For the benefit of anyone who’s been living in an underground bunker for the past few years…who on earth are you?
Peace, I’m DJ Concept. DJ/Producer from Long Island New York. I’m the co-founder of the Bash Brothers DJ crew (along with my dude Mickey Knox), I’m also producer half of the rap duo Dirt Disciple (with MC Rome Clientel). I’ve dropped a bunch of albums & beat tapes. Most recently I released an album with Planet Asia called Seventy Nine which I produced entirely.
How did you get started in music, and what drives you to continue?
I’ve always loved music. As far back as I can remember I always made my own mixtapes. First on my dads stereo, then with whatever equipment I had. The idea of making tapes with all the songs I wanted to hear was dope to me. It’s that same feeling that drives me to keep going. I have a true love for music and I enjoy the process of creating from digging for samples to fully producing and mixing the songs. It allows me to create music the way I want to hear it.
Do you remember the first beat you ever made? How did you go about it?
Not at all. Haaa. That was so long ago and I definitely made a ton of beats that I just threw out. It was my learning phase. I can tell you that one of my first album placements was on my dude Kaleber’s album, The Anomoly. The joint was called Hood Stripes Pt 2. It was in my first batch of beats I really considered to be good enough to have people rap on.
If a movie about your life in music was to be made, what interesting/strange moments and stories would you share to make the movie cool?
Maybe the time I sat on the couch in Premo’s studio (HeadQCourterz) as he made a beat. I drank beer and did some design work as he crafted a beat from scratch. He was running through samples then some ill shit would come on and he’d turn to me, we’d both make the ugly face, then he’d start chopping. It was amazing.
What is the greatest thing about working in the music industry? And what would you change if you had the opportunity?
The greatest thing about the music industry is making the music. Everything else doesn’t really matter that much to me. If I had to change something, it would be to get the companies throwing money behind bullshit rappers to invest in some real artists.
Looking back, what have been the most important moments in your life so far?
Nothing was more important than marrying my wife/best friend and creating my best beat ever: my daughters heartbeat. Everything else pales in comparison.
What have been the biggest highlights?
I look at everything as a highlight because every little step has helped me get to where I am right now. I guess if I had to pick, it would be doing my radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio for 5+ years. I met so many people there and many that I still stay in contact with. I consider my time at Sirius one of the most important stepping stones in my music career.
What has been your biggest challenge…and how did you overcome it?
Getting people to support. It’s a constant struggle. But, the way I’ve overcome that is to continue to be consistent with putting out fire music. That’s the only way in my opinion. People need to respect you for your music so their support will come from a genuine place. I want to know that when people play my music or blogs post it, it’s because they think it’s ill.
Who have been the coolest, most memorable people you’ve met along the way, and how did they make an impact on your life?
I’ve met so many inspiring people over the years, it’s hard to make a small list. Statik Selektah has always been a good friend and supporter. He took time out of his crazy schedule to sit with me and answer a few Pro Tools questions I had. J57 as well. He showed me the basics of the program Reason. I helped him out earlier in his career and he repaid the favor years later. So many people have helped me but those two stick out as being really impactful and helpful in my music career.
When you’re sitting on the porch age 97 what would you like to look back on and smile having achieved?
Besides living a full life with my family…I guess just the fact that hopefully, the music I’ve released will stand the test of time. I think that music is a huge part of many people’s lives and I hope that my mine can be enjoyed by people long after I’m gone.
What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
When Royal Flush asked me and my boy Mickey Knox to DJ his release party at BB Kings. The crowd was hella hype and the backstage antics were crazy. Legends everywhere. Flush walks up to me with the HUGE bottle of Grey Goose and goes “take this Concept.” Haaaaa
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
Getting lunch with Dee Snyder from Twisted Sister. Years back I worked for a film company that worked with him on his movie, Strangeland. One day we just went out to grab lunch and it was straight hilariousness. People would do double takes and Dee would just look back at them all funny.
Name 5 songs (yours excluded) that we would expect to find on your iPod or Music Player
Too many to pick just fvie songs. Anything from Mind Over Matter, Silent Majority, Quicksand, MoSS, Statik Selektah, Curren$y, Chuuwee, The Winners, Planet Asia…the list goes on.
What special-hero type skills are you blessed with?
The ability to see through bullshit. Haaaa. And also to my crate digging skills are next level.
Where can everyone reading this interview keep up with your adventures?
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/concept1200
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/concept1200
• SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/concept1200
• Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DJ_Concept
• Crisis Center: crisis1200.com
• The Dirt Disciples: thedirtdisciples.com
• Bandcamp: djconcept.bandcamp.com
Any final thoughts?
Thank you! Go get that #SeventyNine album! And also look out my new beat tape dropping soon called Flight Patterns 2. All beats for that one were made on one flight I took a few months back.