K-Salaam of K-Salaam & Beatnick was featured on #BodegaRadio on PNCRadio.fm this past Friday and discussed the current state of DJs in Hip-Hop. “The real DJs, we keep it alive because we love the culture,” says K-Salaam. “We make our living from producing. I don’t make a living from DJing, really. You have to look a certain way. It’s not even a situation where I’m complaining about it because it is what it is. The culture’s always going to be there but the DJs are out there reppin’. Most of them are garbage.”
In recent years, many emcees, celebrities, reality show stars have leveraged their fame into high profile DJing gigs, replacing veteran deejays. “I spent hours and hours scratching until my arms got tired and there’s a new person and they look a certain way, male or female -- the pretty boy white kid or the good looking exotic girl -- and boom, all of a sudden they’re doing shit,” he says. “But I’m like, ‘OK, if that’s the DJ game, I’m still going to rep turntablism in my sets...’ What’s that say about our culture when the art of DJing has turned into water, like nothing?”
K-Salaam & Beatnick have made a conscious effort to reach out to and collaborate with international artists. They are currently working on an upcoming project with Emiciba of Brazil. “We’re working with a huge reggae artist from Amsterdam named Ziggy,” says K-Salaam. He’s the number one reggae artist in Europe. We’re trying to take it on a world wide level.”
While the production duo is reaching across oceans, they still have projects in the works with a number of US artists. “Obviously we’re not going to discriminate against America. We’re working with a lot of people. We're working with Freddie Gibbs. He just dropped a video, “Rock Bottom,” a track that we produced. You’re going to hear some more Freddie Gibbs, K-Salaam & Beatnick collabos. Big KRIT, we have a record with him coming out, it’s on the low. We’re just waiting for the right time to put it out. It features another major rapper on it, from the South. A legend. I won’t say who it is.”
K-Salaam also touched on the failed collaboration with Homeboy Sandman. “I don’t want to speak on negative things about anybody at all, but I don’t want to be a politician either,” says Salaam.
“It was a negative situation. We’re not working with him anymore. I wish him the best and we’re pretty much over it. It was a tough situation because we put so much time into it as producers. Like 6 to 8 months of hard work and he can spit his raps over somebody else’s beats and we can give our beats to other rappers, but the time spent mixing and mastering and putting scratches and all of a sudden it’s, ‘Oh, I don’t want to work with you no more,’ it’s a tough situation. At this point, we’ve moved on and like I said, me and Beatnick got a lot of stuff coming out.”
K-Salaam will spin at Southpaw on Tuesday, April 25th with Big KRIT, Freddie Gibbs, Smoke DZA and Jah C & The Antidote.
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW ON #BODEGARADIO
Follow K-Salaam on Twitter @KSalaamBeatnick
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