Monday, February 6, 2012

DJ Crisis - Full Interview

CONCRETE: You recently did a college tour. Can you break that tour down for us?
Crisis: The college tour we started back on October 1, 2011. We actually kicked off September 24 in New York at the RockSmith Flagship Store. We partnered with RockSmith Clothing based out of New York. They was trying to really get into the college market with their clothing line. It was only right for us to merge together and go on tour. What we did was hit up a bunch of schools that we had connections with and promoters from different areas and put together the Shut Up and Listen Tour with me, Zac Boog and Dee Goodz. We did a combination of step shows, after parties for home comings. We hit the most of the schools during their home comings. We went to MTSU, Lane College, UT Martin, TSU, Western Kentucky, Austin Peay, UT Knoxville, UT Chattanooga and a few other schools. Basically what we did was I went in on the turntables and did my thing, Zac Boog did his hosting and comedy thing and Dee Goodz performed 1 or 2 songs with what he had going on. The whole purpose of it was to get our brands out in these other markets and do something different. Cause you can hang out in Nashville all day, but if you ain't really getting out then you're really not doing anything for the city. A lot of people get kind of complacent. I caught myself doing the same thing. I kind of got bothered by that. That's why we jumped out on a limb and did the tour.

CONCRETE: Which colleges did you get the best turnout?
Crisis: I would say UT Knoxville. There was about 2,500 people. It wasn't even a club. It was big ol' sports complex they did it at. It was with the Alphas down there. It was the pre-party for their homecoming. They really brought them out. It was about 2,500 people that came out and rocked with us. It was a real good look. We got video footage. We've been releasing recap videos for each spot on the tour. It's been a good look each day.

CONCRETE: You've been doing radio with 101.1 The Beat also. How did you get on with those guys?
Crisis: I hit Dolewite and Scooby up about an internship back in 2008. I ended up getting on as an intern. A week later I ended up getting hired as a part timer. Then 3 months after that I started training for the Steve Harvey Morning Show to fill in for Jones. A month later Pam (Pamela Aniese) was like, "I want to have you on Sunday nights." In way less than a year I was on the air. I got my own show, Sundays from 8-12. It's working out good, cause I don't have to be in Nashville until Sunday. I'm not limited. That's my overall objective is to get out of the market. Really just establish the show's brand, the DJ Crisis brand, the Fly Major brand everywhere we go. That's the sole purpose of what I'm trying to do. The radio helps me be anchored in the city. I still have a voice in the city while I'm moving around outside the city.

CONCRETE: You still do events in Nashville with Fly Major. What does Fly Major have planned for 2012?
Crisis: We're planning more unique events than the norm. At the end of the day people in Nashville want different stuff, so they can feel it's something progressive in the city. If you hit the with the same old stuff over and over, which has been happening, people get board. They want to go outside of Nashville for entertainment. Really Nashville has enough stuff here for people to be in the city and enjoy themselves like they would anywhere else.What we're trying to provide this go round in 2012 is that new vibe from musical acts to something of everything. We have Fridays over at the new SoBro Nightclub, formerly The Place. Even with me as a DJ, I'm trying to get more in touch with the community. I'm just trying to help the city get back to where it was before I got here. When I got here I was hearing stories about how Nashville was. That makes me more anxious to get it back to where it was. I fell like I'm as responsible as anybody else from Nashville.

CONCRETE: You're have a mix tape series Shut Up and Listen. What's the history behind that and what's the latest news with that ongoing project?
Crisis: Shut Up and Listen was actually an idea that came into my head back in high school. That's how I got my DJ name Crisis, by just selling mixtapes in high school. Then I got to TSU. It was always in the back of my head to do, but it took like a year and a half to actually just go ahead and do it. I felt that I was ready to do it. It started off with just one volume. I had a bunch of songs that people liked. It was a response bigger than what I thought it would be. I always said I just wanted to do a mixtape, that's it. But the response that it got kind of made me have to go ahead and start a series. From volume 2 to volume three, then I linked up with DJ Drama one of my longtime inspirations. Now he's one of my biggest mentors and one of my good friends. It took time me doing mixtapes and staying consistent and working so hard to get to that point. So it went from working with DJ Drama to Drumma Boy. I did one with him. Now I'm working on a tape with Buck, Live Loyal Die Rich. That's going to be my first artist (tape) that I actually collaborate on with a Shut Up and Listen. From there I plan to work with other artists. Just big names that I can help with my brand and merge it with brand and make something real big. That's what I did with the mixtape series.

