J. Moore and I recently had the honor of sitting down with the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff while he was in town to judge the Red Bull Thre3style Regional Finals. His album with The Fresh Prince, He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper, was literally the first album I owned and to say I was a die-hard JJ+FP fan growing up would be an understatement. From the albums to The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, I consumed everything those guys released together from the late 80’s to the mid 90’s and when they moved on to their solo work, things didn’t really skip a beat. Will’s gone on to be the biggest movie star in the world and Jeff has released some classic records, plus become one of the most sought after DJ’s around.
J. and I often casually debate who’s the “greatest” in a particular field and whenever we discuss DJ’s, Jeff is at the top of our list. He can simply do everything a DJ can possibly do, but better than pretty much anyone else. Rocking a party? Check. Producing classic music? Check. Cutting up records with battle DJ skills? Check. Hell, the man invented a type of scratch.
Jeff’s the best DJ ever in my book and amazingly, he’s even a better person than DJ. We’ve interviewed him a few times on the phone but this was the first time we got him on Sound Session in person and he didn’t disappoint. We discussed all things related to DJ’ing, from his background to his current success, including his philosophy on a DJ’s responsibility, the rise of the DJ in popular music (while it seems to wither in hip-hop), and whether or not “real DJ’s” should take requests. He also told stories about the early days of his work with Will, transitioning from rocking parties in Philly with the Fresh Prince to selling millions of albums and touring worldwide.
We could have talked for hours, so I can’t wait until we get him back on the show. Thanks to Red Bull, the Cashmere Agency, and Detooz Films for making it happen and ultimate respect to the Magnificent himself!