Never a stranger to it in his brilliantly short career, the intro to Notorious B.I.G's "What?s Beef" asks listeners a very simple question: "Do you know what beef is?" For Biggie, it was being on the frontline of one of the greatest feuds in rap history with Tupac Shakur. For Philly's award-winning, Number One mixtape DJ, Wreck, beef is what makes for a hot CD on the streets.
Wreck has been nominated at Justo's MixTape Awards three years in a row for being "Hip-Hop MixTape DJ of the Year". His CD's combine the hottest exclusives from rap's elite, along with a heavy serving of beef tracks for listeners who just can't get enough drama from The Wire. A veteran of the game since 1995, Wreck churns out mixtapes at breakneck speed, creating new CD's every two weeks. AllHipHop.com spent some time with DJ Wreck, and learned that he pulls no punches, especially towards Nas and 50 Cent. Whether you agree with him or not, he clearly lives up to his self-proclaimed title by being "The World?s Most Hated DJ."
AllHipHop.com: Now that we're on the eve of 2006, how does one stay competitive in what some people call an oversaturated mixtape market?
DJ Wreck: I basically stay on my grind and I never slack when it comes to getting hot music. I stay consistent. People know me and count on me, as far as my clientele goes, Philly shows me the most love. They're the ones that buy my CD's and basically make me number one as a mixtape DJ. Other than that, New York shows me a lot of good love, even though that's a hard market to get into.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of New York, how does a Philly cat like you feel about the competitive nature of a lot of New York DJ's?
DJ Wreck: Man, unfortunately, a lot of New York cats tend to play the same songs [on their CD?s]. One thing that I do when I put my CD's out, I try to avoid putting out the same exact CD [as the New York DJ's]. The problem with New York is that, because it's an oversaturated market, there's a problem making money there. If I only sold my CD's in New York I'd go broke. Man, in New York you're only making cents per CD. In Philly, because I'm well known, I get to make the most money and my profit margin is higher there. I guess [I'm] like how Clue and Kay Slay are in New York. [Because of name recognition], you can make more money.
AllHipHop.com: How do you feel about the cats that bootleg your CD's and then sell them like it's an original?
DJ Wreck: The only time I have a problem with bootleggers is when you sell cats five [CD's], then you come back to the spot and see like, 30 of them. [But] I have no real problem with bootlegging because they hit spots or people that I can't reach. I heard my stuff goes international because bootleggers are able to get it to them. Bootleggers help my career as a mixtape DJ.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of international, I have to confess that I burned one of your CD's and gave it to my man in London.
DJ Wreck: [Laughs]. But that's my point! Something just like that doesn't bother me. I don't reach people like that [myself]. I mean, I can't even tell you the places where I've gotten love from people telling me that they like my CD's. I definitely have no problem with that.
AllHipHop.com: You ever get into any problems with angry record label execs from leaking a hot song?
DJ Wreck: I have, but a lot of times, I get my music directly from the execs at the label. I know a lot of people [at any given] label. Sometimes, one person may not know that I got a record from another person at the same label. I get into a few problems because of that with execs. But I can't even understand how you can get a song from a non-artist or a non-executive - it [always] has to come from somewhere in the label [itself].
AllHipHop.com: What's the worst thing that can happen from an angry exec?
DJ Wreck: Nothing. They're not gonna do anything [violent]. I mean, the worst that can possibly happen is that they can cut you off and sabotage your career in the long run by getting people to no longer deal with you. The label cats, the managers - they're the ones that can get me the music.
AllHipHop.com: One of your most well known CD?s, ["We Don?t F**k With 2Pac"], features anti-2Pac songs by Jay-Z, Lil' Kim and even LL Cool J. Some people would say that caused more trouble than was necessary, because once 2Pac died, all of those beefs ended. How would you respond to that?
DJ Wreck: Well, a lot of people did hit me up on that one when it came out and it did cause a lot of controversy. I'm just trying to let people know how history was at that time. You got all these cats shouting 'Pac's name out, and I personally feel that they're exploiting him. Come on, it's like they shouting his name out 'cause 'Pac got fame. I was just trying to let people know that these cats is phony. I hate to say this but Nas - I hear Nas shouting out 'Pac every five seconds - how you gonna shout him out when he was dissin' you? You look at people who really did songs with 'Pac, and they don't even do [songs like "Thugz' Mansion"]. I haven't heard one Snoop record where he took a 'Pac acapella and made a new record. It's all these new people exploiting him, trying to find a 'Pac acapella so they can put it on their song. People don't know how major the East Coast-West Coast beef was at that time. People don't even know that DMX dissed 'Pac. He did it in a freestyle, and then he changed the lyrics when he put out "Get At Me Dog." Lil' Kim too - she changed her lyrics to "Big Mama Thing" - she dissed 'Pac also. It's on the mixtape.
AllHipHop.com: You play up beef a lot in your CD's. Some people think that you?re airing out people's dirty laundry, thus making the beef worse?
DJ Wreck: That's BS. If that's the case, then artists wouldn't make a song about it. If you didn't want it to be out, why did you make a song about it? How do you think we get it? It's not like we rob it and steal it from a n***as' cribs to put it out. If artists didn't want their laundry out, they wouldn't make the song.
AllHipHop.com: Let's talk about some beefs. Who do you think won between Jada and 50?
DJ Wreck: Oh s**t. No question. Jada won. That wasn't even close. Selling records doesn't mean anything. There's no question that 50 has more money than Jada, but in street credibility, Jada [is the real winner]. The whole D-Block won. I mean, even Sheek was killin' him with the lyrics! I even think Joe came out with a better diss ["My 4-4"] than anything 50 ever did!
AllHipHop.com: Do you think 50 Cent's impact on the mixtape market helped the mixtape DJ?
DJ Wreck: No. He didn't do anything. Actually, he helped saturate the market. Now, instead of mixtape DJ's putting CD's out, we got mixtapes being put out by a whole bunch of artists. 50 didn't do anything. He's not going around telling [the RIAA] to leave the mixtape DJ's alone.
AllHipHop.com: Let's switch gears a little bit. Your new CD, "The Best of Jay-Z, Vol. 3" is out now. What makes it hot?
DJ Wreck: Well, it's one of three [volumes]. What makes it hot is the way I put it together. It's not just the songs. I think it's cheating the artist if you just put the songs on at random. I'm one of the only DJ's that arrange the songs nonstop, I mix it like that, feel me? This CD is made for the Jay-Z fan. This particular CD is filled with his street cuts. You can pop it in the car and let it ride.
AllHipHop.com: Got any last words for your fans?
DJ Wreck: Go to my website: www.therealdjwreck.com
AllHipHop.com: You know, there's a couple DJ Wreck's out there?
DJ Wreck: Yeah, tell me about it - I have no problems with other DJ Wrecks but nobody should be putting out DJ Wreck mixtapes [but me]. I'm being real. What kills me is that I seen one DJ Wreck--and I'm not gonna mention where he from - and he puts out a CD with the same title as me! Come on man?
AllHipHop.com: It sounds like you got into some beef yourself now!
DJ Wreck: I know. But it's all good - it's all good.