Interview: DJ Evil Dee

WRITER
Yayoi Kawahito

――What record must an aspiring DJ/ Producer have in their arsenal?
To make beats, I would say The Honeydrippers − Impeach The President, that’s hiphop’s sample plate.

――Which records have your favorite cover art?

James Brown − The Payback

Isaac Hayes – Black Moses

When you open up the jacket, Black Moses is standing on both sides!

Funkadelic – One Nation Under A Groove

Funkadelic’s cover jackets have always been cool.

――What record do you hold as your most valuable?
Shadez Of Brooklyn – Pandemonium  is the first album I put on my own label. Originally pressed in all black. What’s crazy is, this record had my actual phone and pager number printed on it. No one noticed for a long time. Pretty valuable, don’t you think?

――Did anyone ever call you after finding your number?
Yea, to order records!  Even after hearing my voice, they still didn’t know they were talking to me. I always thought that was funny.

――Can you show us any more special records?

 

 This is Smif-N-Wessun - Let’s Git It On acetate plate. It's an audio disc for reference that we used before the record production.

――How often do you use 7-inch records?
I love 7-inch records! It is only four minutes, so I don’t have time to being careless when I DJ. So I like to switch to the next song quickly.

――How can you spot an original from a re-issued record?
You can tell by the color of the label. Re-issued records tend to have a darker label. I worked retail, and learned to read the mastering numbers. Some originals would even have a little message on them, or a/the company’s name and logo. Basically any small details on the records hint toward it being an original.  What I use to do with “my” original records, I’d buy a copy and store it away, so I couldn’t ruin it. You never want to ruin an original record.

――How do you buy your records? Stores or online?
Any store selling records in the world. I don’t do online shopping much, most of the records I have are bought in person at the store. Usually, while on the road, I’d pop into a record store.

――Did you buy any records when you went to Japan?
Actually, the place I bought the most records so far “is” in Japan! I went to various record shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Chiba and everywhere. The first time I came to Japan with my brother, we Dj’ed at Shibuya Nuts. We got out there after a gig, and we went straight for a record store. We were excited to see what kind of records were out there. We started at “Manhattan Records” and “Cisco” in Tokyo. Before we knew it, we found ourselves with $10,000 worth of records! Mr. Walt was like, “We don’t have to carry it back, let’s just ship it through Fedex”! We packed all the records into three huge boxes, and shipped it back to America. The only thing that arrived to Brooklyn safely, was half a cardboard box. The rest of our records were stolen somewhere in Alaska. Since then, I make sure I never let my records out of my sight after I buy them. I still remember some of those records.

――How do you feel about the Revinyl app?
It allows you to search, trade, collect and more with records. I always make sure to keep my antennas up for buying records, and Revinyl is really good for that. I think that its a wonderful idea. Revinyl has this community for music and record lovers to connect. It’s great!

DJ Evil Dee

DJ Evil Dee
Hip hop DJ / producer from New York Brooklyn. Member of supergroup, Black Moon and producer for hit albums such as Black Moon’s "Enta Da Stage”, and "Dah Shining" by Smif & Wessun. He’s worked on a number of hits songs with Boot Camp Clik, Smif-N-Wessun, Afu-Ra, Black Star, Eminem, Flipmode Squad, MOP, De La Soul, Mic Geronimo, OC and many more. His career began in the 90’s, working at New York City radio station: HOT 97. Dj Evil Dee now has fans all over the world who continue to stand in his corner, making him one of the key persons of building Hiphop’s East Coast sound. Currently he works with his older brother Mr. Walt, where they both run Da BeatMinerz Radio.

Yayoi Kawahito

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