In part 2 of our interview with DJ Skee, Skee speaks on allegations that he doesn’t support local artists as well as his connection with the new pride of Gary, Indiana. This taste maker/ DJ/ Hip-Hop connoisseur also tells HipHopWired how he blends Hip-Hop with top 40 hits on KISS 102.7 FM and the freedom and pride he feels from his Sirius satellite radio show.
HipHopWired: Tell me a little bit about how you found Freddie Gibbs. He’s from Gary, Indiana…you’re out there in L.A. How did you even hear about him?
DJ Skee: Some of the people he was working with had been telling me about him for a minute. I never paid attention but then I listened to the music and I said, “Oh this is dope…I want to meet him.” So they brought him through and we decided to get down and make it happen. In literally like five months look at all that we’ve been able to do with him. That’s a testament to what we do. We’ve been getting him all this press and he’s the new IT artist. I think we’ve really given Freddie that platform. We have that audience and that platform. He has the music, he’s always had it. Now it’s so much more than the music, it’s about the platform. It’s about showcasing the artist’ personality and really doing it organically and authentically and I think we’ve been able to do that.
HipHopWired: So is that something that stood out about him? Was it his personality on top of his flows?
DJ Skee: The music was incredible but nowadays it’s not just the music, it’s about the full package. He definityley had it all when I met him.
HipHopWired: Okay cool. Now I know you put out Midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik but is there a full album between you two on the way?
DJ Skee: There definitely is. We’re not necessarily following the old formula where you put out a mixtape and then automatically put out an album. We might do an EP or a special project or work with some producers and give out some more music for free.
HipHopWired: Alright so let’s switch gears here….Now I heard there was this controversy going on where people were upset and saying that L.A. DJs don’t support L.A. artists, and there was a protest outside of Power 106. Now I know you’re not affiliated with Power anymore but your name somehow got caught up in the drama. What do you have to say to people who say you don’t support L.A. artists?
DJ Skee: I mean that’s just not true. When all that stuff came up I said listen to my radio show. In two hours on air with Sirius I played 32 records from West Coast artists. That’s over supporting. At the same time I do think there’s valid points to both sides. From the other side, like the radio side; at the end of the day it’s still a business. No station is out to really blacklist artists. If an artist has a huge single they’re gonna play it because it’s all about getting ratings. It’s the business, if they get more ratings and more listeners they get paid more by advertisers. They’re not trying to black ball, they’re trying to play what people wanna hear. With that being said, radio sometimes needs to look toward the future and set up a platform where they can put on and showcase the new artists even if they take a hit right now in ratings. They’re gonna build flagship artists that way if there is the next Nipsey or Jay Rock, when they blow up they’ll be tied to the station. Like I said, there are valid points to both sides. At the end of the day true artists have to have those records and the labels have to push them so they’re getting those requests. I’m doing my best to support L.A. artists.
HipHopWired: Okay cool. Tell me about how you made your transition over to 102.7
DJ Skee: With KISS the situation just happened to come up. When you think of KISS, you know it’s Ryan Seacrest and only a couple of DJS. It’s a straight pop, top 40 station but they saw what I did with my brand and how I produced myself as not just a traditional DJ but as a tastemaker. I have my shows where I have freedom to play whatever I want and they allowed me to have this platform where I can jump on artists early and utilize the websites we have with Skee TV and everything else. It’s been exciting but they’ve almost given me more freedom than the other situation I was in. It was exciting but I was kind of nervous going from my roots being street and going with authentic, incredible Hip-Hop to making that transition. Now I’m getting a whole new audience and I get to expose them to new music where I might play a J.Cole record or a Wale super early before any other station. I just love music at the end of the day. It’s been a great situation.
HipHopWired: Now I know you’re doing thing too with the Sirius online radio show. Do you feel that’s more of the traditional Hip-Hop format you’re used to?
DJ Skee: With Sirius I can really play what I want. It’s all Hip-Hop and I can play a bunch of street records and authentic Hip-Hop. I have a ton of fun with that show, I’ve been on Sirius for four or five years now. I love both shows for different reasons. I’m in a position where I can get my stuff out whether it’s top 40/ pop radio or it’s street Hip-Hop. I just play good music. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day for me.