The San Diego Hip-Hop scene compared to others throughout the state of California has earned a reputation of remaining conspicuously under-the-radar both at a national and even local level, oftentimes being overlooked for larger markets found farther north in L.A. and the Bay Area respectively. However, beyond the sunshine, pristine beaches, Gaslamp District and myriad of tourist attractions both north and south of the border which draw and enamor countless visitors who travel to the city each year a small but dedicated Hip-Hop scene has burgeoned in the region and grown at a tremendous rate over the years. DJ Root of the No Sucker DJs Crew sat down with Step Off! Magazine to discuss the growth of the San Diego local Hip-Hop scene, the San Diego Battle-Bot competition and as well as the current state of the culture in 2017.
Step Off! Magazine: Thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with us. Introduce yourself to our readers and let ’em know what you do.
DJ Root: Thank you for having me. My name is Deandre Harrell aka DJ Root aka Black Jesus, that was my original DJ name. I throw events here in the city, I DJ, I’m basically immersed in the San Diego Hip-Hop scene. I do a little bit of everything, I produce and I’m also one of the guys who put together the Battle-Bot at the Casbah. I’m part of No Sucker DJ’s, Good Vibe SD and San Diego Best DJ’s.
Step Off! Magazine: What was your guys’ inspiration for starting Battle-Bot here in San Diego?
DJ Root: That’s a really good question. We started Battle-Bot to basically help support our San Diego Hip-Hop scene. San Diego isn’t known for the biggest Hip-Hop acts coming out but, we have a lot of dope talent here and we wanted to put that on the forefront for other people to see. So we wanted to support every part of Hip-Hop that we could, so we got the DJ battles, we have the emcee battles, we have the producer battles and the dance battles and it’s just something to help our community and help give these other people a chance to shine. People forget that a big element of this Hip-Hop thing is the battling, you battle, you shake hands afterward and it helps strengthen the community. That’s one of the reasons we started putting it on because like I said we have so much talent here, so we wanted to put that on the map. People now are even coming from L.A. and Las Vegas to come and participate in a San Diego event so it’s really cool.
Step Off! Magazine: So now you actually have people from out of state coming to perform and compete here in San Diego?
DJ Root: Yea! Yea man it’s cool, our biggest thing is supporting our community. As my mentor says “teamwork makes the dream work” and I always say without our community Battle-Bot’s nothing. It’s definitely a community event. 21 and up unfortunately for now but we’re working on an all-ages one for you guys.
Step Off! Magazine: San Diego has a relatively small but dedicated Hip-Hop community as you were saying compared to other regions in California such as L.A. or the Bay Area. Why do you think that is and how has that impacted your experience here in San Diego in regards to the Hip-Hop scene.
DJ Root: That’s a good question. I believe we have a small but awesome community and like our own Hip-Hop sound in different ways. What a lot of people say about San Diego is they call us the “Salty D”. I’m not from San Diego I’m a transplant but a lot of guys are always butting heads and we can’t come together like a lot of the L.A. artists and those in other regions. Everybody’s always going against each other instead of trying to help. But, it’s not all artists in San Diego. Right now there’s a bunch of artists that I know personally working together and all trying to shine. How I feel about it, it hasn’t really affected me because I’m good with everybody for the most part. Everybody in our scene and our real Hip-Hop scene it’s all about community so we’re all helping each other. But, like I said that’s why we started the Battle-Bot because we see places and see people leaving San Diego to go up to L.A. Why do that when we got a perfectly good city and we have these great venues and great talent here? That’s not saying don’t go to these other places but, we also have something to contribute to Hip-Hop. As far as that goes, yeah we’re not as big as those other markets but right now with all of these new venues opening up we’re getting a lot of Hip-Hop shows. The Observatory is holding actual Hip-Hop shows, DJ Quik, The GZA we just had Run the Jewels in town. Before that we had to go to La Jolla for a lot of shows, and lets face it (Chuckles) La Jolla isn’t a Hip-Hop scene, but now everything’s in North Park, downtown San Diego, Chula Vista so hey San Diego may not have the biggest Hip-Hop but we have some of the dopest Hip-Hop artists here in the city.
