“Nowadays everybody wants to be a DJ, but not everybody is a DJ when they’re not crafting the art of being a DJ. For me, it’s always going to be an art form…”- DJ Chubby Chub
DJ Chubby Chub is ruling the New England airwaves at his home of Hot 97 Boston, The Bronx bred DJ got his start in the 80s and has burning up the DJ scene ever scene. With former ties to Dame Dash and Jay-Z, it’s no wonder why his tenure’s been flagged with props and respect.
This Boston based DJ sat down with HipHopWired to tell us how he met his mentor DJ Clark Kent, how he got his introduction into Hip-Hop and how he uses his latin roots to create a sound that’s all his own.
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Origin: Bronx, New York
Current Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Top Ten Playlist:
- Jay-Z- “Hard Knock Life”
- Lil Wayne “Go DJ”
- Fat Joe ft. Young Jeezy- “Slow Down”
- Red Café- “I’m Ill”
- Fabolous- “Body Ya”
- Usher- “There Goes My Baby”
- Doug E Fresh- “Keep Rising To The Top”
- Drake- “Over”
- Jadakiss ft. Styles P- “We Gonna Make It”
- Nore- “Nothin”
HipHopWired: Take me back a little bit and tell me how you got your start.
DJ Chubby Chub: I started in the early 80’s with different DJs around my area and different rap groups that were just starting out like the Cold Crush Brothers when the DJs for them were DJ Charlie Chase and DJ Tony Tone, then Grandmaster Flash. Later on it was different DJs like Kid Capri and Clark Kent that gave me the different essentials to really be the DJ and understanding the DJ. Being that I’m Hispanic it made it more of a, how can I say, a transition for me because in my household all we heard was Spanish music. So when I bought into hip hop my mom was like “What’s that?” and she would always call it “Doomp Doomp Doomp” my mom didn’t know no English so she would call it that and that’s what she thought it was, a racket. (Laughs) Those were my influences and that’s what really got me into it, seeing those outside DJs connecting with the crowd and things of that nature.
HipHopWired: I read somewhere that you were in a rap group and you guys were affiliated with Dame Dash and Jay Z, is that correct?
DJ Chubby Chub: Yes, that’s correct.
HipHopWired: Ok, tell me about that.
DJ Chubby Chub: Well it was part of the mixtape era with the Ron G’s, the Doo Wop’s, the SNS, I had mixtapes out and the group Original Flavor which was Ski and T-Strong, T-Strong was originally from around my way, 174 University, and he was like “Yo we want you to get down with us with Original Flavor” and I was like “Aight, not problem, we’ll get down and see what’s up”. We started working on the album at Powerhouse Studios, I met Jay Z a little bit before that because I used to DJ with Clark Kent, Clark Kent’s my mentor, and Clark Kent also put me to Original Flavor, he was like “Yo you need to be a part of that group, go ahead” and then I met Dame Dash and I was one of the first people to ever put Jay Z on a mixtape.
HipHopWired: Wow that’s crazy, so how did you originally meet Clark Kent?
DJ Chubby Chub: It so happens, Clark was working at Atlantic records and he was an A&R and he took a liking to me and I ended up opening up for him for every show he was doing at the time. So I would go set up before he would get on and then all of the sudden I just started getting my own gigs and stuff.
HipHopWired: How did you make that transition from being a rapper to being a DJ?
DJ Chubby Chub: Well I was always a DJ, I was in a rap group, it was at the same time, I never was a rapper, I just entertained. I just knew how to entertain and I had the voice, the presence and I knew how to articulate a crowd. With that being said, I ended up DJing for numerous artists, I DJed for Jay Z, I DJed for Foxy, I DJed for Nas, I DJed for Kaleef, I DJed for Brittney Spears, Fat Joe, a lot of people.
HipHopWired: Tell me about your career in radio, what’s it like at Hot 97?
DJ Chubby Chub: Well with radio, it was a major transition because I was a street DJ and a station in Boston had opened up and they were interested in me being a part of it, so I took a chance. At first it was just being a DJ, it wasn’t even what I am now which is on-air personality and DJ, which a lot of DJs don’t know how to excel from just DJs. It benefits when you really know how to come across the airwaves and being able to get people to understand what you do, it’s a stronger caption than just being a regular DJ. Nowadays everybody wants to be a DJ, but not everybody is a DJ when they’re not crafting the art of being a DJ. For me, it’s always going to be an art form because it took me awhile to learn how to do all of that. It took a long to time to learn how to even be able to speak in front of a crowd or for people to understand you when you’re talking. So when the radio opportunity came I decided to say “Well I want to be more than just a DJ” and that’s when they gave me that shot and now I’m on 3-7 Monday through Friday and Saturdays 6-10.
HipHopWired: Now how long were you just a mixer before you started doing on-air work?
DJ Chubby Chub: I was doing DJing for about 3 years. I did 3 years of initial radio, just doing the noon and then I went to drive time then I went to nights then it became I was the drive time and my own personality.
HipHopWired: Are you still putting out any mixtapes right now?
DJ Chubby Chub: To be honest, I’m going to put out a mixtape. I’ve been doing podcasts and I’ve also put out a lot of stuff through Mediafire, like a lot of the radio shows because people look forward to those shows. But I haven’t done a mixtape…well I’ve done a mixtape but it was in Spanish- I did Salsa, Merengue, Bachata.
HipHopWired: Oh wow, okay.
DJ Chubby Chub: Yeah, I’ve been venturing out to different things.
HipHopWired: And how’s that going?
DJ Chubby Chub: That’s going great. I’ve travelled to Brazil, I’ve travelled to Spain, I stay travelling overseas- that’s another benefit to just DJ in these areas and do everything. I’ve been blessed, I can really say I’m blessed. Somebody recognized what I do, even like yourself with the interview right now and I thank you.
HipHopWired: You’re welcome, it’s nothing. So are you doing any parties right now or just doing on-air work?
DJ Chubby Chub: Oh yeah, I’m constantly in the clubs. I just did Friday night I was in the club, Saturday I was in Rhode Island at Jovan’s, Sunday I do a radio show out in Jersey; an AM station in Jersey on Sundays from 8-10, it’s called Mix 1620 AM. I’m constantly moving 7 days a week.
HipHopWired: What’s next for you this year? Are you planning on making any big moves or what’s like the overall goal for 2010?
DJ Chubby Chub: Right now the overall situation is really the visibility. With the youth, they’re growing and they don’t see you and they don’t really pay attention to what a DJ is and how you come across, just like with rappers- they lose interest with a lot of people because they don’t stay current so people can really get a grasp on you, so that’s the biggest thing for me right now. Then after that, I think I’m going to manage a few DJs, I think like pretty soon I can say “You know what, I had enough and venture to other things.”
HipHopWired: Do you have any last words or shout-outs you want to give?
DJ Chubby Chub: Big shouts to you, big shouts to HipHowWired it’s a beautiful thing and big shouts to everyone that supports the Big Chub. You can always hit me on that Twitter @DJ_Chubby_Chub, catch me on that radio dial Monday through Friday 3pm-7pm and Saturday 6pm-10pm and Sundays 8pm-10pm at Mix1620, you’ll never be disappointed! Otherwise you can hit me on that Facebook, that’s always a good thing, Willie Sanchez, Chubby Chub, that’s about it.