DJ Rob E Rob sits down with us for an exclusive one on one interview.
Fever: Thank you such for calling in and speaking to Fever Magazine. It’s a pleasure to be speaking with you.
Rob: Oh definitely, it’s a pleasure to be here as well. Thanks for having me.
Fever: So how did the name DJ Rob E Rob come about?
Rob: Well my name is Robert and they called me Robert as a baby. I think one of my cousins put Rob R Rob as a twist, so I just always had that name… Rob E Rob.
Fever: Oh ok that’s cool, I love it! So how did you get your start in DJ’ing?
Rob: It actually started when I was really young, I used to play on my Mother’s stereo system, I used to scratch her records, back then in the early 80’s, like 1981 and 1982. There weren’t any cd’s just vinyl records and cassette tapes.
Lol, so yeah I used to scratch her records. When I was about 6 or 7 years old, our neighborhood used to have block parties, and my cousin and I used to go to them and just stare at the DJ and study what he did.
Yeah, it was interesting to see him get the crowd get motivated, so I always followed what I saw in other dj’s. I went to placement at 10 years old, and I used to beg the social workers to get me some equipment to practice on. So the staff all pitched in and bought me my first set of turntables.
I would be up all night practicing. Anytime I wasn’t in school, I’d be practicing. I became a campus dj, and once I graduated, about 7 years later I came home and did college a little bit, and started dj’ing for clubs and house parties, and just kept running with it.
I later got into the mix tape field, and after getting into that market I was able to expand as a mix tape dj, which gave me a better advantage in standing out from other dj’s. Back in 2001 and 2002, I started doing mix tapes with 70 and 80 songs on them. I had to stand out from DJ Clue and other dj’s making regular mix tapes, I would make them with 70 or 80 songs on them and put my skills down.
Making my mix tapes stand out really grew attraction, and people were always curious to know how I was able to get so many songs on one cd. So word got around and people really liked what I did. That’s how my legacy began with 50 Cent.
Fever: That’s very creative! So this is how your legacy began with 50 Cent? How did you connect with him?
Rob: Someone that worked in the promotional department at Interscope Records picked up one of my cd’s, it was actually my Jay Z mix tape with 87 tracks on it, and it drove him so crazy that he waned to meet me.
So I went and met him at Interscope Records and he said he’d introduce me to 50 at an event they were having at 50’s house, with al the dj’s. He was gonna let 50 know what was going on, and when I met 50, we just clicked the same day.
So we went in his studio and did a mix tape, with about70 tracks on it. Ever since then, I’ve just always been around the G-Unit thing. Started doing shows for him and things like that. So 50 and I were able to build a real close relationship ya know? We have something like a brotherly type of relationship.
Fever: Wow, that’s a great story! Do you feel like mix tapes are a great way for other dj’s to get their name out there? Does is almost determine how far you’ll go in your career, as far as doing mix tapes over not doing them?
Rob: It’s a better way to express yourself, rather than a dj being in one local area. If you’re doing a party everynight for the same audience, having a great mix tape, will give you more of an opportunity to take that product around the world, and have people know who you are.
I’ve seen my mix tapes all the way in Germany. So it’s a better way to expand.
Fever: So when you do these mix tapes, do you work closely with the artists themselves?
Rob: Yeah that’s how this works. I’ve gotten so popular with it that when I see a new artist, for instance JadaKiss, he came back and did part two with me. I’ve donea variety of artists. Like, I built up Drake in New York City. No one knew who he was. I got an award in 2008 for the Best Of Lil Wayne mix tape. That was a southern award and I’m not even from the south, I’m from New York.
When I do my mix tapes, I’m not actually hurting the artists because I give people snippets of records and different blends where I’m actually making it better for the artist because sometimes if a person cant get a song they really want, they go buy the album again.
Yeah but mix tapes are real dope, ya know?
Fever: Yeah definitely, that’s good to hear! So can you give other dj’s some advice on getting into the industry?
Rob: You definitely gotta grind, I’ve got a mean street line as well. I have a promo truck with my face on it, and I distribute into markets where I know the mix tapes are at, and where people look for them. My advice to other dj’s would be to maybe try to make a contact with someone like myself, that knows this market, and help him or her get his or her product out there. If their stuff is good enough, they’ll become relevant, and people will look for more of their mix tape products.
Fever: Cool, that’s good advice. So where are your favorite places to do shows?
Rob: I actually toured with Nitrous Smooth, and also did a year and a half tour with Guerilla Black. We toured in 52 states, 4 countries and 2 Islands. I’ve been to a lot of places with 50 as well, had a cameo in his reality show and was in a couple of his videos. I was also responsible for squashing the JadaKiss/50 beef. That’s all online too.
Fever: Oh yeah I remember that! How did you go about squashing the beef between those two?
Rob: Well after Jada and I did part two of his mix tape, we spoke about it a little bit and he asked me what kind of guy 50 was. I explained what kind of guy he was and Jada said he wanted to holla at him, in a good sense. So I spoke to 50 about it and got them both on the phone. They spoke for about 30 minutes and everything was peace. It hit the airwaves and was in the media, so it was good.
It was nice to be incorporated in getting that unity back together. Lol, right now I’m trying to get Camron and 50 to get it together. So far it’s cool, but I think Camron has a few trust issues. He doesn’t just want to come to 50; I think he wants to meet in the middle. Yaknow, and that’s cool too.
We have to look strong though, because New York artists aren’t looking as strong as we used to. We’re not as unified as the south. Everybody wants to take each others head off, so its making us look weak. That’s why our audience we created in hip-hop back in the 80’s has been spread all over. It’s in the south and the Midwest, ya know what I mean? It’s even in Canada now, and everybody has sometype of unity. That’s how New York used to rock it, and I want to participate in bringing that back.
Fever: Yeah that would be amazing, I’m sure you can be a big part in that movement. Can you give us a little insight into what equipment you used to use, compared to what you use now?
Rob: Oh I still use the 1200 turntables; I love vinyl so much and feel like I’m really good with it.
I’ve also had four 106th and Park appearances, three Rap City appearances, and worked with artist like Neo, LL Cool J, Carl Thomas, Swiss Beats, Kid Capri, just a bunch. Cassidy, Ray J, Snoop, I’ve worked with just about all of them.
Fever: Wow you’ve had some great opportunities in your career so far. Where do you see it going five years from now?
Rob: Maybe running one of these record companies. Helping up and coming artists. Or whenever is hot in the music industry, that’s where I want to be at, at a high standard. I may not wanna be a dj anymore, maybe I’ll wanna be a vice president!
So those are a few of my goals. I also video edit, and do a lot of video shooting.
Fever: Yeah I got a chance to check out one of your videos on YouTube called The Show Off featuring D Cole. How’d you come up with the concept? I love it!
Rob: That was something he and I did, a song for the kids. You should check out the Michael Jackson tribute mix tape as well though! I also did a tribute video on the making of it. J storm designed the cover.