“I did every show when [King Von] came to Philly. I did the last one in Philly. My artist Yak Yola got the last feature with him called ‘Slide.’ He and I had a lot of conversations. Every time he came to Philly, he loved Philly. Von is the definition of shaking hands and kissing babies,” DJ Crazy told REVOLT TV.
Who was the first artist you toured with?
My first tour was with AR-AB and PnB Rock. That was about seven years ago. I’ve been AR-AB’s DJ and manager since he got locked up. I started deejaying for him around 2014 or 2015. DJ Alamo was kind of around when AB brought me in the picture, but Alamo started doing his thing with Gille [Da Kid].
How did you influence AR-AB’s stage show?
He let me build his stage show. He was the first person who let me be me. He used to do the show with gangbangers on stage with their hoodies on, rocking back and forth. I’m a Baltimore dude who was raised in Philly, but he found me in Jersey. He let me build his whole live show. I call AB the last of the dying breed of gangster rappers. To me, that was my favorite person to deejay for. If it wasn’t me, another DJ would think it’s hard to push a gangster dude like him on stage to make it look like a show. I call it ‘stage coaching.’
What did you coach him on?
To leave that street shit at home. He actually taught me that first. AB is a strictly music business dude. When it came to my part, he told me, ‘Don’t be a shy little young boy. Give me everything you think I should do.’ So, I started bringing up all of the people I like. I look up to Quincy Jones, so I started using all of his tactics. That was the best time of my life.
What was your most memorable show together?
My favorite show with AB was the little SXSW tour we did [in 2016]. I’m about to go back to SXSW this year. We did 12 shows a day. I only did three shows with AB in Philly even though I deejayed for him for seven years. Me seeing how much everybody else loves this dude was dope. AB found me at 19 years old.
What did you provide at an AR-AB show?
Crowd control, stage presence and telling a story with the songs. AB is a good rapper, so I made the order of the songs make sense. I made sure when the show started we were looked at like The Jackson 5 instead of just OBH. That’s how I wanted us to be looked at.
You also deejayed for PnB Rock.
I come from an era where Philly is selfish. Imagine if you were a rapper, and I deejayed for you. You’d be like, ‘You can’t do nothing with nobody. I run your career.’ What AB did from the rip is call all of his dopest friends. So, I deejayed Chinx Drugz’s last show before he died. I deejayed Bobby Schmurda when he first came home. I had the first entertainment company in Jersey specializing in everything entertainment, which allows the artist to just focus on their talent. I do celebrity booking, sound, lighting and everything. AB made the call to Rock, telling him, ‘This young boy is a one-stop shop.’ When Rock came home, he set me right up with him.
How did you develop your chemistry with PnB Rock?
Shout out to MFN Love — that’s Rock’s manager. They had a club called Takeover, and I rehearsed with PnB on our first day meeting each other. My first show with him was HipHopSince1987’s “Return of the Mack” show [on June 6, 2015]. It was the show after Beanie Sigel had just come home. That changed my life because I never saw State Property in person. The only person I encountered was DJ Mackie — that’s my old head and their DJ — as well as Young Gunz. Seeing Peedi Crakk and them hiding and shit to surprise people, Beanie coming out with the cigar … I never saw that live. It really showed me I missed that whole Roc-A-Fella era by being a young boy. He sold out the whole TLA. That was my favorite show with PnB Rock.
That was Beanie’s first show after being released from prison. What did you notice about the crowd reaction?
What are some last-minute show changes you’ve had to adapt to?
Peedi did this shit to me twice at a bar and on tour. I’m spinning, getting it popping and you’re all like, ‘Play that other one.’ What are you talking about? That wasn’t sent to me. So he’ll say, ‘The DJ did…,’ then I’m like, ‘Peedi don’t play with me.’ I’m right at him. Do you know how Biggie’s DJ got embarrassed the day he fired him on stage? I ain’t him. I’ll be right at them because I’m a brand, too. You’re using the DJ to clean up your brand so you don’t look crazy to your fans. I’m a brand to these people, too. I bring it back to Quincy and Teddy Riley. Respect the DJ. Respect the producer. We ain’t just no lackey or the janitor. Peedi tried to young boy me. He did it on tour, too. Artists only do that for crowd control, but they don’t know they’re making the DJ look crazy. That’s why I’m DJ Crazy — I’ll rebuttal back, and my microphone is louder.
How did you join the “We Don’t Love Em Tour” with Peedi, Memphis Bleek and Freeway?
