On my 12th birthday,
we missed the last bus to Great Adventure. As I stood
there disappointed, there was a DJ set in the window that I was interested in
and my family bought it for me.
When did you
start making mixtapes?
I started when
I was 14. I am now 23. Never really did it consistently
until a few years ago because I was always on the road. From Nickelodian DJ
to Def Jam DJ and stuff in between. I traveled around the country doing
parties for them and opening at concerts.
How do you put
the tape together?
We get so much
stuff. The process can get a little drawn out. We get a lot of exclusives on
major artists, just signed artists, and unknown artists. Plus we do 80% of our
exclusive freestyles here at our studio. As long as its hot we will play it.
Most mixtape DJs just wanna play what will be on Hot 97 or the next dis freestyle.
We continue to play the hot unknown cats and we make them hot to everyone. That's
what the DJ used to be about. Breaking the new artists in addition to playing
the new joints by established artists. We all choose what goes on the tapes,
but I do the order & remove songs according to feel and what my audience
wants to hear.
do you use?
1200's, CD players, etc. We used to use ProTools but for mixtapes there is no
better program for making mixtapes and burning CDs then Samplitude. That program
does everything from ripping to burning CDs, unlimited tracks, pro quality effects.
That's what gets used exclusively now.
How do you get
the exclusive tracks?
You have to have
personal relationships with record company execs, interns, producers, artists,
managers, etc. I grew up in the game. I've been in it since I was 14 and toured
with a lot of cats; partied with them and just know them on a personal level
other than the DJ stuff. You have to be fair and you cannot play something they
do not want you to play because you come across it. Some DJs will get an album
advance and play like 6 cuts on one mixtape. I saw two DJs play like 9 or 10
cuts from 50 cents album before it hit the stores. That's ridiculous. That is
a sure-fire way to burn your bridge with that artist, his peoples, and record
What goes into
making a perfect mixtape?
& timing. It could be one of those weeks where you got mad exclusives and
are about to do the tape- then on the same day before you do it, someone hits
you with the real bomb exclusive. We collect songs/freestyles all day everyday.
Stuff gets mailed, dropped off, etc. You also have to have a certain style that
people feel. With all the copycat DJs out here that play the same stuff something
has to differentiate the DJs. I try to inject personality with what I play as
well. If you notice our playlists of each CD we try to be different and not
play the same 1st 5 songs as all these copycats out here. Put that with an "up"
party atmosphere on the vocals and you got DJ Kool Kid- the Hood Legend.
What do you
think of the beef in the mixtape industry?
The beef thing
is tired. Alot of has-been artists try and make a name for themselves by "gettin'
at" popular artists. Try and make hot joints and you will get noticed.
What have you
been up to lately?
I'm a real DJ so I do a lot of parties: College tours, club events in NYC and
around the country, did an NBA All-Star weekend joint. Most mixtape DJs don't
even have turntables or know how to mix. Been asked to go on tour with a few
artists in the Spring as well. We also been blasting off our artist, Hedonis-
a female rapper from Philly (check her out on the Hood Legends Follow the Leader
pt 1, pt 2 and beyond). That's been our focus in 2003. She's done over 20 songs
and 20 freestyles in the 6 weeks since we hooked up. VH1/MTV has been filming
Hedonis for about 3 weeks at shows, studio, home life, meetings, etc. for an
upcoming "On Da Come Up" show in April, 2003. She auditioned along
with over 150 others and was picked. She is serious. We already have 2 major
offers but we have decided to wait to after the TV show airs so we can up the
ante. Been doing a few internet radio shows and college radio shows around the
country. We also are focusing on getting a regular radio spot in 2003 and continuing
to expand on the production tip. We currently have a joint on the Cradle 2 the
Grave soundtrack and a lot more stuff coming.
Who are you
feeling right now?
I'm feeling the
new wave of emcees: 50 cent, Joe Budden, Ludacris, Eminem,
Grafh, plus veterans like D Block, MOP, Nas, Snoop, & others.
be the next artist to shake up the industry?
A year ago I would
have said 50 and he is doin it crazy. Don't see anyone on the horizon that will
have that big of a splash. Honestly though, my girl Hedonis is sick with it.
She knows how to write songs and you can throw her on the corner to eat cats.
Check her on VH1 in April. They got mad footage of her from shows, one-sided
battles, and a few songs we let loose for the show.
What's the dopest
experience you've had in the hip hop industry?
I was 16, in high
school, on TV, touring, and making $3000/wk legally for
Nickelodian. So far the most fun I have had has been on tour with Def Comedy
Jam. We had a good time all day long. You was always laughing for the whole