& 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
DJ Eddie Def defies description. He's like some kind of hip-hop
renegade from the Twilight Zone. His music is neither here,
nor there and yet somehow manages to fuck you up in the head.
He is simply The Last Kreep.
Back in the day, before the whole turntablist movement, there
was hip-hop. B-boys were busting moves, writers were bombing trains,
MCs were kicking freestyle rhymes, and DJs were rocking the house.
Eddie Def grew up in that scene, the old school, and you can hear
it, physically in his music, and aesthetically in his style.
"I try to do megamixes," says Eddie Def of his Hemp
Lords mixtapes series. "It would be like 15 minutes of
just crucial shit: like drum and bass, the Beastie Boys, the Beach
Boys, the Beatles, fucking Slayer, Metallica, Nirvana just
everything collided in one, like 15 minutes of mayhem."
"That's crazy shit and that's totally a lost art form now.
You got some 15 year old kid who's just into turntables, going,
'Whoa, what the fuck is that?!' That's a shame. That's the old
shit that used to inspire me. It's like a lot of shit has changed.
It's just all scratching and kicks and snares that's so
played out. How many times can you do that?"
Although hip-hop has advanced to some next level shit in the
last 20 years, it has also become more fragmented. Somehow hip-hop
music became rap music and the MC left behind the DJ. Now turntablists
seem to be following suit.
"I don't think the hardcore b-boys into the whole hip-hop
culture are the same guys as the record bag DJ guys," says
Eddie Def. "I think its two different kind of people. Even
though the turntablists are supposed to be part of hip-hop, I
don't even think they go out and pick up like a fucking Gang Starr
record. They probably think Premier is too simple or something.
Instead of crackheads, they're just like scratchheads dramatized
and hooked and addicted to scratching. It doesn't matter who the
fuck it is, where the fuck it is they're just all into
scratching. That shit is hilarious."
As turntablists splinter off farther into their own musical genre,
they continue to expand the art form. But by removing themselves
from hip-hop, they may be inadvertently leaving behind some of
their skills and originality.
"The young cats start off good," explains Eddie Def.
"They're real technical and they've got a lot of skills but
they lack old skills that would make them develop to be a better
individual DJ. Like 90% of the DJs today, they kind of sound all
the same. I don't know if that's because of certain videos they
watch or certain heroes and icons that they have, but they all
sound the same. Like they all do crabs and flares and they kind
of forget their freehand scratches or their transforming or the
Philadelphia style, Miami style of scratching. They just kind
of forget that shit. It's really kind of watered down now for
"You ever seen Tableturns, that video? Everybody was kind
of doing the same juggle. That's like cool the first five times,
but a whole one-hour tape of that shit that's lame, y'know?
Back in the old days, it would even be just more nuts. Motherfuckers
wouldn't even use the same sound. Everybody just uses 'ah' and
'fresh' now and shit. Everything is becoming standard because
of a certain scratch being exploited or a certain style
y'know what I mean?"
"Everybody wants to be like this guy or that guy. You rarely
come across an original DJ where you're just like: 'Fuck I've
never seen any of that shit!' There's not even one DJ that can
do that now. It's like every DJ has a little bit of Craze, a little
bit of Qbert, a little bit of Mista Sinista
"I always tell little DJs coming up to pick up your Aladdin
record, pick up your Rodney O and Joe Cooley records, pick up
all your 2 Live Crew records, because all those records have the
old scratches that you should learn 'cause all you know how to
do is flare, crab and chirp. You need to study other people, y'know?"
"It's like fighting," teaches Eddie Def. "You
don't just want to learn how to punch. You want to learn how to
punch in the face and fucking throw an elbow in there and then
hit someone with the fucking knee. If you learn your freehand
[scratching without using the faders or line switches] and then
incorporate that with your flares and crabs, then you'll be hella
dope. Freehand scratching will lead to combos. That's like a big
"Don't be afraid to mix either," warns Eddie Def. "All
the great producers mix. You have to learn how to mix sounds right
to make the hip-hop beat."
While the homogenized sound of the current breed of DJs can be
attributed to their lack of hip-hop history, it can also be blamed
on the current influx of generic breakbeat records.
"I would agree that 'ah' and 'fresh' are probably the worldwide
best sounds to use in practice but not really if you're going
to make a scratch song," says Eddie Def. "That's kind
of lame. Even break records are getting lame. They're so watered
down. You have this guy using my record and this other record
and he'll make his own record off of two other break records when
the whole idea of the purpose is to dig for DJ sounds individually
and come up with this song, this sound, this stab and your own
"There's like at least 10 records on the market that's been
done with Hamster Breaks, and like maybe Booger Breaks and Battle
Breaks. It's like Kool-Aid with Kool-Aid. Why start doing that
to the new art form that was created by DJs? It's getting real
Even DJ battles, where turntablists are most likely to be in
their element, have not been able to escape the growing pains
of the DJ as an artist. After Cash Money popularized the battle
scene by winning virtually every competition in America, a lot
of hip-hop DJs wanted to be like him. Now at DJ battles, all you
see are turntablists cutting and scratching. What was once fresh
and new has ultimately become mundane and boring. It is also ironic
that DMC, one of the most popular battles on the circuit, is an
acronym for Disco Mixing Club.
