This week we were on the phone with DJ Nasty, 1/2 of the production team Nasty Beatmakers, for our latest Inside the Box feature . Their production credits include the hit single “All I Do Is Win” and “Welcome to My Hood” . We spoke on how he got started DJing, the current state of Hip Hop, Album of The Year, producing a record that inspired Olympian Michael Phelps and more. Below you can read our full interview
How did you get your start DJing?
I come from a musical family, they were all musicians and played instruments. I took up the turntable, it was through a mutual friend of mine who was a club DJ. My brother borrowed his turntables and I snuck in the room and started messing with them. It was a wrap after that!
Who has influenced your style?
DJ Tony Touch, Pete Rock, Premier, Jazzy Jeff and Kid Capri. I can’t just name one, they all played an inspirational part in my style. From the DJs that just DJ to the DJs that also produce, I draw inspiration from all of them.
How did you meet DJ Khaled?
He used to live in Orlando, and his parents owned a clothing store in the Florida Mall. I happened to walk in there one day and he was helping out. He comes from a family of hustlers, they got that hustle mentality. He was trying to sell me some clothes, but it was a store for older men. I was about 21, and non of the clothes fit. Khaled was saying, “oh we can hem that up, fix it up, it will fit.”. I thought this man is hustling me! We had mutual friends, he wanted to DJ, so I taught him how to DJ. After that we formed a crew, Hit Man Productions, and started DJing parties in the city. Next thing we knew we blew up in our market, Orlando. He moved to Miami and game over!
What is your opinion on the current state of hip hop?
I’m an OG, so I come from the Public Enemy, Pete Rock and CL Smooth era. That’s the hip hop I love and fell in love with. I’m not mad at the current state, it’s evolving. I do miss the original essence of i. Hip hop is still opening doors and feeding our families.
If the year ended today, who do you think had album of year?
Right now I would say the Rick Ross album, God Forgives I Don’t. Musically, it’s crazy. It’s an amazing album! It’s not an album for the radio, it’s a record for people who love music and hip hop. That would absolutely have to be the one. The production is a movie!
Who is your favorite artist that you have worked with over the years?
Ludacris is great and he’s such a humble guy. Any time I reach out to him, he always has my back. If Khaled wants to get a pitch from Ludacris, I’m the guy who calls him. My relationship with him is very strong. Luda would be on the top of my list for favorite. I worked on Chicken and Beer with him and he was featured on ‘All I Do Is Win’ and also ‘Grew Up and Screw Up’ with Jeezy. That’s my guy, he’s the truth and he is so humble.
With new technologies in the DJ realm, how do you stay current?
New technology is cool, it allows us to not have to carry tons of vinyl. What I don’t like is that everyone can have the same music. Back in the day you could get white labels, and only a few select DJs would have that. It was more exclusive back then, there is no such thing as exclusive anymore. Once it hits the internet, everyone has it.
What songs/artists would your dream set include?
Michael Jackson, Jay Z, Soul to Soul ‘Back to Life’, Pete Rock, Rick Ross. All the jams, the joints that feel good when you play them.
What kind of equipment are you currently using?
Producing wise I’m using MPC 3000 XL, I’m an Akai guy. I love their products! I’m waiting on the new gear to come out, which is going to have that computer interface. I’m also using Logic, we combine the old school with the new school. That keeps the sound right, those are the two pieces of gear we love.
You produced the track ‘I’m Me’ from Lil Wayne, which Olympian Michael Phelps has said he listens to before competition. How did you feel about that?
‘I’m Me’ was a big influential song for Michael Phelps at the 2008 summer Olympics. This was the record he said he listened to that inspired him every time he jumped in the water. He’s an Olympic record breaker! I was happy to be a part of that, I felt like I was a part of his inspirational career. It’s dope, and it created a relationship with him and Lil Wayne. It made me feel good and I really held my head up over that.
What do you have coming up production wise?
Right now we are working in the studio with Busta Rhymes, we just did a joint for him. Busta is on Cash Money now. We are working on getting a track on Khaled’s album. We got a couple things we are working on with him. We are developing two artists with one of the biggest music moguls in the game. I don’t want to say who it is and jinx the project. It’s going will definetly change that crews life
Who has influenced you production wise?
Pete Rock, Dr. Dre, Pharrell and Just Blaze. All those guys are amazing! I like real music and those guys always seem to know how to put that real music together and stay current.
What advice would you give to a DJ starting out?
Practice your craft, don’t forget where it all came from. Learn to blend, a lot of DJs don’t do that anymore, they just stop the record and start the next one. You gotta blend, it keeps the flow going. Learning to cut and scratch, look at old Gs, DJ Kid Capri and Jazzy Jeff, see how they move the crowd. Kid Capri is the one who cut, scratch and he rocks the crowd with the mic. Jazzy Jeff he lets his hand and the music do the talking, he doesn’t talk on the mic at all, boy can he rock the crowd. Take notes!
What radio station can we hear you on?
I’m now at Power 95.3, so make sure to check me out on there! It’s a new day and a new beginning. Come out and rock with Khaled and myself tonight at Vain in Orlando for the Welcome to Power 95.3 Celebrity Event.
What’s next for you?
I want to get in that mogul position, to develop these artists and make good music as well. DJing is still my first love, I will be DJing at eighty years old if I can. I’m a producer, but I also manage the producers The Runners and The Inkredibles. I have an artist named Shad Star. He’s an R&B artist, be on the lookout for him. He’s doing amazing music, he has a song with Ace Hood called ‘Incredible’. We just shot the video for it with Spiff TV Maybach Films. Up and coming artists or producers can reach out to me on my website at DJNasty.net and NastyBeatMakers.com.
Follow DJ Nasty on Twitter at @DJNastyNBM and on Instagram at DJNasty
Follow his artist Shad Star on Twitter and Instagram at 1ShadStar