Exclusive: McDonald's DJ Flavor: "I Gave 'Hard Knock Life' To Jay-Z"
Tuesday, Dec 6, 2011 1:20PM
[As the winter season approaches, SOHH has teamed with McDonald's to heat things up in a four-part series highlighting all-star deejays throughout the United States, dishing on how they put on for their city. After Atlanta's DJ Drama gave us a taste of ATL flavor, New York's legendary Kid Capri reflects on his Bronx-bred legacy.]
You have to remember, before I came [onto the scene], the deejays were getting $50 for shows and stuff like that. When I came out in New York with my mixtapes, I was fortunate enough for them to blow up. They blew up in the streets before I really took off and got into Def Comedy Jam.
1988 is when I started getting hot in New York but 1991 is when it started happening for me [on a national level] and since then, it's just been [going uphill]. I've stayed consistent and really opened the doors for deejays to be doing what they're doing right now. This is coming from me, but if you were to ask deejays that were around back then, they would tell you the same thing.
Because I blew up so big in New York, I ended up getting a record and album deal. I was [becoming] well-known, got my first radio deal and then eventually got on to Def Comedy Jam with Russell Simmons coming up to me and asking me what I thought about doing it. I had built up a name for myself already in the streets. My mixtapes in New York were big and they got so big that I had to stop them because people thought I was making millions of dollars off of them. It got to the point where people were taking my tapes, dubbing them and ended up buying houses off of them.
It ended up being the number one show and it really gave people a chance to see what a deejay really is. That's really what DJ Kid Capri is about because it was really spurts of what I did. It wasn't until you seen me coming to your town from New York with a concept and that's what was really the influence for me to do the parties the way I have done them and that's what was the influence for the deejays to what they're doing now.
If you look at the way [current DJ's] play their records and the way they make their mixtapes, I was the influence for all of that. But before that, there were great New York deejays that influenced me like DJ Red Alert and others from across the country.
However, when it came to the mixtape game and demonstrating how to be a deejay superstar, I was the first one to do that. So that right there set the path to what deejays are doing right now.
I'm happy to have set the trend for that and I'm glad to see all of this is happening but it all should have happened a long time ago. It's beautiful that it's happening now, but it's something that should have happened a long time ago because the role of the deejay is important. I'm on my third album, I produce, I'm a Grammy award-winning producer, I gave "Hard Knock Life" to Jay-Z. "Hard Knock Life" was produced by Mark The 45 King, but it was [originally] going on my album. I gave it to Jay for his album [In My Lifetime Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life] and that's his biggest record to date.
As deejays, we can do it all.
DJ Kid Capri was born David Anthony Love in the Bronx, NY; he began scratching records as early as age eight, and was already an accomplished turntablist by his teens, later spinning records at the famed nightclub Studio 54 and earning a grass-roots following by selling mix tapes of his nightly sets. As his reputation grew, Kid Capri eventually signed to Warner Bros., where he produced sessions for everyone from Heavy D to Boogie Down Productions to Quincy Jones; he also spent seven seasons as the DJ for cable's Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam.