Back To Interviews Archive The Hip-Hop Headrush

Kofi dropping a solid old-school-styled set

Semtex and Kofi are affiliated with equally acclaimed DJ's Shorty Blitz and MK - the four of them constitute a 'subliminal' crew wherein each one knows and looks out for the others. Among those artists DJ Kofi looks up to as icons are the legendary Cash Money, X-Men (now known as the X-ecutioners), and of course the currently unrivalled Invisibl Skratch Piklz. Semtex cites his own inspirations as follows: "Kid Capri is 'the' DJ. I think people like Biz Markie because of the diversity, and Flex because of the level he has taken Hip-Hop to. He's helping it to sell and making it easier for other DJ's to come through. Same with DJ Clue. A lot of people have problems with the DJ's mentioned but they've all done their thing and they should get props for that."

Once on to the topic of DJ'ing, things got a lot more specific...

HHH: Do you think the Invisibl Skratch Piklz have taken the art of turntablism as far as it will go?

Kofi: I don't think so. People were asking the same questions 10 years ago about DJs like Cash Money. People are always gonna push it to the limits but at the end of the day it's official - the turntable is a fully fledged musical instrument.

HHH: So is this 'musical instrument' being used as a battle instrument too?

Kofi: I guess that still goes on. I'm just a party DJ. I do the turntablism thing but I like to rock the crowd. That's the bottom line.

HHH: Do you then consider yourself to be a turntablist or a DJ? What's the distinction in your mind? (if any)

Semtex: A turntablist would be someone like Roc Raider. Personally I just wanna make people dance without sounding like Puffy. I mean you can play reggae, ragga, Mos Def and guys just keep on dancing. That's what it's about for me.

HHH: There seems to be a growing trend in the U.K for artists whose music is not Hip-Hop-related to involve Hip-Hop DJ's and producers in their work. We know that you for one (Kofi) have done some scratching on the previous Spice Girl's album. How do you feel about being used for the advancement of other genres such as pop music?

Semtex flexing his mouth on the cross-fader

Kofi: I play a lot of commercial stuff - R&B, that sorta thing. But I play it the same way I would Hip-Hop. That's the difference. I will cut up the records. That's my individuality. I will use my Hip Hop influence over whatever.

Semtex: I think that's dope. The whole thing is that DJ' should be seen as artists in their own right. The more people are exposed the more they will excel.

HHH: So you don't see it as selling out?

Kofi: No. You're just taking it to another level and it takes those people [the 'Spice types'] to make those steps. Basically everyone's got his or her own definition of keeping it real. For me it doesn't matter what you play. If I use the skills I've learned from Hip-Hop, that to me is keeping it real. Before you had Hip-Hop as we know it people were playing break beats. So me scratching on a pop record is all good.

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