Ebro in the Morning

Kid Capri on What It Means to Be a Real DJ

Kid Capri
Kid Capri performs live. (Photo source: kidcapri.com)

Legendary hip-hop DJ Kid Capri was a guest on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning show on Monday. The Bronx native, who’s credited with popularizing mixtapes in the ’80s, discussed the current state of DJing and hip-hop. He also reflected on some of his career’s greatest moments, like receiving a shout out from The Notorious B.I.G. on “Juicy” and contributing to Kendrick Lamar‘s DAMN. album.

When asked about what it means to be a DJ, Capri had plenty to say.

“My focus is to make sure I’m the best thing they’ve ever seen, and it doesn’t matter to me if this guy that’s coming on before me or after me has a platinum record and he’s the biggest guy. … And that’s the focus, to make sure that these people say, ‘Kid is the greatest I’ve ever seen.’ And that’s it. And that’s what real DJs are supposed to do. [They’re supposed to] come in there and make sure that everybody’s happy and be able to step out of the box and be good at it, where you not just playing one type of music. You’ll be able to play for anybody anywhere.”

Capri went on to give a personal example of “playing to the crowd.”

“When I did Khloe Kardashian’s wedding with Lamar [Odom], I knew that they was Armenian. So I went in, and I played the top Armenian records, and the whole place just shook. It was crazy to see how these people were so happy to hear this music because they didn’t think I knew it. But that’s the job you gotta have anywhere. When you go to Japan, you go to Haiti, you go to all these different places, they like our thing but what about what they do? When you got a place like Texas, they have so much Texas music that never get heard on the radio that doesn’t go anywhere. But when you come from New York, and you play that type of music, the first thing they saying is, ‘damn, how he knew that?’ And it drives them nuts, so and that’s what it is, it’s about knowing your job, knowing that it’s not about just MP3s. It’s about going out there, making sure every state is taken care of as if you’ve lived it and that’s what I do.”

Watch the full interview below.

Related: Watch DJ Premier’s Tiny Desk Performance and Genius Interview

A-Trak: ‘It’s Cool to Be Weird Now’

A-Trak performs at the TIKTAK Festival in Amsterdam on July 18, 2015. (Clayton Woodley)
A-Trak recently spoke with Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning show about the open-format mission behind his Fool’s Gold label and Day Off festival.
“As DJs, my partner Nick Catchdubs and I, we wanted to create a label that stood for what we play in our sets, which is not just one thing,” A-Trak told Ebro. “The whole idea of mixing up hip-hop releases and electronic releases, it just felt like it hadn’t been done at the time.”
He also said the rise of open-format DJing in the late-2000s influenced the label’s creation.
“In our DJ scene everything was mixing up again, so as a label, we went that same route of mixing stuff up again. Our events reflect that [diversity] too. And Day Off has really turned into an actual festival, it’s more than just a show.”
Though the idea of blending genres wasn’t mainstream when Fool’s Gold launched in 2007, A-Trak said that today’s fans are more eclectic than previous generations.
“I think that everybody listens to more than just one thing. It’s not like back in the day in the ’90s either you listened to Joy Division or you listened to BDP or KRS-One. Those crowds didn’t really [mix].”
Watch the interview below and check out the schedule for Fool’s Gold Day Off here.

Related: A-Trak’s ‘Heads Will Roll’ Remix Gets Flipped by DiscoTech

Velous Talks Producing Kanye West’s ‘All Day’

Kanye West’s new single “All Day” has been sitting atop DJcity’s “Hot Box” chart for nearly a week now. And as the track continues to climb other charts, it’s come to light that at least 20 individuals contributed to the song.
One of the most important contributors to “All Day” is Velous, the 23-year-old beatsmith that produced it. During a recent visit to New York’s Hot 97, the upstate New Yorker discussed how the track came about, who his influences are and what other projects he’s working on.
According to Velous, the beat for “All Day” was originally intended for French Montana. He also revealed that the track at one point contained a Sade sample, but it was eventually pulled due to licensing issues. Watch the full interview above.
Download: Kanye West ft. Allan Kingdom & Theophilus London – All Day
Related: DJ Dahi Talks Producing Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Money Trees’ and Drake’s ‘Worst Behavior’

Hot 97 Honors Grandmaster Flash

As part of Black History Month, Hot 97 host Ebro Darden recently honored DJ and hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash during his morning show. The Bronx legend is credited for inventing quick mixing, punch phrasing and taking scratching to a new level.
Related: Grandmaster Flash Talks Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ Video