Saturday, July 1, 2017

Interview With DJ 1Mic

1Mic : Thank you for having me. I appreciate your time.

djrikkirick : Happy to have you as well. So tell us about yourself, like how you became the king of the playlist.

1Mic : I'm from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, so I'm an East Coast guy, but I've always had a love and appreciation for all the regions. I grew up listening to and loving DJ Clue, Green Lantern, Whoo Kid. All the greats from the 90s and early 2000s. I always wanted to be like them, and around 2006 I started taking it seriously, making my own mixtapes as DJ 1Mic. I studied the game and the players are really worked my butt off to get noticed for my mixtapes. Now I see my projects and tracklists as a jigsaw puzzle, and every song, audio clip, drop, etc. has it's perfect place and timing. So it's really just hard work, being a perfectionist and having a deep love for hip hop of course.

It's interesting that you mention how music has it's own perfect place and timing, because in hip hop, a lot of the old school, cut and scratch DJs act like if you don't do that then you are not a real DJ, which is simply not true, because curating playlists is a gift. It all has to fit together, and that takes time and a lot of skill.

1Mic : Yes, I appreciate the crazy technicians, and respect the skills it takes to scratch and beat match. I'm completely self taught so starting out in 06 there was no YouTube video to watch, so until I mastered those skills I leaned so heavily on my tracklists to cover up my weaknesses as a "cross fader." Eventually I came into my own and meshed the skills with playlists. I'm comfortable in my lane. As far as my playlists specifically, I try to build you up by trying to keep a consistent energy throught my playlists. It's really almost a form of psychological manipulation when you step back from it. I try to lead the listener through the music, to be more clear. I want you to hear the music the way I see it.

It's like working a crowd when you are live DJ'ing at an event. You have to keep them engaged.  And with the cross fade, it's all about the timing. And you have to know your audience as well.

1Mic : Knowing your audience is key. It's such an underrated talent that a successful DJ must have. My audience in general was born prior to 1995 so I play to that, whether it's Death Row, or my lengthy collection of D-Block tapes. I play to a slightly older crowd than the median.

Good lead in to my next question. With us being the older crowd now, how do you feel about the current state of music? It seems like there is so much trap music out here and it's so popular that the real hip hop gets lost in the shuffle.

1Mic : Yeah, no question, there is a lot of commercialized, watered down trap or mumble rap, whatever you want to call it, and it gets a lot of attention, but I think that one hit wonder element has always existed in hip hop. I do think there is a wealth of talent in hip hop right now, and I see guys with talent who are working hard, and things are paying off for them. So I actually feel better than most about hip hop. I see J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar. Joey Bada$$. None of these guys make mumble rap and they are selling records and making good money out on tour and there's that next level of guys right behind them doing the same. So I am happy with where hip hop is heading. lil whoever sold 10K his first week. We'll have a new corny trend in 6 months anyway haha.

I'm sure we will. I have a friend in London. Shout out to @The_Blue_Hefner. I was telling him earlier that nowadays when someone like Jay-Z drops an album, It's an event. But solid albums by MC Eiht, Sadat X , and Public Enemy were released at the same time, and nobody notices because they're albums aren't heavily promoted on social media and on the streaming services. You have to pay attention now to find good hip hop. Back in the 90s when I got into hip hop, it was popping in a lot of different regions...Southern California, The Bay Area, Down South, East Coast, and none of it sounded the same. Now you have this mumble rap, or crap as I call it, and you can't determine where it's from.

1Mic : One of the biggest differences between eras I believe is how specialized the industry is now, so unless you follow independent artists on social media, there is very little margin to reach your core fans with new music. In the 90s and 2000s we had The Source and XXL and everyone read them. And they had a list or release dates and reviews, so you knew OK this month I'm getting thses new projects. Now everything is different. The consumer has evolved faster than anything. I'm not even sure what to play for a 23 year old anymore to be real. I agree the music has gotten less regional, which shows the growth of hip hop outside of its 3 to 4 core regions. However FM radio has conformed to a certain format and type of song. Now we have every record sounding so similar on the radio. But I understand that FM radio has to serve it's listener, which is predominately female and 14-29 years old. I do think satellite radio has evolved, and you start to hear more of Styles P, and Talib Kweli, what with some of the broader programming. Services like Tidal where hip hop artists are rally getting their fair share is going to revolutionize the way artists bring their new stuff and it's going to benefit the better artists with better fans I see a bright future for good hip hop.

I agree. And there's still a wealth of great music out there. But let's get back to you. I first found out about you on one of those Death Row blogs where they posted all the unreleased and rare stuff. And I found your This Is It tape, which is still one of my favorites. Now I mentioned the other day that i had to have the backstory on how that tape came about.

