Lord of the turntables 

DJ for Public Enemy talks politics and progression of hip hop

click to enlarge DJ Lord
  • DJ Lord

Who: DJ Lord & Swytch of Trill Bass

When: Thursday, June 19, 9:30 p.m.

Where: Maxx Fish

Tickets: $5 for first 50 people, $8 after

DJ Lord, real name Lord Aswod, stepped up to the decks almost 16 years ago. But he never imagined that his passion for turntablism would land him a gig spinning for the prolific group, Public Enemy, and performing with some of the biggest names in hip hop: Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, and the The S1W.

“I had no idea that it would take off the way it did, but I knew this was what I wanted to do,” Lord said. “I knew right away.”

He grew up trying to imitate the sounds of the pioneers of hip hop — artists like Jam Master Jay, Grandmaster Flash, Mix Master Ice, and Cash Money.

Lord got his big break while he was living in Atlanta, Georgia, working two 9 to 5 gigs at the same time to pay the bills. His roommate at the time told him that Public Enemy was looking for a new DJ, but Lord thought he was joking, brushed it off and went to work.

When he got home, Professor Griff was standing in his living room.

Griff had heard of DJ Lord, who had gained a reputation around Atlanta as a solid battle DJ, and wanted him to take Terminator X’s place.

“It happened so fast. One week I met Griff, the following week I met Chuck, they gave me this instant replay machine to learn the third week while he was expediting my passport. By the fourth week, I was heading to Belgium with no rehearsal,” Lord recalled.

He had some big shoes to fill, but 10 years later, Lord’s still going strong, bringing fresh energy, material and styles to the group.

You see, he doesn’t just do old school turntablism, scratching on vinyl, but also drum and bass and dub step.

“I do it all, across the board,” he said, explaining that he tries to practice every element and genre of hip-hop — battling, group work, scratching, mixing and more — to stay versatile and well-rounded.

“Hip hop is my foundation — that’s what I started with… I just started adding onto that, and with drum and bass, that’s basically just sped up hip hop, if you look at it,” he said.

Readers also liked…

Latest in Arts

More by Holly Fraughton

© 1994-2020 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation