I’m originally a DJ from London. When I arrived in Derby in 1994/5 we took over this building behind us called it The Gatehouse. For me it was my first touch of Derby and Derby hip hop culture. Coming from London I didn’t think there was any hip hop here so I took it on myself to bring it up. But when I got here it was already here fortunately. I met some really good people through this scene.
Tell us about some of the people that you met through putting on nights down here?
I was fortunate to not only be the manager here but fortunate enough to become a member of the Off The Hook crew who were a collective of DJs who loved the scene and the music. People like Dave H, Gidge (Gordan Horrocks), Hudson (Alex Moitt) and J2. And they were the basis of it all and they were doing stuff round the corner at Union One (now Joseph Wright car park). They were bringing London acts and some UK acts like Rodney P, Klashnekoff, Skinnyman, who ever was about at the time. Interestingly they were also bringing some US acts as well which was brilliant so through being around I managed to meet people I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t been in Derby at that time people like DJ Cashmoney, There were also people like Jeru the Damaga, People Under The Stairs, a lot of people they brought through and some really classic stuff too which was perfect.
Would you say it’s any particular DJ or artist that got you into hip hop in the first place?
I was from Hackney originally from Hackney so the Hip Hop B Boy culture was already there and there was a guy on my estate called Colin John. He was the first person I knew with decks and he had all the electro records 1-20+. I just used to watch what he was doing and he was the person that got me into that scene and I’ve been into it ever since.
What kind of things are you doing now event wise in Derby?
Right now things are kind of quite as the city doesn’t have the capacity or venues to do those kind of nights. There’s a lot of wine bars and bars but not enough space to fit dancers and all the stuff.
What kind of direction do you think hip hop has taken from then to now?
For me as I’m still currently DJing. A lot of the stuff I play now would be classed as commercial. I wouldn’t class it as hip hop or even rap a lot of people call it trap. But it’s gone a long way since A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Public Enemy and The Foundations which played when I was a kid.
What do you think is missing from the culture today?
I think the new generation, Artist I call them as you have such a varied field of stuff now Grime, Trap Hip Hop RnB. What’s missing is there isn’t a culture for it. When I was growing up you had your crew of people doing stuff you had your Breakdancers, Dj’s and Graff artists. Today there isn’t those elements…