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Tag Archives: Chris Karns

Hip-Hop’s Backbone: Colorado DJs

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Every head has heard someone say that DJs are the backbone of hip-hop, but here in Denver it seems especially true, as our DJs are the cream of the crop, and take their role in the game seriously. They work as party starters, record breakers, sturdy foundations and overall supporters of the music in every way. Just last month the Denver DMC Regional Battle took place here in Denver at Casselman’s at the tail end of a pretty nasty blizzard. Though no Colorado DJ placed in the event, the DJs that entered showed up and did some really creative routines. The judges for the event were DJ Deus, Fast4Ward and Rob Swift (X-Ecutioners), and they had their work cut out for them, because the audience was vibing with a good majority of the contestants. The battle ended with DJ Dividend Cut (NC) in 3rd, DJ Ohm (NM) placing 2nd and DJ Chuck Flava (CA) taking it all. Trailing closely were Colorado’s own ...

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Cysko Rokwel

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DJ Cysko Rokwel (1/3 of Prime Element) and member of the Crunk Bros, may be most people’s favorite Colorado battle DJ, with good reason. No stranger to the DMCs he will go on to compete this year out of state to qualify for the championships. Cysko has always been one to rock a crowd of any size, and always has them wondering “who is this guy?” When and how did you get your start? In ’97 I used to kick it with DeeJay Tense and his older brother Dusto. They had a set up and we used to paint and party together. So I started collecting records and was already a fan of DJ battle videos. We used to have scratch sessions, trying to mimic what we seen on the battle vids and heard on mixtapes. Started battling in ’99 (got spanked by Chonz, Vajra & 120), and got my own set up in 2001. First a mixer, then one ...

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DJ Ear Attent

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DJ Ear Attent may have every man’s dream job, but though he is chained to a specific musical demographic while at “the office,” his passions lay with true turntablism. Ear Attent is not shy about his lack of compassion about what you want to listen to, but instead he will figure it out. When and how did you get your start DJing? I started to DJ when I was around 15, I think. I had some older friends that were into DJing. Occasionally they would let me try. I believe what really inspired me to try to pursue it myself was hearing a DJ Rectangle tape. He was playing a Mobb Deep instrumental with a Biggie a capella I think. My mind was blown. How’d you pick your name? I don’t really remember why I picked the name “Ear Attent.” I wanted to have a name that didn’t sound like anyone else and I wanted it to be clever. At ...

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Kid Hum

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Kid Hum got his start with Basementaism in 2004 and has been on the come-up ever since. He’s known around the city for his trap-heavy DJ sets and his consistent work as a producer. He’s an integral member of the Welcome to the D.O.P.E. Game crew and is the man you want to call if you really need to rock the shit out of a party. When and how did you get your start DJing? I got my start DJing in about 2003. I got started because I was listening to Basementalism while I worked in a kitchen, and I would record the Basementalism show on tape, and I would study it. And these guys like Inka One and DJ Thought, they’re mixing records, they’re blending records, they’re blending two songs together n’ shit. And I was like, I understand that and I wanna do that. So I was basically just trying to get on Basementalism, and it took me about a year. How’d you ...

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DJ Stretch

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DJ Stretch is aptly named both as a B-Boy and DJ because his height and reach  is reminiscent of Stretch Armstrong. Though Stretch started out as just a B-Boy, he furthered his love for the music by becoming a beat purveyor himself. The connection between the DJ and dancer is so strong that playing both sides of the stage would seemingly give a DJ an advantage, as he would know exactly what the breakers would want to hear. His aptitude was proven at the Denver DMC Regional Battle, even though he didn’t place as high as some would have liked to see. When and how did you get your start? 2000. Inspired from being a B-Boy. How’d you pick your name? Given name as a B-Boy. First Set-up Numark “DJ in a Box” Current Set-up Technics and Rane 62 Best digging find So many. Influences Q-Bert, X-ecutioners and Chris Karns. Classic must have record Super Seal (Skratchy Seal aka Q-Bert) Vinyl ...