CONCRETE: When is the Live Loyal Die Rich mixtape dropping?
Crisis: We're saying December 25, 2011, but it's probably dropping the top of the year. We got all the songs done, but knowing him he's still recording stuff. He keeps on finding stuff. He called me one day like, "Man I got another song for the tape." And he'll send it to me. So that's how that's been working out. It really ain't no rush to it. I'm still working doing my thing while he's working. Whenever we get it all together that's when we'll put it out.


CONCRETE: Do you still do tour dates with Young Buck?
Crisis: Well he's got C-Dub who's been going some dates. I've been in school still. So from school, to outside gigs, to the tour I just did it kind of hindered me from going on the road with Buck the way I used to. But we still have the same working relationship we did. If he has a show he really needs me to do, I'll make the proper sacrifices to make it happen for him. That's just the kind of relationship me and him got. Anything he needs I'm there for him and vice-versa.

CONCRETE: Are you the tour DJ for any artists besides Buck?
Crisis: Actually before I was Buck's DJ I was Starlito's DJ. We did the Tenn-A-Keyan Mixtape. I put my little cousin DJ Crucial on. Now he's Starlito's road DJ now. I think that my situation, by me having so much other stuff going on has been a blessing for others. Because I was able to be like, "OK Star needs a DJ, you should rock with (Crucial)." The fact that I brought him up as a DJ, Star is able to trust him cause he trusts me. They've been doing shows for the past three months together. It's been going real good.

CONCRETE: When you get done with school, do you plan to get back on the road with some artists?
Crisis: When I get done with school I want to do more moving around period. Still be stationed in Nashville, but during the week I want to be in Atlanta, cause that's where I'm from. I got plenty of ties and connects down there. Just working, I want to work seven days a week not just on the weekends. I've been so many places this past year it's opened my eyes to so many opportunities outside the city that could help the city eventually. I can help just by being in New York or at the BET Awards just knowing so many people. I always wondered what that phrase "it ain't what you know it's who you know" meant. Now I'm realizing most of the opportunities I've been getting has been of the basis of relationships. That's the important part about it is just building those solid relationships to get to that next level. That's what I really want to do when school is out. Still do what I do for the city, but at the same time get outside of the city. Tony Neal of Core DJs, I was in Miami in May (2011) for the Core DJ retreat, and he told me, out of his mouth, and it still sticks with me to this day, "You can't put on for your city if you're always in your city." And I say that day-in-and-day-out to myself. It really makes a lot of sense, because until someone gets back out there and sheds light on a national level for Nashville, Nashville won't get the attention that they deserve. When Buck was in his prime, back when G-Unit first got on and he was screaming Cashville on BET and Mtv and stuff like that really shined light onto Cashville. Nashville needs that next person to do that. I feel like me being in the position I am, I feel obligated to do that. I feel like it's on my shoulders and I really just got to get out here and do it.

CONCRETE: When are you set to finish school?
Crisis: May 2012.

CONCRETE: You're tight with DJ Drama. Is there still an APHILLYiates crew?
Crisis: To my knowledge yeah. You got Sense and Drama. And you know (Don) Cannon and Drama still do stuff together.

CONCRETE: Do you have any aspirations to be in the APHILLYiates crew with DJ Drama or to start your own crew of DJs?
Crisis: Coming up as DJ that was one of my goals was to become an APHILLYiate, but now I would still love to be a part of that and what he has going on. But I know the type of person Drama is, he would probably want me to find my lane and work in that lane. He told me, out of his mouth it's really just about being original with what you do instead of just following. I'd love to be a part of what he has going on and help expand his brand on the collegiate end and to those who support me and just getting it out there. I'm also part of another DJ coalition in Atlanta, some friends that went to school with me back in high school, The Arsonists DJs. Two of my cousins are part of that DJ coalition. It's just good to be a part of a family that loves the same things that you love. Back to the Drama thing, I would still love to be a part of what he's got going on, cause that was always one of my goals and dreams, working side-by-side with him.

