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DJ Absurd Cum Laude It's true. Being able to convince Craig G, Jaz-O, Blaq Poet, Copywrite, Pacewon, Termanology and other fine rappers to guest star on your 7-track EP alone is worth a 'cum laude'. Up-and-coming DJ Absurd from New Jersey did just that for his recent 'Flying Colors' release, a dedication to raw beats and real lyrics.

We've searched for most of the reviews of the EP on the net...most websites give it a 7/10. Satisfied?

Most of the reviews that I saw didn't really have any negative things to say about the project, so I felt maybe the review scores should be a little higher. Having said that, I think 7 out of 10 is not a bad score and they probably just felt that it was a little short being that it was only seven tracks.

How did you connect with Jaz-O, and were you familiar with his history; working with Jay-Z and the legendary Hawaiian Sophie record?

Yeah, I'm definitely familiar with his history and how he was basically Jay-Z's mentor. I always felt he was a dope, underrated lyricist. I had the beat for the song 'Flying Colors' and I knew I wanted somebody that can spit fast on it and I thought of him. I think I either had his e-mail or I reached out to him on Myspace or Facebook. I then told him that I was looking to get a verse from him for this joint. He told me he charges for a verse but he gave me a really good price, so I went for it. He wound up really liking the beat and and gave me a really good verse for that. Then I decided to get Copywrite on the second verse and he did his thing as well. I actually wrote the hook for the song and then I decided to get Mela Machinko (also featured on Pharoahe Monch's latest album, ed.) to sing it for me.

Besides Jaz-O, you worked with another veteran for the album, Craig G...what important lessons have you taught from both of them?

Just from being a fan and watching their career, I've learned there really is no age limit for hip-hop as long as you can keep making a living off it. They may not be getting their music played on commercial radio everyday but they're still able to maintain a career and do their thing independently.

What do both of them think of the current hip-hop music scene?

I can't really speak for them but I assume they feel the current music scene is not very good. They work with a lot of upcoming talent but I'm sure they feel a lot of the stuff out now trash.

From the DJ JS-1 interview we did a few weeks ago it was clear that he's pessimistic about the state of hip-hop. 'Beyond pessimistic' even...your album holds the same 'dark' message...

I am pessimistic about the future of hip-hop, but I do have some hope. Time is going by and it's only getting further from the 90's when hip-hop was in its best state. A lot of these young MC's coming in the game don't know that era unless they do their homework. A lot of these MCs are not even necessarily fans of hip-hop, they're just doing it as a hustle or trying to get fame off of it. Then you have some MC's that are talented but try to dumb it down thinking they are gonna blow up that way. I do see some young cats coming into the game that I am excited about though. I think there will always be some people making good hip-hop music, so the genre itself can never die. As far as the business side goes, I think it's safe to say that the days of a talented artist coming around without any affiliations or co-signs and can get a deal, radio play and blow-up are long gone. We've seen this before with other genres of music. When too much money becomes involved with anything like music or sports, politics come into play and it really hurts the culture. Shout out to JS-1 though, he and all the talented MC's he works with proves there's still great music out there.

Also according to JS-1 'To be a good DJ, you should know music very well. Lots of genres not just one; what kinds of music do you listen to a lot outside hip-hop?

I like some reggae, some R&B, but to be honest, I mostly listen to hip-hop and spin hip-hop when I DJ. Hip-hop was born off of sampling other genres of music so to know other music definitely helps, so I agree with JS-1 in that aspect.

There's a French DJ Absurd who does electronic, dub step and produces some hip-hop beats too now and then. Are you familiar with him?

Having the same name as another DJ happens a lot, there's a lot of DJ's out there. I definitely didn't bite my name though; I've had it for a while. I thought of it and just ran with it. I came across him though when I googled my name, but I don't know much about him or how long he's been out. I'm not really into the electronic dub step stuff, so as far as I'm concerned, when it comes to hip-hop production and deejaying, there's only one DJ Absurd.

On your website you can 'order'/'inquire 'scratches' - we suppose not just anyone can order, what conditions are required? What does a song have to have in order for you to consider it to be a serious inquiry?

Unless it's just really awful to the point where the timing of the song is a mess or they're requesting something that is just not possible, anyone that's a paying customer can get scratches from me.

Battle type scratching costs 50 dollars, a hook scratch costs 75 dollars, how did you calculate your prices? Is there a market, an index or reference price guide for DJ's perhaps?

There isn't really a reference as far as prices. I just felt those rates were really fair. There is a lot of artists out there that want scratches or scratch hooks done but don't know any DJ's that do that or are good at it. I charge more for doing scratch hooks because a lot more work goes into it having to find stuff to scratch in that goes with the song. I encourage all artists to contact me if they are looking for cuts, the prices will probably not be staying that low for long.

Tell us some more about your group Born Wreckless? The group released an album in 2009, correct?

Born Wreckless consists of 4 talented artists, Crooked Shakespeare, Che Fontaine, Mack, & Stevie Pockets, which I met years back, out here in the New Jersey hip-hop scene. Over the years, I DJ'ed shows for them, done scratches for them, Produced some beats for them, & more importantly became good friends with them. One day they just asked me to be the official DJ for the group since I've already done a lot of work with them, and I told them I'm down. We released our debut album 'Expect The Unexpected' in 2009. You can purchase the album online at several different sites. I did all the scratches and produced 2 joints on there.

How did you connect with The Undergodz?

I connected with the Undergodz, through Canibus's manager, M-80, that I met a couple of years back. I've done some scratches on some different projects he was working on and he asked me if I wanted to produce and do the cuts for the intro of the Undergodz album, and I told him I was down. I already had that beat done and felt it fit the project good, So I just spent time putting all the scratches together. He wound up loving it and so did Canibus and Keith Murray.

If you'll look back at your musical career...at what point will you consider yourself 'passed with flying colors'?

As far as the music is concerned, I felt like this EP was a test to me to see if I can put together a good project and I feel that I passed with flying colors. Aside from the music, I'll feel that I passed with flying colors when I can consistently make money from this and have a steady career. When enough people are buying the music and checking for anything new I put out and when I'm getting production placements on major albums.

What were some of the first rap records you had?

I've been into hip-hop since the late 80's, when my older brother used to listen to Run-DMC, Slick Rick, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Beastie Boys, etc. I started DJ'ing in '94, but I can't really remember the first records I bought. I just remember that there was a lot of good hip-hop music out at the time from Nas, Wu-Tang, Biggie, Gang Starr, Duck Down, Dr Dre, Snoop etc..

What's next for DJ Absurd?

I'm gonna continue to produce and do scratches for other artists. I'm also gonna work on getting some production placements on some bigger projects. As far as putting out another project of my own, it all depends on how this EP sells and what opportunities come from it. If there is a demand for it, then there will be a 'Flying Colors' full length album. If not, then this will probably be my last project.



POSTED 07|08|2011
conducted by cpf

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