DJ Schemes is not a part of the typical music scene. While other DJs are rocking parties in New York and L.A., he’s busy spinning and mixing in West Virginia. With his affiliation with the all-star lineup of the Powerhouse DJs, this Brooklyn native boasts a tenure that could easily leave others envious. This newly crowned DTP DJ sat down with HipHopWired to tell us what sets him apart from the rest, how his fraternity plays a role in his craft and what made him decide to stay in a state where Hip-Hop seems to be lacking.
Origin: Brooklyn, New York
Current Location: Morgantown, West Virginia
Top Ten Playlist:
1. Pyrex Press-Hustle or Die @pyrexpress
2. Bossman-Where its at @bossman410
3. Beyonce ft. Nicki Minaj-Sweet Dreams Remix
4. YD-Zeen @ydmoolagang
5. Tk N Cash-1 of These @tkncash1
6. Ludacris-How low can you go @ludajuice
7. Trey Songs-Say Aah
8. Jay-z-On to the next one
9. Waka Flaka-Lets Do It
10. Birdman-Money to Blow
HipHopWired: Now how did someone from Brooklyn end up in West Virginia?
DJ Schemes: That’s funny, everyone always asks that. Me and my brother wanted to go to school together and me and my brother stumbled upon West Virginia University and it said it was the #1 party school. *laughs* So we were like yo, we’re going.
HipHopWired: Was it really the #1 party school?
DJ Schemes: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah! They get it in out here.*Laughs*
HipHopWired: So is that when you really started getting in to spinning? Did you start at West Virginia or was it before that?
DJ Schemes: Well that’s when I took it seriously. Before then I was just carrying crates into the club for my uncles because most of my relatives were DJs at one time. When I got to school I started getting more into it and it took off from there.
HipHopWired: Okay. Well tell me about the West Virginia music scene. What is it like? Is it more east coast or midwest?
DJ Schemes: It’s really a mix. You get a lot of kids from everywhere. Baltimore is about 3 or 4 hours away so there’s those kids. Then there’s the Jersey kids, and most of the football team is from down south. So you really have to be well rounded because you wanna please everybody. My family’s originally from Jamaica so we got West Indian culture here too. It’s like a melting pot.
HipHopWired: So there’s a small West Indian scene there?
DJ Schemes: Just a little small scene, not too big but it’s good enough for me. *Laughs*
HipHopWired: Now after you graduated, why didn’t you go back to New York on get on the scene there? What made you want to stay in West Virginia?
DJ Schemes: Well I’m not necessarily staying here by choice but West Virginia is more feasible. I built a lot of contacts here through my fraternity in the D.C., Maryland area. That’s really where I wanna go because I know for sure I can link up with certain people and get through a door. To get to New York is fine but I know that since I haven’t been there in so long it would take me longer to get established.
HipHopWired: Okay. So I know ur affiliated with the Powerhouse DJs, how’d u get started working with them?
DJ Schemes: I got started working with them through DJ K.I. This promoter at my school named Rodney introduced me to him. Once I met him we just linked and connected. With the whole DJ thing,some people are cool and I guess some people might be intimidated. They don’t wanna see certain DJs get past another level. K.I., Soundwave, all these guys here really opened up their arms and they were real cool so I always kept tabs on them. K.I. was just like, I wanna start a DJ crew and I said, let’s go for it. It’s been taking off ever since.
HipHopWired: So what are some of the benefits of working with a DJ crew? There are some people that say they want to be independent, they wanna do their own thing. What are some of the benefits of working with all of them?
DJ Schemes: I think the benefit is just to have a core set of people around you. We all help each other and if I’m doing a show and I can’t do my usual residency I can call him up and say, listen do you wanna do this? So we all eat and we all help each other. So as long as people know the Powerhouse DJs has a good set of 5,6, 7 that they can always use, we’ll always get gigs.
HipHopWired: Who are some of the other Powerhouse DJs?
DJ Schemes: We got DJ Supernova—the number one DJ at Penn State, DJ Travis Bond—he goes through NC A&T, we got DJ Monumental, we also got DJ Boone—he does a lot of work for Morgan State, DJ Anonymous, just to name a few.
HipHopWired: What’s the latest thing y’all are working on as a group?
DJ Schemes: As a group we’re so out the box we’re not just DJing we’re actually throwing an Atlanta spring break trip.
HipHopWired: Oh tell us more about that, we’re in Atlanta.
DJ Schemes: It’s a weekend package starting on a Thursday, I believe the early bird special is $200. It includes hotel, getting into all the parties, a Cascade skating party, and indoor pool and hotel party. We’re doing so much stuff. We’re trying to reach out to some people and really get it going. We have a website it’s ATLspringbreak.com
HipHopWired: Okay cool. So besides working with the Powerhouse DJs, what’s something you’re working on individually?
DJ Schemes: I just dropped a mixtape a couple weeks ago. It’s called the Five Star Chick mixtape and the concept was to put together a mix of majority female artists. I put together Trina, Diamond, a couple of unsigned artists, and just tried to get them some exposure. I’ve been getting some pretty good feedback from it.
HipHopWired: Who are some of the unsigned artists on there we might not have heard of?
DJ Schemes: We got Troublesome she’s out of Texas, another lady named Shawna D she’s out of West Palm Beach and Lady Duet who has a song called “Babymomma” that’s crazy.
HipHopWired: Going back to West Virginia University, I know you said you’re in a fraternity. I peeped the 1906 in your name on your Myspace so I assume you’re an alpha. Tell me about how your frat really works with you being a DJ.
DJ Schemes: It’s funny because with my frat I joined in 2005. In the fall of 2005, I got to see it. I didn’t have my own equipment at the time but they wanted me to DJ for them. Then we started making strides for me to events for them. So I would do one event for my fraternity and then the deltas would want me to do an event and it just flourished like that. So every year when MKC does their step show at Morgan Town they call me to host their step show. Not only can I DJ but I can host too. I know how to talk on the mic. It really helped, word of mouth is amazing.So it’s a blessing. It’s definitely a blessing.
HipHopWired: Yes it is. Now what makes you different from other DJs? What sets you apart from the rest?
DJ Schemes: I would say song selection. I say that because some DJs are so into who can scratch the best but if you don’t have song selection and can’t relate to the crowd, it’s not gonna work. As reggae DJ the most important thing is song selection and blending. Make sure you can mix good and your song selection is on point. On top of that, that’s where I get the hosting thing from. If you can intro a song right then you can make the crowd go crazy. So all that really sets me apart. Public speaking is the number one fear in America so a lot of people don’t wanna get on the microphone. I’m so into the culture right now that I know what I’m doing. I pay attention real well.
HipHopWired: Okay well any last words? Any shoutouts?
DJ Schemes : Shoutout to my fraternity of course, Alpha Phi Alpha. Shoutout to the Powerhouse DJs, West Virginia University. Also shout out to DTP.
HipHopWired:Oh you’re a DTP DJ?
DJ Schemes: Yeah I just got down with them in like May or June. I’m working with them to get the DTP music out. I break the records in my area, I get the music out. I get invited to special events, so it’s definitley a good look.
HipHopWired: Cool, that’s what’s up. Let everyone know the best way to get in contact with you.
DJ Schemes: Well you know Twitter runs the world right now. The best way to get in contact with me is twitter.com/DJSchemes or my email is DJSchemespromo@gmail.com.
Download DJ Schemes’ The 5 Star Chick mixtape