“The more consistent the project is, the more continuity it has and the more people respect it….”- DJ Burnone
DJ Burnone is an Atlanta bred DJ who first delved into mixtapes at the age of 16. Spoon fed music through classic ATL DJs like DJ Jelly and Edward J, it’s impossible not to listen to his music and notice his Southern roots.
Currently on tour with mixtape brethren Yelawolf and Wiz Khalifa, Burnone took time out to tell HipHopWired his plans for the future, details on his upcoming album and how a mixtape with T.I. changed his regime for the better.
Origin: Atlanta, GA
Current Location: Atlanta, GA
HipHopWired: Tell me how you got your start.
DJ Burnone: I started messing around with some software equipment, doing remixes—taking an instrumental of a song and putting it with an acapella. You know just getting my feet wet with music. Then I’d have people come over and have them freestyle at the house, just having fun. Then I got a job at a mom and pop store called Super Sounds and that’s what really got me into it retail. I started doing these mixtapes of the top 20 songs that were out, I’d take them and I would sell them for $10 a piece. At this time I was 16 so I’d get a 100 pack of CDs and sell all of them, I was making money. Then one day this guy asked me, why don’t you start doing exclusives like Drama’s doing.
Before then all I’d heard was Jelly tapes and Edward J and then I heard what Drama was doing. He was doing exclusives, he was building relationships with all of these artists and I saw that it was really just about your taste in music. I didn’t really have any expectations, I didn’t dream of being a mixtape DJ growing up. Once I got into it really developed itself. When I was a senior in high school, the girls from Xstaci who are signed to Grand Hustle got Tip to host a mixtape for me. Once I did the mixape with him it legitimized me.
HipHopWired: That leads me to my next question. Tell me more about your first mixtape. Do you remember what was on it? The concept?
DJ Burnoone: This was back when Crunk music was popping and I was young and silly so I think I called it “Get Crunk 2.7.” *Laughs* It was something ridiculous. It did good as far as people responding to the music but people didn’t know who I was so I ended up giving out all the CDs at the end. A lot of people are afraid to make mistakes but really that’s the only way you learn.
HipHopWired: Right, and I noticed you brought up DJ Jelly earlier. Is he the kind of DJ that really influenced you in the beginning? The real, local mixtape DJs?
DJ Burnone: Yeah like DJ Jelly, Edward J, I definitely grew up on those tapes. I definitely picked those up from the Ooomp Camp stores. There was something about the way he mixed the music and did blends to me, which I’m still not super huge on because I got off on the mixtapes and the exclusive side, I got into producing. I don’t think scratching and mixing is my calling….
HipHopWired: Are you still producing now?
DJ Burnone: Yeah, I just did a record for Freddie Gibbs and Pill called Do Wrong, I have a lot of records with Freddie I’m trying to do his whole album. I just produced a whole tape for Starlito, it’s available on ITunes right now.
HipHopWired: Now a lot of people got an introduction to you from Yelawolf’s Trunk Muzik. Tell me a little bit about how you guys met and hooked up for that?
DJ Burnone: I initially met him around 2 yrs ago in Atlanta at this show called Fuggin Awesome. I saw him and I said, “Wow this guy’s incredible.” Then a couple years later, this guy named DJ Dirty from Baller’s Eve called and told me he was at a bar with Yelawolf and that we need to do something together. So we sat down and it went from there. So he called Will Power who did every track on there except “I Wish” and “Mixing Up The Medicine” and they knocked it out in a week. He just signed with The Agency, a booking agency out of New York so we’re out on this tour with Wiz Khalifa, which is a great look. He just kept it real with me and brought me out here with him. Ya know, it’s only right.
HipHopWired: What’s it like being out on tour?
DJ Burnone: It’s beautiful, good networking, being able to perform…to me, music is all about perspective. You stay in one area your whole life you’re going to think music is a certain way but now I’m like wow, I see music a totally different way. I didn’t know Wiz’s following was like that and now I see it, I see his energy and now I understand it. Before I had just heard the “How Fly” tape and I thought it was jamming. Being out here definitely gave me a different perspective.
HipHopWired: Who are some other artists that you’re working with? Are you doing any more work with Zoe?
DJ Burnone: Not right now. I’m focused on working on my album. I’ll be producing most of the music on there and I’ll have people like Yela, Pill, Freddie Gibbs, people that I have a personal relationship with that I’m a fan of. I’m gonna try and keep it short with 10 or 11 records, the whole concept of 20 songs is played out.
HipHopWired: So tell me about what else you have going on. What’s next for you after this tour?
DJ Burnone: Just continuing working on this Yelawolf project and my album. I’m also working with this guy P-Watts from South Carolina. Really what I’m doing now is hosting tapes and doing the beats on them. The more consistent the project is, the more continuity it has and the more people respect it.
HipHopWired: Agreed. So let’s wrap it up. Do you have any last words? Anything you wanna say?
DJ Burnone: Follow me on Twitter/DJBurnone. Check out BlvdStreet.com.