Chi-Life: An interview with DISC JOCKEY Rashad

The actual juke and footwork moments gestated in Chicago for more than 15 years before the remaining world got bigger. We speak with the most popular proponents about approaching Teklife.

Rashad Solidify, aka DISC JOCKEY Rashad, first began DJing when justin was 12 in his native city of Chicago, also emerging as a work dancer in the earlier ’90s during the city’s ghetto house and juke period. While the conditions ‘footwork’ and ‘juke’ are closely related and regularly confused, the actual former’s seemingly damaged syncopation not only differentiates it, but additionally makes for more rhythmic choices for the actual footworkers to dance to. Since that time, Rashad great regular partner-in-crime DISC JOCKEY Spinn—together the two are responsible for the actual Ghettoteknitianz and Teklife crews—have been leading producers and DJs of the footwork picture, especially since Paul Paradinas’ Planet Mu content label exposed this highly local music to the remaining world this year. Rashad’s new I Don’t Give A Bang AIR, his second for Hyperdub Records, is released these days.

Truly I wanted to go to you regarding Chicago. I recall both you and Spinn told me that you both came up as dancers. I additionally remember that you needed said that you started DJing once you were 12 as well.

Indeed, correct. I had been dancing—that was the thing, it was like basketball, football, roller skating or other things. It was something everybody do, especially when you had been younger. You might have grew out of it when you got to jr . in senior high school, or you kept planning. I just adored to dance, and that’s how I fulfilled Spinn and everyone else. Then I was just like, “I want to DJ the music. ” Lots of DJs in the past didn’t take me seriously due to the dancing. DJing in the past was really severe: if you didn’t DJ on Technics 1200s, in case you didn’t have information, you weren’t considered a DJ. Compared to now, you could just be on the internet, state you’re a DISC JOCKEY, and there you might be. You truly had to demonstrate your value in the past, it was really competitive. So , I gave up the dancing and went straight for DJing, concentrated about this. Dancing has been more an outlet for me personally just to have a great time, get ladies [laughs].

Exactly how old do you think you had been when you began creating?

My own first song I created, I might are 13 or 14. It wasn’t a good, obviously. I saved up for a small drum machine along with a small sampler, and following that we just kept going. Saving and saving, meeting others that was on the same thing which me and Spinn was in place. We simply kept going with this.

We’ve talked about the vocal samples, how hypnotic they are, the way they’re chopped and looped. But you guys do not just sample, I love that you men actually record her rapping the actual catchphrases.

That and consider playing the instruments, too. However in ghetto house songs, a lots of house music back in the day, it would be the DISC JOCKEY talking on the track. And that kind of made it exclusive to us. I was such as, “Damn, you may make your personal shit and state whatever you prefer? ” Compared to, buying records and playing what you obtain. That was portion of the excitement for me personally and Spinn and everybody, only to make our personal exclusive shit and put our name onto it and say what we should want, the way we feel, or even this is what we would like to do. That was among the perks about it. I think it’s kind of like the tradition—if you will—in Chi town.

When you admit, it makes me remember that those Phuture paths, those were their very own words.


Certainly, it comes from your house and techno tradition, however the other thing regarding footwork and juke both is it’s really hip-hop, as well. There’s lots of rap impact. Can you men rap?

I can’t personally, however Spinn rhyme slaying. Manny attempts to rap.

Spinn I could get a feeling that maybe can actually do this. What are the tracks exactly where there’s actual passages?

Yes, there is certainly. Nothing that’s out, some stuff we got. We let him know all the time, “You must rap over the track. ” He utilized to rap—he would make both house and rap beats, as well as had a couple guys in a team.

Let us go back to discussing the early days, because dancing is actually competitive.

Yes, it was. It didn’t have to be, however the groups that individuals were within, we were within competitive groups. That has been our thing, we’d just go battle people throughout Chicago-land or Indiana.

How’d you need to do?

I think we did okay! [laughs] I felt comfortable where I could give up dancing; I seemed I accomplished everything in dancing, as far as battling-wise, and certain dancers from particular parts of the city. So I felt comfortable sufficient to say, “I think I did sufficient, I can proceed. ” However I’ve heard i was good.

