DJ Chopstiqs From The Moonshine Bandits : Chopping It Up With Hick-Hop’s Premiere DJ
DJ Chopstiqs from the Moonshine Bandits
“Chopping It Up With Hick-Hop’s Premiere DJ”
By Jesse James
DJ Chopstiqs from Outlaw country outfit The Moonshine Bandits is stepping out from behind his turntables and into the spotlight. He’s signed with Nashville based booking agency Buddy Lee Attractions as a solo artist, put out a sick new mixtape “Life In A Mason Jar”, and he’s going to be performing DJ sets across the country.
Rebel Row sat down hick-hop’s premiere DJ, to talk about his rise through the ranks of the Cali DJ scene, his musical influences, the Moonshine Bandits, and his work helping feed the homeless through WeTry2Feed.
Rebel Row: What records do you remember that had a huge musical impact on your growing up?
DJ Chopstiqs: Records I remembered were Rock It by Herbie Hancock and Eric B & Rakim’s Paid in Full. To me, these were the early forms of unusual crossover in Hip Hop other than Walk This Way by RUN DMC and Aerosmith. Oh, and Lots of Depeche Mode and The Cure.
RR: Was there one record that made you say, “I want to get behind the turn tables and become a DJ”?
DC: HERBIE HANCOCK “ROCK IT”. I heard an unusual sound from the song and searched for that sound until 1984’s MTV Music Awards and finally saw where the sound was coming from.
RR: Tell us a bit about coming up in the ranks of the California DJ battle scene and what that was like…
DC: I have won a couple of Local and Guitar Center Battles in the mid 00’s. Very small recognition compared to others in the DJ Battle Scene especially in Daly City California(which is where I was originally from) where is known for being the “DJ Capital Of The World”. A lot of world champions came out of there including MixMaster Mike of the Beastie Boys.
RR: How different is it DJ’ing a club verses a live performance with Moonshine Bandits?
DC: I don’t feel or see any difference. Rocking out as a band or as a DJ has the same purpose, TO ROCK THE CROWD AND HAVE A GOOD TIME.
RR: Tell us a little bit about your mixtape “Life In A Mason Jar” and what fans can expect if they pick it up?
DC: “Life In A Mason Jar” is an experimental Mixtape of breaking down music barriers and put it in to one. Country, Hip Hop, Rock, Southern Rock, Johnny Cash and so on. Track 1 Intro should tell you all about what you can expect.
RR: On the album you got drops from everyone from Bubba Sparxxx to Demun Jone and UnderRated for Potluck. How did you get everyone involved in this project?
DC: Tex and Bird made all that happened with a few phone calls. Shout out to my brothers!
RR: The Moonshine Bandits just got off the road with The Lacs on the Country Gone Wild Tour. The behind the scenes footage we’ve seen so far is pretty crazy. What was that like and are there any moments from the tour that stick out in your mind as truly being wild?
DC: There’s too many to mention. I don’t even know where to start. Bus pranks are always fun.
RR: You recently signed with Buddy Lee Attractions as a solo artist, is this something that you’re doing outside of Moonshine Bandits or would you ever completely venture out on your own?
DC: As far as venturing out, No. We all share the same dream. I am riding this musical journey till the wheels fall off and even then I will try to find a way to keep moving. I do solo gigs when we are not touring. Buddy Lee has been very helpful with booking. So far being with them, I have done shows with Parmalee and Jake Owen. There will be more to come so stay tuned.
RR: There is a huge division between country rap scene and old school country purists that don’t think you should the two should mix. How do you respond to those critics who won’t recognize country rap?
DC: They are afraid of CHANGE as we all are. Critics will be critics. We like to prove to naysayers that it will work. Big Smo on TV is a prime example. These people do not even know it’s happening around them. They are about to be in a BIG CULTURE SHOCK when that big gate opens up. AND THEY WILL LIKE IT!
Do you think country rap will ever be accepted by the mainstream?
DC: Country Rap is already mainstream. Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” is a Colt Ford original. Its just the Mainstream Media has really no name for it yet other than Hick Hop. When they figure it out, then there will be something for everyone. Going mainstream will anger a few Country Hip Hop purists for sure. But they also need to realize that going mainstream means just reaching out to more people other than towns and cities that they are heard.
RR: You were recently took home a Modesto Area Music Award for best DJ in the Central Valley California. Do you remember where you were when you heard the news and your reaction?
DC: I was actually a performer that night and was pretty surprised. I am just another DJ enjoying music to the fullest and crossing barriers that no one has the nerve to.
RR: You are involved with the WeTry2Feed Food drive program in Modesto, California. Tell us a little bit about you got involved with the charity and why you continue to help…
DC: WeTry2Feed was an idea of a few friends and I on Christmas Day and have nothing better to do than to feed the homeless. I was homeless at one point in my life and I know how it is not having food, clothing and shelter. WeTry2Feed has been put on hold since I have been on the road so much. It will be back in October just enough time to get ready for Thanksgiving.
RR: What is next for you and where can people get more info on everything you’ve got going on?
DC: I am currently working on my next Mixtape. Shows that are coming up are with the Moonshine Bandits. July 11 at The Ranch in San Miguel Ca. and July 12 in Livingston Ca. for 51Fifty Energy Drinks “6th Annual Rock and Ride for Autism” charity event.
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