Dynamic Jab on the "404 Not Found" Tape and the importance of Deejays [Interview]
Dynamic Jab is a deejay who takes himself out of the spotlight in favor for his peers, a rarity in the today's game. On his latest project "404 Not Found" he gives artists a chance to showcase their talents. Furthermore, Dynamic Jab is also a writer for the critically acclaimed Ok-Tho Magazine. I got a chance to sit down with multifaceted talent to talk about his influences and his impact on hip-hop.
Dead End Hip Hop: Tell us a bit about Dynamic Jab for those who aren't in the know yet.
Dynamic Jab: Well, I'm just a southern kid from VA who loves Hip-Hop. I know that's a boring answer, but that's really it.
DEHH: Before we jump into the actual music, tell me how you got into hip-hop, who are some of your influencers?
DJ: I got into Hip-Hop at 4yo in 2001, I remember hearing a lot of Jay-Z's blueprint album, then as time went on my Dad always played Jeezy albums, 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin, Luda and more. As far as influences, I have many from Hip-Hop in the late 80's and up until today. Other than the majority of the Texas Hip-Hop scene, I'd say Outkast, Three 6, 8Ball & MJG, Pac, Bone Thugs, BONES, Big KRIT, A Tribe Called Quest, GZA and Ghostface, Earl, MF Doom, Kendrick, Danny Brown, J. Cole, Slick Rick, Nas, Sadistik, Death Grips, Joey Badass, Denzel Curry, Madlib, 9th wonder, Dilla, DJ Khalil, DJ Dahi, Apollo Brown, Drake's producers, Kaytranada, DJ Quik, Kanye's production on Late Registration, Graduation and MBDTF, the whole Mello Music Group label, etc.
DEHH: Now it's been a minute since I've interviewed a deejay and more so a deejay on the come up. The role of deejays, hasn't really changed, you guys are still the original tastemakers introducing us to artists and new music. What do you feel your role as a deejay is?
DJ: I feel my role is to help artists by chopping up there music whether it be singles, whole projects or even just placing them on one of my mixtapes. I also feel I have an opportunity to keep the chopped and screwed movement alive, introduce it to new listeners while also introducing them to the artists, and honor my biggest musical influence and hero, DJ Screw.
DEHH: "404 Not Found" is the name of the mixtape. How did the premise come about?
DJ: Yeah, well I didn't come up with the title actually haha. My brother Zen Gnarly came up with the title, I've known him for over 3 years now. I've chopped all of his projects, interviewed him, and featured him on my first tape. My first two tapes were "We Put Ourself On" and I used "Ourself" because every artist featured and myself are as one. My second tape was titled "As We Thrive", so I wanted a title for this one that was completely different and didn't have "We" in it.
404 pretty much came together the way my first two tapes did, I keep an eye out for talent and inquire with them about chopping up there project or single, and then ask if they want to have a song featured on the next tape. The difference in how I got artists this time is how I get sent artists' music from the site I write for, OK-Tho! I get asked to consider reviewing an artists' music and if I do, I also ask if they'd be interested in a mixtape placement, or having their full project chopped up with a song off of it featured on my next tape and sometimes I offer an interview if I really like their music. That whole process is how some of the features on the tape came about, and I also ask artists that I've worked before with if they have any friends who need any of the services that I offer.
DEHH: You feature a lot of artists on this project, this may be a stretch but do you see yourself as kind of a Dr.Dre who's doing their best to put on other talented artists you work with?
DJ: Yeah this is the first tape where I have artists featured who weren't featured on previous work or who I didn't do any musical services for before. It's also the first tape where one artist doesn't have two or more features on it.
Now, I love and respect Dr. Dre and what he's done for some of the biggest names of my generation, his NWA work, and his solo career, I even have all three of his albums. But, if there's anybody I'd say I'm like or want to be like when it comes to putting talent on, it's DJ Screw.
DEHH: Now one of the most important things we discussed when talking was your choice to use #SluggedNJabbed instead of chopped and screwed. Enlighten me a bit
DJ: One of the reasons I say slugged and jabbed is because I wanted to say something different than chopped and screwed the way I see other chop and screw deejays do, like some of them say slowed and throwed. slugged = slowing down, and jabbed means chopped. I could call my music chopped, but I won't call my music screwed out of respect for DJ Screw. I know what the saying is, "It Screw ain't do it, it ain't a screw tape." Well I don't care if it's a tape or a single, it's not screwed if the King of the South didn't do it.
DEHH: Being a deejay is not an easy task in this day and age, but the 404 tape I think is a great showing of what deejays can do. What do you want people to walk away with after listening to the tape?
DJ: Well I want casual and passionate Hip-Hop listeners to walk away being aware of the talent that every artist who is featured has. I want them to be aware of chopped and screwed music, and go listen to other deejays who chop all of todays Hip-Hop and R&B, and go listen to DJ Screw. He has 320 full length works you can listen to and counting, lost tapes are always being found and released. Now as far as artists who listen to the tape, I want them to be aware that they to can have their full length projects and singles chopped up. I also want them to know that they can be featured on future projects as well, and be interviewed too.
DEHH: Along with being a deejay you're also a writer for Ok-Tho, tell me a bit about what you do over there?
DJ: I love it over there. Big Malk who's featured on 404 is actually an OK-Tho! artist. Other than writing reviews and interviewing artists, I also post my video reviews from YouTube on there, and my monthly, quarterly, half, and full year "best of" videos where I talk about the best projects of whatever the current interval is.
DEHH: Being an independent artist and writer in this means you've seen a lot, what tips can you give up and coming artists trying to do what you're doing?
DJ: The number one thing you can control is your effort. You're going to lose sleep, time with your friends and family, personal time, and more. But never let it take away your peace of mind and well-being. I live life by two P's and recommend living life by these two times, productive time, and play time. Find balance and kick ass.
DEHH: What's next for Dynamic Jab, will we be seeing you tour around, will we get another release from you this year?
DJ: Unfortunately I will not be on tour any time soon. I don't have all of the necessary means to tour. In the future if I can I definitely will. Whether it be in my state, all of DMV, the Mid-Atlantic and Southern region, the upper east coast, and expand if the opportunity comes. As far as another project, I'm planning a summer EP, and hopefully a playlist. And if I do the playlist it will be a real playlist, not that Drake shit.
You can check out Dynamic Jab's "404 Not Found" tape HERE.
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