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DJ Ro & LBJ: ‘News With A Twist’

It’s no secret that we here at The Heat are huge fans of New Orleans’ own, DJ Ro. It’s even less of a secret that we love to feature artists and business people who may not always receive the credit they so rightly deserve – just take a look at any of the features done by Nik-O-Licious, Shai Rell and myself, and you’ll know we are proud of the trailblazers who well represent their various walks of life. It seems that other media outlets are finally taking notice and showcasing those who deserve it – and we couldn’t be happier for those who are finally getting their due time in the spotlight.

DJ Ro is credited with helping put New Orleans’ unique style of rap music on the map. He was spinning records that no one else would, when the music first hit the scene. He helped introduce the positive side of New Orleans to the world of urban music.

In addition to the music, Ro is a well known philanthropist, always helping with one cause or another throughout the New Orleans area. He is special indeed and he continues to make innovative moves with the gifts with which he has been blessed.

It is because of the groundbreakers such as Ro that urban music has moved into the mainstream. Just a short while ago, it was unheard of for a newscast to integrate urban music and art into its format, but that is just what is being done by New Orleans’ ABC affiliate WGNO Channel 26.

WGNO recently launched an interactive news program called News With A Twist and none other than DJ Ro was selected to do their opening. WGNO gets it – they have realized that inclusion of the urban audience is not only profitable for its bottom line, but it’s the right thing to do. The rest of the world might want to take notice, because this is a good thing WGNO has done – and it will surely be rewarded for this bold move.

News With A Twist is anchored by veterans Susan Roesgen and LeBron “LBJ” Joseph. The move to use a well known DJ such as Ro was so prolific that we needed to know more. The Heat recently had an opportunity to talk to both Ro and LBJ about their roles in the movement. Check it out:

Interview with DJ Ro

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Mainstream media is finally taking notice of the influence that music, particularly the Hip Hop genre, has on the world. How does it feel to know that you’re a huge contributor to the notice that’s being taken?

DJ RO: I feel like it’s an accomplishment for Team Hip Hop. It was a time when they said Hip Hop wouldn’t last and now we’re – meaning DJs, Musicians, and others – branding major products and companies. I feel accomplished to display the love for my craft and be a part of the growth of more than two decades of the Hip Hop culture.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: It looks like the commercial for “News With A Twist” was a lot of fun to make. Tell us about that.

DJ RO: It was quite an experience. I’ve been in radio for 21 years now and have been in many studios. The set for WGNO’s News With A Twist is very unique in representing New Orleans culture. I was privileged to be on the same set as one of my mentors, LBJ. It’s ironic. I actually watch News With A Twist. The staff of WGNO was creative and cool to work with while filming the segment. We were equally excited to implement a DJ Scratch segment amongst some of our fellow musicians, shout out to Trombone Shorty.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Tell us how you put your mixologist skills to work for the commercial.

DJ RO: My vision was to incorporate the News With A Twist theme song as well as LBJ’s voice-over and the original scratch sound effect. I incorporated the three elements to one sound. I connected LBJ’s voice-over to the original scratch effect and cut, scratched, transformed, and twisted the bit over the instrumental simultaneously. The bartenders mix drinks, the DJs mix music – oh boy!

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What’s up next for DJ Ro and DREAM  Management?

DJ RO: As for DJ Ro, I will continue to push the envelope and find ways to stay fresh and exciting in this music business. I would like to be a positive example for upcoming DJs and entertainers to shoot for the stars. Most importantly, use the power of influence for positive causes as well as entertainment. Collaborating with Dream Management, Ms. LaJoan Williams is one of my proudest collaborations. I always express to artists how important it is to have representation and infrastructure for your company. We are only scratching the surface with the cutting edge promotions – a lot more to come!!!

Interview with LBJ

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: We asked Ro how it feels to be a part of a movement wherein mainstream media finally recognizes the influence Hip Hop has on the world. You’ve made a huge contribution yourself – how does it feel to see decades of work come to fruition?

LBJ: It feels great to know that this generation’s music and artisans are getting recognized.  This music has influenced America, very much so like Motown did in the 60’s, and possibly more.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Do you feel that DJ Ro has had an impactful role in the New Orleans Hip Hop Scene? If so, how?

LBJ: Ro is a giant in the New Orleans Hip Hop Scene.  Ro is the longest-reigning mix jock in the history of New Orleans radio and he’s still going strong. His influence over the sound of both the national titled he’s played over the years, combined with the exposure he’s given countless artists over the years is unmatched.  And, of course, that boy can play!  He shows that everyday on Q-93.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Being that you played a major role in launching DJ Ro’s radio career, where would you like to see him in the next 5 years?

LBJ: I would love to see Ro continue his role in shaping the music scene in New Orleans, as well as his continued development in helping the youth of New Orleans realize their dreams.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: How does it make you feel to know DJ Ro speaks greatly of you?

LBJ: I’m humbled and honored, but I really only helped him to start the journey. The fact that he’s continued to persevere, grow and develop is a testament to him, not me. I’m definitely happy that he’s continued to recognize the blessing and that he helps it flourish.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Tell us about “News With A Twist”.

LBJ: News With a Twist is another blessing in my journey, in that over the years we’ve been able to communicate the day’s events through radio. NWT is a vehicle that does the same thing in another venue. Hopefully, NWT also helps to open the doors for others in the radio arena to branch out and do the same. New Orleans radio is a talented bunch, but we could all flourish in other environments, if given the opportunity.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: The commercial with DJ Ro is a great representation of the city’s Hip Hop culture. How will “News With A Twist” represent different aspects of the city?

LBJ: We do our best to represent the many rich cultural elements of the New Orleans gumbo. From music, to art, to politics, to education, to neighborhoods, we do our best to be that visual magazine daily.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Heat salutes both LBJ and DJ Ro for all that they have done, and continue to do on a constant basis. They have not only helped put New Orleans and Louisiana on the map in a positive way, but they continue to be role models to everyone. News With A Twist airs weekdays at 6 p.m. CST on WGNO Channel 26 in New Orleans. LBJ is live on the radio Monday thru Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on 106.7 FM or online at http://www.oldschool1067.com/showdj.asp?djid=38127. You can keep up with DJ RO on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dj-Ro-Q93/118361608210957 and on Twitter – @djrowatts504.

Behind the Scenes with DJ RO on the News with a Twist set. from TTNO Creative Services on Vimeo.

DJ RO’s NWT Appearance w/LBJ & Susan reactions from TTNO Creative Services on Vimeo.

DJ RO id and bumper from TTNO Creative Services on Vimeo.

Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chiefhttp://www.mikodreamz.com
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Arlene@theheatmag.com. Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.
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