Lab Rat .:Feb 05 09:.


This is my record collection. I've been buying records since '98, and my collection pretty much takes up 95% of that 5x5 cube shelf thing from IKEA. About 5 crates of these are a collection of funk and soul passed down to me from my parents, aunts, and uncles. The rest is a lot of underground hip-hop from 98' to the present; a small collection of classic hip-hop; and a few crates of jazz, funk re-edits, uptempo, midtempo, downtempo, electronica, nu-jazz, etc. And given the diversity of my collection, I'm mainly known as a scratch DJ.  And I only own like 4 scratch records...1 of which I "borrowed" from DJ Argonaut in 2000 (thanks Jay...I gained much skill from that record).  I remember when he used to always tell me to "return your rentals".

These turntables get scratched on at least once a day. For a long time scratching has been very therapeutic for me. Listening to your technique, and mastering it is like learning a new language. The brain waves coming from my mind, translate to sounds, and if recorded, translate visually on screen in the form of a WAV. It has fascinated me for years. When my mind is cluttered, scratching has always been my way of "venting", and focusing my thoughts, and energy. I would share that fun fact with kids sometimes when talking about hip-hop, and they'd look at me all crazy.

Musically with my style, I take a lot cues from jazz, old-school/foundation scratch techniques, and I'll funk it up as best I can if the beat calls for it. There IS a foundation and there IS a vocabulary for matter how much you want to say "I don't really follow all that, I just do my thing". Well the elements of "your thing" was probably created by somebody else. If you recognize that, and build on it, then you will ultimately create your own style. "Style" is a combination of technique and personality. Style is a reflection of your influences since the day you were born. This is how I understand's all about style and technique.

I haven't been mixing, or listening to my records as much as I would like too ever since I've been pursuing graphic design as a career. But last night while working, I was listening to my records, and realized how much I've lost touch with them. It was refreshing to hear some of the stuff I got. I need to remember a big chunk of my style came from incubating myself in this room (as much as it has traveled). I am looking forward to what 2009 has to offer. I will definitely be making more music. Now is the time for me to build with new cats, expose myself to new things, and stay inspired.

- DJ Jo_iLL


John Legend Show .:Feb 05 09:.

So I had a chance to see John Legend at RIMAC Arena at UCSD a few weeks back.  It was the second time I saw him live.  I usually have this rule about not seeing an act twice but I had a friend who had a couple of extra tickets and how can you say no to seeing John Legend.  The first time I saw him was a couple of years ago behind the San Diego Convention Center.  It was outdoors and Corrine Bailey Rae opened for him.  It was dope... we were maybe four rows from the stage.  Norv Turner had just been hired as the Chargers head coach and he was at the show one row away from our seats.  I actually have some old pictures I took on my phone.  John Legend came down into the crowd and he was literally right in front of me.

This time our seats weren't as close but John Legend was just as good.  Estelle opened up for him this time.  I had no idea she was the chick that sang that "American Boy" song.  She even said during the show that she was sick of the song but she had to sing it.  She was actually really good.  I ended up picking up her vinyl online after the show.  I didn't know that John Legend actually executive produced her album.  She was really entertaing and sang this "eff you" song.  It was madd funny.  John Legend was dope as usual.  He played on his grand piano, sang with passion and charisma and  had some pretty cool display monitors and lights behind him that had some pretty psychadelic images and lights.  The arena was packed.  If you ever have a chance to see John Legend, Corrine Bailey Rae or Estelle do it.

- DJ Argonaut


Romali on the cut at Jo_iLL's .:Feb 02 09:.

Romali and I spent the whole weekend together.  He comes through to Fremont to get away from his dorm mates, hang out, scratch, and eat all the food that I cook.  We tried recording a podcast but, he kept picking the records I already played, and it's hard for him to stick to the "U Ain't Hip-Hop", we ended up just recording this vid. Romali can be a beast on the cut.


MC Hollow - How You Livin' (HD) .:Feb 01 09:.

Supa Koopa makin' a video cameo.  K.L.U.T.C.H. on the beat. 


"Scrabled Ekgs" by Romali .:Jan 26 09:.

"Scrabled Ekgs" by Romali - (Digital Painting)


EM DEE .:Jan 21 09:.