Step Off! Magazine: You mentioned that you’re a transplant here to the city and you actually grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Tell us about your experiences there growing up in Detroit and how they contrast to those here in San Diego.
DJ Root: Now that’s a very good question! Detroit, it gets a bad rap and that’s understandable. I love Detroit, I’ve been here ten years now so it’s weird to say but I guess I’m almost a ‘San Diegan’ (laughs) I love san Diego though, I actually never want to leave. I’ll visit Detroit, I love you Detroit but I don’t wanna leave. Growing up in Detroit I saw alotta crazy shit! Like I’m hoping Detroit, it’ll be rejuvenated by the people of the city because honestly, we can’t depend on politics to fix the cities. They’re always lying, you see what’s going on with Flint. Our last mayor stole a bunch of money, he’s in jail apparently (Kwame Kilpatrick) but I saw a bunch of stuff. We use to walk to school and see people shooting at each other, fucking homeless people dead, like this is shit I’ve actually seen but at the end of the day, there’s beauty in the grime. Detroit made me who I am, I’ve always loved it! Our Hip-Hop scene is great, we people like Trick Trick, Royce Da 5’9, D12 we even have people like the Chedda Boyz. Which sounds like a ridiculous name and they weren’t the best but I love everybody from Detroit I’ll always give artists their shine. Like Dej Loaf I’m a big fan of hers, it took me a while to get on with Big Sean but our scene there is very cool. People are always putting each other on, it’s very tight-knit. But I love Detroit, nothing like it. I know just said all the bad things I’ve seen but nothing like Detroit man. I got into many fights in the streets of Detroit. I got suspended, was a badass kid there but hey, it made me who I am. But being a transplant when I came here it opened my eyes because in Detroit we have this stigmatism like “oh you listen to Rock music? What’s wrong with you?”. So I didn’t start listening to Rock and exploring different music until I came to San Diego, so I’m thankful for that because I was able to experience different things. But yea that’s Detroit, the 313, murder Michigan, the Mit (laughs).
Step Off! Magazine: You bring up Detroit being a good example of a small but very tight-knit Hip-Hop community, so many names have come out of the region. Eminem, Royce, D12, Big Sean, Slum Village, Black Milk the list goes on. Detroit has certainly earned its place in Hip-Hop. So that’s a community that does work together, now compare that to San Diego. In your opinion what’s missing? Not to put San Diego down but what’s the piece of the formula that’s not clicking?
DJ Root: Man, I don’t know man. Because I see a lot of the elements from Detroit still here and everything. That’s a tough one I actually have to think about this. Because the whole San Diego thing it’s tight-knit, I always go to the Hip-Hop nights and run into the same faces I run into everywhere else throughout the city. I guess in Detroit’s case we just have more people put on albums, shouting out people, talking about other people, people do it out of love there, but I think people here expect something and it’s very weird. Like you said in Detroit it’s all love there, and I’m not saying that love is missing here but here sometimes it seems like some people are like “well if can’t make it I don’t wanna see you make it either” it’s that “crabs in a bucket” mentality. But I’m thankful for the people that we have in our scene because there are people that help promote things and never ask for anything in return they just show up, spend the money to help support because they know it’s helping us build and make a bigger, stronger community. I want this Battle-Bot thing to go worldwide and I want San Diego’s Hip-Hop artists to go worldwide as well. There’s so many dope artists right now like Odessa Kane, Deep Rooted, Ric Scales these are people who think have the caliber to take their music all over the world and rock crowds and rock mics.
Step Off! Magazine: Switching gears a tad bit, tell us about your upbringing. How did you get in the Hip-Hop scene? You’ve been DJing and working on the scene for years now tell us about that how did you get started?
