& Henry Chalfant
Grand Wizard Theodore
DJ Cue and DJ Marz
Sacramento Rap History
Lesson by X-Raided
He's The King
of The Smut... On Two Turntables: The Porn / Turntablism Connection
Part 3 DJ Relm and DJ Streak Interview
Just Whatever Rocks:
The World Famous Beat Junkies
Wax: The Porn / Turntablism Connection Part 2 D-Styles
Thriftin' For a Scratch:
The Hella Broke-Ass
Style of DJ'ing
DJ Pone Reports
from the 2002 Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas
DJ Apollo Receives
"Hip Hop Slam Hall of Fame Award"
A Scratch Odyssey:
Year in Review
QBert Receives "Hip
Hop Slam Hall of Fame Award"
How to Manufacture
Your Own CD, Record, or Tape
Oakland's New Underground'
BEATS TO GO:
Filipino American DJs of the Bay Area
at the DMC American Battleground
In the year 3030, DJ Qbert may finally get his due in the pantheon
of 21st Century musical geniuses. Only time will tell. But as
for the present, he is reverting back to a state of wonder. After
riding a wave of mutilated sound for 15 years, ushering in his
own stylized form of "skratch music," DJ Qbert is returning
to his musical roots
"Its more of a self-expression quest Im on,"
says Qbert of his inward journey. "Im just doing my
thing, trying to be different, trying to dig deep into my own
being and have my own unique style to offer the whole world. Just
like how everyone has a different fingerprint, everyone looks
different, everyone talks differenteveryone has their own
Although the Invisibl Skratch Piklz are now defunct as a deejay
collective, their legacy remains. The impact they made on the
hip-hop world with such classic tracks as Invasion of the Octopus
People and Klamz Uv Deth will undoubtedly be felt for years
to come. And with a new crew on the horizon, consisting of DJ
Qbert, D-styles, DJ Flare and Yogafrog, the future remains wide
open as ever. But whether they are able to recapture the magic
of the past and still move forward remains to be seen. Many heads
have left the game never to return, or worse yet, returned only
to find themselves no longer a player.
"This is different," says Qbert. "Were not
trying to come back to come back. Its more of a spiritual
thing for us. Were not coming back for money or anything.
If we were doing it for money wed just keep doing it and
doing it. The real reason is that theres this new style,
a bunch of styles that are being done by this guy. And its
like weve got to go back into practice cause were
kind of late right now. Weve been doing it for 16 years
but this guys been doing it for 26 years consistently. So
we were very humbled by that experience. We need to go back to
the drawing board
As DJ Qbert goes back into training to study this secret new
system of scratching, the turntable world continues to spin. After
all, revolutions dont stop after just one groove. And even
though DJ Qbert has been heavily lauded as the ambassador of turntablism,
he can still appreciate other peoples contributions to the
"Theres different types of styles," says Qbert.
"I think its really nice everyone has their own touch
to the art and I think thats what is beautiful about the
whole art of scratching. Everyone brings their own flavor to it.
Its very inspirational."
Though perceived mainly as a scratch soloist, DJ Qbert has also
followed in the steps of other artists trying to push the ends
of the musical envelope, by collaborating with musicians outside
of the traditional hip-hop vein.
"I think working with different artists and musicians definitely
broadens your thought of how music is done," says Qbert.
"Ive heard a lot of compositional formulas and time
signatures and rhythms from musicians whove studied it longer
than I have. I took some formal training but these guys are like
thats definitely opened my eyes to a whole
new world of possibilities."
Just as bebop evolved out of the swing band era of the 1930s,
turntablism was born from hip-hop culture, making it possibly
the second original music form to be created in America after
"Technically, bebop was characterized by fast tempos, complex
harmonies, intricate melodies, and rhythm sections that laid down
a steady beat only on the bass and the drummer's ride cymbal.
Bebop tunes were often labyrinthine, full of surprising twists
and turns. All these factors - plus the predominance of small
combos in bebop - set the music apart from the swing bands of
from David H. Rosenthal's book, Hard Bop, published by
Oxford Paperbacks, New York, 1992
"Theres a big connection there," points out Qbert.
"Jazz is very diverse. Theres all kinds of styles in
jazz. Theres all kinds of styles in scratching. Theres
all kinds of time signatures in jazz. Theres all kinds of
time signatures in scratching. It is jazz in its own way
As how deep a jazz artist can dive into their music, you can get
the same energy from different scratch music
and with rock
any kind of music
its all music
a free art
With Wave Twisters the Movie making its way into this
years Sundance Film Festival,
DJ Qbert may have finally found vindication for his art. But that
accomplishment by itself probably wont be enough to stop
his musical massacre. Training continues at the Temple Warplex,
the Lair of the Octagon, and the Shit Palace. And when DJ Qbert
comes back, hell come correct.
"Its pretty crazy," says Qbert, "but yknow
Im just doing my thing and I still see myself as the same
person. Im still trying to create for people. I dont
I just see myself as the same guy when I started 15
15 years ago where I had a passion for scratching
and I still have the same passion."
This interview took place on December 12,
2000 at the Lair of the Octagon.