"If you mix now, you get booed at," laments Eddie Def.
"But you can't put a straight turntablist to rock a four-hour
party because all he'll do is scratch and he'll just make a fool
out of himself. And those guys who are called turntablists act
like there's no skills in mixing. They say it's all easy and this
and that but they really can't do it deep down inside because
they're siting there 24-7 trying to be like the other guy because
it's cool to be a turntablist DJ. I guess it's not cool now to
be able to rock a party and make bitches shake their ass. Back
in the day, that was the shit. Everybody would want to go to parties:
'It's going to be going on the girls, the music, the bass!'"
"Now you got 10 dudes and everybody else is sitting down
drinking beer getting blasted. Then you have those 10 dudes that
are into turntablism going, 'Yeah, uh
.' That scene is so
played out, man. I think turntablism has made lots of DJ art forms
DJ Eddie Def may be from the old school but he doesn't live in
the past. He's moved on and his music has evolved with him. Whether
working solo or with his crew, the Bullet Proof Space Travelers,
Eddie Def continues to break off joint after joint. Besides the
now classic Hemp Lord series, you can find his demented sound
offerings on the Deep Concentration and Hip Hop Slam Pirate Fuckin'
Radio compilations. If you want to step to the next level, check
out the sonic gumbo that is El Stew which features the collaborative
efforts of DJ Disk, Extrakd, Brain, Buckethead and Eddie Def himself
personally cooking up beats, keyboards, vocoder, and movie skits
to serve your aural senses.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: If you slept on Eddie Def's
earlier recordings with the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters, the
Space Travelers, or any of the groundbreaking Hamster Breaks,
then you'd best wake the fuck up and ask somebody.)
Perhaps the most eardrum devastating composition yet by the Last
Kreep is DMT (Drum Machine Technicians), a five-part CD series
trading off between Eddie Def and fellow Space Traveler, DJ Cue.
Jokingly described as "crazy music for drug addicts,"
Eddie Def readily admits that some people don't like the music:
"It gives them headaches. I was cracking up."
Though both Eddie Def and DJ Cue anticipated the hallucinogenic
effects of DMT's twisted sound signatures and crazy timing, both
were unaware of how just on point their drug references truly
"DMT [Dimethyl Tryptamine] is actually a drug that you smoke
and you have like a dismemberment out of body experience,"
explains Eddie Def. "This scientist, he smoked some, and
he says he felt like his legs started walking away from his stomach
and his chest and his arms. His hands and his stomach theystayed
on the chairand his legs started walking around and his
soul was looking at both of his body parts. Everywhere he looked,
everything looked like glue or plastic. And he was hearing music
and he could see the music. Ironically, it fit in with the music.
That was dope."
Eddie Def has been in the game for some time now and he's gained
much-deserved props. Success, however, has a way of spoiling things
and hip-hop is no exception. Nevertheless, whereas some turntablists
have taken the greedy commercial route, Eddie Def and the rest
of his crew have managed to stay true to the art and more importantly,
true to themselves.
"Oh yeah, we're definitely just like poor or something,"
says Eddie Def. "Everybody's cashing in and shit but we kind
of really do it more for ourselves and in general hip-hop. Like
we look at shit, like try to be different. We don't want to sound
like that guy; we don't want to do that scratch too much 'cause
it's so trendy right now. We don't want to battle 'cause battling
is so silly right now, y'know what I mean? I think battling would
be dope if it was like back in the days in the park when you didn't
have to pay for a battle."
In our consumer society though, people are willing to pay, and
if Skratchcon2000 was any indication, with its $100-$300
seats, people are willing to pay a lot.
"I look at that event like it really didn't need to happen,"
says Eddie Def. "That was like a bunch of Internet dudes
from Alaska or something and they get no hip-hop or scratching
up there at all and they just need a fix. They need to see it
in their face or they're not motivated or something, y'know? But
I also looked at that like a big cash in: 'Let's make some money
off these little punks.' Something like that."
Eddie Def's disdain for the event led him to rename it "SkratchCon-artist,"
and he made no attempts to hide his views. So much in fact, that
he and his crew sparked a heated debate on the Piklz's message
board for their behavior.
"I think they're crying because that event really meant
the world to them," says Eddie Def. "You've got to realize
that our crew is really thuggish. I'm not saying we're like Wu-Tang
or nothing but we all like smoke crazy weed and drink fucking
a lot of alcohol. Of course, we went to that event and fucking
partied out. We're just loud motherfuckers. Ever since I was a
kid, I got kicked out of schools. That shit is already in me.
I'm not going to change because of some Skratchcon event. It wasn't
on purpose that's just the way we are. It was all in fun."
The mainstream is always fucking around with fashions and fads.
Whether or not turntablism completely crosses over as a legitimate
art form remains to be seen. While others wait and watch, Eddie
Def the Last Kreep will be there to represent hip-hop.
This interview took place on July 17, 2000
over the phone and under the influence of the old school.