That which was the name of your dancing team?

The first has been House-O-Matics, then after that Hair Pack—we called ourselves Hair Pack because we tried to eat everybody up.

However House-O-Matics were a recognised group, right?

Yes! House-O-Matics were the best group in Chi town at the time; not just did they execute, but they fought as well. We simply wanted to the actual battling component. We liked the actual performing, but it requires routines, uniforms, shit like that. I think we thought i was too cool for that at the time.

Exactly how old were you once you joined House-o-Matics?

Possibly like 16. That has been like a objective for us, to be House-o-Matics. You possessed to be good to get in which group. Theoretically, you lose a lot during the first try fighting. But that’s the way you get better—by fighting people that are excellent. and then you catch on, and when you catch on you come back. So right after we got within House-o-Matics, I seemed we were accomplished. I’m in this group, I had been trying to DISC JOCKEY as well. Individuals were such as, “Aw, y’all dancers, ” and didn’t take us seriously because of that.

So there’s this hierarchy in the scene? And also the producers and DJs are probably at the top of this?

Yes, definitely. These were at the top of this. Then, since we were dancers, the recommends just thought i was trying to get in the party at no cost, till they heard us combine. Then it was just like, “Oh, okay. You okay, kid. ” Yeah, people didn’t take me seriously till I quit dancing, period, and was just DJing.

But the DJing wasn’t competitive like the dancing has been?

Yes, it’s just as competitive, there was DJ battles going on as well.

Such as mixing battles? What can the competitions be?

It will be like in whose selections were better, the style—whether it was sloppy or neat.

Just how long would they enjoy for?

Maybe 30 minutes. Or even at the functions, they had fights and they’d just go back to back.

Such as how dancehall sound techniques would do?

Yes. Everything was competitive. I don’t know if that’s just Chi town or how it is, but how we grew up, everything was in the dancing and DJing game. I think music as well, some songs, too. I knew people that was in bands, of winning money or whatever.

That’s true, there’s constantly battle of the bands. But when you talk about battling, the first thing that comes up is rap, because MC fights are famous. All those are those who would be the most famous to anyone outside of these scenes. For house music, I’ve certainly not heard of there getting DJ battles. There is definitely back to back, however it’s less of a competition.

I can’t say it was an each week thing, but it came up a lot. Especially exactly where we were coming from, certainly. You had to prove that you had been the shit, or may be the shit, or were attempting to act as shit. [laughs] In the past it was more difficult for us. You possessed to carry eight crates of information; now we obtained Serato. If you wasn’t a DISC JOCKEY back then and then you’re right now, I don’t think you understand the battle and the dedication you needed to have to be a DJ and become a DISC JOCKEY.

As well as I’ve seen you multiple times, and you may actually cut. It’s rough, because it’s this type of fast tempo, but nobody does that inside music. That’s a rap thing.

Yes, but there’s individuals who do it within ghetto tech. Lots of Detroit individuals, I remember the very first time I visited Detroit, I heard the radio place, and I was just like, “What the actual fuck? ” These were scratching their ass off to 170 shit, like jungle design. I was possibly around 21 at the time.

DISC JOCKEY Craze used to do which.

Trend, Godfather.

Godfather happens to be like that. Actually, I know which you’re tight along with Godfather, and so i guess a great deal of your sound is really knowledgeable by Detroit.

Yes, maybe I acquired the scratching from them as well. Chicago made it happen, although not like how I heard them within Detroit carrying it out. Every DISC JOCKEY was carrying it out, it was like DJ shit, official. Which shit was severe, and in the past, in case you weren’t carrying it out you weren’t really a DJ. I suppose we got a small amount of this particular and that from all over the place we’ve been, and we took it and rolled by using it.

[Footwork] used to be a local concern for part—regional maybe, but local. And now it’s kind of globally.

Yes, there’s an enormous scene in The japanese at this time. Traxman and AG went out there a little while ago and there’s individuals footworking.

How does that kind of success change the local scene within Chi town?

