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Destructo and Too $hort. (Photo source: Facebook)
HARD Fest founder, DJ, and producer Destructo stopped by Power 106 on Tuesday to announce the lineup for this year’s HARD Summer festival. The Los Angeles native, who worked at the station in the ’90s, discussed a variety of topics relating to DJ culture and the convergence of hip-hop and dance music.
The interview began with host J Cruz asking Destructo who his favorite DJs are.
“One of my heroes as a DJ was DJ AM,” Destructo answered. “I think he was one of the first superstar DJs, so I always give him props and respect for crossing over. He was that first guy to break through in Vegas. He blended stuff like rock and rap. He’s a DJ’s DJ, a real DJ.”
Destructo recalled his most memorable moment with AM, his performance at the first HARD Haunted Mansion in 2008.
“[AM] had the [Daft Punk] helmet and everything and he went on [stage] and started playing every Daft Punk song,” Destructo recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh my god. Daft Punk is gonna get really mad at me.’ It kinda looked like we were like punking the audience. But then about 40 minutes in he took the helmet off and hit the Speak & Spell [that said] DJ AM.”
Cruz followed up by asking Destructo if he thinks DJs get enough respect these days.
“Oh yeah, 100%. I think they might be respected a little too much,” Destructo said with a laugh. “We got it so good. Be happy. Don’t take it for granted because I’d been around for 20 years when nobody liked DJs and nobody gave a f#ck about it, and now everybody’s into it. And I think a lot of DJs; they take that for granted.”
Speaking about HARD Fest, Destructo explained how it’s different from other festivals.
“It’s like I’m bringing [Los Angeles] to the rest of the world because I think my perspective on music is completely different than anyone else’s in electronic music,” Destructo said. “And it’s from growing up here [and] listening to this station.”
“I blend all kinds of weird things together that no one would think [of]. The first HARD [festival] we did [featured] Justice. 2 Live Crew played. Steve Aoki played the second one. I had N.E.R.D. We had Pharrell. And this was in 2008, and now everyone’s like, ‘Put electronic and rap together,’ and [I’m] like, ‘Where have you guys been?'”
In a larger sense, Destructo believes hip-hop and electronic music are one in the same.
“Rap music to me is electronic music,” Destructo said. “It’s made with the same computers and machines, it’s just got different flavor.”
Even the meaning behind the name of his new EP, Renegade, fits in line with his open-format philosophy.
“I feel like the people that like my music, the people who come to my shows, they’re renegades because they’re open to something new and trying something different,” Destructo said.
Related: HARD Summer 2017 Lineup Revealed