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DJ Dozen

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DJ Dozen is Welcome to the D.O.P.E. Game’s go-to DJ, the driving force behind a movement that is gaining unheard-of momentum. His mixtape history is deep and varied, often bringing local crews in the area together for unexpected collaborations. When and how did you get your start DJing? I started when I was 15, that’s 2003, My older cousins used to do music and had recently stopped, I saw some turntables sitting in a closet and jokingly asked for them, the next day they stopped by my house with 3 crates, 2 Gemini turntables, a mixer, a keyboard and a Dr. Sample sp 303. How’d you pick your name? I used to play a lot of sports, usually I had the number 12 on whatever team, as I got older 12 just became a significant number in my life. I moved out to Denver at age 12, born in the 12th month added, August (no joke) the top the clock ...

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Almighty I.Z.

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The Almighty I.Z. enjoys what he does, but not because he considers it art, instead he enjoys the party. Iz’s positive vibe is prevalent when he’s behind the decks and really, there’s no choice but to succumb to the mandatory good time. When and how did you get your start DJing? Started DJing in ’95. I heard a mixtape with scratching on it and wanted to build one myself.  At the time a couple of my skater friends had just gotten into DJing a few months before.  They helped me with a basic list of equipment and I was off running. Started doing house parties and mixtapes in high school. Fell in love. How’d you pick your name? I’ve never told this actual story because it seems quite immature but I was smoking herb often early in college and came up with the name Izum. I emcee as well and early on changed my name to a lyric I had written hence Almighty I.Z., but friends ...

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DJ Bella Scratch

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DJ Bella Scratch has been flexing her skills for over a decade and she continues to grow. Though she transitioned from MC to a DJ primarily, she skill lends her lyrical abilities as Inspectah Deck in Lady Wu-Tang. Besides playing many gigs around town, she also took the reigns from P.A.A.S. accompanying DJ SD as a radio personality/DJ on Mahogany Soul Child Radio. When and how did you get your start DJing? I began DJin’ around 2000, I originally got into it after hearing a radio commercial from a club that was looking for a female DJ. I was an emcee back then and I thought it would give me a chance to network with people in the industry. How’d you pick your name? Originally I went by my chosen emcee name, at the time it was Bella Donna “The Deadly Nightshade.” I had stopped focusing on being an emcee and started practicing on my tables more, mixing, beat juggling, scratching… ...

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Chris Karns

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Chris Karns, formerly known as DJ Vajra is Denver’s claim to fame in the DJ universe. After becoming the DMC World Champion in 2011 he went on to tour nationally and internationally as Yelawolf’s DJ. Chris Karns is serious when it comes to his craft and he’s not yet satisfied with the accomplishments and accolades he’s received and continues to learn and improve. When and how did you get your start DJing? I got introduced to DJing around ’88, when YO! MTV Raps came on the air. I didn’t get serious about it until 1996. How’d you pick your name? Chris Karns – my parents gave it to me. What was your first set-up? I bought a $20 belt drive Technics turntable from my sister’s Quizno’s co-worker (DJ Pepper) and an MTX Battle Board II mixer. I found another belt drive Technics in a garbage pile. It was broken, so I made a belt out of electrical tape for it. ...

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DJ B*Money

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DJ B*Money has so much style it hurts. Whether he’s rocking a custom painted jean jacket or just cordially taking requests from his patrons, B-Money does it a little different than his peers. From behind the tables you can tell that B*Money’s conscious confidence isn’t faltered with an ego, as he wears an approachable grin at all times. After his recent appearance in the Denver DMC Regional battle (with disappointing results), it seems that B*Money’s name, and technique will be seen a lot more. When and how did you get your start DJing? I started DJing in 1998. And basically there used to be this store Kontents that sold records, and DMC vids and graff supplies and I would go in there because I was into the other stuff they had, but every time I was there they would have the dopest mixtapes playing. That was where I was first able to hear DJs doing real scratching and mixing and playing stuff that wasn’t ...

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