This week we are featuring some of the hottest Djs from the West Coast to gain a new perspective on what a DJ looks for in a solid mixtape as well as what jams they play to rock a party. DJ Jam is a legend who started in the music business over twenty years ago from his hometown in San Diego, and at an early beginning in 1998 was
a DJ mix finalist for the DMC U.S competition. Another prodigy from the West,
official DJ for Warren G., winner of the US DMC Championship in 1993, and “The Box”
National DJ search is none other than DJ Rectangle.
DJ Warrior, is a two-time winner of Justos Mixtape Awards for the best West Coast Mixtape
DJ of the year, and was named Top Ten Mixtape DJ of the year by Rolling Stone.
Tune in to DJs that wont
be accused of not speaking their mind, DJs take heed
AllHipHop: What projects are you currently working on ?
I am doing a [Doctor] Dre CD, a club CD, and a new Hip-Hop CD. Plus I am doing
shows with Lady of Rage.
DJ Warrior: Cali Untouchable
Radio 17 with Strong Arm Steady (Dj Warrior & Dj Envy), Hot
Box Vol. 2 with Taje, Rap Warz with Tyrant (Artist), Dj Warrior
along with Dj Green Lantern, 93 Fly with Jihad (Artist) Dj Warrior
& Dj Envy, Cashis (Shady Records), Dj Arkane, No Sleep Till…
Nyc With Jayrock (Artist) Dj Warrior, along with Dj Envy, Dj Skee,
Big Mike, and Bogish Boyz Vol.2 Cashis(Artist) Dj Warrior & Dj
DJ Jam: I am working on my
next CD/DVD project because I am bringing my CDs to life. I am also
getting into a new realm of mix CDs entitled, DJ Jam Sin City
Live. This is a mash up mixture between Rock meets Hip-Hop meets
R&B meets Reggae. Its a double CD. In the next week, find out
more on my website, www.djjam.com. My website is merchandised differently.
You will receive a mixtape free of charge when you buy anything from
my smoking accessories merchandising company Puff by the Pound
that I formed with Snoop. Today, I am starting a new project called
Midnight Groove that is an R&B CD with female subject matter
and hosted by Spinderella.
AllHipHop: What do you feel is the best mixtape out now, aside
from your own?
DJ Rectangle: I dont
know, I dont listen to mixtapes. Actually, I dont even listen
to my own. When Im finished creating one, I am so sick of working
on it that I dont even want to listen to it. I like listening to
80s music and old rap.
DJ Warrior: Tony Touch’s 50
DJ Jam: I always looked up
to Dr. Dre and I make it a point to incorporate some of the things he
does in what I do. As far as out here on the West Coast, the best mixtapes
that I heard are from DJ Rectangle, Crazy Toones (DJ for WC and
Ice Cube), and DJ TR from the Heavyweights.
AllHipHop: What is the best exclusive you
were given for a mixtape or radio show?
DJ Rectangle: I dont really
get exclusives, I get freestyles. Eminems freestyle was pretty cool.
DJ Warrior: Bun
B, Sinful, Chace Infinite (self scientific/soul assassins)
DJ Jam: Real N****z Do Real
Things by Notorious B.I.G., where he raps over all the West Coast
AllHipHop: What style did you
DJ Rectangle: I originated
making a four-track sound like a sixteen-track. I combine all styles
and I am good at all styles. For example, scratching a beat, sound/song
selection. Its a combination of all. Normally, DJs are only
good at one thing, they dont combine everything.
DJ Warrior: I bring out East
Coast flavor with a West Coast mix and bring out a little more personality
on the CD and in the mix.
DJ Jam: Innovated well
made me who I am and its how I get my name I use a drum machine
sampler when I DeeJay. I would mix it with my turntables and I would put
on a show or routine. That was really different from what people do
AllHipHop: Are there any DJs
that have copied your style?
DJ Rectangle: Apparently, a
lot but I couldnt regurgitate their names at this moment.
DJ Warrior: There are a lot
of DJs in the West Coast that have copied my style. But no disrespect,
we all learn from each other. Ive learned a lot from other DJs
and added my own twist to it. There is a lot of transferring style between
DJ Jam: I am not going to say
anyone bit my style. I hope that Ive influenced DJs by how I rock
in the club, or my stage presence, or rockin in Compton with Snoop,
my mix CDs ,and the different interviews Ive conducted. Ive
talked and given insight with DJs from all over the world and if
we arent talking about all those areas Ive mentioned, we are at
least talking about one. Plus, Im not stationed in one area for me
to even notice a DJ even if he was biting my style. But, Ive influenced
these guys because they call and tell me all the time. And, I still
pick up things from the new generation of DJs. I dont do things
exactly how I used to when I first got in the game. The whole mash up
scene, especially Rock. The biggest influence for me was the entire
transition between mix CDs into mix DVDs.
AllHipHop: Who is the best newly signed
DJ Rectangle: Did Jay-Z sign
in 2007? That was a joke. I am seeing a lot of young people but
I am not really into down south music. Im not completely up on my
Hip-Hop so that is a tough question to answer. I like Lamont Bishop
and I like T-Pain although I know he wasnt signed in 2007. I still
like the old artists like Snoop and R. Kelly. I know everyone wants
someone fresh and new but you have to look at the longevity in the business.
DJ Warrior: Lamont Bishop
DJ Jam: Out here, [Young] Malay, and
he can be heard on Crazy Toones latest mix CD/DVD called, CT Experience.
