is the spot where you'll see upcoming Dj's as well as established veterans in
This will be the section where we feature the hottest Dj's on the scene. We
found it only proper to start this section out with a Legend.
THIS MONTH'S FEATURE IS:
OUT THE INTERVIEW BELOW!
Roc Raida began his DJ career in the early eighties at the
age of ten. Surrounded by such inspirations as his father, a member of the
Sugar Hill Records act Mean Machine and hip hop impresario Grandmaster Flash,
Raida cultivated his interest into an absolute passion. Now, Roc Raida is
considered among the best of the contemporary DJs and has brought the
art of Turntablism and Party rocking to a fresh new level.
In the late eighties Raida
gained prominence as a member of the New York-based crew the X-Men who, for
obvious of copyright reasons, later became known as the X-Ecutioners. Champions
of furthering the turntablist movement, the X-Ecutioners made their reputation
by utilizing the techniques of beat-juggling; the manual alteration between
individual kick and snare sounds to create original drum patterns in real
time. This practice has been an inspiration and a force in Roc Raidas
In the beginning defeat was commonplace, as battles were mainly popularity
contests. The more contests he entered the more the competition began to appreciate
his style and determination. Pushing his limits and raising the standard with
which DMCs are judged, Raida began to get noticed. His impressive finishes
in some of the premier DJ battles; first place in the 1991 "As One";
second place in the "Superman Battle"; and second place in the 1992
DMC US Finals were just the beginning. In 1995 Raida, was crowned the DMC
World Champion in front of a massive London audience.
The past several years have seen Raida traveling around the globe in such
exotic locations as Singapore, Turkey, Japan and Australia to China, Hawaii,
Moscow, and the South of France. Two years ago on a panel at the Rock-n-Roll
Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Rules for this dubious honor state that one may
only be bestowed with the approval of another Grandmaster; Raida was not only
approved, but also welcomed by Kool Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore and scratch
evolutionist DST. To round out a phenomenal decade, Raida was also inducted
into the DMC Hall of Fame at the 1999 DMC World Finals in New York City. Roc
Raida has been featured on an episode of "Saturday Night Live";
the first DJ to ever share the stage with the fabled SNL band. Proving, once
again, that Raida is the perfect example of a master perfecting his art.
Raida has taken his DJ style to souring heights and has also moved into production
in the last 8 years. He has produced record for artists, such as, Big L, Smif
N Wessun, Fat Joe, Bad Boy recording artist Aasim, Ghostface,
Black Thought of The Roots and Linkin Park to name a few. He has also lent
his hands scratching on records for artists like O.C.s classic
Times Up to pop sensation Pinks new album Im
Not Dead. Recently Raida was the star of the National Pepsi commercial
entitled Speakerboxx. From Raidas experiences and touring attributes
he has released 3 DVDs documenting The Adventures of Roc Raida and now
created The Gong Battle (New York & London), which has brought a new light
on the turntabilism world of battles.
With many more projects to come in the near future and now a part of the Heavy
Hitters crew you will be hearing and seeing a lot of Raida for many years
to come through his music, his visuals, his style and the radio where he is
the newest edition to Washington D.C.s #1 radio station WPGC 95.5. Stay
tuned because The Adventures of Roc Raida are always going and going and going
The first Dmc I was in was I think '92 or something. All I remember was
being really scared to death. That was one of the main competitions and
I wanted to do good. I came in 2nd I think. Rob swift won that one...Bastard...lol"
- Roc Raida
ROC RAIDA INTERVIEW
What's crackin Raida?
Let's talk a little about how you got into the whole scene, and then we'll
touch on your current stuff.
We know your father was a member of the Sugur Hill Records act Mean Machine.
What was your most memorable time while growing up back then with your pops?
(music wise)..Was there anything that stood out that you remember to this
day? stories, etc..
RAIDA: My father
use to take me to the studio and I always liked the way the turntables looked.
And then my mother brought me a pair of turntables on Christmas and it has
been on since than.
Who was your influence in Turntables, what or who made
you decide to pursue it?
RAIDA: Back in '87
I use to hang with my boy Sean Cee and at the time he was already battling
cats. And I learned how to come up with patterns and how to put a battle set
together. So I started practicing everyday real hard to a battle called the
"As One Competition". It was my first battle. I entered and I won.
