At age 21, I started to shift my attention from Emceeing to Deejaying / Turntablism. Most of my generation was drawn to the urban aesthetic, but I felt closer to the creative process of Hip-hop. So I purchased turntables, videotapes, books, and recording equipment. I started studying the Djs in the clubs but, switched to the turntablist who performed with the music. My proudest moment was when my uncle gave me his record collection. My uncle was a main influence to being a DJ.
So I started practicing my scratches and routines on Gemini direct drive turntables and made mixtapes. I liked the feel of records but I also had a big compact disc collection. So, I also purchased a Denon CD turntable. I didn’t know many turntablist in my town but I knew rappers, so I would do shows with them. My first Dj show was in a bowling alley and I had a great time mixing old and new songs together.
A Serious Production
Most hip-hop djs are known to remix and produces music for rappers, so I started producing my own music. Since, I couldn’t afford a high end equipment like a MPC 2000, I went the computer route and purchased controllers and software instead. I also founded my production company, A Serious Production. It was my label to my work so I would create and have a place to put it under. I started to share my music with a few friends and rappers. I got pretty good feedback. Plus, I started doing remixes with my friend Juda to be well versatile in my production.
By 2004, I was a turntablist and joined a band called Intercourse, a rap-rock hybrid band in Stockton,CA. I started to understand my role as a band member (a position most DJs don’t acquire), and what kind of rig to use. I would bring a turntable for my scratches and my Roland SP-808 sampler to play samples at the shows.
I started working with Alphabet Asylum in 2006. Our music was slimmed down to samples, turntables, bass, drums, and vocal. I added a keyboard to my rig to expand the sound range to our music. This action worked perfectly. We went from a rap band to an alternative funk band. I would play keyboards, samples, and a turntable at all our show and our 2011 album, The Balance. So, I became a DJ that played music, who evolved into a musician that made music.
With this evolution, I thought that I have explored everything on the Hip-hop scene. But I found new genres to explore for myself and A Serious Production.
To be continue in our next installment…