in The Source Weekly
Volume 8. Issue 30. July 23rd, 2004
fact that he'd been up most of the night spinning at the Domino
Room and said he was tired, DJ Wicked ordered not coffee but
vitamin-filled orange juice at the Westside Bakery Saturday
morning. He looks the part of a hip hop DJ. That morning he
was wearing a DC baseball hat and t-shirt with Portland across
the front, both black.
in person, you're immediately struck by the disparity between
the friendly, kind of quiet, almost shy guy in front of you
and the image.
easily Oregon's top hip hop DJ," said Chris Lohrey, a
co-owner at the Grove where DJ Wicked spins one Thursday a
month. "He's incredibly creative. His mix tapes are always
full of really cool, weird stuff. But yeah, if you look at
his recorded stuff, he comes across as super-hyped, with that
image of a party animal."
DJ Wicked doesn't even drink. Growing up in northeast Portland,
he started spinning in 1992. Two years later he moved to San
Francisco, at the time when spinning, or turntablism, was just
taking off. Two years later he made his way back to Portland
and now opens for almost every major hip hop show that comes
to Oregon, including Eminem a few years back.
at least on an early morning after a late night, he's subdued.
But he's got a playful sense of humor that comes out after
he gets to know you a little and in his music. Six months ago,
he quit his day job to DJ full-time and just released a new
CD, Got Milf?, a play on the "Got Milk" commercials,
milk mustache picture and everything.
where'd the name come from?
it's an old graffiti name I used to use. It kind of stuck with
me when I started DJ'ing.
me about Got Milf? It's kind of different from what you usually
went out there with that one. It's got all these songs from
the 80s and 90s. It's the first time I did a project where
I strayed away from hip hop. The way I put it together is the
way DJ's put hip hop music together, with the scratching, but
it's not hip hop.
you like coming to Bend and spinning at the Grove?
I love the
Grove. It's probably one of my favorite places to play. In
Portland it's hard to.I don't know if it's because people are
too cool or what but it's hard to get people to dance. But
in Bend the crowd is super into it and they're really responsive.
I look forward to it every month.
was it like growing up in Portland?
To me it
feels like a small town. I feel like it's still behind as far
as the music scene goes. [In San Francisco] I met a lot of
people that really inspired me. After being down there for
a couple of years, I came back to Portland and that's when
I really starting pushing, started gigging out a lot.
kept you in it, passionate about it?
music itself, it's so much a part of my everyday life. The
whole thing, especially with turntablism, being able to create
music as opposed to just play stuff other people have done.
do you mean by turntablism?
the hardest thing to explain to people. It's just manipulating
records to create new sounds. Like on Got Milf?, there's a
hidden track at the end that's entirely turntablism. It's its
own music, using records to create a song.
have people reacted to Got Milf? It's kind of playful and
caught a lot of flack for it.
point he grinned and looked away)
Um, I'd really
rather not say. The CD is so silly. I just wanted to have a
good time with it. All those songs are old enough that people
in their 30s would know them. The whole thing is all good fun.
in your CD player right now?
DJ D Styles.
He's really dark and technical, a scratch DJ.
you have anyone you really admire, any idols?
A few. Mr.
Dibbs, MixMaster Mike. Who else.there's so many people. D Styles,
that a game from like the 80s?
Yeah I think
so, he was like a little Rubix cube or something.
do you do for fun?
I shop for
records. That's a fun outing for me, I could spend all day
in a record store.
do you hang out?
I work in
the bars so much I try to stay out of them when I'm not.
you have any crazy stories, like nights when something's
just gone totally wrong?
Oh man, so many nights. One night this girl came up and flipped
my whole table over. That was pretty disastrous.
pretty successful at this point in an industry where there's
a lot of competition. Did you ever get a big break?
No. I'm still
waiting for it.