I was gassed up...lol
What was your
1st DMC like?
first Dmc I was in was, I think '92 or something. All I remember was being
really scared to death. That was one of the main competitions and I wanted
to do good. I came in 2nd I think. Rob Swift won that one...Bastard...lol
What was your take on the Q-Bert Mixmaster Mike and
Apollo performance in the 1992 Rock steady DJs (USA) Dmc..?
killed that shit. It was the first time I've seen them do the four man thing.
Too bad it was against my ass.
2nd in that battle correct?
RAIDA: Yes I took 2nd place; I wanted to cry that night.
How did it impact your drive for future Dmc's?
first I didnt want to enter no more. I was like fuck them. But I gave
it another shot in '94 and went on to become the '95-World Champ. That was
one of the best feelings ever....to be the one out of all these dope ass dj's
to be a world champ? shitttt.
pulling down the '95 World Champ crown, was there
a sense of completion and accomplishment?
Of course there was. I felt like and didnt really
need to do it any more cause I've been doin it since fucking forever. But
I will still step up to the plate need be.
Getting inducted into the DMC Hall Of Fame back in '99, Describe it.
was another dope feeling. To go down in there records as a Hall of Famer??
Shittt...that's like "O.G. Status" there.
To get the nod from legends/founders such as Kool
Herc and Grand Wizard Theodore, what was the feeling?
Thats always dope to get respect from those dudes cause I grew up hearing
Theodore cut up behind Fantastic Five, and wishing I could go to one of Herc's
parties. I was a young dude taking notes from these dudes and trying to be
what they were.
The battle circuit vs. performing? Is there a different mindset, etc?
There is for sure. To produce.. you have to have a know how to use samplers
and e.q.'s and pro tools and shit like that. To come up with a Battle Set
you just need turntables and records. But I put the same energy into both.
Whats your take on Serato
is dope. Its the same thing really.
Which do you prefer?
I use both.
You've traveled all over the
world. What's the one thing you've noticed in terms of styles..? Are they
pretty close to the same, or do you see new innovations, etc. from particular
There are dope Dj's all over. Some sound like people from the states and then
some have their own style. Same with the states. Some people sound the same
here as well.
Where do you see turntablism
heading say 10 yrs from now?.. Compared to today?
hate to answer that. I'm wrong every time. I'm tired of seeing old articles
with me fucking up that answer.
You've created The Gong DJ Battle. How did that come about? Is this a long-term
(Meaning will it be each year from now on?)
RAIDA: I've been
thinking about this for at least 3 years now. It came to mind from us writing
skits and stuff. I just wanted to have a really funny Dj battle. Plus having
Lord Sear as a best friend and his feelings on the seen... I had to put it
together. It's just funny to me the whole gong thing and all.
How did you transition into making beats/producing? Are they both your
passion (dj'ing ad producing)?
Or do you prefer one over the other?
RAIDA: I have an
equal love for both.
You've produced for alot of
artists (Big L, Smif 'N' Wessun, Fat Joe, Ghost face, Black Thought of The
Roots and Linkin Park) What else do you have up your sleeve? Any other production
projects we should be looking out for from you?
RAIDA: I'm working
on my solo L.P. now. Hopefully I will be done soon.
How did you hook up with the Heavy Hitters? What should fans expect from
Enuff is my dude.We known each other for a while, and I really like their
movement and how they stick together....so I had to get down with them...and
what to expect from it? You now have one of the best dj's backed up by a really
strong team of dj's in every market.
What's your opinion on the mix
tape scene right now VS the RIAA? (The whole DJ Drama issue)
RAIDA: All I can
say is the police should focus on more important things, like real crime.
People like Drama is just doing what was being done hip-hop started. Let a
nigga get his money.. shitttt.
What about Rap? Who do you got
in the deck? Who do you listen to?
RAIDA: I still listen
to alot of the older stuff. Not alot of new shit that I like sounds good to
me. There's a few things Ghost Face, Nas, and Jay-Z do.... some things here
and there ..but not much.
Do you like the direction rap
is in right now? Give some input..
not too good now, but I know it will come back to the real shit soon. I dont
hate dirty south but too much of it is not good.
Who would you like to collab with on a rap record?
RAIDA: Nas, and
Any last words?
RAIDA: Thanks for
the interview and I hope to see you at a Gong Battle near you....aightttttt????
Uno ..GM Roc Raida
Appreciate the time..