On my way to the Big Apple to soak up some Hip-Hop Culture. The 2016 Crotona Park Jams line-up is crazy. Big ups to Christie-Z and PopMaster Fabel for bringing this old school flavor to present day.
Steez-Beat Rocker,Tape Pimp,SuperStar
Darrell D-How did you get into dj'ing?
Melo-My sister Adela has a son thats 6 months younger than me & growing up I spent a lot of time at their house. My brother in law Raul had turntables & they used to have parties all the time. At home i would tape stuff off the radio & eventually got a double cassette deck that I would make extended versions & pause mixes.
What are your fondest childhood memories?
So many to name but I used to draw all the time & I would listen to mix shows on the radio. I broke a bunch of my family radios making pause mixes. Sounds weird but I'm glad I went through all that.
What was the first record you ever bought?
I remember my sister Chely bought me Michael Jackson's Thriller, that was my first record. I can't really remember the first one I bought, it could've been New Order's Bizarre Love Triangle 12" or Madonna's Material Girl 12". It could've also been the 7" of Prince's Let's Go Crazy. Not sure..
What's your top 3 favorite rap songs of all time?
Can't say I have any specific favorites, I like things in spurts so some weeks i'm really into something & then I can't listen to it for a few weeks or months. Maybe CVE's The Art Of War, or anything off of Project Blowed Comp. I've been playing Skinny Boys' Jock Box quite a bit lately.
What dj/record collector do you admire and why?
Locally, I would have to say either Djentrification or Smite. They both have tons of stuff that I've never heard of or will ever come across. Globally, I like checking out Real El Canario's 15 minutes of... mixes that he posts on line. I also enjoy 45 King's youtube mixes. They always play heat...
What's the weirdest thing that has happened to you while dj'ing?
This might seem tame compared to other DJ's stories but I rarely do weddings and was gonna pass on this one but the Bride was a big fan of mine. They pulled me aside during the reception & said you're doing a great job but we were hoping you would play more of your original tracks. That was pretty weird to hear, I played a bunch of my tunes & the people there were singing along & actually knew the songs. Best wedding reception ever...
If you could meet anyone,living or dead,who would you meet?
Maybe because he just passed away but it would be cool to meet Prince. I don't know what we would talk about except his music. It would be cool to meet Howard Stern too haha, I don't think he would be too much fun though.
What was your greatest dj moment?
I would have to say it was getting invited to play at South by Southwest at a Peligrosa party, i think it was in 2010 or '11. I got to meet a bunch heads that I knew online & we were all into the Latin, Moombahton, Global Bass kind of thing at the time. Playing in DC at Moombahton Massive is always great too.
The last vinyl spot I hit up on my recent trip to the midwest was Gramaphone Records located in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago. I haven't been to this place since the 90's. This is where Dj's go to shop! One of the biggest selections of House music along with Techno, Drum N Bass, Trance, Electronic, & Downtempo can be found here. Back in the day, Gramaphone had the largest selection of mixtapes (cassettes) of any spot I have ever been in. So many in fact that they did not have enough space to display them all. You actually had to flip through several binders to find what you were looking for. I was hoping to find some but apparently they have been gone for years. I did however find some cool 45's and some vintage Chicago random rap.
Next I would like to spotlight Out Of The Past Records located on the west side of Chicago. This is also one of my favorite dig spots because I never know what I will find. On this trip I walked away with some serious vintage Chicago Dj mixtapes. This place is always packed with neighborhood folks and you will also see the occasional European looking for those dusty grooves. Need those 8-tracks? They got you. Need those rap cassingles? They got you. Need those funk 45's, sealed soul Lp's, disco 12"s? C'mon man, I said they got you. Mr. & Mrs. Henderson have been in the neighborhood for over 40 years and have no plans of going anywhere.
The second vinyl shop I want to spotlight on my recent trip back to the midwest is Bullseye Records in my hometown of Milwaukee,WI. I've been shopping at Bullseye since they opened back in the 90's. Luke, the owner, is a stand up guy that has been in the record game forever and has run many record stores in Milwaukee long before he opened this shop. If ever in this city,this needs to be your first stop.