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DJ KRUSH

DJ KRUSH

October 23, 2017

The beacon for battle once flying high into the sky by the roadside of street paradise (cars not allowed to enter, often with live street performances shown) in Harajuku with its smoke entangled many an artist to become the symbol of HIP HOP shining at the center of the globe. His rebellious spirit at the bottom of his heart, though much of time has passed since then, remains unchanged, with his passion for sound still growing. To shed light on his path and processes to become the sound creator and performer named DJ KRUSH for sure would be the superb gift for those who will enjoy and live with their sound.

My lack of money led to such ideas. It was and is fun; you have to fully utilize your imagination, beyond your school desks! Same thing for HIP HOP: I can’t afford a rhythm machine; then I’ll have to use my MIC at home to make the best expression I can make.

When I was a kid, four of my family members were living in a single, small room (less than 10 ㎡) of an apartment even with its rest room shared by residents. My dad stuffed a gigantic furniture-style stereo with SQ type of TRIO4 channel into such a small room to let me listen to something like the sound of firework. “You, go sit in the middle of this room! How is it!? Reverberating right above your head already, right!?” Like that (my goodness). Some of the time, he listened to JB, SANTANA, or Miles. He loved music indeed.

At the time, my family was too poor to even buy plastic models for me, while I had a classmate of mine whose family was affluent enough to be able to afford ones for him. I collected various remnants (garbage) such as plastic frames and parts out of finished ships and cars he made from him to connect those irrelevant parts to create a robot by myself. That’s what I did. In hindsight, that has been similar to HIP HOP after all in that I am to collect pieces of sound from various sources through sampling to build a piece of work.

When I was a 5th grader, I joined a drum and fife corps to be in charge of drum in a rock band later when I grew up a little more. We gathered at a friend’s house to practice after closing the sliding shutters tight. While we had small amplifiers for our bass and strings, we couldn’t procure drum, right? Then the friend of mine, a kid of a rich family, went over to the kitchen to fetch Western cookies I had never seen before for us all to eat up first and juxtapose the lids of empty cans to make drum by ourselves (great, huh?), and played something like “Smoke on the Water” on it. My lack of money led to such ideas. It was and is fun; you have to fully utilize your imagination, beyond your school desks! Same thing for HIP HOP: I can’t afford a rhythm machine; then I’ll have to use my MIC at home to make the best expression I can make.

I remember that delinquent-like bros living next-door were listening to black music on a standard 45-rpm record, an impact that rendered me speechless. Which made me interested in black music for me to start collecting such records, a fit for me. I listened to the old versions of The Commodores, Stevie Wonder, Kool & the Gang and the like, which means I listened to what would be the sources of my HIP HOP, real-time. I still retain Japanese 7-inch versions for them. Why is the groove of snare / hat / kick so different as it is the same 16-beat? So I thought, interested very deeply. Thus, I went over to watch S.O.S Band whenever they came, and old funk-type / black-type bands very often. I frequented MUGEN (name of a venue meaning infinity) indeed. A round booth moved up like a wrecker truck. After bands finished playing, the booth sped down to the center of the stage, with people on it tightly, very cute for me (giggle). Inside of it eerily shined with black light. I was also visually impressed with funk giving out dense sound amid that. That was breathtaking. Now I’m sorry I can’t find such places anymore.

Rather than dine out on the crystal-white table with knives & forks dressed up, I would watch the world through a street and can properly that way. Such street mentality is still important for me.

When I watched Wild Style, it was really, really moving. I felt freedom in Wild Style’s street-wise senses. Gradually got attracted to its “delinquency” to do with what it’d got. Its idea as two of turn tables was amazing, too; you usually don’t want to use two of them, do you!? In that era, they got what they wanted to appeal: a message to fight with a mike instead of doing so with a gun. For graffiti, too, they while using the same spray cans could draw totally different designs. It is their imaginative power for creativity that was infinitely free. We often get lost when we are young while physically strong, often at a loss over which way to take. But when I watched it, I was also obliged to think upon how to live from then on. Despite differing time backgrounds, the movie triggered me to see through what I really wanted to do.

Several years later, I was also able to meet Lee Quiñones to tell him my adoration as, “I started HIP HOP because I had watched your movie.” I was able to work with Futura, too. A shared trait of theirs is that they’d got peculiar personalities they only could strike out. Of course, there were other wonderful artists; they were on the street. They danced on the street, drew on the street, made sound on the street, and said whatever they’d got to say to quarrel for catharsis on the street. I was also playing around on the street, picked up girls on the street, grew up on the street instead of a luxury hotel. Drank in a shabby pub on the street, and witnessed shards and carcasses of roaches on the street. That’s for me. Rather than dine out on the crystal-white table with knives & forks dressed up, I would watch the world through a street and can properly that way. Such street mentality is still important for me. Therefore, Wild Style was too decisive (not to change). Their expressions were not about purchasing things for creation with money but about creating with what they’d got at hand. In retrospect, Wild Style has bestowed this way of life including images and sounds upon me.

It was on street paradise, too, that I performed in front of audience for the first time and I met MURO in Harajuku, too. It was the era for “bamboo-shoot group (a band of people who sang and danced with gaudy attires)” including Hiroyuki Okita, break dancers and rock’ n’ rollers in full-bloom. After that, club D and HIP HOP became a fad with DJ contests beginning to be held in many venues. I participated in many to grab award money or goods (spoils, you know). I always got the third prize or up, I’m telling you. People of a group named Galaxy (=Rhymester), Scha Dara Parr and ECD also joined. I grabbed the first prize in my second tournament and started to play in clubs. Then when I made an opening performance for KRS-One or Dream Warriors who came over to Tower Record in Japan, Some producers accosted me as, “Why don’t you come over to Droopy Drawers, a new club under construction in Roppongi, to play KRUSH’s?”. Back then, I played with DJ HONDA, too.

 

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