DJ Root: In Detroit growing up I grew up with my Grandmother so she listened to of course oldies but she liked Snoop Dogg and Tupac (laughs). So she would listen to that and then my brother his Father also listened to a lot of Tupac so ending up listening to alotta Tupac growing up but also listening to alotta oldies as well. And then my Uncle also played alotta stuff, he’d play like Too $hort, E-40 so I got into alotta West Coast/Bay Area Hip-Hop and music has always just been there. I remember the first album I actually got for myself was Run-DMC’s Tougher than Leather and I didn’t actually buy it, I punked a kid out of it (laughs). It’s funny because I talk about togetherness but yea I beat up a kid. I don’t remember what he did but he pissed me off. So I beat up this kid and I took his walkman and it had that in there. My Grandfather and my Uncle always told me my Mom’s first album was a Fresh Prince Cassette so I guess like mother like son cause I beat up this kid and took his stuff and I fell in love with Hip-Hop and then that went into me listening to Eminem, I’m ashamed to admit this but I listened to alotta Lil’ Bow Wow growing up in the late 90’s because he was kid rapper like me. everybody in Detroit that is what we did a lot, we all rapped at lunch tables, like we actually were those kids banging on tables all trying to rap and trying to see whoever could throw the best insult or whatever. It sounds like I was growing up when Hip-Hop was starting, but that’s what it was like coming up. There was a time when I took a break from Hip-Hop just because a lot of the stuff was monotonous material where people were just talking about the bitches, the money all that stuff but that’s not Hip-Hop, there’s that big difference. There are Hip-Hop and Rap. Anybody can be a rapper you just gotta rhyme cat and hat, Dr. Seuss was a rapper but if you wanna be an emcee it takes alotta complex thought. So when I was younger I didn’t really get what an emcee was. I remember the album that got me back into Hip-Hop was Lupe Fiasco’s first album. I had drifted off into Heavy-Metal for a little bit in my high school days but the song ‘Kick Push’, I fucking fell in love with the song. I looked at it, he was talking about anime and what he saw in his hood growing up in Chicago so that album was one of those albums that got me back into Hip-Hop and I started listening to people like DJ Premier, Gang Starr, alotta 9th Wonder, Living Legends, both of B.I.G.’s albums. I’ve had to listen to Ready to Die literally hundreds of times now and it never gets old to me, it’s timeless. And it’s crazy this Hip-Hop thing runs deep in my family. My Grandfather’s in the music business, so he was one that me to pay attention to the lyrics and what they were saying so I give him credit for that because lyrics are everything in this Hip-Hop thing. Artistic, he got me paying attention to how beats are structured and other nuances in production, and I’m still learning new things, that’s gonna be forever. But that’s pretty much it, my Grandmother is the one that got me into Hip-Hop.
Step Off! Magazine: So needless to say music runs very deep in your entire family. Now your uncle is DJ Artistic, he’s pretty much been your mentor from the jump. Tell us about Artistic and tell us about the influence he’s had on you as well as how he’s guided you in this industry.
DJ Root: This guy, DJ Artistic one of my favorite DJs! And I know that sounds weird but he’s taught me a lot both him and Cros One. DJ Artistic he put me on to stuff like Bus Driver, he got me onto Atmosphere, he got me onto Abstract Rude so he showed me all this stuff to take away from them; and as far as him being a mentor he’s definitely one of my biggest mentors. He’s shown me so much, he basically taught me how to DJ, taught me how to go out and do these events, he’s one of the most selfless people ever he’s always putting other people on, he wants to see everybody do good. He’ll put you up, he shares stuff, he’s always giving away game for free. He could probably charge and make a bunch of money but that’s just not him, the guy like I said just wants to see everybody improve and get better. He’s the one that says “teamwork makes the dream work” all the time. But yea he’s just put me on so much game. He’s taught me how to set up events, he got me my first drum machine ever and I’ve always had the privilege of hanging around him and just soaking up knowledge to the point where when I first started he had me selling merch for him. I did all the grunt work, just because he’s my uncle I don’t expect to get anything for free. I gotta pay dues just like everyone else, he made me work that ladder like “yo set up that equipment”, “ok be here two hours early for soundcheck”, “ok break down the equipment, ok put it all back”, “Organize the records” (Laughs). But hey at the end of the day it all improved my work ethic, I work hard but I don’t think there’s anybody touching DJ Artistic as far as how hard he is working. I’m trying to get to that level, but he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, if you piss him off you did something bad (laughs). But yeah if you ever get a chance just watch him spin, listen to his podcast, he has so much passion for this Hip-Hop thing and he has so much passion for people just in general. I know I’ve said it like six times already but he wants to see everybody succeed. He’s one of the best mentors that anybody could ask for, he teaches people how to DJ, he has classes, he runs San Diego’s Best DJs, and he’s another person that put together Battle-Bot and that’s actually an extension from an older event he use to have called The Breakthrough, I don’t know too much about that because I wasn’t of age yet when that was going on but Battle-Bot is a relative of that.
