W When you think of the West Coast, no particularly mixtape DJ comes to the average mind as say a Drama in Atlanta or a Clue in New York. DJ Warrior is trying to change the way the industry looks at and markets the west with his Cali Untouchable Radio mixtape series and his new venture with DJ Strong known as Hip Hop West. After 10 years in the rap game, Warrior fancies himself with major label deals, consulting jobs, and a nationwide name for keeping the left side in the rotation all over.
Recently aligned with Jimmy Henchmans Czar Entertainment, Warrior is going for the gusto. However, his veteran stance shows in the fact that when profiling the Wests impact in Hip-Hop hes as quick to acknowledge Ice-T as The Game, and Mitchy Slick as Bishop Lamont. If one man can unify the West on wax, DJ Warrior doesnt come out to play.
AllHipHop.com: With new albums coming out from The Game, Snoop, and Tha Dogg Pound climbing the charts it looks like there is a resurgence of the West Coast
DJ Warrior: --- Dont forget about Ice Cube, E-40, another kid making a lot of noise is Mitchy Slick, Keak Da Sneak from the Bay. Theres a lot of cats that have been doing things out here. Ice-T has just dropped an album, so hes back in the game. Theyve always been out here doing things but I feel like we just dont get enough opportunity. The West Coast is on fire right now, and an artist like The Game have helped to open a lane for more West Coast artists. Now its just up to the new cats to get their s**t right so they can be just as good as him if not better. The Game blowing up was a good thing, and his second album is just incredible. Its a beautiful thing for me as a DJ to see that the West Coast has five or six singles getting heavy play on the radio and club circuit.
AllHipHop.com: What made you decide to release an album now instead of continuing to release mixtapes?
DJ Warrior: I had to work my way up. I mean, look at the market that Im in. What Ive done as a DJ, I [have created] without a publicist, without a manager. My partner DJ Strong and we have accomplished a lot on our own. The movement that we have created has taken time to move through the West Coast, but the market .mixtapes have always been here, and the West Coast has always had dope DJs. What wasnt around was the personality and representation that we brought. A lot of people just werent street and we came and just made a whole new platform for mixtapes in the West. We brought the culture that was in the East to the West. I still give credit where credit is due because there are a lot of people out here who are dope. DJ Quik, Julio G, DJ Maestro, Dr. Dre...there are a lot of people that Im forgetting right now who used to do mixtapes back in the day. When they got bigger, they went into the production side and they really didnt carry it on because they didnt need to. Everyone had to move on to that next level in life. But for a period of time there was a gap in the mixtape scene. A lot of people out here didnt even know what the mixtape culture was about. Plus the people that did remember were focused on just a local area, but Hip-Hop is the fastest growing culture in the world. We had to take it to a bigger, national level.
AllHipHop.com: That leads me to my next question. Hip-Hop is growing at such a fast pace, but most of the emphasis is placed on rappers as opposed to the rest of the culture. What do you feel is the role of the DJ, particularly on the West Coast?
DJ Warrior: Youre right, a lot of people dont necessarily think of the mixtape DJ when they think of the West Coast. But now, the way things have been going for the past five years has been amazing. Ive gotten a deal out of it, toured the world, sold-out concerts, [and] broke new artists. Were quality DJs. Hip-Hop is not what it used to be because the music is just not that solid anymore. Today its all about marketing and promotion. With us, we just had a reason and a purpose behind everything that we do. We created a wave that everyone can jump on. The question is when you jump on this wave what are your reasons? Do you just want to be big? Do you just want to look cool? Thats not our whole thing. Were creating and branding something for the whole world so that when we leave, theres something left so other can build. Basically, were pioneers of the West Coast mixtape scene. We created the West Coast mixtape scene. The whole purpose is that its not about us, its about the West Coast.
AllHipHop.com: Who are you working with?
DJ Warrior: Weve got a few irons in the fire. Right now, Im working with this kid named Roccet. My main focus is on a cat named Misty Hustle. Weve got Mitchy Slick out of San Diego, this other kid, Diego Red. As far as majors were working with Lil Eazy E, Crooked I, E-40, and The Game. We work with everybody, but our focus right now is to work with those unsigned artists and try to blow them up. Thats when you can really talk some s**t because you took a guy from nothing to something. Thats what we specialize in. A&Rs need to holla at us because were the A&R for the West Coast right now. Ive got a lot of superstars under my belt; its just that they havent been made into superstars yet. Whatever I touch, everyone wants to touch. An artist gets on my mixtape and all of a sudden A&Rs are calling like I heard you were on Warriors s**t. If thats the case then f**k it, its time for DJ Warrior to have a record and label deal. If I got the blueIm not saying I run everything or Im the man over here, but if I got the mixtape blueprint or created the mixtape blueprint then come holla at me. Im not the man; Im just the man who is serving the man, who is God.
AllHipHop.com: You just spoke on E-40 who is a veteran in the game and is now pushing the Hyphy sound which a lot of people in the nation never knew about. Do you feel the West Coast has been put at a disadvantage by being placed in a gangsta rap niche?
DJ Warrior: All these sounds have always been there but the industry markets the sound how they want to. Overall, its a good thing that new sound is finally getting out there. Youve got a lot of different sounds out here but its just what the industry wants to put out. I cant even tell you why its that way. Youd have to ask someone on the inside. The Hyphy movement is definitely helping. Youve got the more than just the gangstas but thats all the labels are looking for. Tell the VPs and A&Rs to come holla at me and Ill find you the next artist out of the West Coast. You have so much culture over here. Its racial over here. Its international over here. There are so many things going on over here it all just need s the opportunity to be heard.
AllHipHop.com: Earlier you were speaking about how Hip Hop is losing its underground but you have a lot of artist on the West that vary drastically. Artist like Murs
DJ Warrior: Oh, Murs is dope! You know a guy like Murs needs to have the money put behind him so that another sound can be brought out of the West Coast. All these cultures have been here. The West isnt just made up of gangstas and lowriders. Theyre here, but its more than that. Theres different nationalities, different food, the weathers different in different parts of the West Coast, the Bay area has their own thing, San Diego has their own thing, and different parts of L.A. have totally different culture. S**t, even Vegas is West Coast. Something should be popping out of Vegas. The Bay has the Hyphy sound, but at the same time theyve got that laid back Too Short/Richie Rich sound. At the end of the day were all West Coast.