Peep The Exclusive Interview With Core DJ & Shade 45's DJ Averi Minor [More]
At a time in Hip-Hop when it seems that the old school feel is obsolete on the mainstream, certain things happen to show you that although Hip-Hop is evolving somethings will always remain the same.
Since its conception, Hip-Hop has always been centered on the DJ. Once it hit the mainstream in mid 80s and became accepted in 90s, Hip-Hop seemed to move the DJ to the wayside and everybody wanted to be an MC. Despite the major shift, one young man knew he was destined to put it down on the ones and twos and really worked at honing his craft. After gaining major pub for doing local mixes and parties, DJ Averi Minor branched out and started getting play in big clubs all around his hometown of Chicago.
Fast forward years later, after hooking up with his friend and now spin partner Tony Neal; DJ Averi Minor is practically a household name after becoming a part of the now infamous Core DJs.
Besides spinning on Shade 45, DJ Averi Minor mixes on radio stations across the country including New York, Chicago, Music Choice and even on his own premiere mix site, www.avecitydistrict.com; Averi Minor also working with up and coming artists to help them get started in the music business.
Hip-Hopwired.com got a chance to sit down with the busiest DJ in the game to get schooled on how it is working at Shade 45, what it's like being one of the top DJs and learn the truth on what will get you noticed by an official DJ.
Hip-Hop Wired: First things first, how did you link up with Shade 45?
DJ Averi Minor: Honestly it came across my lap. As a member o the Core DJs we have a show "Core DJ Radio: UNCUT" and I'm one of the DJs in rotation, so it was just being with the right team that gave me the ability to get noticed by the right people.
Hip-Hop Wired: Working at Shade 45, do you run into Eminem a lot?
DJ Averi Minor: No, not really. I mean he comes in the office every now and again; but we do our own thing so for me-it's not like there's an opportunity to interact with him like that on a daily basis, even if he was. I like how things are ran at Shade because it's kind of like everybody is doing their own thing and when you have a creative environment like that and the freedom to be creative, you know nothing but hot music is coming out of the studio.
Hip-Hop Wired: Why do you think that satellite radio hasn't truly caught on yet, because in all honesty satellite is way better than regular radio and they have a better rotation…
DJ Averi Minor: I know, on our show we love to break a new artist because it's something people have never heard before. We still play a little mainstream artist; but our primary focus is breaking the next hot emcee-so you will always hear something new. I think that one of the reasons that satellite hasn't caught on yet is because it's like for that “specific” person. What I mean is, people who listen to satellite know what they want.
So there is no”let's cater to everyone” type of vibe, satellite is about targeting and catering to the specific listener who is tuning in just for you and what you bring. For example, a sports fanatic who listens to satellite for sports doesn't have to worry about a Hip-Hop or Pop show interrupting his broadcast, he gets what he wants when he wants all the time and it takes a lot for people to get used to-and it's not free.
Hip-Hop Wired: You are a part of a lot of major mix shows, what is your tool of choice and how do you feel about DJs who only use Serato?
DJ Averi Minor: Honestly, in my opinion; there's nothing wrong with Serato. Really it's about how you use it. There were plenty o DJs before Serato who couldn't spin and now that they have the ease of CDs, their skill still suffer. Now I'm going to sit here and front like I never had a problem with it. Because I used to have an issue with Turntable DJs & CDJ DJs but now its just about how you rock. I can't front on a DJ who can rock with CDs, because he's still giving the crowd something a turntablist could, just in a different way. On another note, I do have issues with DJs who play pre-recorded mixes in the club and simulate the mix as if it were live- Not cool. (Laughs)
Hip-Hop Wired: As a veteran DJ in the game, what advice do you have for new artists trying to get on?
DJ Averi Minor: Utilize what's available to you and take your grind beyond your market. It may not be easy to blow up in your city, but it's easier for your city to respect you IF you blowing up in other cities. It's foreign policy and in most markets, the imports get all the love. I watched that happen here in Chicago with Lupe, Kanye & Jeremih.
Hip-Hop Wired: When you listen to a new record, what attributes does it need to have to make it a "Mr. Mixshow Co-Sign"?
DJ Averi Minor: It has to sound good. Quality is key and if nothing else It has to leave a mark. I've been lucky enough to have an ear that recognizes very good “Independent” music that honestly kills a lot of label-released joints. I'm happy to say some of the indie artist out there “get it" and have been starting to avoid re-inventing the wheel like "the machine" tells them to.
Hip-Hop Wired: How did you link up with the Core DJs?
DJ Averi Minor: Tony Neal has always been the big homie. I've known him since the Core started. The crazy thing is that it I was actually rejected by Tony when I first tried to be a part of the crew, because back then you had to know people to really break in the game. Before we were the Core DJs, they were actually called "The Tecnitions", and the team disbanded-so Tony formed The Core DJs and had the "1st" retreat right here in Chi-Town. Over the years I had a lot of friends in the game that were Core DJs and after I was initially denied entry into the Core, I got my weight up and I got the call and I have been officially down with the crew for 4yrs now.
Hip-Hop Wired: Although you are mostly known now as primarily a mix show DJ, you also still release countless mixtapes for the fans free. What made you decide to start doing that?
DJ Averi Minor: I know a lot of my fans out there love music and may not have access to satellite radio, so when I first started doing it-it was really for them. But then it developed into something that people really started checking for and so I decided that every week I would stream my show and one a month or so I would drop a mixtape just to show my appreciation for their love of my craft.
Hip-Hop Wired: You drop mixes all the time both on air, on TV and even online; what's the next project you plan to release?
DJ Averi Minor: I just completed my “Vault Mix” mixtapes which include a lot of mixes I did back in the day, so that is something people are really feeling right now and I also have the Five Mic series coming out soon as well-so everyone just be prepared to continue to hear great music.
Check out DJ Averi Minor every Sunday on Shade 45 and on Music Choice Channel 703 during the “Mix Show”. For the latest from DJ Averi Minor, log onto his website at www.AveCityDistrict.com and follow him on Twitter @DJAVERIMINOR