DJ Slam: The Sound of the Underground
DJ Slam is the sound of the underground, and he is making echoes with his big-bass funk and trip-hop styles. He has performed with many influential artists such as Pharoah Monche, RJD2, Afrika Bambaataa, Skratch Bastid, Kid Koala, Classified, Slaughter House, and yet this heavy-hitting DJ stays relatively unknown beyond his loyal supporters. This is what gives him the grit that pushes his music and enables him to explore innovative sounds and unique samples.
The Quarter Century Slam EP is a summary of that sound, and a great example of his skills as a turntablist. DJ Slam expands on vintage samples to develop funky feel-good tunes regulated by hard drum-lines. He maintains a light humour through the album with a selection of voice samples mixed into his beats, but he also allows his music to be carried by a dynamic team of lyricists. Believe it or not, the entire album was recorded in a closet.
DJ Slam got his start in Halifax, NS, and began building his reputation throughout the city by performing wherever he could. He eventually established himself as a regular opener for Skratch Bastid, and began performing shows with many big-ticket hip-hop acts that visited Halifax. Slam also gained respect as a Battle DJ, and was most notably recognized for his finalist position in the Atlantic Red Bull Thre3style in Moncton, NB. He has since moved to Toronto, where he is working with up-and-coming rappers like Ultra Magnus, Soup du Jour, Merge One, Practical Stylist, and Graffiti Gonzo.
I asked Slam to give us a quick breakdown on some of his featured artists:
Magnus is one of the most talent MCs that I have ever met. He has a super unique ability to build some of most brilliant and unique verses on the most obscure instrumentals. I’ve never had a session with him that took more than 2 or 3 takes to get a whole verse on tape.
Soup Du Jour AKA A-Jaxx The Great:
He’s a great MC with a really nice flow. Always has some of the greatest wordplay and I always laugh and have a good time when I hear him on a track.
This guy’s an old school junglist from Toronto. Dude’s got the most old school style of flow that can only be created by chain-smoking blunts like the cookie monster rushes cookies. It actually took us a bunch of takes to get his verses down because everyone was laughing so hard while recording.
Merge is a battle-rapper from Newmarket. He’s an awesome dude with a lot of passion for rap. Dude is a real fan of horror and murder rap, and I think it shows in his lyrics and delivery. I like how he always puts 100% into his songs and lyrics and really balances the songs well. There is never any fluff on top of his work
Lives in Calgary, but is originally from Cole Harbour, NS. I’ve only known him for a bit. We met on some hip-hop blog because he dropped this real heater called “streets of dead” and I sent him ‘The Boss’ beat and this is what I got. He also linked up Mic Lanny from Albany, and Macrophonic MC in Arkansas. These guys do not disappoint. They are doing big tings, doing tracks with the likes of Action Bronson and a bunch of other local NYC underground kings. I’m happy to have the new connections with these guys.
Spesh K is the coolest mother-trucker in the world, and is a Canadian/East-Coast Legend in the game. I’m happy that he jumped on this biggish bitch and I look forward to working with him more in the future. Did I mention how cool the dude is?