1. What motivated you to become a rapper?
That goes all the way back to ’97-’98 era…way back in high school lol. I had a huge crush on this one chick, she was on top of everything, was well known…she was the one that truely motivated me. That’s when there was racial tensions between whites and Yemeni’s. Me being brown-skinned I got caught up in the mix…the whites were on that shit, felt like the 60’s all over again. Even one of my own teachers was prejudiced against ME, how fucked up is that? True story. The chick that I liked (who was white), she was actually cool with me. Even though she was hella popular and was on the honor’s list, she never came across as arrogant to me. But what really fucked me up was, I noticed whites only hung out with whites! I faced a lot of negativities then…didn’t feel welcome in that school. That ALSO motivated me…I turned to hip hop to voice my opinions and be heard. This is why I’m about this black & brown unity, I’m kinda trying to do it like how Big Pun did when he came up. And also I wanted to prove to the world that just because you’re a minority doesn’t make you lesser of a person. At the end of the day, we’re all equal under God’s eyes. Now back to that chick, we never hooked up, but she knew I liked her……she was already serious with somebody else and I ain’t wanna come between that. So everything I said above, all that right there motivated me…big time.
And of course, that’s when I got into DJ’ing at WHFR 89.3 FM….met up with Skully, who was a guest there………he introduced me to the game, showed me around his basement studio and showed me a few ropes.. I met Madd Flexx, K.O.S. and La Peace then, I used to chill and watch them freestyle in amazement. Them boys was out cold! It was like a whole different world to me. That’s what I liked. Soon enough, Skully helped me record “I’m A Hardhead” –my very first demo tape. And the fact that Eminem/Kid Rock blew up and put Detroit on the map, that right there also motivated me.
2. One of your songs is entitled “Deadly Connects”…can you tell us a little bit about the place you grew up in?
Wow, that song was recorded back in ’03…I’m surprised you still remember that joint lol. I grew up around Detroit my whole life. Moved around a lot, school to school. At one point I lived in Cass Corridor, and at another point I lived in Southwest Detroit. Let me tell you this, Detroit was real fucked up. The Corridor was infested with bums, crack fiends, and prostitutes. I remember seeing this dude beat the hell out of his girl in broad daylight…they were both junkies…now this is when I was 10. I seen a lot of fucked up shit at that age. Violence was out of control. Smashed up bottles everywhere. Southwest Detroit had a lot of gangs. Crime rate was terrible. Every night somebody’s house was on fire. By age 13, my ma ain’t wanna see me go downhill, so that’s when she moved me out to Dearborn. Come to find out, problems were there too lol. But, if it wasn’t for what I experienced, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.
3. Define your musical style within a few words…
Ummm…….idk……I got a lot of east coast influence….and a lot of Pac influence………I don’t know, it’s like a mixture of everything in one. You’d have to listen to the CD to hear for ya self. But no matter what, I stay hungry on every track possible.
4. What is the biggest challenge you had to face as an emcee?
My biggest challenge………was being on my own. People turned their backs on me, threw dirt on my name…..came across a lot of red flags…seen more down’s than up’s….even ended up broke over this rap shit. But, I survived it all…and that’s what defines DJ Rick.
5. A few words about the Detroit hip hop scene…
Detroit Hip Hop consists of hundreds of emcees, producers, you name it. They say Detroit don’t support their artists, but I disagree. If they sayin’ that, that means they haven’t put in that work. Detroit Hip Hop is alive as alive can be….every emcee has his own niche. The battle scene got played out though. It was doin more bad than good for Detroit Hip Hop. Beef on wax lead to rappers bein killed. I think these days, most artists have been stayin focused with their own shit, which is thee best way to do it. It don’t seem as competitive as it used to be.
6. You know Obie Trice personally. Have you ever thought about a collaboration with him?
I’ma be honest with you on this one. I only met Obie one time in Royal Oak, when I was with this one girl. I did ask him about doin a collabo, but his manager said it was gonna cost me thousands, so I chilled out on that. Dude was humble though. I passed him a CD copy of my old mixtape, which featured Cuban Link. I’m still about doin’ a collaboration with Obie, if the opportunity comes.
7. Who is your biggest musical influence?
My line-up (in no particular order) goes like this:
2 Pac, Eminem, Nas, Jay-Z, Big Pun, Big L, Biggie Smalls….and the list goes on………..
8. According to you, what are your main assets as an emcee and what makes your style unique on the scene?
Main assets……if you talkin about shows, sales……….
I got a good buzz out here…I sold over 2,000 units….did a bunch of shows….relased quite a few projects…and even made the Channel 2 News…they had this Fox Rocks Contest which I entered, and they put my face all over on t.v……that right there was unbelievable.
9. Which artists have you collaborated with already?
First and foremost my Hardheadz crew…Skully & Madd Flexx. Been down with them since day one.
the Almighty Bartek…who now writes for Real Detroit weekly.
I worked with DJ Butter & Wesley Valentine,
My nigga Crusafix from New Jersey,
Cuban Link, Hookdignious, Eloy from Fi*Staarz, local rocker Mr. Yummy, Mey Vidal from Miami,
Cormega & Dona Montana, Minus P from New Jersey, Vizion X1 from Cali,
Tre-LLei, Courtier Giovanni, J-Raided, G-Money,
and the list goes on…….
10. Which artist(s)-mainstream or underground- you haven’t collaborated with yet would you envision a collaboration with?
I’m down to work with anybody but off the bat:
Mainstream: Jay-Z, Nas, Chino XL, B-Real, Twista, Nore on a hook would be banana’s, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang, Kurupt, Xzibit, Bizzy Bone, T.I…..maybe do a fuck song with Trina lol.
Local (Mainstream & Underground): Royce Da 5-9, Eminem, Esham, Trick Trick, Guilty Simpson, K-Doe, Stretch Money, Lazarus, One Be Lo, Herk, Al Nuke, members of D12, ICP & Cha-Cha.
Underground: Immortal Technique, Saigon, Papoose, Q-Unique, members of Terror Squad, Triple Seis, Termanology, Archrival from New Jersey, Debut from NYC, Copywrite, and thats all I can think of.
11. Tell us about your new CD, Brand New Season 07…
“Brand New Season ’07” is my latest mixtape, it consists of 20 tracks plus 5 bonus joints. This mixtape is the best of DJ Rick up to date. Everybody needs to e-mail me at email@example.com for an advance copy. It’s well worth the $7. “Brand New Season,” “Can’t Be Stopped (Sequel),” “Hate Me All U Want,” & “Dark Dayz” have been people’s favorite tracks out the mixtape. “Ain’t Nobody” is an honorable mention.
12. It is cool and useful to have friends in the music industry. Haters, though, can be a stronger factor of motivation (that’s what I learnt from my own experience)…can you tell us a little bit about the Hate Me All You Want song?
Hate Me All U Want was me lettin out the shit that was bottled in my system. I had this pissed-off feel to me (due to past letdowns), and I felt like I had to shake it off somehow, and that’s how “Hate Me All U Want” was made.
13. Besides hip hop, what other musical genres do you listen to?
I fucks with Reggae, Rock, R&B, Oldies, Funk, a little bit of everything lol.
14. What inspires you most to write your music?
Real life experience…where I been, where I’m at, and where I’m tryin to get at. New album coming soon plus another possible mixtape. I make beats too.
DJ Rick – Brand New Season (radio)
DJ Rick- Hate Me All U Want
www.myspace.com/djrick2006 – DJ Rick Myspace Page
www.soundclick.com/DJRick313 – DJ Rick Production Page
www.dj-rick.com – Official DJ Rick Site
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved
1. What motivated you to become a rapper?