1Mic : It all started way back before 2006 really. I had been collecting music and making CDs for probably five years at this point. I was downloading music out of AOL chatrooms and burning my favorite songs on CD-R's for my buddies and school friends. The AOL chatroom days ended and a friend I'd made in the chats told me about this forum site called Boxden. I joined, started becoming active, and from collecting at this point I had come across the CD Singles for Nuthing but a G Thang and Deep Cover. Both had B-Sides with remixes that had totally different beats and verses than the popular album versions. I thought these were the two coolest tracks in my collection. Now back to Boxden. I cam across a thread with the tag " Stolen Death Row DAT Tapes" I downloaded immediately knowing this link could get taken down at any moment. The zip file contained a bunch of common 2Pac found on other releases, plus Crooked I, Eastwood, and The Realest. These were obviously from the last few years or so of Death Row. Many appeared on Too Gangsta For Radio and Dysfunctional Family. This zip file had a few gems in it though, including the Dre/Snoop record The Next Episode which was supposed to be the first single on Dre's album had he stayed on Death Row. I also found the Coolio/Kurupt 2Pac dedication and a good CDQ version of Niggaz Don't Give a Fuck which I'd only heard once in awful quality. So I threw together those tracks and a few 2Pac tracks from the Makaveli bootleg collection, put a Death Row logo on the cover and boom, we had the original 2006 release....



1Mic : Now jumping ahead. In 2010, i am much more experienced and now I am in possession of may more unreleased and rare Death Row era music. Hoe Hopper was a Dr Dre demo Suge used to secure the money to finance The Chronic album. Gz Up Hoez Down and Doggystyle were from the Doggystyle sessions. Cop Killa is actually a mix of two versions of the same song I mixed together because one had a 2pac.com tag, and I always thought Prince Ital Joe went on and on and on during Street Life so I skipped to the damn song there. The Jewell version of Death Row's In the House ....when I got that man, I almost had to do the tape over, making for the perfect intro. My understanding is that version was recorded to promote Club 662 in Vegas that Suge purchased just before 2Pac's shooting.During the process my friend DJ Mike Nice gifted me with the Dr Dre version of Rat-TAT-Tat-Tat with the Warren G beat. That really shows how involved Warren was with the production of The Chronic. Add in the extra clean version of To Live and Die in LA, which forced 2Pac to change his third verse and now we have the much more polished, well mixed 2010 version.

I love that mixtape. Appreciate the backstory on it.  So I know you have the Mafia Muzik tapes with Rick Ross and the D-Block tapes. What else are you working on right now?

1Mic : This summer I have plans to mix up a best of Westside Gunn and Conway. I really love what these guys are doing and I want to put my spin on it. Like I said, I want my audience to hear what I see. I see stars in these guys.

They are definitely on the way up. Anything else you want to add?

1Mic : I want to encourage someone, somewhere to please devise a system for DJs like myself to make mixtapes and let these artists get the credit for the streams. I'm not a bootlegger. I spin these records for the fans. And to help promote the artists. Sites like Datpiff and Audiomack make us out to be outlaws. Believe me, we aren't.


You can follow DJ 1Mic on Twitter here.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Shout Out to @dj1mic

I used to scour the Death Row blogs looking for unreleased material, rarities, remixes, and pretty much anything I could find...it kind of became an obsession which was all consuming...well back around 2010 I came across DJ 1Mic's definitive Death Row Collection somewhere and I just played the hell out of it...needless to say 1Mic and I linked up on Twitter not too long ago and he gave me some tapes which I really appreciate and hopefully I can get a backstory on that Death Row tape at some point...but here's some links for you guys for the time being...have a great weekend and enjoy


DJ 1Mic and Styles P - Army of Ghosts

Dj 1Mic - Rick Ross - Mafia Muzik (2010)

DJ 1Mic - Rick Ross - Mafia Music 3 (2016)

DJ 1Mic -Death Row Records - This is It (The Definitive Collection)


You can follow DJ 1Mic on Twitter here.

Public Enemy - Nothing is Quick in the Desert (FREE DOWNLOAD)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#RIPProdigy



I was literally in the zone just a few minutes ago doing a West Coast DJ Mix with my DJ equipment on my laptop and when I changed songs I swiped the mousepad on my Chromebook to check Twitter and the first thing that came up was that Nas had reported a little while ago that Prodigy had passed away today..it was kind of unusual because the file I went to play was a crappy one that sounded like someone was swiping at a turntable and I just shut the DJ program....I am still literally in shock....I new P had sickle cell anemia every since birth, but I just thought he was good at managing it...I never thought it would take him...just in shock and sick over the news....

That being said, I have to share the story of how I first got on to Mobb Deep....I really got into rap at the height of the East Coast-West Coast feud around 95...it was in 96 that I first heard Hit em Up and after that I wouldn't listen to anything from the East Coast...but in early 97 I remember B.I.G.'s Life After Death changed the way I felt about East Coast rap for some reason...nevertheless I was at a friend's smoking blunts and was looking through his cassette collection and I stumbled across a cassette of The Infamous and I asked him if I could borrow it...I took it home lit up another blunt and put it in my cassette player and it was on from there...I really liked it and I have been a fan of tha Mobb since then...I had people ask me how I could be a fan of 2Pac and like Mobb Deep and I would just laugh... it was like Pac and BIG were still alive and everyone that Pac threw under the bus on Hit em Up were enemies and I'm sure a lot of people on the West Coast might have felt that way, but not me...

