DJ Name: DJ Zeph
Hometown: Santa Cruz CA, lived in SF since '92.
Trademark saying or philosophy: If it
sounds good it doesn't matter.
Solo/Collaborative History: In the mid
80's my breaking crew was the atomic rockers (how
corny is that name?)....I get down with Future Primitive
Sound Session as often as possible. I put out the Break
Builders and Electrospective mix cd's and
did shows with fellow santa cruz turntable wizard DJ Imperial.
Around the time of producing the L-ron album we were doing
shows so you could call us a group. I've also been tight with
the BeatSauce family (J boogie, Raw b, Wisdom),
there's a promo I did where I get a shout out at the end as if
I were part of the crew. There's the ever evolving VU live
band project on Wide Hive Records. Azeem and I aren't really
a group, we put out music and do shows together, but we bring
our own identities to the table.
How would describe the music you spin? Hip Hop that respects
itself. I try to hold onto the philosophies of the Zulu Nation
and promote that musically. Genre is irrelevant, but I was raised
on hip hop and breaks, so that's a big part of me and my sound.
Discography: the new 12" with Rashan Ahmad
"Floorwax", the self titled debut lp "DJ Zeph",
and the "Rubber and Glue" 12" with Azeem,
all 3 on Wide Hive Records. The 2 mix cd's I did with DJ Imperial;
"Break Builders" and "ElectroSpective". I
have a track each on the compilations "Deep Concentration
4" with Azeem, "Urban Revolutions" with Future
Primitive Sound, & "Cue's hip hip shop vol. 2" with
Raw B, and "Sunset Salvage".
DJ battle history: I won two DJ battles
at SF State around '93, one had DJ Relm competing. BeatSauce
used to host a monthly battle that I entered twice, only winning
once. I was a runner up at a battle in Gilroy in like 1990. I've
never entered any major competitions.
First record you bought: my first trip to the record store
I bought a few things. 3 of the Roxanne battle records (Roxanne's
doctor, Roxanne Roxanne, and The Real Roxanne), and, like DJ Shadow,
I also got the Street Beat Vol. 2 comp. This was around 1985.
Most influential record(s) in your life? The Jungle
Brothers 2nd lp, "Done By The Forces of Nature",
and "Death Mix" the Jazzy Jay side. Creativity
never goes out of style, these records are as fresh to me today
as when I first heard them.
When did you first DJ? In a garage for a girls birthday
in my hometown. There was punch and cookies and after the party
was over the girls dad stepped to me and asked me if i had any
coke. I was like "Coca Cola?" and he was like "cocaine!".
I was thinking Whats a 14 year old kid gonna be doing with
narcotics like that? Thats when I knew djing would be a wild
ride, full of obstacles to overcome and mentally rise above.
What made you want to be a DJ? There was a DJ down with
Bam and the Zulu Nation in the Monterey Bay. His
name was Bubba G. Scotch, or Professor BGS, and
he did a weekly radio show. He epitomized what makes a good DJ;
selection, skills, knowledge, and a style on the mic that got
you more excited to hear what he would do next. He even did a
live show once with Melle Mel, and simulcasted it live
on the radio. With inspiration from Bubba, and Kutmasta Kurt
giving me more hands on
experience, I was addicted to DJing immediately.
Most memorable performance? Playing in
Japan with Azeem in May of this year. Sometimes at shows
when I feel like I'm really doing something special, the crowd
isn't paying attention, and sometimes i'll get props for shows
that feel way off. It isn't usually so much about the performance
as it is about the vibe in the audience. In Japan the vibe was
like the bay area in the early 90's, people were wide open and
excited about the music in general.
How do you transport your records to gigs? Flight cases.
the record bags keep falling apart on me.
Do you play CDs ever at gigs? Not yet.
In your opinion who is the best DJ of all time? Right
now I'm thinking about Jazzy Jay. He's murdering the Death
Mix. He had a Studio and worked with the likes of Masters of Ceremony
(Grand Puba), Diamond D, Tribe Called Quest. He can cut, he can
juggle. And almost 30 years later, he's still doing his thing
to this day. Big up Jazzy Jay.
Best website or way for folks to find out more about you: