The first hip hop song I heard was “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugar Hill Gang shortly after I arrived in the United States in 1979. In the early 80′s as B-boying (or breakdancing) started to get national exposure, my friends and I formed our own B-boy crew. We practiced after school for hours on end. We performed at all of our High School events. As I was always into art, it was easy for me to fall in love with graffiti art, as well.
A DCU student named Frank Ski hosted an hour-long radio show called “Breaker’s Delight”, which turned me on to a lot of new music. I hadn’t started deejaying yet, but I bought all my favorite records and recorded the music on cassette tapes, so my friends and I could listen to them while we practiced dancing. Soon, I was known as the guy with the newest music and was regularly asked to bring my records to local parties.In 1985, I met a Puerto Rican guy from the Bronx named Juan Ortiz, aka DJ Boom, who lived in my building and had his own deejaying equipment. I began to practice and when he moved out, he used to bring his equipment (one turntable, mixer, and a crate of records) to school and after school he would ride the bus to my house to set up and practice until i pieced together my own deejay set. I started making mixtapes and deejaying parties, but I was still too young to work in nightclubs.
Finally, in 1993, I entered a deejay competition at a club called The Vault in downtown DC and came in second place. I didn’t realize the club owner, Kommi, had been standing behind me during my set. He contacted me through the promoter, M.C. Bitch, a few days later and offered me a chance to play at the Vault on a regular basis.One night DJ Palash, one of the best promoters in the DC area, stopped by, listened for few minutes and left. Later that night he asked me to do a guest spot at his party. I went on to play for his events at Down Under and Chicago’s and eventually as a regular deejay at his club, the Chamber.
I started working at a lot of clubs with a lot of promoters. One of my favorites was Josh Segman, who had the PUMP party at Spy Club, where I was the resident hip hop deejay for two years.I did a guest spot one night at party called “Pollen”, a weekly rave style party in the 90′s, which was held at the Edge night club in Washington DC. The promoters liked me so much that they made me the resident hip hop dj and i ended up staying for three years and joining the Pollen Family with Pejman, Sina, Chris Styles and Jimmy. Now I own over 35,000 records and the collection grows daily.
I’ve come a long way since practicing with DJ Boom’s turntables and I’ve met a lot of nice people along the way. I owe everything to a select few of my friends who gave me the support and encouragement I needed to continue and I’ll always be grateful.
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