Posted by: john – May 14, 2012
I have heard quite a few things about DJ 2Rip over the years from several big EDM parties up north. Recently I caught wind of a huge party he was playing up in the DMV area that was being thrown by B.A.D.ASS Raves, called Psychedelic Dreamscape 2. I have been wanting to check out 2Rip for quite some time and decided to get in touch. I have to say this: I have talked to quite a few people in the electronic music scene over the years, and I was very happy to find someone so down to earth. Seriously, he loves the music, and appreciates all those around him that help make it happen. So I'm totally stoked on this interview, and hope to pull him down to RVA some time. Check it out below...
Why did you pick 2Rip as your DJ name?
I used to perform under my full name but in January of 2000 I had made the cut to play on a really big lineup. I felt like having a DJ name would be beneficial to me for that show. The name was chosen as my sister's boyfriend and I were watching Boiler Room. Vin Diesel & Giovanni Ribisi had a boss in that movie who had "2RIP" on his license plate in the movie. My sister's boyfriend pointed at the screen and said "Why don't you use that?" I arbitrarily decided to use it, under the assumption that I could later change my DJ name if I wanted.
My time slot for the show was a closing set at 6 AM, and I didn't anticipate many people sticking around to hear me on that lineup. But surprisingly enough, a good 400 people were still on the dancefloor, and I got encored twice with people chanting my new DJ name. So I decided to keep the name after all.
What made you want to start DJing / Producing?
I've always felt musically inclined. When growing up I taught myself to play guitar and piano, but was never very successful with it. I always wanted to be a performer, and my skills were too underdeveloped to ever be in a band. I also grew up on electronic music, having started listening to it in 1991. Learning how Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails produced his beats from his basement really inspired me to produce, and becoming involved in the rave scene skyrocketed my interest in DJing.
What artists have influenced you the most?
There has been a progression over the years. Recently my musical taste has been influenced by bassline music and producers like Jay Robinson, AC Slater, Figure, and Delta Heavy.
What was Buzz like for you "back in the day"? How has the scene changed over the years?
Buzz was where you went on Friday night to party with thousands of people who loved rave music. It had become a gathering place for all of my friends and was essentially a ritual. I can't think of a Friday night when I lived in DC that I didn't spend at Buzz at Nation Nightclub. The scene back then was very focused on nightclub events, and most of the parties outside of Buzz were 21+. The regional scene nowadays is a large spread, from age 16 the whole way past the age of 40, depending on the event. It's really cool to see such a big demographic. However, the age gaps can be unsettling for some of the people who sit at opposing ends of the spectrum.
Where are your favorite places to spin?
Anywhere that people are fully engaged in the musical element and prepared to eat up whatever I give them!
Other than electronic music, what types of music are you into?
I grew up with punk rock and metal, so I am inclined to still listen to my old CD collection. If I ever get married I would use "Some Kinda Hate" by The Misfits as my wedding song.
OK, so I have to ask: all time favorite track to drop to surprise people?
I have a few hip hop tracks that I like to surprise people with. The last time I played in Richmond I played "Drop It Like It's Hot" by Snoop Dogg, and enjoyed the reactions I got from it. Some people thought it was a remix and I could see them getting ready for the drop that never came. And other people were giving me the look of "Oh, you went there, didn't you?" Probably my favorite tune that I play almost everywhere is a heavy drum and conga based track called "Congo Drums" by Rene Kuppens. It's aggressive and heavy, and it's such an energy booster when you've already got people hyped. It just takes things to the next level. To this date, I've never heard another DJ play it.
You just completed over 30 gigs on the Annihilating Rhythm 4 Tour. Can you tell me what you learned from doing this tour?
This was my second tour of this size, and it was the first time where I went months at a time without ever seeing my house. The best thing about touring was that I got to play for so many new people, and I got to see areas of the country that I would have never gotten to experience. The downside to touring is that it actually gets pretty lonely when you don't have anyone to travel with. So I was really thankful for all the ragers who invited me to dinner or to afterparties. A lot of new friendships were made in the process.
I have heard some talk about your new CD. When is it expected to drop?
It's hard to say! I am very dedicated to making every "Annihilating Rhythm" mix into a masterpiece. Each of the first three discs has told a story, and I've been dedicated to providing the same level of quality with Volume 4 of the series. We've already started to promote the mix to raise awareness that it will be dropping soon. However, it looks like the release date will be sometime in June and it can be downloaded through my Facebook fan page for free at facebook.com/thedj2rip.
You're playing the closing slot at Psychedelic Dreamscape next week in DC. You always seem to close out these shows. What can you tell me about the significance behind playing the closing slot at these parties?
The first Dreamscape party back in 2010 was a ground-breaking event for DC rave promoters. At the time, most parties were lucky to have 200 people show up, unless you were Steez Promo or Club Glow. Dreamscape sold out at the warehouse it was hosted at, with over 500 people, which was phenomenal considering it was a lineup of only local artists. Now it's looking like we'll have close to 4,000 people come out to this one. So I offered to play the closing set at that party, because I wanted to give all the other artists on the bill a chance to be in the limelight, and figured that people would start to leave the party during the closing set. What we found was the opposite: everyone was hyped and ready for me to play. The crowd was full of energy and no one wanted to stop dancing. It was like a 90's rave! So it's just become a tradition to play a very emotional closing set at all of the B.A.D.ASS Raves Psychedelic parties. It's a ritual!
WHAT: Psychedelic Dreamscape 2
WHEN: May 19th
WHERE: Washington DC