I’ve known DJ Chance for many years…I mean many, many years…While I was in High School, I would go out clubbing and this guy would be spinning. One club I remember him being in was Rascal’s out in Connecticut somewhere. I wish I could remember but back then I would go ANY/EVERYWHERE at the drop of a hat. What I do remember was it wasn’t a 10 -20 minute drive. This was the late 80’s…He would spin Rap and House music. Helluva DJ..Mad skills.
He also DJayed with a brother named John Ramsey at a hall Downtown Bridgeport, Connecticut.He had a serious Puerto Rican following..not only because he’s a Latin cat himself, but, the Latinos would always flock to House music.Flexing their dance skills and such.A good amount of House songs then would have “Boricua” samples in them, too.
Fast forward to the 90’s ( Early 90s)..I was a chapter leader in the Universal Zulu Nation ( Bridgeport AND Stratford, Connecticut). We, as Zulus, would have parties at a place in Stratford called Oddfellows. It had a hall upstairs and downstairs. We would do OUR thing upstairs and he would have the downstairs. This sometimes presented a problem because he would have a louder system than us. In between our system failures, we could hear his damn system ROCKIN‘! That was the cause for hate.Not to mention we were bumpin’ Hip Hop solely which brought one demographic and he was bumpin’ house which brought the opposing demographic.We had to share the bathrooms. Now, to my knowledge we didn’t have any beef or fights, but there would be a good amount of mad doggin’/ice grillin’/mean muggin’ between our patrons. I didn’t have beef with Chance because I was one of his supporters years before..plus I was Zulu..we promote peace.
Then…Chance BECAME Zulu..a Zulu Nation King at that. For those who “rep/pump” Zulu, you know what I mean..others? Do your homework!
This led to collabos with Chance with our patrons mixing and getting along.Which also meant bigger parties and more money.Most of the time he would do the music, we would provide the security.
I’ve moved around plenty of times since then.Had a child, gained a family, got married and when I would see anything on him he was doing international gigs.As a matter of fact, he was whipping a Jaguar for him and a Jaguar for his lady BACK IN THE 90s!! I also remember his MOM would be working his parties, too!
I got an opening and decided I wanted to see what he was up to nowadays..This is what he told me:
- How long have you been DJing? 27 years
- When do you DJ? Where? Usually on weekends but any day I’m hired for. I DJ at clubs and I have a huge sound & light system for wherever mobile parties might take me
- Who do you rep? Super Smash Bros is my dj crew. We’re 6 of the areas veteran djs . Zulu Nation Bronx River Chapter- Zulu Kings
- What’s a typical day like for you? I’m pretty normal.Wake up around noon ,walk my dog,watch tv and work on my Scratch Live cue & loop points, archive my record collection,review new tracks all while my social media pages are up and responding to messages,tweets & requests.when I’m not doing the music I pursue my other interests,Archaeology,Astronomy..I’m a man of science & history..Friends & family say I’m an encyclopedia of “useless knowledge” .
- Do you make mix tapes? What are some that you did? Where can you get them? I stopped making mixtapes in 2003 after my live recordings from events in europe,London,Ibiza,Germany,Amsterdam & France each had a mix tape,Amsterdam Dance Event was my last cd…I’ve made over 150 mixtapes until that point hiphop & rnb,reggae,freestyle,house & trance even slow jams..Some of which were featured in magazines like the Source mixtapes of the summer,Woohaa in Germany,Radikal in France etc…Reggae #9 & Club 18 were my most popular…couple hundred thousand of those alone..but the mixtape game started to get crazy with new jacks and CT mixtape spots started promoting NYC djs over there own djs , they didnt respect local djs enough to push us instead of out of town djs so i stopped making them for CT stores and just kept my global store going for a lil bit then just stopped after Amsterdam.I hated making cds & tapes anyway..They’re boring to make,you’re in your room staring at the wall,no motivation. I thrive in a live ,packed dancefloor/ festival setting so a mix cd is a poor judge of who I am as a dj and didnt want to put that “how bored I am making this” vibe out there.Which is why I believe my Live recording cds were the best and most popular,Like Reggae #9 was live from Miami,well Club Boca in Boca Raton actually and Deep In Ibiza from DC-10 there and Love Parade cd sets
- What do you like about DJing? I love that music is universal,it unites us all and I’ve gotten to see that 1st hand around the world.I love that i can play a set in Istanbul and smash it and you can smash that same set in Wisconsin and they love it at both or the fact that you can have an amazing set in say tokyo and when you’re in say Nyc it doesn’t go over so well and you have to change it up and think on your feet and still smash it…I love connecting with the people,the fans,the crowds,the roadies & stage hands..They’re all part of the events and love em all..I love the DJ art form,the technicality of a perfect mix,the technicality of a perfect scratch,the technicality of putting together a sound & light system..playing and mastering new gear.
