If you are on this site then an introduction of DJ Fakts One shouldn't be necessary.  If you don't know this man then you may be setting yourself up to get your Hip Hop card pulled.  Okay, we'll chill on the elitism and just state the details.   Fakts is a true school Hip Hop DJ/beatsmith reppin' none other than Boston, MA.  Many of you know him as 1/3rd of the Hip Hop supergroup THE PERCEPTIONISTS...alongside Beantown rhyme giants:  Mr. Lif and Akrobatik.  

Coming by way of the celebrated Dudley Square section of Roxbury, Fakts One came up in the game amongst some of Boston's most distinguished radio DJ's .  Radio stations such as WILD 1090AM and local university stations WRBB, WZBC, WMBR and Emerson College's WERS 88.9FM is where he would begin to add stripes to his sleeves.  As a key figure in Boston's underground Hip Hop scene, Fakts was instrumental in breaking records for a roster of talented artists both on the local and national level.  Many of those seminal Hip Hop shows were recorded on cassette.  We learned that those tapes are well kept in his archives.

Luckily...we had the chance to catch up with Fakts for a quick second to talk about his days of buying, playing, recording, breaking and now digitizing tapes...

(SC)  Can you remember the first tape you bought back in the day and where you copped it?

Nah can't remember one in particular or the first.  Probably a Whodini tape or Run DMC or whatever was popular when I was a kid.  At school I would save my lunch money and not eat so I could buy a new tape every Friday.  If there was a new album out I'd get that or cop like 3 cassette singles.  The main one that sticks out in my mind is Big Daddy Kane's Long Live the Kane.  I bought it at Mattapan Music the day it dropped.

(SC)  Do you still have all your cassettes from back in the day?

Not all of them but a decent amount because being a DJ I started buying everything on wax.  I didn't collect tapes, I used them!  I played them shits hardbody in the boom box, the Walkman, people's cars... wherever.  I popped and damaged so many just from constantly rewinding to hear songs over and over.  Most of my gems are left over from the era before I started collecting.

(SC)  I see that you got some dope singles and maxi's.  What are some of your standout joints?

KMD - Peachfuzz Maxi-single
Sir Mix-a-lot - Posse on Broadway Maxi-single
Black Moon - Who got the props? Cassingle
KSolo - Spellbound Maxi-single
Redman - Blow Your Mind Maxi-single

I was (still am !) a big Def Squad fan (laughs)

(SC)  I see that you are digitizing your some tapes.  Do you have a lot of music exclusively on tape?  ie; mixes, beats, etc?

My main thing I collect with tapes is radio shows.  I used to record the radio all day, sit there with my blank cassette on pause ready to go the second they played some hot shit.  I have some of the old Dave Mays pre-Source mag shows on WHRB, some Red Alert tapes, lots of Stretch and Bobbito tapes.  I'm re-discovering a lot of these shows now that I'm converting them.

The conversion process started with me wanting to catalog all of my old mixtapes an radio shows from my days on WERS 88.9FM '95-'99.  I got in the habit of recording every interview, freestyle, and guest appearance quick.  I've got on-air freestyles from just about every artist in that time.  I broke all the hot records on air during that time.  This is when the scene was mostly indie 12' vinyl..labels like Rawkus, Fondle Em, Brick, all sent me goodies early.  All their artists passed through the studio too.

(SC)  You have been working with  2 of the most prolific mc's for some time now:  Akrobatik and Mr. Lif.  Is it safe to say that some unreleased demos exist on cassette somewhere in your archives?  Or any unreleased Fakts One beat tapes for that matter?

My old beats tapes I haven't listened to yet but I got some.  I'm really looking for some of my old SP1200 beats. I want those drums (laughs)

Yeah I've got some things that they'd be super embarrassed of -Old stuff.  But some are really good too.  Those guys had local classics before they ever dropped vinyl.  Lif had a song called Through The Eyes of A Blunted Man that I have.  Akro has a big back catalog of tracks - Nightfall, Ease Up, plus I have his first cassette single Ruff Enuff still sealed.  All those are from like 94-96or so.  I've got quite a few of Reks demos also.


Back in the day Akro's old manager organized what came to be called The Newbury Freestyle sessions, where every Boston area MC just went off the head for hours.  Ak, Lif, Esoteric, Ripshop, Virtuoso and so many more.. Just freestyles for hours all put to tape.  Those masters are the Holy Grail cassette of Boston hip hop.

(SC)  If you could pick out any album that you worked on and had a chance to re-release it on a cassette today, which one would it be?

Longrange! I'd def change a few things.  Nature Sounds put it out in '08, which I'm thankful for, but there's a few tracks that I didn't turn in to Coup D'état in time.

(SC)  Could you tell us about your Heavy Hitters mixtape?  Inspiration behind it?  It's considered a rarity, are there are any other rare cassette releases of yours?

At the time I originally did it (1999) I just wanted to have a dope mixtape, nothing more nothing less.  I did a limited run of them with Brick Records and it took off.  Shortly after that the format moved on to mix CDs and due to my touring schedule and shows etc I just made new mixes and never re-pressed HH.  No matter where I went in the work though, people had heard HH!  Germany, the UK, Australia, Japan, shit even Czech Rep.  Since the people wanted it I figured I'd put it back out there.  Shout out Nitty Gritty Radio!

(SC)  You obviously grew up on the sounds of cassettes.  How has that influenced your music production today?

Big time.  It's a sound that can't be replicated.  Period.  I'm lucky enough to be old enough to have learned about and used 2" reel to reel machines, but still young enough to appreciate the advancements technology has given the culture.

(SC)  What should we expect from DJ Fakts One in 2012?  Any new projects?

I released my beat tape The Chop Shop myself in Aug 2011.  I have a nice project I'm wrapping up now with another Boston artist (and longtime friend) Alias called "Second Chances."  The first single Nothing To Lose features Reks, Wispers, & Checkmark and drops in March.  I also have some production in the works for Curly Castro, Has Lo, Juan Deuce, M Dot, Praverb,  Reks, and Akrobatik.

I think I'm gonna do another beat tape this summer too, make it a yearly tradition.  We'll see.

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(SC)  Last comments or shouts?

Shouts to Strictly Cassette for interviewing me and to everyone who took the time to read this, thank you.

Make sure that you check out what Fakts One is up to. Follow him on Twitter @Fakts617  His new beat tape titled "The Chop Shop" is available now on Bandcamp or you can peep it right here:


  1. SlangDisco6.3.12

    wow sir mix-a-lot posse on broadway thats one person i never really listened to ever im about to go check it out thanks for sharing your story fakts big ups bro

  2. Bang6.3.12

    Dope look into Fakts collection!! Good read f'real!! Strictly Cassette always delivers top articles & some of the illest pics!!

  3. Justiceson26.3.12

    Big up Fakts 1 and ButtonPusha for this. Another good read.


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