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DJ Rhettmatic: The HipHopGods Interview

DJ Rhettmatic: The HipHopGods Interview

In April 2017, The World Famous Beat Junkies officially opened the doors to the Beat Junkie Institute of Sound in Los Angeles. Housed in a 2,500 square foot building in the Glendale area, the DJ school is helmed by various members of the veteran turntablists crew, including Mr. Choc, D-Styles, DJ Rhettmatic, Shortkut, J. Rocc and DJ Babu. From beginner classes to intermediate level and beyond, the Institute of Sound provides kids of all ages a chance to learn from some of the best DJs in the world. Although it’s not normally DJ code to reveal the trade secrets of the craft, the Beat Junkies ultimately decided that teaching the next generation transcended any of that. While visiting the school, HHG had a chance to catch up with DJ Rhettmatic to discuss the Beat Junkies’ latest endeavor. Visit www.beatjunkiesound.com for more information. 

HHG (Kyle Eustice): What made you decide to open the Beat Junkie Institute of Sound? 

DJ Rhettmatic: We were thinking of our next business move. The idea of teaching came up and we weren’t ready for it. Choc was still, at the time, teaching at Scratch Academy in L.A., where  he was the director for the branch. Eventually, fast-forward like a year later, D-Styles brought it up back up. By that time, it was like maybe that should be the thing to do. At the time, a lot of us were still busy doing solo stuff or whatever. Around 2015, we were wondering what we were going to do. 

Why weren’t you ready at first? 

We come from a generation where you don’t really share your techniques or your secrets unless you’re in the same crew. 

Like the sure shot era. I know Afrika Bambaataa had records he wouldn’t show to anyone. 

Exactly. We were from that type of mentality where we don’t share nothing unless you’re crew. When D brought it up, it seemed more feasible. Our company was starting to grow so we knew we had to keep it going. So the school idea came up and we thought it might work. Once we finally found the spot, it was on. Eventually, we had to start working on a curriculum. 

Do you have kids? 

Babu’s older son and Shortkut’s daughter are my godchildren. Melo, Babu, D-Styles, Mr. Choc, and Shortkut all have kids.

It’s important to pass things down. 

It didn’t really hit us until we got the spot and realized we needed to get a curriculum together. Choc was the most experience out of all of us. He had been teaching for at least 10 years. As time went on, we realized, ‘Ok this might be a way to give back to our community.’

When did you officially open? 

We opened April 15, 2017. There’s other DJ schools like Rob Swift of the X-ecutioners who teaches at Scratch Academy in New York City. Choc was working with him before. He’s great. He’s definitely one of the instructors that’s just dope. 

He’s very passionate about it. 

In some ways, what’s different from other DJ schools, not to sound…whatever, but you have the Junkies actually teaching. 

Right, you have some of the best DJs at the helm of the school. 

This is our way to give back to the community. Hip Hop and DJing are like martial arts. They don’t show you the old techniques, but we matured. 

I think that just comes with age.

Half of us have families or whatnot, and me and Shortkut are called the godfathers because of Babu’s son, Niko Beats.
 

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