Chi town right now is actually fucked up. No jobs, lots of shit’s going on, people are getting killed. The police are shutting down everything. There’s functions, but not how it once was state five, 10, a few years ago. Because of the violence, lots of shit will get closed and close, so there’s really not shit to complete because of that. But the shit which is going on, is being conducted but it could be better. But the hoke, the police not wanting people to gathering and have shit because they’re afraid something’s likely to happen… That could happen, although not in every case, they look at it like that for everything.

Exist young footwork makers out there who are trying to appear?

Yes, there definitely is. And i believe they are going to come up as well. Dont really think the what’s going on in Chi town will stop them; I think which motivates them even more to push to complete something with on their own.

And also the dancers?

Yes, the dancers as well. I’ve also seen old dancers coming back.

Could it be still the same people carrying it out, or could it be starting to open up to white kids from the other aspect of town?

White kids already knew about it. Some whitened kids was already footworking as well. So far as Chi town, footworking is not really new, so everybody knows about it. Even the white kids.

When they’re stylish?

Dont really know if you gotta be stylish. But all my friends that were not black knew what footworking was. Just before we were even during senior high school, footworking wasn’t footwork, but everybody knew how to dancing. [laughs].

I’m trying to see just how big footwork is within Chicago. Could it be just normal, is it practically mainstream or could it be still some kind of subculture?

The new subculture, I think.

However house is large.

Yes, I’m thinking about the stereo. If you hear house at certain times on the radio place, and you might hear footwork for only an hour or 30 or a quarter-hour. But they don’t really showcase house or footwork because it’s about Top forty shit. After i go to each state, I pay attention to the radio to view what they enjoy, in most cases they are rotating the same shit all over the place.

That’s because one company owns most of the stereo in America at this time.

A couple of years back, I’d go to Detroit or Indiana or wherever and the radio stations could be just like Chi town. There’d be some type of techno or even house on Friday night time all the way to Weekend. Juke and work never got to be mainstream, it scann the radio to get a minute, however everybody knows what. If you visit the pub, you’re likely to hear it in the pub, you’re likely to hear it on the streets. But the stereo never supported that shit. But back in the day, particularly house, that they had WBMX, exactly where they played house damn near through the night, all day long.

The actual rap today, for me personally, differs too. I like lots of rappers that come out, however I just feel like some rappers or some songs don’t mean shit versus hip-hop we all used to pay attention to that a new meaning. Or use the shit from your West Coast at the time, the actual gangsta rap shit, there was still a meaning. Nowadays, they’re just [imitates syncopated wordless sounds], however the beat be good, so that you just roll by using it. [laughs] I’m glad I came up in the ’80s, ’90s because today, shit differs. I feel like I’m blessed to be coming from other times apart from now, these days, I feel such as I learned a lot; it affects me, my life, and my personal music that I create today. Dont really know if I would’ve come up presently. You never know.

Are you currently saying is it’s down to hard work aspect of this?

Not even that. I’m just saying that songs was a big inspiration to me, time period. And maybe when I’m coming up these days, some of the music which I’m hearing probably would not have motivated me to complete the same shit that I’ve carried out. I might not need been the dancer because nothing of that shit was in place the radio want it used to be. However work, as well, dedication. However I’m not saying that the guys these days aren’t working just as hard, it’s just various.

That’s a great way to take a look at, because I think a lot people believe that DJs today have it much easier.

They do. That is why I know, because I came from the competitive, and I needed to learn on my own. Compared to Serato, these days, it teaches you the dunes, you can just match the actual waves. It’s better, you can take benefit of the situation, it also can affect your DJ skills. Or these days, some people don’t even DJ, however they play pre-recorded combines. And people are fine with that, and I’m fine by using it, but you couldn’t accomplish that when you were a DJ approaching in my time. You’d correct dissed from each DJ. You would not be respected, these days the DJ picture is a little various. To each his own—if it works for you personally, it works for me personally. ~

DISC JOCKEY Rashad’s I Don’t Give A Bang AIR is out today by using Hyperdub. You can read about a number of his favorite spots discovered while on tour right here.

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