Urban Daily: Who inspired you to want to DJ, and why?
DJ Drama: I got inspired to DJ from the movie Juice. Clearly, Omar Epps’ character, GQ, and the DJ battle and everything, and I guess that was like my first time really seeing DJs big like, visually, outside of Jam Master Jay. But I was at that age, where I was looking for a hobby or something, and that sh*t looked like it was fun to do. So that’s really, really where my DJ infatuation started. That was the first time I really had seen a DJ battle like that. Like I knew about DJs, and stuff, but that was the first time I really seen like a lot of cutting and scratching, DJ battling, and just you know the swag of the DJ. That’s really what turned me on… Jazzy Jeff, Funkmaster Flex, DJ Clue, Doo Wop, Tony Touch, Whoo Kid, Green Lantern, Kayslay, Envy. You know, a lot of the mixtape guys, I really paid attention to, you know, that were doing their thing between the mid nineties early nineties all the way to the early 2000s. A lot of these guys are my peers now but I also came up really, really studying them and admiring their craft and their work and things like that. The mixtape DJ to me always had a big persona. Of course you had radio DJs, and party DJs, and battle DJs, but there was something about the popularity and the impact that a guy like Clue had that just made him larger than life. You would go from city to city and hear his music, hear his tapes, and hear his signature Clue drop. And you know, from a DJ perspective, the majority of DJs… there are very few DJs that are known outside of their market. So to be able to move around and be known is always something that really made my eyes wide. And you know they basically came off like artists to me. And since I couldn’t rap, and I couldn’t be a rapper, you know, a mixtape DJ was like the closest thing to being an artist as far as but still being a DJ.
Omar Epps as DJ Q in Juice.
What advice would you give aspiring DJs on the come up?
I ‘d probably say to really be a student of the game. Study it from all angles and pay attention to those who came before you. In a lot of ways, use the roads that have been laid as far as you know, but also think about what you can bring to the table and stand out from the rest of the pack. Everything has been done under the sun, but what value can you add, to make sure that you stand to be one of the greatest DJs of all time?
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