You need to see this DVD because it will be a bearing on the future
of how record labels put out music. Thats a reason why my mix CDs
will be DVDs. Glasses Malone, CPO, Bishop Lamont are other favorites.
They all have their own style.
AllHipHop: What track do you
play to hype a party?
DJ Rectangle: The 900 number,
I still use songs with Fatman Scoop, that always works and Marvin Gaye,
DJ Warrior: Something from
Biggie, Hypnotize always works for me.
DJ Jam: Its a G Thang.
[Dr. Dre The Chronic]
AllHipHop: Which DJ really
impresses you when you go to clubs?
DJ Rectangle: Honestly, I dont
go to clubs. Ive been working in clubs for the last twenty years,
thats the last place I want to go. Kid Capri impresses me because
he knows how to hype a crowd with the mic and what to play.
DJ Warrior: I have to give
you more than one. I like Kid Capri, DJ AM and DJ Life. I like
DJs that can cater to more than one type of crowd, genre of music,
not just Hip-Hop, such as Jazzy Jeff.
DJ Jam: DJ LS One, I like his
selection, style of how he plays, his demeanor on the mic, and how he
talks to the crowd. I like DJ Rectangle because of his creative scratching
AllHipHop: Whats the best
mixtape collaboration you’ve heard?
DJ Rectangle: Honestly, I dont
buy mixtapes. I dont care what anyone else is doing. I just make what
I like. I download music on the internet but that isnt a full mixtape.
I suppose Im blasting out my credibility with every word I say? I
listen to the radio, 80’s music. When I go to clubs, I choose songs
I like whether they are old or new. Ive never played something
I didnt like or because its The song. I dont play what
is current on the radio. Most of what you hear on the radio is fly by
night songs or songs that have a lot of money put behind them.
Its true. Most of the songs I play, arent singles. The one
thing I dont like about listening to other mixtapes is that they
couldnt be played in the clubs. DJs are too caught up with the
exclusive songs. 90 percent of the time, those songs arent even
that good that is why they didnt make the album. Not to say I dont
break new songs, but I am not going to play a song just because no one
DJ Warrior: Ice Cube Cali
Untouchable Radio 11 and The Anger Management
Tour by DJ Green Lantern.
DJ Jam: DJ Truly
OdD & Will Blast Collaborations.
AllHipHop: What do you feel
is missing in Hip-Hop right now?
DJ Rectangle: I dont really
think anything is missing because artists like Common are using samples
which I thought were missing before. True Hip-Hop isnt being exposed
as it was like underground Hip-Hop. Although, Hip-Hop was always commercial
and the underground was never exposed on radio. KRS-1 is missing from
rap and I think he should be rapping. He needs better beats. I think
hes too consumed with being a major part of hip-hop and tries to
hard to keep it that way. Also, radio stations wouldnt play that
right now which is unfortunate.
DJ Warrior: Songs with better
concepts, more elements and better content and no “ABC” rap.
DJ Jam: Creativity in
everything musically, music content and marketing
AllHipHop: Which artists album
release has the best chance in changing how artists put out records?
DJ Rectangle: Ice Cubes first
album. I think so many people are afraid of sampling. Sampling
was a major part of rap, they came from turntables. Nowadays, everybody
is afraid to do that. Its changed the way people rap and what they
rap on. Money has basically changed everything with the licensing of
DJ Warrior: I would have to
say Kanye West. I think he is diverse and universal.
DJ Jam: Definitely, Dr. Dre.
AllHipHop: What advantage or
disadvantage do you have being from the West Coast?
DJ Rectangle: I could go over
to Mexico and drink when I was eighteen but I think I might be straying
from your question. In the nineties, I dont think there were as many
opportunities in the West Coast at that time, compared to the East Coast
where everyone and there mother was rapping. Other than that, I dont
really think there is an advantage or disadvantage in my occupation
being from the West Coast.
DJ Warrior: An advantage, we
have an open market. There are so many different cultures and we have
many opportunities over here and people copy our style. There are so
many things going on that you can definitely learn a lot. It is so multicultural.
We dont have enough people
in top positions which is a disadvantage. Ice Cube, Snoop, Aftermath,
and E40 are all we have. Also, the California atmosphere is too laid
back and if we just got up off our a**, had a little more order and
stuck together our disadvantage would be none.
DJ Jam: We dont get the
publicity that the East Coast gets which is a disadvantage. Shows
such as MTV and BET are all based out of New York. If we had TV networks,
we could put out some quality things too. We lack the media attention.
However, because we dont
have that attention, people will pay attention whenever do get a chance,
people will look at us because they dont get to see that worldwide.
I travel worldwide and they dont know a lot of are artists because
it is hard for them to get video play in North America.
AllHipHop: Top three
West Coast Artists (Tupac doesnt count)
DJ Rectangle: Snoop Dogg, Dr.
Dre and DJ Quik
DJ Warrior: Snoop Dogg, Eazy
E and Ice Cube
DJ Jam: Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube
and The Game
AllHipHop: Wow, no Eazy
DJ Jam: Eazy E was a smart
business man. He started a whole revolution but when we are talking
about being an artist, going in and making music, no. He had his couple
of songs, people liked his voice and that separated him. People thought
he was very young, his entire aura was good. However, we are talking
about being an artist and creating an album.
AllHipHop: I admire you
because I thought you were going to pick Dr. Dre solely based on your
connection to him.
DJ Jam: Dr. Dre is one of the
greatest producers of all time but when we say an artist that is going
to go into the studio and creating an entire album, I wouldnt put
him on their level.