CONCRETE: You have a lot of family members that DJ. Who are they?
Crisis: DJ Crucial, DJ Dark Knight, DJ Jazzy T, she's not my cousin, but we went to high school together then she moved to Memphis and then to TSU so we still had that connection. It's more so a brother sister kind of thing. She was just like, "I want to be a DJ." So when she got here her freshman year I started showing her the stuff. Now she's out here rocking clubs just as much as I am. I feel that I've been a blessing to others. That's what I'm here for really. If you can't share your talents or help bless someone else then you ain't really doing what you're supposed to be doing. My upbringing makes me do that. It's more family oriented from my manager Pat to everybody that's around me. Zach Boog, is a blog site a partner of mine Lorenzo. Solo Altitude clothing which is the shirt I got on right now. He's a guy that's in Fly Major. Everybody is starting to come into their own with what they're doing. I feel if I can help them then I go about it anyway I can. Everything's working out and it's good to see eevrybody that started with me coming out into their niche, their lane. And everything is coming back together piece by piece. It's a good thing.

CONCRETE: What are your main goals for 2012?
Crisis: Really just getting Nashville back to where it needs to be. That's my immediate goal point-blank period. I notice different DJs or promoters or people period they might graduate from school or get to a certain level and they just want out of the situation. Because it's difficult to get it to where it needs to be. But everywhere was difficult. I remember growing up in Atlanta I knew it was hard for Outkast and DJ Greg Street, everybody that was in Atlanta that was instrumental in getting to where it is today. They all had to put in that groundwork. I feel as if nobody else want to do it I have to do it. I think that I set enough trends for the city for DJs, that I know if I start really getting the city back involved everybody else is going to want to join back. It's really just based on everyone getting on the same page. That's the problem right now. You've got to get the artists from the radio, to the DJs, to the promoters, the clubs, everybody has got to be on the same page for Nashville to get to where it can be. I don't feel my work is done until I make that happen. I know it's going to happen. There's so much potential in the city. When I graduate I want to go and move around in the city a lot more as far as artist wise. Me and Open Mic have a project coming up. Me and Buck got a project coming up. I'm about to be instrumental in Star's situation. It's time to get Star on a more National basis with his music. Dude has so much talent. He just hasn't really had the outlets to these bigger markets. I feel as a DJ I have more leverage to kind of get them there as opposed to just being an artist trying to do it themselves. I'm working with D-Goodz on his situation. He's out grinding and working. That's what it starts at. It starts with the music and the whole hip-hop culture in Nashville. It's creating a voice for Nashville. I think it's here, but without someone to actually bring it out it ain't going to happen. You're going to have frustrated people that don't want to go out. That's what it is right now. They thinking that it's over with when it's really not. I've been taking notes and studying the whole situation.

CONCRETE: Any last words or shout-outs?
Crisis: Shout-out to everybody man. Shout-out to my team. Everybody that's involved, everybody that helped me. That's one thing I learned. Without having the right people around you then you're not going to get where you need to be. People around you are going to push you and bring out the best in what you got going on. Fly Major to the Shut Up and Listen team to to Solo Altitude to RockSmith, everybody that helped me get my dreams out and what I wanted to do. I'm supportive of what they got going on. I feel as if I'm indebted to them. From like Elite Clothing, words can't express enough how much Ramadan has been instrumental from advice to free gear. I can't remember the last time I really bought anything from there. Anything he needs from me like DJing a turkey drive to DJing a birthday, anything he's got going on, anytime, I'm not going to charge him. It's more of a brother type of situation. That's my brother. Ramadan has done so much. He's bent over backwards for me, and I feel I have to do the same for him. I feel like everyone is supporting me and I want to support back.

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