Step Off! Magazine: DJ Artistic is also the founder of the No Sucker DJs Crew tell us who the members are that comprise the crew?
DJ Root: Yea, well we the Cap-i-tan DJ Artistic, it’s that motherfucker DJ Tram Life, that tall SOB DJ L, there’s me DJ Root, DJ Legend, there’s DJ Deprave, DJ Migz and DJ Colombo Rock we got like our own Voltron we all come together to form like one. But that’s the crew, I believe I was the last and youngest member to actually stop being a grunt and it’s funny because I believe Tramlife may have been one of the first No Sucker DJs other than Artistic. But that’s us, we’re all over the city DJing. L has the Bluefoot Rewind parties that he does at a midweek boogie, you can catch Tram and Artistic over at Motown Mondays, Artistic also at Industry Thursday’s at Phantom Lounge and Legend is always up at Huntington Beach he always has a great thing going. Like I said if any of these guys are DJing make a point to check them out. Tram is one of my favorite DJs in the crew (no disrespect to the other members) Tram, Legend, Artistic right now are the main ones doing it right now. The others are kind of on hiatus right now but whenever they all get together to DJ it’s always nuts.
Step Off! Magazine: It’s an understatement that artists, producers, and dancers have limited public avenues and outlets in which to express themselves here in San Diego. How does it feel to be by far one of the biggest arenas for local artists to showcase their talents?
DJ Root: Man, honestly it feels great! I love that we’re able to do this for the people. I don’t really get much from it, I just get the joy of seeing everybody else being able to express themselves, that’s the best feeling in the world. It’s like “hey I made these beats come to the stage and play them for me”. People come back and I’m glad that we’re able to get the community engaged and put on a show for the community that they can enjoy. The community is unity man, without them there is no Battle-Bot and with us, we give them that stage and The Casbah is such a legendary venue. People love coming there, we love being able to have the show there and I really, really enjoy it. I feel like we’re an event where we’re able to get everybody under the same roof, because the emcees kind of only hang out with the emcees and DJs, the B-Boys only hang out with the DJs and the B-Boys so in a way all these cultures we’re all part one big Hip-Hop culture but we have so many sub-divisions where sometimes people are kind of afraid to like mix and mingle so we’re able to bring them in like a big melting pot to help everybody just chill, hang out and vibe to Hip-Hop. So many people come through and support us and I’m very thankful for that.
Step Off! Magazine: You actually do a Podcast as well The REC Crew Show. Tell us about that and how that started and who your co-hosts are and what you guys talk about and do on the show.
