DJ Vlad made a lot of noise in the mixtape recently with his
release of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Rap Phenomenon" mixtape. He's bringing
the much-needed creativity and originiality back into the game. See what one
of the dopest DJ's in the mixtape game has to say about his future plans, Busta
stealing one of his tracks, and his next mixtape project.
you start spinning?
I've been spinning
most of my life, but it got real serious about 5 years ago.
the first records you were spinning?
Wow.. back in the
day it was Run DMC's first album, the Beat Street soundtrack, Egyptian Lover,
you practice and get your skills up?
I came from a production
background, making beats. When I got into seriously doing mixtapes, I applied
the same principles to that. I really try to create new songs on my mixtapes.
When it comes to turntablism, I train with DJ Iemerge - he was the 2002 ITF
link up with Dirty Harry for the Biggie "Rap Phenomenon" mixtape?
I had admired Harry's
work for a while. When I moved to NY, we hooked up and started trading tapes
with each other. My camp came up with the idea for the Biggie mixtape, and it
started to come together.
a really dope mixtape, do you have plans on doing something like that with other
No Doubt. In September,
we're dropping 2Pac: Rap Phenomenon Part 2. DJ Green Lantern is joining the
team on that mixtape.
your opinion of the mixtape scene right now?
Can't knock the
hustle. It's really brought me a long way in a short period of time.
a lot of fucked up things about the mixtape game. Should artists have to pay
in order to get on DJ mixtapes?
It depends on the
artist and the DJ. A lot of artists get deals from being on major mixtapes -
look at 50 Cent, the Diplomats, the Lox, Fabolous, etc. If you're relatively
unknown, I think it is money very well spent to get on a big mixtape. If you've
hustled and built up a buzz, then mixtape DJ's will be coming to you.
your selection process like when making a mixtape?
I try to start
of my mixtapes with a real, real hot blend. My specialty is getting really rare
and unreleased acapellas (vocals without the beats), so I'll flip those vocals
and make a really hot song that you've never heard before. I make my own exclusives.
you think of Busta and Spliff Star using your Biggie blend from "Rap Phenomenon"
and what was going through your mind the first time you heard that?
LOL... Harry was
real mad when he first heard it, because we didn't get any credit for it. But
as time went on, we got our recognition, so it's all good. I feel honored that
Rap Phenomenon made such a big impact on the music industry, that even major
artists are borrowing from it.
your picks for next to blow?
Joe Beast, Brooklyn,
Peedie Crack, Sly Boogy, Saigon, LG, Balance
the number one thing which needs to change in the mixtape game?
We need more creativity
in the game. Dirty Harry, Green Lantern and me are forming a crew of sorts,
where you'll see a certain logo on our mixtapes - that way, people will know
that this is a creative tape, as opposed to a Newsweek mixtape.
the talks going between you and labels on working out a deal?
A couple of major
labels are very interested right now. Can't really say too much beyond that..
your advice to up-and-coming DJ's?
Do you. There's
already a DJ Clue, already a Drama King, already an Evil Genius. Put together
the shit that you really feel, and people will recognize it.
the next DJ Vlad mixtape hit and how can Heads cop it?
is out now. There's going to be a "Hip Hop Rock" tape out soon. I'm
doing the official Wake Up Show (Sway & Tech) mixtape, and of course there's
Rap Phenomenon 2 coming in September. Check out my website - www.djvlad.com
Dirty Harry, Green
Lantern, DJ Warrior holding down LA, my man Ed from superbeats.com, Neil at
Ecko, Balance, my man Zack in LA, Joe Beast, Brooklyn, Zack, Carl Thomas, Jon
B, and of course, my parents for all the support.