DJ Vlad

March 11th, 2004

Mic Assassin

The American hip-hop mix ape king talks about his up and coming project, the blend between rock and rap music, online distribution, other DJ's he's feeling and hardware.

You started out in hip-hop break dancing in the early eighties. Were you any good? Part of a crew of a lone ranger?

I was ok… I could do headspins, handspins, I could pop pretty well, but I never really figured out the windmill… which is why I stopped. We had a crew of about 3 people.. I don't remember the name anymore.

When you first began making beats in the 90's, what equipment was you using and when came the transition to DJ?

The Akai MPC-60.. there wasn't a lot of hip-hop industry around me, so I started in to DJ'ing.

You've talked about getting back into the beat making side of things. Who'd you most like to drop vocals onto your stuff?

There's a lot of talented cats out there.. I've already been in the studio with Cypress Hill, UGK, Wyclef, Xzibit, etc…

Excluding your own, what are your top mixtapes of all time and your top mixtape DJ's?

I like what Green Lantern, Whoo Kid and Dirty Harry do…

Having now spun at release parties for dominating artists such as 50 cent and toured all the corners of the world, what are your goals and aspirations for the coming years?

I love doing overseas shows.. I'm actually in Bahrain (the middle east) right now. I've done Japan and Australia also. I haven't done Europe yet. I'm hoping to eventually make it back to Russia.

My personal favourite UK DJ is DJ Format. Heard anything by him? And what's your take on the likes of Cut Chemist and Shadow?

I'm a fan of Cut Chemist and Shadow… haven't heard of Format.

You've released mixtapes on the internet. Obviously your down with online music distribution? What file share program do you use?

Yeah.. I'm feeling online distro. I'm currently using Limewire.

This month sees the release of 'Rock Phenomenon' your sequel to the much loved 'Rap Phenomenon'. Have you always been into rock music and what are some of your favourite bands?

I've always been into Rock – but I stopped listening to it many years ago… this Rock Phenomenon project is allowing me to revisit my love for it and discover new Rock music that I've missed. I've been a long time fan of U2 and Pink Floyd.

Featuring the likes of Cypress Hill and MOP who have both played with the blending of rock and rap, you'd call yourself a supporter of such music?

Rock / Hip-Hop is very tricky to do – a lot of it is garbage. We're hoping to do it properly on this project.

How was the experience of working with Zack De La Rocha? A huge number of people are waiting on new material by him. Can you share any gossip?

No comment.. you'll have to wait for the mixtape..

A big fan of Rage Against The Machine?

Yup.

I really like that your website hosts audio and information about unsigned artists coming up. Who's your favourite underground MC who needs to blow up?

Balance.

Any last words to the sphere of virtual hip-hop heads?

Thanks for all the support from my fans worldwide. I really try to stay creative and push myself on every mixtape release, and I'm honoured that people are feeling what I do.