DJ Root: The REC Crew Show we came up with the idea after we went to a Beat Battle in Las Vegas and we were just talking about stupid shit the whole way there and on the way back and we were like “we should just start a podcast” and we did. The show is my co-hosts CT, Killah E aka Earl and myself and named after the first initials of our respective names, It’s my DJ name Root, Earl’s and then CT’s. We pretty much initially just started talking about weird shit, stupid shit, but then it started to form into interviews and what going on in the world and our opinions on all of that, even making stupid bets on my birthday episode I even ended up getting drunk on the air (snickers) which is fun. One of our recurring guests is DJ Tramlife, dude’s hilarious, there are a couple episodes up on Soundcloud. currently, we’re trying to figure out if we’re going to do more episodes, we’re all so busy doing our own things, but we really wanna come back and do more shows and do different things. We’ve had different talents on and there’s a slew of guest that I really want to have on the show like I want to have Rick Scales, I want to have Odessa Kane, I want to get Blame One, I want to get CrosOne so hopefully we can continue to do the show because it was yet another for us to talk to people in our community and to have people come on the show and show us what projects they’re working on and what else they’ve been up to and just talk and shoot the shit and not take ourselves too seriously. It’s a gang of misfits talking about a bunch of stupid shit (laughs) and having fun while talking about things that sometimes matter.
Step Off! Magazine: Let’s get into more about your personal opinions and tastes in the current Hip-Hop scene right now. There’s so debate amongst certain circles in Hip-Hop about what people have started calling “Mumble Rap”. Some people say that it’s not even Hip-Hop, it’s not rapping or some people argue that these artists are just expressing themselves and taking the genre in a different direction like artists have in the past. What’s your take on this “Mumble Rap” phenomenon?
DJ Root: I wanna say it’s not Hip-Hop or Rap, I mean it’s cool they’re expressing themselves but can we just call it “mumble music”? (laughs) because that’s one of the things that’s fucking saturating our culture we keep putting out these sub-divisions and I barely understand them. I don’t hate them, I don’t have any ill will or feeling against them, like cool you’re making money you’re doing something you love and you’re talking about whatever it is you’re saying, everyone has a right to do that. But I don’t believe it’s Hip-Hop, Hip-Hop is what I was always taught about having fun, touching on issues, Hip-Hop is my “Church” so I don’t feel like they belong in my “Church” which kind of sounds bad or mean but like I said I harbor no anger towards them, they’re making music, they’re doing what they like. But they’re mumbling! I don’t know if they’re rhyming words or if they’re making up words, it’s not my cup of tea but respect to them and what they do I just don’t think it should be called Hip-Hop or Rap.
Step Off! Magazine: Yeah really the whole premise of what the culture is based on is lyricism. Traditionally most emcees don’t play an instrument, maybe a couple produce as well but really for the most part as an emcee all you really have is your voice and your rhyme skills so if you can’t understand what an emcee is saying it kind of defeats the purpose.
DJ Root: Yeah, like Future and Desiigner they’re featured on shit and cool they can do hooks, but it’s so distorted and weird I don’t know. But yea, as emcee your voice is your main instrument, that’s your tool as an emcee in this Hip-Hop thing. Without that, if I can’t understand you I don’t know why I would even wanna listen. I like lyrics, that’s a big thing for me I like hearing people spit lyrics. It’s just weird, but to each their own I guess. I’m not gonna get overly offended if some fucking millennial comes up to me and is like “hey you listen to that new Desiigner album?”. Just don’t call it Hip-Hop and we good. There’s another one Lil’ Yachty, it’s weird because he also mumbles but also raps, it just he makes weird stuff. Ok, so at the end of the spectrum, there’s people like Tyler, The Creator who make super dark music, weird making dark music just for the fuck of making dark music. Not like Jedi Mind Tricks who like when they make dark music it covers a subject he just makes dark music for sake of doing so. Then there’s Lil’ Yachty, his music is about boats, sunshine, women and all the other rap shit. I dunno how I feel about the kid. He said something about B.I.G. and Tupac about how he’s better than them and that’s when I’m like “that’s where you crossed the line”. And I’m not saying B.I.G. are Tupac are the best, there’s a bunch of emcees in the game. But that’s my biggest issue with alotta these guys if you wanna be Hip-hop or Rap don’t disrespect the forefathers and pioneers. Automatically when he said that you’re not Hip-Hop or Rap to me I’m sorry.