- What do you dislike about DJing? HATE the politics,Hate where the dj art form has gone,Hate that anyone with Scratch live,Traktor,Virtual DJ is now considered a DJ..to me the MP3 has caused the oversaturation of the dj market and thus loss of jobs for many veterans and caused the ones that are workingto lose so much money per gig..I mean these kids are out there djing for a bar tab & $50..how do you compete with that in the normal day to day club gigs? Very few people & promoters hire based on skill level..its all about how little they have to pay the djs ,most promoters anyway…that’s why I love djing out of CT,they respect the dj once you cross the border and forget about it out of the usa, djs are treated like royalty outside of it and I love it.Thats why i stayed out of Ct for so many years I saw that it was a dead zone if you wanted to make money & be treated with respect doing what you love.
- What’s hot right now to YOUR fans? I hope I am still hot to them lol…I think my fans love to watch me actually perform on the set,remixing live, hitting switches and manipulating the turntables,no preset mixes or sets..even when i dont bring the turntables and bring whatever new piece of gear,my fans seem to bug out when they watch me gettin busy with whatever new pieces i bring,mesmerized with things theyve never seen before,like when i bring the 2 ipads as turntables with my Dicers and being able to do the same kinds of stuff i can do with a 1200 (mostly everything,1200 is still where i shine and my weapon of choice) or a cdj (which i NEVER liked using)
- Being a CT DJ, or once was, what are your opinions on the current state of Hip Hop out there? CT hiphop is as always, a dead zone,Hip hop has died here long ago,its all ABOUT RAP MUSIC (Yes there is a difference for those that don’t know)..the artists don’t support one another enough,the radio doesn’t support enough and the djs are even worse with support if they can’t make a dollar off of helping or they can’t get something big out of it.That’s not to say that some of the artists don’t hold fault with that either,they hand you an awful sounding mix or a curse infused track for you to play on the radio (cmon son) ,they dont have they’re legal stuff taken care of,bdm,trademarks,sample clearances,publishing & copy writes etc..or to me the worst offense is that they want to sound like whatever is hot and for the last couple of years,everyone sends me or hands me a dirty south track or they’re rapping about lies..they’re dead broke and no girls or fans (except for they’re own crew & block) and the song is talking about their Bentley’s and groupies and cash stacks..OR (here’s my fav) you know they live the straight & narrow but the song is about the bodies they have and the stash houses & guns (CMON SON even more). In Ct theres no unity in the music community,Its all about the CITIES first,Hartford doesnt really support Bridgeport groups and so on with New Haven or Norwalk,Waterbury..Noone really supports each other as a state very often.We even have a “Seminar” thats mainly all Hartford area heads with NYC A&Rs..everyone wants to be the “One to blow” instead of supporting each other and making the STATE as a rap music destination,Like Cali is known for “west coast” or NYC,Louisiana,Texas,Missouri,Florida & Georgia are known for their own styles of Rap music.
- Who are YOUR inspirations as a DJ? DJ Jazzy Jeff was my absolute GOD when he came to Bridgeport in 1987 and I watched what he did at the Klein Memorial Auditoriumthat was a wrap for me as far as pursuing anything else i wanted in life and also from that time it was Mantronix he had a style I loved and my house music & freestyle DJ inspiration was Lil Louie Vega & Glen Friscia and in the deep house arena was Roman Ricardo at the original Tunnel and Todd Terry then in the Scratch world it was Qbert ,Rob Swift,Craze & Tony Vegas (UK)…Then there was Erick Morillo and Tiesto & Sven Vath who are my favorites as far as EDM…Morillo & Tiesto are who I want to be ,but in my own way of course lol
- Any shout outs? First & foremost shout out is to my Beautiful wife Nicole & family, they keep me afloat in the typhoon of DJ life and of course to all my fans worldwide,anyone who has ever gotten dressed and driven,walked or public transportationed (yeah it’s a word lol) and paid to get in to see me perform or just made an effort to get a mix cd or hear me live..YOU ARE APPRECIATED (Tupac Voice) and loved by me and to my Super Smash Bros Crew,Jroc been by my side since the almost start in 87,Jd had my back since 93 and my Consigliere ,Thelmo the Tattoo artist Extraordinaire and former roadie and sharp scratcher and our new comer Dolo the my technical counterpart and Rob Newberry what can I say,It’s been a long strange Hangovery road lol
There you have it…My man DJ CHANCE!! I like this interview because he DIDN’T hold back! He has always felt this way about Connecticut Hip Hop and nevers worries about the backlash. To a high degree he IS right about the state of Connecticut Hip Hop BUT it dsoesn’t have to be this way..I’m hoping this blog can help that….
PS Big Shout to CTHIPHOP.NET
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