DJ Of The Week: DJ Dibiase
Taking his name from a former pro-wrestler DJ Dibiase, pronounced D-Bee-Os-C, is a New Jersey originator that works tirelessly to shed light on Atlanta's indie music scene. In between time this DJ partners with his partner in crime, DJ Singh Slim for projects that mix creativity with raw talent. Noted for his So Far So Gucci mixtape bringing together the pride of T.Dot with the pride of East Atlanta, this innovator tells HipHopWired where you can find him next, what projects he's working on and how things came full circle after he met a Houston Hip-Hop legend.
Origin: Plainsfield, New Jersey
Current Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Top Ten Playlist:
B.O.B - FKi feat. Sean Famoso
Just Begun - Hi-Tek, JCole, Jay Electronica, Mos Def
Candylady Remix - Gucci Mane , Waka Flocka , OJ
Fat Raps - Chip the Ripper Ft. Currensy & Big Sean
Tip of My Tounge - Jagged Edge
Im Beaming - Lupe Fiasco
On Fire - Lil Wayne
As Real As They Come - Tity Boi Ft. Lil Wayne
Who I Am - Wiz Khalifa
My Sweetie - Wale
HipHopWired: Tell me how you got your start DJing.
DJ Dibiase: Well I couldn't afford equipment when I was young so I just used audio software programs and wave editors to make my own remixes. When I got to high school I used to make mixtapes for kids at school just using audio software. Some kids recognized what I was doing and they were like I got old turntables that are used and if you want them I'll give them to you for a cheap price. So after that I started doing proms and after parties and it's just been going on ever since then.
HipHopWired: What made you really want to get into DJing?
DJ Dibiase: I just really have a strong love for music and I like exposing different music to people. Even when I was younger I always liked controlling what station the radio was on and being like “Check out this CD” while we were driving. DJing is the best forum to get some music that's not your own out to the masses whether it's through a party or mixtape.
HipHopWired: Now I heard you linked up with Bubby Love from V-103. So tell me about that, how'd y'all link up?
DJ Dibiase: Bubby was influential as far as my start back when I was in high school. My mom used to work there and she did the news. A lot of DJs over there they were using CD players but I started off using vinyl. I'm only 21 right now but a lot of people that were born in the 80s went straight to CD players. I came up through vinyl and Bubby would give my mother the extra wax that labels would send to the radio station. When I would go up to the station my mom would say, “Make sure you go say thank you to Bubby.” So we would chop it up and he's an O-G in the game so he would tell me about how everything works and tell me how to rock a party. So Bubby was a great help in my start.
HipHopWired: That's what's up. I also heard that your name wasn't always Dibiase, it was Tomahawk. Is that right?
DJ Dibiase: Yeah in high school I feel like a lot of DJs do a quick Google search to see if their name is taken. I wasn't really into all that but after I got out of high school I decided to take things to the next level. Dibiase was a unique name I didn't feel that there'd be another Dibiase out there so I just wanted something that was my own.
HipHopWired: Right, and where did Dibiase come from?
DJ Dibiase: Way back in the day when I was a little kid I didn't really watch cartoons but I did watch WWF wrestling. There was wrestler on there called “The Million Dollar Man- Dibiase.” His whole schtick was that he was the money man and he was a bad guy. I always liked the name and I was going through some old records and I was listening to “It's So Hard” by Big Pun and he actually has a line in there where he says “Poppin Shyte like a Nazi, iced out like Dibiase.” So I was like hmmmm, people actually know who that is and it sounds nice too so I just stuck with it from there.
HipHopWired: Okay. So that is how you got the whole Million Dollar DJ thing then, too right?
DJ Dibiase: Exactly, the Million Dollar DJ.
HipHopWired: So where do you DJ on a regular basis? I know you're doing your thing with Broke N' Boujee but on a regular basis where do you spin?
DJ Dibiase: I don't really have any regular places but I do Broke N' Boujee and I'm DJing the Bilal/ Foreign Exchange show. I just got back from Houston; I did Arts, Beats and Lyrics out there. I DJed at Eye Lounge this Sunday, an anti-Valentine's Day party for some girls. I'm really all over and I really like it like that too. I feel like if you're just sitting at one place at one time you're not really spreading around a lot. I like to have diverse venues that I'm DJing so I'm pretty much everywhere just look for the name.
HipHopWired: What's the next event you're DJing?
DJ Dibiase: I'm actually gonna be in a DJ Battle at the Atlantic Civic Center Saturday, the 20th for the Sprite Step-Off show. Drake's headlining.
