hip hop album that has stayed in my rotation after a few months in. Everything kind of seems rushed out and the standards are just really low right now. It all feels like some flavor of the month type thing. I feel like most people are peer pressured into feeling like some of these solid rap albums are classics just because most albums that have came out in recent years have been subpar. I’m trying my best to enjoy music for what it is not even use the word classic…because only time can tell. I don’t really have one favorite album at the moment…. but I will say these 3 albums have definitely been in my rotation steadily the past 2 years… Anderson Paak’s “Malibu”, Kaytranada “99.9”, and Hiatus Kaiyote “Choose Your Weapon”… they’re hip hop influenced.

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

Shout out to Platurn and True for the interview. Shout out to God, my family, my crew, my friends, and all the people that I’ve ever got to vibe out with. One love.

Insta: @djleanrock
Twitter: @djleanrock
Facebook: @djleanrock

 

Sean G | The Interview

State your stage name and profession for the record.

My Name is Sean G and I am a DJ.

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

I’ve been Djing since I was 16 years old, so almost 20 years now.


“There have been many great DJ eras in the Bay Area but my favorite were the late 90s to mid 2000’s. As a young DJ those were very creative and inspiring days.”


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

There have been many great DJ eras in the Bay Area but my favorite were the late 90s with Maritime Hall, Justice League, Rico’s Loft, etc. and the mid to late 2000’s with Club 6, Levende Lounge, Milk, Mission Rock etc. As a young DJ those were very creative and inspiring days.

You’re on stage in front of some of your music heroes and you gotta rock a 10 minute set. Which tracks do you choose to showcase your musical diaspora?

In that situation i’m going to go with whatever vibe is needed for the situation. Whatever will fuel the energy of that specific party/concert is the direction I will go in while also throwing in a song or two that maybe most people won’t know but should.

Favorite burrito joint?

As a Mission native I can’t disclose that info now. Top secret info LOL.

Curry or Kobe?

Curry all day, fuck Kobe.

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?

Anywhere on the coast north of the Bay Area. I can really just hit Highway 1 and enjoy any of it.

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

Right now I really like the ‘Tonight Show’ project Rydah J. Klyde & DJ Fresh have just released. I have like 30 new projects on my phone right now but I feel like I’ve been listening to that one almost every day.

Finally, drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

I currently am doing a party every Sunday Night at Somar called The Collective with Lady Ryan D. Roq and it’s been a lot of fun so shout out to all of them and shout out to my other home away from home, 1015 Folsom. I’ve been spinning at 1015 a lot over the years but recently have become a resident DJ over there and I love the programming and staff over there — shout out Dials and Melissa!

facebook.com/djseang

twitter.com/deejayseang

instagram.com/deejayseang

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

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

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