What do you think was the most important era in hip-hop (and why)?
All eras are equally important to me. Hip-hop lives, breathes, and grows differently with each generation. The “pre-record” industry era is essential, of course. Those parties were recorded to tape. Without those tapes, the next ones in line might not have gotten inspired to make those early records which then inspired my generation to make our own records, and so on. The evolution of the music is the most important to me. It’s what I think drives the other elements. Music makes the dancers wanna dance and the rappers wanna rap.
What are your earliest memories of rap (age, location, who played it, what artist, etc.)?
The first time I heard hip-hop music with the context of it being an entire culture was in early 1984. I heard Run-DMC’s “Sucker M.C.’s.” I was 11 years old, and it was a huge deal for me. It was a live performance broadcasted on KDAY and promoted by Uncle Jamm’s Army. I still have the tape I recorded the show on.
How do you see hip-hop evolving in the next handful of years? Do you think it can evolve?
It will continue to evolve. Right now we’re seeing the expansion of the live aspects with LL Cool J’s Rock The Bells festival, and I think I even heard something about a cruise. This is how I think hip-hop as an entire cultural experience can evolve into something for future generations to come. The experiential part of it was what drew me in as a kid, and I feel like it can do that to other kids now. All the elements coming together in the same space will always be a powerful thing to witness and take part of.
Interview by Kyle Eustice