HipHopWired: That's what's up that's huge! Congratulations. Let's switch gears now and talk about mixtapes. How'd you come up with the concept for So Far, So Gucci?
DJ Dibiase: My roommate and I, Singh Slim the other DJ on the tape, we were just brainstorming. We're really into quality mixtapes and quality DJing instead of just yelling on the tape. So we said instead of all these shi*ty Gucci Mane mixtapes that are out we need to put something out that's actually good. At first we were just gonna do a remix CD of Gucci but then it just popped in my head like who are the two hottest rappers in the game right now…and this was during the summer so it was Drake and Gucci Mane. Everything came in like 5 minutes, the idea for the cover, song titles, it happened like clockwork. It was hard to find acapellas because we didn't have ends at that time at So Icey so we had to try and find acapellas and we were actually making our own acapellas. We wanted that original timeless mixtape and I feel like we accomplished that with So Far, So Gucci. It came together over the course of some months, it got a little ugly at times but at the end we got a good product.
HipHopWired: Are you and Singh Slim working on anything else together?
DJ Dibiase: We're actually working on another version of So Far So Gucci with Young Jeezy. I'm not gonna say who we're gonna put Young Jeezy over but be on the lookout for that. If you're a DJ you know Def Jam does not give up their acapellas so we're trying to find our way around that.
HipHopWired: That's what's up. What about individually? Are you working on any projects by yourself?
DJ Dibiase: I really want to do a compilation of mixtapes of all the artists from the underground scene here in Atlanta. I get so much good music from artists out here doing their thing and they're not really getting their shine on big mixtapes from Drama or Scream so I really want to take that into my hands and be the DJ for them exposing their music to the masses. Be on the lookout for that I don't have a name for it. Another mixtape I have is called Chi State of Mind where it's like an old school Chicago mix of Twista and Do or Die.
HipHopWired: Okay, and who are some of the underground artists that you're working with?
DJ Dibiase: I'm actually working with this female out of Australia named Regal. She's straight from Australia….
HipHopWired: How'd you link up with someone from Australia?
DJ Dibiase: She actually lives over here now, she's in Australia but she comes back later this week. She came to the Broke N' Boujee party and then this charity fundraiser called Hearts For The Holidays that Fadia Kader put on. She looks like a model and then I found out she raps I was like, woah I have to hear more of her stuff. So she sent me some of her stuff and I was really impressed and I saw definite potential in working with her. I'm working with her so be on the lookout for Welcome To Atlanta, that should be coming out at the end of this quarter. Other artists I'm working with are FKi, some Governed By Loyalty artists…Mums FP, Grip Plyaz, Fat Kids Brother, Young Bishop, a lot of artists. That's what I was saying with this mixtape that's what I want to do, there's just so much stuff out here, there's too much to name it all. I just want to put the product out and let the music speak for itself.
HipHopWired: Cool, cool. So what's your ultimate goal for the year?
DJ Dibiase: I just want to get out of state more to be honest with you. The Houston trip I took last week was really important to me. If it wasn't for Houston I wouldn't be a DJ, I got into screwed and chopped music in high school and I became fascinated with it. I did my studying with it on DJ Screw and Michael Watts, OG Ron C…all of them. I ended up opening up at Arts, Beats and Lyrics and I get a tap on my shoulder from behind and guess who it is?
HipHopWired: Who was it?
DJ Dibiase: It's Michael Watts and I got star struck for a second. I don't get star struck with rappers and celebrities but when I see someone that's doing what I'm doing and they're the reason I'm doing what I'm doing, I just told him thank you. I said, I don't know if people tell you all this all the time but I just wanna say thank you. I just wanna be able to go see what's going on in the local and indie scenes outside of Atlanta. I really wanna go to Baltimore, D.C…I'm really into go-go because of my roommate. I just wanna see what's going on in other cities. In 2010 I really wanna get out and see what's going in the rest of America and if I can, the world.
HipHopWired: Well, that's what's up. So do you have any last words? Any shout outs?
DJ Dibiase: Make sure you get So Far, So Gucci. If you want the official copy which I know you do, go to MixUnit.com, it's $2.99. Shoutout to all my affiliates DJ Wreckineyez holding it down for Asher Roth, DJ Jamad, DJ Singh Slim, be on the lookout.
HipHopWired: Okay and if someone's looking to contact you, do you have like a Twitter or a Myspace?
DJ Dibiase: Yeah, they can hit me on my twitter @DibiaseATL. My email is DibiaseATL@gmail.com