Step Off! Magazine: Who are your top artist in the game right now. Like if you were to bet who do you see still being around 10 to 15 years from now?
DJ Root: Man that’s a good question. Run the Jewels, I know they’re a group but I could see them leaving their mark and have people still listening to them 10 years from now. Joey BadA$$, that kid is the future. He’ll still be around and he’ll still have tracks being played. Kendrick Lamar of course, I can see Atmosphere still being around they have a cult following and I believe the following will continue to follow them until they either stop making music or dead. But it’s really hard to call that because there are so many dope emcees in the game. Big K.R.I.T. he’s another one, K.R.I.T. doesn’t get enough respect and should, the dude is practically already a legend. He showed that (not to say that Southern rappers can’t rap) but he showed that they can have substance and that they could put out dope albums and have club bangers and I hope that in the next 10/15 years people are still bumping Cadillatica, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here I hope they’re still bumping him. Hopefully, people will still be bumping this new A Tribe Called Quest album for years to come, but Hip-Hop can be very, very strange at times so only time will tell.
Step Off! Magazine: We went to a seminar at a local college that Jasiri X was hosting several days ago, and at that seminar, he said that he believes that we are currently living in an era where social activism and social consciousness are making a huge comeback in Hip-Hop. Do you think that’s true? And do you think artists are doing enough or do think that there’s more work that needs to be done?
DJ Root: I believe we are currently living in that era, there are people talking about it and actually being about it as far as Hip-Hop goes. Joey BadA$$ just put out a song called ‘Land of the Free’ where he touched on a few issues, we have people like killer Mike going out and being that voice for people telling them to go vote and if they want things to change how to go about and do it, he owns his own business, he tells people to spend money at their local businesses. It’s very interesting to see, there’s alotta emcees doing things even if a lot of them aren’t doing it on camera. Jay-Z and Beyonce got involved and bailed out a bunch of people from the Black Lives Matter Movement when they got arrested for peacefully protesting. You have J. Cole going to these regions and these vigils, touching on these topics on his albums and being a Black man in America. You got cats like Vic Mensa making songs like “16 Shots” and he also goes to these rallies and to these marches especially in Chicago, he’s helping people. Alotta people believe because they’re musicians or entertainers that they shouldn’t have a right to tell you how vote or how to think or if you should confront these things but at the end of the day they’re people first, and they have a bigger platform and of course that can also be used for bad or evil but it’s very good to see people engaging with what’s going on in the world. There are people like Young Thug who say things like “I don’t care we out here making money” and it’s like cool you’re making money but the people who buy your things and support your premier are fucking dying or they’re not being treated well or they’re being denied legal rights so you don’t have to make a song about it, you don’t have to tweet about it, but for you as an artist to say that is like a slap in the face to all your supporters. But it’s very good with everything that’s going on to see people going to these matches. So at the end of the day, they’re people first and they’re allowed to their opinions and I’m glad that there are people speaking on these issues within Hip-Hop. I think Killer Mike should run for president (laughs) if you ever listen to him speak it’s just fucking amazing and the guy is just so smart so yea I think it’s great and I think everybody should utilize their voice, entertainer or not to push positive change.
Step Off! Magazine: Hip-Hop, in general, is more mainstream now that it has ever been in the genre’s existence. You hear the music in commercials, there are television programs dedicated to it like The Get Down, The Breaks, Marvel’s Luke Cage features music and artist regularly within the show. Where do you see the future of the music going? Do you think we’re in a better place than we were 10 years ago?
