BY: GABY MORENO
Hello Hip Hop Heads and Horror Fans,
Today I will be sharing with you all an interview I did with DJ JG aka Scratchtokill aka Mikey. I came across him by attending a few hip hop shows in my city of San Diego. I noticed how he still carries the tradition of scratchin’ when he DJ’s, which is amazing to me! Glad he is keeping that Hip Hop tradition alive! I first saw him DJin for a dope event thrown by Dirty Primo (Carlos) called, Hope 4 the Homeless and I was like who is this guy? It was a busy night, so I didn’t get to introduce myself. I then saw him again DJin at Superiors 1989’s event at The Salty Frog and he killed the show again! Once again it was a crowded night, so I didn’t get to meet him then either.
Ironically the universe or cosmos were in my favor lol. A few weeks ago, I was interviewing Nomad at his house and unexpectedly DJ JG came by which Nomad had forgotten that he was dropping by. So, in the end it all worked out. I introduced myself and told him how dope I thought he was. I asked him if he would be open for an interview and he said he was down. He is a humble and talented dude. I won’t make this any longer, without further a do please read the brief conversation/interview we had about his beginnings in the Hip Hop scene and the positive impact he wants to continue doing through music!
Please introduce yourself to those who might not know who you are?
I’m DJ JG, I’m originally from San Diego, CA. I’ve been doing music since 2008. I originally started writing and then I got into beat making. Then in 2012 I started scratchin’ and doing the whole DJin stuff. Since then the whole experience of my life has changed.
What is the significance of your moniker DJ JG? Any special significance?
Yeah, it means something. The initials J.G. is for Justice Good. So it’s like I’m always doing stuff for the better of the people and giving good vibes out. So I’m always jus tryna give that good positive vibe out there. So my name means I’m out there for good and I’m out there for the change of the world for the better.
How long have you been Djing? Can you share a bit about your journey how you got started to where you are now? How did you start getting booked for shows?
Well like I said earlier I wrote first for a little bit. I actually created a whole album, but I never released it. Then in 2008 to 2010 I started getting into Producing and making beats. Then 2012 is when I started DJin and I just kept learning how to scratch by watching YouTube videos. One of my homies showed me and told watch this video and that video and then from there I just took off. 2012 I got my first pair of turntables. I’ve been DJin ever since. I took a 2 year period off, but I was still making beats. Doing the whole DJ and scratchin’ thing I took 2 years off of that. I’ve been back for a year and like 10 months now and it has been taking off like crazy.
My brother was always pushing me all the time. He was like man you lock yourself in a room for so many hours, I see your talent and I see your push. You’re pushing so much, but you’re not doing any shows. I just didn’t feel like I was ready. But he told me just go out there and he booked me for a show and I had no choice. That was actually at Diamond Jim’s. I did that, that was my very first show in 2013. My first year, and from there I was getting around by word of mouth. Once I first performed someone’s like here I want to book you again. Then I met more people and started getting booked for different venues. I haven’t really attempted to really try to contact someone to be like, hey can you book me for this show. It is an amazing feeling, it’s cool.
I see you at a lot of events DJin from Hope4Homeless to Superior Productionz Salty Frog event? How did you build those relationships and connections?
I ran into Primo (Carlos) for Hope 4 Homeless originally it was held at Blonde Bar we were doing it there. Also my brother booked me for that one too and he opened another door for me. That’s how I met Carlos and then he just started booking me for more and more. Then Superior ended up coming out to perform with his different artists and I met him that way. I definitely thank them highly for that. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be having these shows and be able to perform. They gave me that platform and I just built relationships with them. I told them hey you guys need anything I’m there for you. You know I can run the whole show however you like it and yeah we just connected and had great shows!
I think it is dope you actually scratch. For a DJ it is rare to see at least nowadays where some DJ’s pre record a beat and play it on their laptop. How did you pick up that skill and continue to hone it?
