A few question with RJD2

by | Jan 27, 2010 | MUSIC

The definition of a musician is changing rapidly. It is 2010; world-famous deejays often perform using a laptop, sometimes even without the turntables that are now used to control MP3s instead of actual vinyl. When MixMaster Mike came through RVA not too long ago, he did exactly this, and it was a great performance. Beats bumped fluidly, the transitions were smooth, the tracks were a combination of fresh and classic, and watching Mike himself was about as interesting as, well, watching someone dick around on a laptop.


The definition of a musician is changing rapidly. It is 2010; world-famous deejays often perform using a laptop, sometimes even without the turntables that are now used to control MP3s instead of actual vinyl. When MixMaster Mike came through RVA not too long ago, he did exactly this, and it was a great performance. Beats bumped fluidly, the transitions were smooth, the tracks were a combination of fresh and classic, and watching Mike himself was about as interesting as, well, watching someone dick around on a laptop.

This is neither folly nor faux-pas; deejays have the luxury of their audience largely not expecting a stage show. A deejay is a connoisseur of music who shares their taste with you, usually while you move your ass. There are “bands” out there now- many of which I enjoy thoroughly- who lack a traditionally defined musician in their ensemble.

With this most recent tour, RJD2 has moved into the echelons of musicians, multi-instrumentalists, producers and performers who go above and beyond expectation in concert. RJD2 played his sampler (mounted on his crotch) like an instrument. He used real vinyl to compose tracks on the fly. He played guitar and bass and sang with a full band. The band helped him do live versions of his tracks, using guitar, drums, and synths. In short- he does it all. This is not a concert- it is a show.

He was also kind enough to answer some questions for us:

What were your five favorite albums of 2009?
They were not albums that all came out in 2009, fyi:

-Isao Tomita- Holst’s The Planets
-Mastodon- Crack the Skye
-Stanley Clarke- Journey to Love
-Foreign Exchange- Leave It All Behind
-Vangelis- Earth

If you had to enter the Thunderdome to battle another DJ to death, who would it be and why?
Probably one with just a laptop and no turntables, cause I like shooting fish in a barrel. I kid! I kid! (Or am I kidding?)

What was the greatest loss for hiphop in 2009?
Hard to say. I don’t like focusing on that; in the last few years, a handful of people passed away on a personal level that I worked with, knew, toured with, etc.

What is your current favorite toy?
Blackberry 9630.

What are you most looking forward to in 2010?

Seeing how my album does.

Conan or Leno?
Well that’s easy; Conan wrote for the Simpsons, he trumps all of ‘em except maybe Letterman.

What is your favorite small venue to play, and why?
Record Bart, KC maybe? Its just so much fun, crowds are great.

Matt Ringer

Matt Ringer

A meat popsicle.




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