DJ Root: They’re stuck with us now! There ain’t giving rid of us, Netflix has a new Hip-Hop documentary, Pharrell Williams is scoring movies now because of Hip-Hop, we’re here to stay we got our foot in the door and we kicked that motherfucker open! So now we’re in the house, our last President was such a Hip-Hop head he had rappers over at the white house! I remember Fox News losing it because Common was at the White House. Common! Like think about it, it’s fucking Common! Common’s like probably the nicest rapper (well let’s not get it twisted he made ‘The Bitch In Yoo’ and ‘Sweet’) but, he’s like one of the nicest guys and they tried to criticize and that dude’s like another one that helps our communities. But yeah man we’re here to stay, we can only go higher from here. There are so many good things happening right now with Hip-Hop, and it’s cool because now Hip-Hop is sucking in these other cultures and different things so we’ve expanded to where Hip-Hop’s in skating now, now skaters love Hip-Hop. There’s even like white people now just bumping Hip-Hop like casually. Like Hip-Hop is teaching people how to speak our language now, and nowadays everybody wants to be a rapper. everybody! R&B singers wanna be rappers, country singers are trying to make kind of rapping songs, everybody wanna be a rapper, everybody wants to be the next emcee. The funniest thing it reminds me of Paul Mooney where he’s like “Everybody wants to be a nigga but nobody wanna be a nigga”, like everybody wants to be an emcee but nobody wants to learn about the culture. But. we’re only going higher man, to the point where somebody like Kanye West wants to run for president. Hopefully, he doesn’t but like Hip-Hop could rule the world and no one could stop us. This Hip-Hop thing it’s global, like watch we’re going to be having aliens coming here and they’re gonna be fucking rappers. So it’s cool to see like I said they fucked up and let us in the house (laughs). Think about how old is our music? Like barely 40? So we haven’t even hit that mid-life crisis point yet, we haven’t started doing super cool shit yet to impress the newer music and shit. 9th Wonder just picked four albums to go into the Harvard Library man like think about that! There’s Hip-Hop preserved forever at the Harvard Library! It’s nuts! I got the biggest fucking smile just thinking about it, Hip-Hop is just so great. It’s such a powerful teaching and universal tool that helps bring people together and I repeat myself we’re only gonna continue to get bigger. There’s no stopping Hip-Hop.
Step Off! Magazine: Like you said the only place left to go is up, so what are the future plans for Battle-Bot? And for yourself and the crew?
DJ Root: Right now the next Battle-Bot is scheduled for February 28th, it’s gonna be a Battle-Bot/Dre-Day Party where we celebrate the good doctor, Dr. Dre and we’re gonna have a live band Monument covering his music. Future plans we’re also gonna have a Battle-Bot at the Urban Network Digital Conference and that’ll be up in L.A. with probably thousands of people there so if you can make it you should definitely check us out as well as go to the conference. If you want to do things in this music industry you’ll learn a lot from there. So we’re going to continue to go bigger with Battle-Bot and continue to bring people good entertaining Hip-Hop at a local level and have different emcees and different people come through. For me, I’m just gonna continue working on my music and getting better while trying to put on shows for the community and try to bring San Diego Hip-Hop to the forefront because some of my emcees in the game right now are from San Diego. Guys like D Dub, Ric Scales, Skinny Vinnie, Odessa Kane, Big June, Mitchy Slick and Rob Stone our Hip-Hop scene is just growing exponentially. There’s a bunch of local studios and a bunch of dope producers here, there’s great DJs, great B-Boys. But yea for the whole crew it’ s just keeping our Hip-Hop scene healthy and bringing it up to the forefront and making it bigger, expanding on it and bringing you guys dope shows and try to get the podcast started back up.
Step Off! Magazine: Where can people find you and follow online to hear your music and get all the updates for promotions and events?
DJ Root: You can find me on SoundCloud at NSDJROOT that’s where I post all my beats. On Instagram @dj_root, Facebook DeAndre ‘DJ Root’ Harrell, and of course if you need a DJ for anything or need a quote San Diego Best DJs for weddings, private events, school dances you can find us there. Also check out Good Vibes to stay updated on nightlife, pictures and news blogs and follow the No Sucker DJs as well as the Battle-Bot page on Facebook so you guys can know when the next show is coming up which is February 28th at The Casbah. Doors open at 9PM so come through to enjoy a good Hip-Hop show!
Step Off! Magazine: Thank for your time Root and thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with us.
DJ Root: Thank you for having me!