kickraux

Photo Cred: Darian Simon Photography

Jamaican DJ and producer KickRaux is quickly rising to the top of the everything-list, world, polls for most wanted Bar Mitzvah DJ. He’s been working with Walshy Fire of Major Lazer, Bobby Johnson (yes, that Bobby Johnson), Roscoe Dash, Reazy Renegades of DJ Khaled’s We The Best, and others. He recently moved to California and what was his housewarming gift? A sold out show in LA. To celebrate that occasion and YouTube channel Trapstep Network’s 100,000th YouTube subscriber, KickRaux unleashed the follow up of just under an hour long, to last year’s Dr. Twerkvorkian mix. It’s got 41 songs that spans everything including Rap, Bass Music, Baltimore & Jersey Club, Dancehall Trap & House Music.

We had the opportunity to send the busy man some questions regarding his style and his favorite Hip-Hop ad-libs to use. You can peep the interview below and stream Dr. Twerkvorkian II as you read it.

http://youtu.be/s-KdZ7904Jw
Cover Art by: Tom Hyoos

How did you come up with the name Dr. Twerkvorkian?

BWAHAHAHA man umm funny story. So like last year when I dropped the first one it was way before all the twerk sh*t that’s popular now. Everybody was having these super tuff super gangster names. I kinda felt like that time music was gonna start shifting to being about partying and having a good time and so I kinda took the idea of Dr. Dre being like the doctor of beats and was like, “What would the doctor of the dance floor be?” And I was like, “Well duh somebody who kill it.” And who better to kill it than Dr Twerkvorkian? Hahaha

How special was that sold out show in LA? Any crazy stories?

Man that show was insaaaane like you have no idea. There was so much energy from the crowd and like people were just going nuts. The f*cking monitor speakers on stage kept almost falling over and eventually someone had to get something to hold it down and at one point my laptop charger got unplugged but the crowd was so chill that some chick actually went down on the ground, grabbed it, and plugged it in mid set. It was super dope. My MC Charlie Bars actually started bringing girls on stage and had ’em twerking and everything, It was unreal.

I know that you’re working with Bobby Johnson. Can we expect an Triple OG Kick Bobby megamix with every rapper ever?

Yeah we linked right after the remix dropped and we’re wrapping a joint now. I can’t say too much about it yet but its special. =)

Your brand of production has an airy/light-hearted feel to it, compared to some other heavy DJ’s beats. Is this something you do deliberately to make your listeners feel some type of way or is it more for you? Or something totally different?

I grew up listening to & been a fan of like a lot of different kinds of music and I always found that the songs that I messed with were the ones that gave some kind of emotional feel to them so I always keep that in mind when I’m in the studio. At the end of the day I make music for people who have the same musical tastes that I have & if I don’t have that emotional connection with a song I can’t even rock with it so I make sure my music always has that element to it!

List your top 5 rappers to include in your mix.

1. Project Pat
2. Tinie Tempah
3. Kanye West
4. Tie btwn Migos & Young Thug
5. Juicy J

I f*ck with rappers that have like a super dope twang in their voices so even their verses are like super melodic. Goes back to the whole emotion thing. Even an ok verse by any of those 5 usually bangs in the club.

And your top 5 ad-libs to include in your mixes.

1. Rich Homie Quan
2. Oj Da Juiceman
3. Lil B
4. Rick Ross
5. a tie btwn Riff Raff, Young Thug, Waka Flocka, Chief Keef, Migos, Future (seriously every EDM Trap song has a chopped up ad-lib from one of these guys so I can’t have a list about ad-libs without them)

Is it easier or harder to work with Hip-Hop producers vs. EDM producers? What are the similarities and differences?

It’s funny since I’ve produced in so many different genres. The one thing I’ve found is that like every genre has its own formula. Like there’s a specific set of sounds that needs to be used to make certain types of music. So if I’m in with an EDM producer I know what sounds he’s gonna bring to the table and I work to bring a more Rap influenced vibe to the track. If it’s a Rap producer I know he’s gonna bring them heavy 808 drops and I need to come prepared with the more melodic or aggressive EDM sounds to layer over that. As a producer you’re like the listener’s GPS so you gotta be thinking about where it is you want to take them & what the best route to get there is. Cross genre collaborations always ends up being the dopest tracks in my opinion.

How, if any, do your Jamaican roots influence your DJing/production?

It’s a huge influence on my production mainly because I didn’t grow up with the same musical influences that most producers do. Growing up listening to like Roots Reggae & Dancehall as like my first introduction to music was so clutch man. It gives me a totally different take on production mainly because it wasn’t until I moved to the states as a teen that I started listening to Rap & Popular music so I hear things totally different. As far as DJing goes I would say it helped me with my song selection. Growing up in Jamaica, watching the soundcrews battle the winner was always the one who rocked the party by playing the stuff everyone else wasn’t playing so I try to do that with my sets.

What Hip-Hop artist do you really see taking over in 2014?

I think a couple are gonna kill this year. Like you already see Young Thug turning up and like he’s dangerous cuz he got them super unique melodies. On some Hip Hop sh*t, the Two-9 boys out of Atlanta are literally a record away from being on that level too. That Johnny Cinco “Wrong N*gga” joint is killer so I gotta add him to the list. Honestly though I gotta give it to Migos man. Their movement is so strong and they got so many songs out that I f*ck with and they’re getting better too. They really got the formula down.

What Hip-Hop artists would you have liked to produce for, dead or alive? What kind of samples/beats would you use for them?

Project Pat for sure. Hands down that’s probably one of the dope rappers ever like. Like the subtle Memphis drawl he naturally has and the way he breaks down the rhythmic pattern of the way he says things and his hooks are just so dope. I’d throw Pat on a track with like the vintage Three 6 Willie Hutch samples but then like flip the hooks into some festival Trap sh*t with the big synthy Trap drop then build it up & transition right back into the sample.

Pusha T: for that I would def go back and grab my boy Dan Farber and put him on some sh*t like the remix we did of “Number On The Boards” like that would KILL the clubs.

Nicki Minaj: I’d put her on some Moombahton sh*t for the hook to give it that island feel with a melodic catchy hook but then have a super minimalistic beat drop in for the verses so we could get them hard Nicki bars we all love.

Danny Brown, Big KRIT, Angel Haze & Action Bronson: all on the same track like cypher style but on like a track with like a mashup of several samples constantly changing with no drums, crazy Reggae baseline and the illest background percussion beat on it. They’re all super dope lyricists so u can’t get too crazy with the melody because their words would bring the song out but just a record with all them on it would be crazy!

What’s next for you?

Everything. I’ve got probably one of the most ambitious release schedules for the year and there’s stuff in the chamber to come out that’s not even public yet. Last month I produced 3 songs for a movie coming out later this year, wrapping up a couple more official remixes, then hitting the road again. I’m having the time of my life challenging listeners to go outside their comfort zone and I plan on continuing to do that.

Bryan Hahn (@notupstate)