My head manager DJ Circuit Breaker runs HipHopSince1987. He always does all of the shows. He did Benny The Butcher’s show at TLA. He did the “Return of the Mack” show, too. I guess one of his relationships hit him up to see about his artist performing ‘Shake Dhat’ and he was like, ‘Instead of him just doing ‘Shake Dhat,’ let him do everybody’s set.’ That was legendary to me. It was like a battle royale where Peedi gets two tracks, Bleek gets a few tracks, Freeway gets his tracks. The only person who had their music sent to me was Freeway, but when I met Bleek he was ready. He was AirDrop ready. Peedi came about 60 seconds before we went on stage. I didn’t get his shit until right before we got on stage. I just got done performing.
What are the distinguishing qualities of how Peedi, Bleek and Freeway perform?
Have you ever played football? Peedi reminds me of a speed back. He’s the dude you give the sweeps, pitches and screens to. He’s the one who’s going to give you the quickness. Bleek is like sturdy Jamal Lewis. He has all of the legendary hits you’ll know. Freeway is like Brett Favre. When Peedi said what he said to me on stage, Freeway peeped that and said, ‘We brought Crazy here to be a brand.’ He cleaned that shit up in a second. That’s talent. He’s Mr. Miyagi.
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Which song got the biggest reaction?
‘We still hustle ’til the sun comes up!’ But, I ain’t going to lie, Bleek has hits. I’m only 27, so I didn’t know he had that many hits. He had crowd control and momentum. He had those ‘Dreams & Nightmares.’ DJs throw on ‘Dreams & Nightmares’ as a cheat code when we don’t know what to play or shit’s fucked up. Bleek got a lot of those joints. I never peeped that shit.
I saw you and Bleek had a conversation backstage at the Ohio show. What did you two talk about?
He was telling me about how his kids were doing the ‘Shake Dhat’ dance. I told him I met him at Made in America [in 2015]. I was a program director at all of the Club Onyx’s around the world … interviewing celebrities. I’d interview celebrities and bring them back to the strip club. I was telling him, ‘I interviewed you.’ He was like, ‘That’s crazy. That was seven years ago, and you’re here. There’s a reason why you’re here. Keep going.’ He was giving me game.
You also worked with a lot of artists before they blew up. One of those artists was the late King Von. How did you two link up?
I did every show when he came to Philly. I did the last one in Philly. My artist Yak Yola got the last feature with him called ‘Slide.’ He and I had a lot of conversations. Every time he came to Philly, he loved Philly. Von is the definition of shaking hands and kissing babies.
How did Von’s personality translate to his live shows?
It helped because his first show wasn’t that crazy — at Bucks in Philly. We booked him a month after he put out ‘Crazy Story.’ But, ‘Crazy Story’ wasn’t that crazy yet. It was hot in the clubs, but it wasn’t crazy enough where you could sell out Bucks. His show had about 200 people in there, but just because he was personal, touched people, grabbed girls’ phones, put his arms around random niggas, that shit went a long way. The show you saw on my page was a 5,000+ venue, and he sold that bitch out.
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You worked with Fivio Foreign before he blew up, too.
That’s my nigga. I’ve been working on my album for five years. Every time I start working or start managing somebody, I put my shit aside. When I was working with Yak and China BBM, I was like, ‘Let me start putting out my shit.’ My idea was to remix a new popping song that came out, dance to it and then put it on YouTube. My man brought me Fivio’s ‘Big Drip.’ Obviously, he had Brooklyn on smash but it wasn’t spread out yet. We booked him at NOTO in Philly. I played him ‘Big Drip Remix’ and he flipped out. Rest in Peace to his one dancer TDott. After that, Fivio took me on two shows. ‘Big Drip’ broke in Philly as a club song before anything. It was a club remix. My bro Cosmic Kev, who broke Meek [Mill] and everybody else, got behind it and it was a wrap. Columbia [Records] and everybody was calling me. That was my first song as a DJ that breaks records.
What was his stage show like early on in his career?
In D.C. he walked in with the microphone like, ‘Where DJ Crazy at?’ He can dance and has energy. He can be off two bottles of Henny and still be in the mix. For him to be a dancer and see me dance, he was feeding off that shit. Being a dancing DJ helped me with him. We didn’t even rehearse.
What do you have coming up in 2022?
I changed the sound. I’m the new Timbaland. I’m the new dude when it comes to sounds. I’m about to sign to a major. I’m the first producer/DJ/dancer that has an artist and production deal. My album is viral. I’m about to continue to push the rest of my album and continue working. Consistency is key. I’m just ready to work. I’m working on ‘Shake Dhat Remix.’ I’m doing a lot of shit with Jahlil Beats. I just did a song with Duke Deuce. We got a really big record. I have 150 features in my archives from when I worked on my album. My whole album, I did in-house. I have 15 songs on my album, and five already went viral.