Interview with DJ: Bonez
by Leigh Neuage LN
This interview took place at an outdoor beer garden in North
Adelaide. At times it was difficult to
keep the people I was speaking with on topic. They had a show to do in a few hours, and we were eating
pizza. The first person I spoke with,
DJ Bonez, got up often - he seemed nervous, and he went to the toilet a lot. He would talk with some people then come
back and sit at our table. A lot of the
time was spent listening to tracks on his two new CDŐs. We spent from 5.30 until 8 there - then we
went to the Tivoli Hotel where DJ and his crew checked the sound system. During breaks we talked some more. By 9.30 the hotel was packed and it was very loud. I wasnŐt able to talk to DJ or
˙ any of the people with him after their gig.
During our interview he seemed to lose focus a lot and he would forget the questions and it made it very difficult to get answers to my questions.
Even more difficult was that I had to write everything down. He said I couldnŐt tape record anything.
LN: DJ you are in Adelaide to launch two CDŐs. Usually someone goes for one at a time. Why two?
DJ: Well, what was your name again?
DJ: Yeah, Leigh, well ya see I cut two CdŐs and my people wanted both to come out together. ThatŐs why.
LN: Kool. Oh thanks for sending me copies of both CDŐs - it would have been difficult to ask questions about your work if I hadnŐt heard them. Gotta say, I thought both ÔBonez and Espas LabŐ and ÔHands on DeckŐ were really good. LetŐs go with one CD at a a time.
DJ: yah man, what ever - I will be back.
(D.J was gone for about ten minutes)
LN: first with the espas lab CD. Who is Espas Lab.
óDJ: Oh well theyŐre kool man - like Espas Lab is the name of the studio I recorded Bonez and Espas Lab at - Espas Lab are the crew too. Both the place and the crew - so it made sense to say I did the CD with them.
LN: That makes sense. How long did it take to record?
DJ: ThatŐs a difficult question. We taped some one night and another section we took the whole weekend, then there was a lot of time spent mixing and finding cuts to mix and then mixing them and then some of the crew had some other new stuff we picked up whilst in Texas last month and so we decided to add that and then we mixed that with some stuff I had from two years ago.
LN: Texas? How did they like Australian DJing?
DJ:: Yea well they got into it. We was at some University in Austin I think it was...
LN: That is the University of Texas - I was in Austin with my dad and brother a few years ago and...
DJ: Well good for you - listen I have to go talk with someone I will be back
(another ten minute break - this ti lme I began to talk with some of the Espas Lab people - that is in a different interview)
LN: Back to your Texas gigs. Did you record there?
DJ: WhatŐs your name again?
DJ:: Oh, I thought it was something else. ArenŐt you goinŐ have a beer or something.
LN: Can we get back to the album?
DJ: Course - what was it you was asking?
LN: you were telling me how long to record the Espas lab, and about your gigs in Texas.
DJ: Two different questions there. Are you a journalist? I forgot what these questions were for
LN: No I am not a journalist. I am doing a year twelve project and I am doing a stu
dy of hip hop.
(at this point DJ and his crew started laughing, DJ almost fell off of his chair - he thought it was hysterical being interview by me for a school project)
DJ: Sorry man, didnŐt get me wrong - I didnŐt do high school, learned how to rhyme in primary school - that is all I need to know to do. And it is so funny you writing everything I say so fast - you should have brought a tape recorder
LN: Your manager said no taping was aloud.
DJ: Oh right - someone is trying to sue me for something they said I said and they have it on tape - this way I can just say I never said something. I canŐt believe kids are studying rap in school.
LN: Well my father did an honorŐs degree on it and
DJ: WHAT? Man I got
to go underground - how come everything everyone does has to be studied,
disceted pulled apart? Well I just want
to be. Just do my DJing, it is what I
ma about. Me and my DJing. Its kool - people say we got it all
happening. In Texas - they want us to
come back. Cost a lot to do a tour
e that - and there is so much competition
LN: There still isnŐt much Australian rap. We keep hearing gansta rap and all those groups from the States: Ras Kass, Jay-Z, Outkast, Bizzy Bone, Tupac, MC Lyte
DJ: we busted with MC Lyte - and he is lite stuff - nothing heavy - he mixes like a beginner - and Tupac well heŐs dead let him stay that way
LN: You have a lot of support acts with you: Hilltop Hoods - theyŐre from Adelaide, and so are Cross Bred Mongrels and After Hours..
DJ: Hilltop - theyŐre kool, that dude over there is their lead rapper - heŐs kool, got the rhymin thing happening havenŐt hear Cross Bred or Afterhours, theyŐll come on afer I ainŐt standing no more - weŐre goiŐ do some stuff together I think - hey I thought you was goin talk about my new CDŐs
LN: We got off the subject - on Espas Lab - do you have any favorite cuts?
DJ: I spent a lot of time on ÔKillinŐ Ôem in da woodsŐ it is
kind of personal and all. I mixed that
with some James Brown, Jim Morrison, Elvis, even Sanatra - the con
cept was just taking cuts from dead peopleŐs stuff, was goinŐ to Add a few riffs from LennonŐs Imagin but ...
LN: James Brown isnŐt dead.
DJ: Really. Shit - there goes my whole thing I was doing - are you sure? Next youŐll be telling me he is still singing ŇPappaŐs got a brand new bagÓ Well I thought he was dead and it is the thought that counts.
(at this point DJ goes away for awhile and I talk with his crew - that is on the other interview - when he comes back we listen to his mix - ÔKillinŐ Ôem in da woodsŐ he plays the ten minute track three times)
LN: The more I hear that the more I like it - it is the mix of James Brown and MorrisonŐs poetry that goes so well. I went to MorrisonŐs grave - it is in Paris, we were
DJ: See I told you he was dead
LN: No it was James Brown I said was still alive
DJ: Oh well doesnŐt matter - it is the concept isnŐt it?
LN: On your other new CD - ÔHands on DeckŐ did you cut that before or after the Bonez and Espas Lab CD.
DJ: That was the
first of the two CD
ás and I got to say that was something to do. Did you know I did two cuts with Rah Digga (Rah Digga is a female MC from New Jersey in the States)? We MCŐd with her in Texas. SheŐs got it happening.
LN: I like her stuff - she is in two groups isnŐt she? I got all six of her CDŐs unless she has done more.
DJ: You are into hip hop arenŐt you? Yeah she records with ÔBusta RhymesŐ imperial Flipmode SquadŐ and ÔOutsidazŐ. She was with ÔBusta RhymesŐ imperial Flipmode SquadŐ in texas. TheyŐre about the best crew IŐve ever heard - well next to Espas Lab of course. I did a few lyrics with her on BustaŐs When Disaster Strikes and E.L.E.: The Final World Front.
LN: WhatŐs the difference between recoring with Rah Digga and Espa Lab?
DJ: Well sheŐs got the looks doesnŐt she? But that is sexist - she can rhyme so good. Rah Digga enhanced my live performances when we were doing Texas, whilst Espa Lab, the dogs, that is straight lyrical shit
LN: What do you think of so many pe ‡opole getting into rap now? Is it good or does it dilute the culture.
DJ: I grew up in Redfern - this ainŐt no Hollywood. This ainŐt no gimmick. This ainŐt no phony fairy tale. I mean we ainŐt like the Yanks - going around calling themself real street-gang niggas and all. I mean we are Australians - but we have the same concerns - the pigs, society, money,
listen man I gotta go