DJ Name: DJ Shortkut
Trademark saying: "Without influence, there
is no change."
Hometown: Daly City
DJ crews: Triple Threat, Beat Junkies, ISP
(joined in '95), Just2Hype! (mobile crew that included
Derrick D from 1989-1995)
What music do you spin? A little bit of everything...whatever
the event calls for. My foundation is hiphop, funk, soul, and
DJ battle history: (solo&team): '94
West Coast DMC, '98 West Coast DMC, '94 NMS Superman
The first record you ever bought: "The
Most influential record(s) in your life? "Rockit"
because of the scratching. It's the first taste of scratching.
After hearing it all the time I would try to copy it on my dad's
stereo. The whole vibe of it...just what they were doing back
then...what were you guys thinking...and now what it is today...it's
incredible...cats can listen to that...and now cats are making
money off that...making a living off of doing that.
When did you first DJ? The first time I DJ'ed
in public was probably a garage party in '87. They just hired
me to DJ. I brought all my home stuff.
What made you want to DJ? Just the whole Bay
Area...the way it was back then...at one point everyone was a
DJ...everyone was part of a DJ group/mobile crew. I had gone to
a house party before and saw the DJ and the impact he had on the
crowd. This girl [Bernadette] taught me how to scratch. The first
time she introduced me to that, I was hooked. We used to go to
her brother's room and mess with the equipment. Her brother [DJ
GML-SE) found us and said, 'Hey man, before you mess around with
this stuff; you got to learn how to use it.'
What is the most memorable performance of your DJ career?
The '94 KMEL Def Jam battle at City Nights.
I had previously put in a tape to audition for it. I didn't get
picked. I was disappointed. When the battle finally came, I was
with QBert. He told me to bring my records just in case
somebody didn't show up. And sure enough someone didn't, and I
took that guys place and ended up winning the whole battle. It
was a slap in the face to the person who chose the tapes at the
time. I had Mike, Q, Apollo, Disk, all these cats in my
corner. Just that whole feeling to be able to prove some cats
wrong because when I first started DJing a lot of cats said, 'Aw,
you can't DJ...you can't be like QBert...' That was fresh out
of high school. Just a couple months before that, I had just gone
to New York for the first time to battle at the NMS that
8-Ball won. I was 17 years old when I started battling.
Back then it was pretty young for me to leave home...I was definitely
the youngest...I was the small fry in the crew. I was the young
one that couldn't even get into clubs yet. Mike, Q, and Disk would
be like my older brothers because they would always pick on me.
How do you transport records and/or gear to gigs?
I drive my trusty Honda Civic.
Do you play CDs ever at gigs? I'll be honest
with you...I still feel uncomfortable using those things in public.
The reason why we used those [at the Triple Threat record
release party] was we didn't have access to get test pressings
for the vinyl. Apollo set it up where we have our own separate
break records strictly for us. To do that on vinyl, it would just
be impossible for us to coordinate that. It would just be such
a hassle. [Besides that] I don't play CDs.
In your opinion, who is the best DJ of all time?
I won't say the best. I never like to think anyone is the best.
We all are struggling to be the best in some way. I'd give it
up to Kool Herc just because if it weren't for him we wouldn't
all be here. We would all never got the idea. That's why I love
dancehall so much now. Kool Herc brought that whole dancehall
sound system style into hiphop. I just think he was a genius to
bring that to us and make it possible for a lot of people to live
off of it.
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