PHOTO CREDITS: COURTESY OF DJ DOUBLE KK
DJ Double KK is without a doubt, one of Pittsburgh, PA's greatest DJ's of all time. He is the equivalent of what Cash Money & Jazzy Jeff are to Philly. From his humble and climactic beginning stages, coming up in Pittsburgh's legendary Hill District (Robinson Court Projects) with the late legendary DJ "Melle" Mell in 1979, to rocking countless parties on the Hill and throughout the city, to being Pittsburgh's first scratch DJ. His touring experience included opening up for numerous shows with legendary Hip Hop groups such as: Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Biz Markie, Queen Latifah, Special Ed and many more. DJ Double KK himself (Never to stay local) got his first major break when mixtape distributor "Tape Kingz" (Based in Brooklyn) started selling his mixtapes, which went "platinum" in the borough of Brooklyn alone. He was also Pittsburgh's first DJ to officially enter the DMC DJ Competition in 1993. Today, DJ Double KK & DJ Charlie D. (Along with M.C. Stan The Man) continue to rock parties and DJ showcases all over the world.
You know you can't talk about Hip Hop and Cassette tapes without mentioning the legendary Tape Kingz. We were blessed to connect with Double KK through our fam DJ Lord Ron. Check out what he has to say about Djing, being in an issue of Rap Sheet and what real mix tapes are about. Take notes people...class is in session!
DJ Double KK: Well! the person who inspired me to become a DJ was Grandmaster Flash,who went by the name of DJ flash back then. I had a great uncle named Buddy who had moved to New York City in ''1979'' & was counsler at a youth center in the Bronx,but every year he used to come back home for the annual family reunions,& this one particular year he brought some tapes back with music on it & gave them out to me & my cousins & said this is the music all the kids in the Bronx were listening to & enjoying ,so he bought a few tapes back for us because he figured if the kids in New York City enjoy it,we would enjoy it as well. So when I got home that night & popped my tape in I heard three guys talking on mics [who I later realized it was Melle Mel, Cowboy, Mr. Ness,& Scorpio] & then I heard a guy scratching records who they were calling DJ Flash & years later I realized the tape I was listening to was ''Grandmaster flash & the Furious 4'' Live at the Audubon Ballroom 1978 & this one tape & DJ changed my life forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So right after that, rap records started to come out in '79. I was nine years old & I had a friend named Mel Plowden [DJ Melle Mel] who lived in the same projects as me across the street from my grandmothers who was about 2-3 years older than me who happened to be a DJ already & had all the jams first & this one particular record he had was called ''Superrappin'' by grandmaster flash & I said hold up that's the guy on that tape I got!!,so I went home & begged my mom to look for that record or any record by him next time she went to the record store,& she happened to find that exact record!! As soon as she got home I put the record on,cause we already had a componet set turntable & played that record to death!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! until soon I was trying to immulate the scratching sound that flash was doing on that tape I had & that was the very beginning of me scratching records & wanting to become a dj for life.
DJ DOUBLE KK HAS SHARED THE STAGE WITH COUNTLESS LEGENDS.
I guess from that era & time frame of the 90's I would have to say getting the opportunity to do shows with public enemy when they were at the height of the success,because that whole experience inspired me to take my career from a ''group'' dj mindset to ''soloist'' dj mindset to the next level,as well as mastering my ability to play & hold down & entire arena as far as dj solo's/performances are concerned because alot of dj's can't do that,especially today's dj's. OTHER than that I would have to say being the first dj from my city to enter the DMC dj competition, because that experience also taught me to keep elevating my dj creativity because[ dj's was on a whole other level at that point] & to set standards for myself as a dj & always go foward never backwards,because the 90's to me was not a good decade for ''real'' dj's or real music period! If it wasn't for the hip hop underground groups like Show & AG, D.I.T.C., Large Professor, Pete Rock,& a whole host of lesser known dope underground mc's & dj's I would say that the 90's was ''wack'' period! & I honestly believe hip hop would have died in that decade without them.
DJ DOUBLE KK RELEASES ON THE LEGENDARY TAPE KINGZ LABEL PLUS TAPES FROM HIS PERSONAL COLLECTION
Well! the whole Tape Kingz situation came about when Ian the guy who started Tape Kingz had heard one of my old school tapes that were circulating through out New York at the time, Brooklyn specifically and he hit me up and said he wanted to put out some of my tapes through Tape Kingz distribution,& the timing was perfect for us both because he was just starting with the whole mixtape thing & I was just starting my own mixtape movement in New York specifically & what really seperated me from the other dj's mixtapes that he had like Funkmaster Flex, Kid Capri, Ron G., Mr. Cee,etc. was the fact that out of all of them I was the only one doing deep old school hip hop mixtapes as well as mad cuttin & scratchin mixtapes as well, where in todays time would be labeled as a turntablist mixtape which is a style you didn't hear on anybody's mixtape back then,& we talkin ''1992-1993'' when alot dj 's were starting to use dats for shows & to deejay with,which was wack!! SO to hear a dj bring it like I was bringing it during that wack time period for dj's was really refreshing to hear & really made me stand out, plus gave me my own lane & identity. MATTER of fact my tapes were so popular that they went platinum in Brooklyn alone just based soley on my originality & the fact that I was not trying to sound like Kid Capri, Funk Flex or Mr. Cee who's mixtapes were also popular at that time.
RARE AFRIKA BAMBAATAA TAPES FROM DJ DOUBLE KK'S PERSONAL COLLECTIONALSO mixtapes at that time really meant something & people really respected it because this was before the internet explosion so the only way to hear new & exclusive music was on a mixtape & that's the way it always has been going back to taping Mr. Magic & Red Alert shows to hear all the freshest,latest joints you never heard anywhere else,not to mention dj's made alot of money off selling mixtapes, some dj's even made millions off of it, me myself, I did pretty good. NOWDAYS mixtapes are strictly promo items now, some people still make mad money off of it, but those are the people using it strictly for hustle purposes & that's cool but me myself I'm still into the art of mixtapes, so I chilled on mixtapes & just went to the next level of deejayin & marketing through my storage room radio show on ustream, which is what I consider my mixtape[s] except now it's all visualized which is perfect for me because now you can physically see me,not only throwin it down, but puttin in hard work as well. SO at the end of the day the whole Tape Kingz/mixtapes experience was really good for me because it got my name known in New York City, which eventually lead to me staying in New York later on as well, so it was all good.
DJ DOUBLE KK NAMED DJ OF THE MONTH IN RAP SHEET MAGAZINE
Well! to be named dj of the month was great also because I was the first dj from my city once again to reconized worldwide in a national publication based on the west coast,which allowed me to expand my name & my mixtapes even futher. I remember getting calls & orders from people & having a huge fan base in New Mexico & other parts of the west coast because they never heard the underground joints I was playing exclusivley while every other dj was playing the top 40 mainstream joints they could have gotten anywhere, I was playing the real underground ''lyrical'' joints by unheard of groups till this day, and it's funny because everybody wants to hear those same cuts today, but I never gave the names of the artists on purpose so I can stay original & the only way to hear them now is on my Ustream show,which is great. Before I go I just wanna say much respect to all the ''real'' dj's that spin ''real'' vinyl and/or serato & continue to stay true to the art of digging in the crates & collecting tapes, and if you would like to hear some of the classic joints I used to rock on the mixtapes back in the day you can check me out at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/storage-room-radio or you can check out past shows you may have missed at: www.youtube.com/user/djdoublekk and I also would like to mention that I am the official dj for dance music's newest pop princess ''BO BENTON'' and you can check out her hits,videos, & discography at: www.bobenton.com salute!