Yeah, I would just watch videos from different types of scratches. From scratchin’, fading and all those kinds of scratches. I was just researching them and I didn’t know how many there were. There’s different kinds and different styles. Really just interested from DJ Shiftee, DJ Cuebur, DJ Craze, A-Trak, Grandmaster Flash, all of them inspired me big time. I would just watch them and it just inspired me. I would lock myself up in my room and I would just throw on some beats, like old school beats or whatever kind of beat. I would speed it up or slow it down and just scratch. Probably like 6 hours a day just pushing.
What made you fall in love with Hip Hop and the culture?
That right there takes me back to kinda the beginning cuz when I was doing Diamond Jim’s I started doing Cypher at the Park. That opened up a whole new format too, like old school hip hop, all these cats where coming out, like even Sam R i and Aye Two Zee were in the Cypher events. I think it was at Cesar Chavez Park too. I entered into that and that was just a whole different platform too. Out here in San Diego there is so many different platforms and scenes. That opened me up to doing more old school hip hop, doing scratchin’ and doing doubles. That was when I had both my turntables fun times! Right now I only have one, but I’ma get another one soon.
Who is your favorite emcee/rapper?
I would say Eminem (8 mile) cuz I grew up with that. He really inspired me just to never give up on your opportunities and specially everything that you go through in life. You know to not let that affect you and that is what has definitely given me a big inspiration.
Any favorite Producers that inspire you?
Scott Storch, I know Nomad mentioned him too (laughs), but yeah he is definitely one of my top favorites because it’s just the way that he works and he is wise. He is such an inspiration to me. He is one of my favorite Producers for sure. Dr. Dre too!
What is your favorite hip hop album and song of all time?
That is a tough one there. I listen to like everything! I don’t know a lot of San Diego artists have inspired me. I mean I listen to a lot to Wu-Tang, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, WC, a lot of old school West Coast kinda of music.
What is your favorite scary movie?
Can it be scary funny? I’ma have to say Scary Movie 3 (laughs)
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind whether creatively or on a personal level?
I like this one, this is cool! What I would want to leave for real it’s to make a huge platform for every artist out here and just everybody that I meet in general. I’m all about building and connecting. So, if I’m striving to become something and get something and I’m able to succeed off of it then I’ma push that to everybody else too. I’m just gonna open platforms and open doors for everybody out here and that is what I wanna leave too. Not just in the city, but everywhere, worldwide! Definitely that is one of the things I want to leave. I want to help a lot of communities out, there is a lot of things I want to do!
What is next for DJ JG? Any upcoming projects or any other creative outlets you want to be involved in in the near future? You mentioned you are working on a documentary series?
Oh yeah, that is Gypsyness’s documentary series. The event was held on May 31st. Pretty much is is a platform for artists. We had that event so that we allow others to know that this is going to be a San Diego documentary series. To where every artist is going to have an opportunity to spend either 12 to 24 hours a day having a whole video about them. Do whatever they wanna do, their music scene, if they wanna go out and do something and whatever it is. Just spending a whole day to really get to know them on a more personal basis.
Any words of encouragement to those who are thinking getting into DJin?
Definitely put you heart and soul into it! That is something big in music I feel it. It has allowed me to become the person I am too. Keep going! There is so much too it, a lot of practicing too and connect with people!
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far being a DJ?
Definitely meeting everybody that is a big accomplishment because there is a lot of great people I’ve met. A big one, I just did on the 23rd of May was in Pomona at the Fox Theater with Sante Prince we go to open up for Black Star! With Mos Def and Talib Kweli, I was going crazy up there (laughs). I didn’t get to meet them. It was a huge impact and it happened so quick. I’ve also done House of Blues main stage.
Any shout outs?
I want to give a huge shout out to literally everybody out there in San Diego! There’s so many names, definitely Primo for putting me on a lot of show he has been carrying me on quite a bit. Also just everybody out there that believes in me and I am very thankful for that. Shout out to everybody out there for sure!
Thank you DJ JG for your time and being open to do this interview! I truly appreciate you!!! To my readers and supporters hope you all enjoyed reading this interview. Go give DJ JG a follow @dj_jg to keep up on the events he will be DJin at next! Until next time horror fiends and hip hop heads. While you’re at it please feel free to follow my blog on social media @7octoberz and Facebook!