Los Angeles based DJ Skee has come quite a ways since his days as a DJ for The Game and a local fixture on the mixtape scene back in the middle of the decade. Since the launching of his media outlet SkeeTV in 2007, DJ Skee has turned in to quite an entrepreneur by turning that outlet in to a marketing, production and video directing company. DJ Skee then set out to conquer the world of radio with his Live From L.A. show on Sirius and The Takeover show on Power 106 FM before heading over to the country’s biggest radio station KIIS FM. As if that wasn’t enough DJ Skee was able to launch a successful live show called Skeetox which has featured such artists as Xzibit, Snoop Dogg, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire and many others. AllHipHop.com sat down with the young mogul-in-the-making to talk about his business ventures and to meet his newest protege’ R.O.M.E., a bright talented artist and producer out of Los Angeles who just recently released his street album called No Excuses.
AllHipHop.com: DJ Skee, you brought Rome with you today so that you could introduce him. So Rome, please tell us about yourself.
Rome: I’m a 26 year old artist from Los Angeles, CA. I took the name Rome from my last name which is Romero. My friends used to call me Romey Rome, and I kept the Rome part. I started off as a producer of which my resume’ of music goes back to as young as 14 years old. I’ve worked with Rick Ross and Jim Jones. Rap was something that I’ve always had on the agenda and once I got the chance I went ahead and took it. I worked with rappers so I was able to develop my own style and combine that with the work ethic that I was raised with in the music industry.
R.O.M.E. Feat. Curt@!n$: “We Up In Here”
AllHipHop.com: It seems like a lot of producers are abandoning their position to become rappers. Why is that?
Rome: I always wanted to be a rapper to tell you the truth. I started making beats because I wanted to rap over my own music. Producing took off and I started making a living off of it. Rap has been my first love and it was the reason why I even got involved in music.
AllHipHop.com: DJ Skee, you can work with anybody that you want to in this business. Here you are introducing us to Rome. Why did you choose this artist?
DJ Skee:I’ve known Rome since he was a producer and he’s always had the sickest beats. He’s done stuff on my mixtapes and I would see him at the studio with the homies Cool & Dre. We did our first mixtape together and it was one of our favorites. He’s a true artist and you hear the authenticity in his voice. Him being Hispanic also opens up another market. So with him being a good person on top of making good music it makes for a quality product. That’s what I’ve always tried to be associated with and he fits right in the mold with that.
R.O.M.E. – “Please Don’t Mind Me”
AllHipHop.com: Rome, you don’t sound like a typical Latin artist coming out of Los Angeles. Most have a Cholo accent and rap heavily about that lifestyle, yet I don’t hear that in your music.
Rome: It all starts with the production that I use which is on the soul side. I don’t really go with the traditional things that Spanish rappers go with. I think that it basically comes from the perspective in which I tell my stories. I consider myself as updated with the times and my lingo fits with 2010/2011 era. I was raised off a lot of East Coast hip-hop so that’s why I think that my style goes that way. I like to do something new. I don’t like to do stuff that’s been done before and I think that separates me as well.
AllHipHop.com: DJ Skee, you work in radio. Is there a place for the style of music that Rome is putting out?
DJ Skee: Absolutely. I play Rome on my Sirius/XM radio show. I’ve also had him featured on my Live From L.A. Show on HipHopNation. There are definitely outlets for him that he fits right in to.
AllHipHop.com: Tell us about this new project that you guys just recently released.
Rome: It was released on October 27th and it’s called No Excuses hosted by DJ Skee. It’s a follow up to my first project with DJ Skee called My Demo. After My Demo was released I kind of disappeared for a minute.
I had to take care of some personal issues and a lot of people thought that I was out of the game, so I had to come back with a project which I chose to call No Excuses. I didn’t want to give out any reasons why I left or fell off, so it’s no excuses. It’s a whole original album.
AllHipHop.com DJ Skee, you just recently made a big deal for your SkeeTV company. Tell us about that.
DJ Skee: We started SkeeTV from nothing and now we are turning it in to a big company with a bunch of employees and our own office space. We just inked a new deal with Karmaloop who is the biggest street wear company in the world with 100 Million dollars in sales. We got together because we both share the same demographics. The people that view SkeeTV are the same one’s that shop at Karmaloop. With all of the new technology that is coming out we actually premiered on some of Ice Cube’s videos to where you can literally click on to the clothes that he’s wearing and you can add it to your shopping cart. We are excited about not just selling clothes but extending our platform as well by utilizing their traffic. Our thing has always been to be everywhere. It’s a great deal that makes sense and we are trying to create new business models in this industry.
Skeetox Feat. DJ Skee, Xzibit and Snoop Dogg
AllHipHop.com: You have mixtapes, an FM radio job, a Satellite Radio show, SkeeTV and you direct music videos. What is next for you?
DJ Skee: Whatever is next. We are trying to stay on the cutting edge and provide good business models for artists, labels and everybody else in this industry. We had a vision for shooting music videos and we built up a great team. Now we have the hottest production company with a number one video called “Like A G6” with The Far East Movement. It’s all about doing cool stuff – the money kind of comes secondary. It’s like Rome here, we are working with artists that have dope music who are doing cutting edge stuff. I don’t want to be stuck in a box doing what everybody else is doing. Everybody complains about the music business not having any good business models. I’m just trying to do new things that work.
AllHipHop.com: How are your radio shows going?
DJ Skee: I’m still at KISS FM out here in Los Angeles and it’s still the biggest radio station in the country. I’m doing the Live show which is Skeetox everywhere from Boston to DC to New York. Skeetox has paved the way for a new era of live DJ’ing.
AllHipHop.com: Is it hard going from a free format like HipHopNation on Sirius to a pop-oriented format like KIIS FM?
DJ Skee: Actually it’s easy. At KIIS I have a lot of freedom in the world. It’s obviously a pop station so you have to cater to your audience just like if you were DJ’ing a party that’s in to House music. I’m a fan of all music in general so you have to play for your audience. HipHopNation is more street with a mixtape audience. With KIIS you play pop but there is still great music with that and there is a lot of crossover stuff. A lot of hip-hop is pop music right now. Dr. Dre said it best in a conversation I heard he had once. He said that he is pop music. He is what the people buy. With KIIS I do have freedom. I don’t follow a play list and I am able to break new music. I am happy there and happy that I get to expose new artists to a new audience.
AllHipHop.com: So Rome are you going to make the transition to techno-rap anytime soon? (laughs)
Rome: (laughs) No. I am just going to be myself. I actually enjoy all types of music myself like DJ Skee but I’ve got to find my own lane and path. I am just trying to be my own artist and re-invent the wheel my own way and with my own style.