The Cr8kickers Interviewed by Gentle Jones


By Gentle Jones
originally published in the News Journal

Turntablism. The early cuts of Grand Master Flash and the baby scratches of hip-hop pioneer Grand Wizard Theodore have spawned a culture. The Cr8kickers is a local crew of battle-seasoned DJ veterans who look to pass the torch onto the next generation. Jamaican Sound System legends like Count Machukie and King Stitt laid the early roots that were transplanted to the Bronx on Sedgwick and Cedar by DJ Kool Herc in the 1970s. Since then, DJ enthusiasm has taken hold around the globe, with turntablists battling in worldwide tournaments for titles.

The Cr8kickers have come to Delaware to advance the art form while throwing down a great party. Here's an introduction to the group.

DJ Main Ingredient

What's the best thing about performing in Delaware?

It's new and fresh. People's jaws drop when they see us do what we do. It's like a wide open market for us because no one does what we do in this area. It feels good and I love it! Through my experiences with battles I decided to create the Eargazm Producer Battle.

The Eargazm is a monthly beat battle here in Delaware where four producers go eight rounds to see who will win the championship belt. Also, every third month we have a six-man tag team championship bout. The winners of each battle get a championship belt and bragging rights till the next show, when they have to defend the belts. Every month we have a special guest artist perform; this month is the 49ers, a local hip-hop group. We also have the Icon Models supply ring girls, because what's a championship battle without ring girls? And to make the show complete we have the Cr8kickers crew supply the music for the night. The next Eargazm is Saturday.

Last records you bought?

J Dilla -- "Anthology Vol. 1," Phatt Kat -- "Cold Steel" single, DJ Jazzy Jeff -- "The Return of the Magnificent."

How do you clean your records?

I might wipe them down with a soft cloth, and that's it. For a real dirty record I have a mix of 20 percent ammonia 80 percent water.

How did you become affiliated with the Cr8kickers?

Well, we all knew of each other, and we just wanted to start a DJ crew to do some innovative stuff. We are the best DJs in the tri-state area.

Are you working on any projects?

Yes, "DELtox" which I did all the musical production on, with local artists Rich Raw, Phil Nash and Serafino.

Do you listen to the radio?

No! ... Well, I listen to Wendy Williams, and Steve Harvey, but not the music. I'm not feeling the direction mainstream music is going right now. They play the same music over and over again, drilling it down your throat. They also don't give you any options, it's Top 40 and nothing else. Since you brought up the radio, I do wish 101.7 did have a local/underground hip-hop show like The Wake Up Show or Pure Elements. All the local radio shows have taken these type shows off the air, and it's left a void on the radio.


DJ Slice

Where do you live?

I reside in Newark.

Turntablism versus Deejaying?

Turntablism allows me to become an artist/entertainer of sorts. To play magician with the records and amaze the crowd who came to see you perform rather than just regular deejaying. I got into this thing after seeing Grandmaster Flash at the Fever in 1979 get busy on the tables. We were on the floor in a break battle getting dirty while Flash had the girls running to him. I was like: Damn, I wanna do what he does! I am always trying to build routines whether new or old, doing different things so that I don't do the same things repetitively. I also like to use "phrasing," which means taking pieces of lyrics from different records to make a statement to other DJs on stage with me.

What records have you worked on?

Most recently I produced the NYOil internet bomb "Ya'll Should All Get Lynched" from his new album Hood Treason. I also co-produced "Knockin the Boots" by H-Town, "You Go Girl" by the 2 Live Crew, "Yes N Deed" by Society, and I also recently placed songs in the indie film "Push."

What titles have you held?

The Gemini Battle Champion, Marrs DJ Champion, Import Xpressions Mid-Atlantic Battle Champ & US Finalist, University of Delaware S.P.I.T Battle Champion, Wilmington Delaware DMC third runner-up, and also the AND1 Champion.

Last record you bought?

"Rehab" by Amy Whitehouse

How do you clean your records?

Gently, with alcohol and clean cloth.

Are you working on any projects?

I am working on the Darian the Great's second LP, Joy Crowers' untitled album due for release in late 2007 early 2008 and Cage 1/Hip Hop Connection reunion projects along with my second full-length project entitled "Broken Sound," featuring local artists. ... I have a studio project entitled "Voices" available online and in several local stores.

Do you listen to the radio?

I listen to jazz radio (104.3 and 97.5) and soul radio (105.3 and 107.9). I also listen to the sports channel (610 WIP).

DJ Double E

Where do you live?

I live in Radnor Green, in Claymont.

What's the best thing about performing in Delaware?

It is a real love for Delaware from Delaware folks. I am an all-around DJ doing clubs, plus weddings, plus mix tapes, plus turntablism.

Do you listen to the radio?

Nope.

What's the best record you own?

Billy Cobham -- "Crosswinds"

DJ Chill Will

Where do you live?

I live in Philadelphia.

What's the best record you own?

Serato records. This is going to be the year where the Cr8kickers will take over the world.

DJ Shorty T

Where do you live?

I live in Wilmington.

Last record you bought?

"Walk it out" by DJ Unk

Favorite record store?

Sam's Music Connection and Armand's records.

Favorite DJ?

Jazzy Jeff

How do you mentally prepare yourself for a battle, versus how you prepare for a normal party?

Well, before a battle I might listen to music that hypes me up, to put me into the zone. As compared to riding in silence on the way to a party.

DJ King James

Turntablism versus Deejaying?

I don't focus on either one, I incorporate both styles when I spin to create an identity for myself and to give people something different to listen to. I love what I do! This is the one thing that I have found that pushes my creativity to limitless boundaries and is to some extent a part of my life that I am unable to master. This is what keeps me going 20 plus years in the game!

What's the best thing about performing in Delaware?

It's a fresh market, and the people are hungry for real skills and real hip hop. I think Delaware is the next market to blow up. A lot of untapped talent.

Title of the last record(s) you bought?

I buy vinyl all the time! But the last record I bought was some throwback joints -- Pete Rock, Dr. Dre -- "The Chronic" -- been looking for a while for this. Some other obscure stuff I will use to battle with, or just come up with routines.

DJ OB1

What titles have you held?

Kool Mixx Philly Champ, DMC Baltimore Champion, DMC Virginia Beach Champion, King of Philly Champion, Guitar Center Regional Champion (final six in the nation). For a battle you're always practicing your routines over and over. It takes time when you learn a new pattern or work on a new juggle, because you want to make sure when you perform that its as clean as possible, no mistakes.

How do you clean your records?

I use a D4 record cleaning kit, but now with Serato we just replace them.

What's the best record you own?

Audio Two -- "Top Billin." It's the first record I ever bought.

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