My heart goes out to P's family...I know that it couldn't have been easy to have an illness like sickle cell since birth...that's why we have to appreciate people while they are still here...P gave so much of himself to hip hop so may he forever rest in peace...



Royce da 5'9" - C Dolores

Justo - The Council (PRODUCED BY SHOWBIZ)

The Pharmacy Episode 48 Playlist

Cypress Hill - Reefer Man (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Ice Cube - Good Cop Bad Cop





One of three new tracks on Cube's upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Death Certificate.... shout to Nah Right...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Happy Born Day Big L

It would have been L's 43rd today... And he're a little bonus from Big L courtesy of Daniel Isenberg over at Nah Right...

Sunday, May 28, 2017

My Mix For the Week of 5/30/17




 Another week...another mix...I will update this throughout the week and add new songs....hope you all are having a super holiday weekend....enjoy the vibes...

Slaughterhouse-The Illest




Heard this on Dash Radio's Native Rhymes a couple times this week but it wasn't available on Spotify or Apple Music but nevertheless here it is...kinda old but still fire....

The Notorious B.I.G. Tribute by DJ Mister Cee




No bad time for a mix of the notorious Christopher Wallace...

Soulection Radio Show #310

Monday, May 22, 2017

DJ MODESTY-THE REAL HIP HOP SHOW

Lord Supreme and Groove The Great Rare Rap Demo




 Thanks to cratesofjr....

EELAY/T3-Recover



Just discovered this while Soundcloud was playing related tracks to what I was listening to...I love dreamy soul instrumentals....didn't think it was long enough though.....

J Dilla-Motor City J Rocc Blend #2

Tenacity, J57 & Deejay Element- Get Down (PRODUCED BY EXILE)

Edo G Essentials




An essential playlist for fans of boom bap.....

DJ Rikki Rick on Soundcloud

Here's a playlist that has grown over the last three years....ENJOY!!!!

Showbiz and A.G.-Walking On Air



An oldie off Show and A's 2012 album Mugshot Music....

Recognize Ali-Eminence

Greg Nice & Positive K- Gr8te Minds (ALBUM STREAM)

J. Cole Best Featured Verses

Positive K and Greg Nice-Great Minds

Jesus Peace-Shooting Stars

Talib Kweli & Styles P-Poets and Gangstas

Sunday, May 21, 2017

This Week's Mix




 I'm posting this again because I deleted a bunch of stuff that you've probably heard a thousand times before....and I've added some more underground joints so hope you enjoy it...I will have a mix for the new week here in a couple days...peace out...hope everybody is having a fine weekend....

Snoop Dogg Gospel Album?





Now this is taking it a bit far.....

50 Notorious B.I.G. Songs Every Fan Should Know

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Spice 1-Hit em Up




Okay shit just got real...first off I must link you up to a post on Ambrosia For Heads that I just found about how Treach (formally of Naughty by Nature) is incensed by the mindless drivel out of the mouth of Funkmaster Flex and others in regards to his late great friend 2Pac...you can read the story here....all I will say is that I don't think the hip hop community has learned anything from the deaths of Pac and Biggie...I wanna slap the taste out of Flex's mouth right now....he has a lot of nerve to speak ill of someone who is deceased and meant so much to so many in the hip hop community....keep Pac's name out of your mouth Fuckmaster Flex....peace out...
Shout to Spice 1...he did Pac proud on this one....

Dr. Dre The Pharmacy Episode 45 Playlist



Today at 6ET/3PT Snoop will appear on Beats 1 to play his newly released album Neva Left which I posted here yesterday...




Classic Hip Hop Deep Cuts

Soulection Radio Show #309

Friday, May 12, 2017

Cherub-My Space Baby (PRODUCED BY DJ PREMIER)

My 2017 Mix

Jay Worthy feat. Sha Hef-Stepping Out (PRODUCED BY ALCHEMIST)

9th Wonder and Mr. Cheeks-The Lost Tapes (ALBUM STREAM)

KRS-ONE- The World Is Mind (ALBUM STREAM)

Freeway feat, Dave East-Hold the Fort Down

Raekwon-Marvin (feat. Cee-Lo Green)

Ea$y Money feat. Conway-Live By

Showbiz and A.G.-The Answer

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Show and AG-Take It Back

Great new heat from Show and AG!!!! Been waiting for a long time for some new stuff from them!!! Enjoy!!!!

Kevin Keith & The Dirty Dozen June 18, 1994

Starting over

Okay so I quit blogging for a while but realized that I missed the fun of sharing new music, old radio shows, old mixtapes, and thoughts on the current state of music...so since I'm starting from scratch again...I plan to make this site bigger and better than ever...hope you enjoy it...because this site is dedicated to you...because in hip hop, we are all family up in here!!!