Heat Exclusive Feature Series: ‘Behind The 1s and 2s’ with DJ Ro

 

Just like the elements earth, wind, and fire, it’s so easy to allow important cogs to be placed in the rear of our thoughts. Hip hop has evolved in a complex way but certain pieces stand the test of time such as deejaying, rhyming, entertaining, mixing, mastering, promoting, dancing, fashion, and producing.

The smooth blends accompanied by cutting and scratching intrigued hip hop aficionados and influenced fans to embrace a new culture. New Orleans gravitated to hip hop from the inception. As a result, the Big Easy cemented its place in hip hop history books as a hotbed filled with creatives. But where would hip hop be without the deejay or the rapper?

The Heat Magazine decided to feature a series “Behind the 1s and 2s” which takes our readers inside the lives of talented individuals who helped shape this thing we love known as hip hop.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with DJ Ro, WQUE mixologist, who serves as one of the pioneering mix show disc jockeys in New Orleans on urban radio. His contribution to New Orleans hip hop is esteemed and plays an integral role in the advancement of independent artists in the Big Easy and surrounding areas.

The Heat Magazine: Tell us about your first time spinning on a local station and what station it was.

Dj Ro: My first live radio audition spinning records was in September 1990 on WQUE FM 93 ( Q93). It was an awesome experience having hundreds of thousands of listeners hear your mixing music ability coming from the hood to the masses of your city and surrounding areas.

The Heat Magazine: When it comes to mixing, how important was that in your style?

Dj Ro: If you’re not mixing music, you’re doing an injustice to the art of DJing! Mixing, Blending, and Scratching are all important parts of being a seasoned DJ.

The Heat Magazine: What do you look for in a record?

Dj Ro: I look for a song beat as well as the quality to immediately catch my attention in the 1st four seconds. Then it’s the lyrical content, especially the hook and chorus, to be entertaining along with the style (swag) of the artist.

The Heat Magazine: How hard is it for a great deejay to break a record?

Dj Ro: That’s what makes a great DJ, A risk taker! The DJ’s job is to be a music messenger. If you don’t change the message, the game will stay the same without growth and be at a repetitious stand still. The people trust a great DJ’s judgment based on his/her experience. That’s what makes it easy to break records; even the not so good ones (laughing).

The Heat Magazine: What do you remember most about New Orleans that you wish was still going on?

DJ Ro: I remember the industry being fun and less hate to make it amongst Djs as well as artist! The crab mentality was always a factor but not to the level it is now; street level and even more so corporate level. I miss the Dj groups (RDS EXPRESS and HIGH FIDELITY) that I was once in. We had a true brotherhood.

The Heat Magazine: What advice would you give to upcoming deejays?

DJ Ro: My advice to upcoming DJs is to get with a pioneer DJ and get some knowledge on the art and history of deejaying, mastering your craft, humbleness, learning to spare your liver and relationship with all the temptation of the game, and most importantly put God first in all you do and know that what’s for you is for you.

The Heat Magazine: Deep! How important is it for a deejay to do parties, weddings, and clubs?

DJ Ro: It’s important to find a lane to go after: parties, weddings, clubs, mixtapes, radio DJ, etc; you have to have income coming in unless it’s just a hobby.

The Heat Magazine: What do you dislike about being a deejay?

DJ Ro: I dislike that the DJ is undervalued now, looked at as a non-priority add-on instead of the life of the party and the energy of an event.

The Heat Magazine: What advice would you give upcoming artists about making a song that deejays gravitate to?

DJ Ro: Make music all people can relate to or the demographic your trying to capture. Come out the gate with a high quality bangin’ beat. Put your heart and all into your music!

The Heat Magazine: What can we expect from you in 2018?

DJ Ro: New purposeful platforms that I can showcase my talent and be amongst like minded artist and entrepreneurs.

Follow DJ Ro @djro504 on Instagram.

Check out DJ Ro’s compilation of Nola hip hop here:

About the author

DionNorman

Dion Norman is a professional music artist/journalist from Louisiana. Norman is an urban music enthusiast and has been writing since the mid 90s. He is also a stakeholder in the newly found New Orleans Union For Entertainment which is a new resource provider for New Orleans artists and businesses as well as a collective. For more information, feel free to email him at itsdevious@yahoo.com