Dj Spotlight: DJ Vlad (Interview below)

"I don't play exclusive songs, I make them" - this is the philosphy that DJ Vlad aka Vlad the Butcher uses when creating his internationally sought-after mixtapes. With his empire growing, he now hosts his own TV show 'DJ Vlad Presents' on Russell Simmons' DoD (Def on Demand) channel on Comcast (22 million homes). The show was just picked up on Sky Network in the UK (7 million homes). All this was made
possible by the hugely succussful 'Hot in Here DVD' series. In a relatively short time, Vlad rose throught the ranks of the DJ world. He has been featured in countless shows such as BET, MTV, and the Associated Press. As well as magazines like XXL, The Source, Dub, Fader, Thrasher and many others. He has played in some of the biggest
clubs in the world in places such as Japan, Australia, Europe, all over the US, and even in the Middle-East where he entertained US troops. Vlad's mixtapes became so talked about that major artists and celebrities would seek out Vlad to appear on his mixtapes. Shaquille O'neal, Alicia Keys, Wyclef, Xzibit, Jadakiss, and Busta Rhymes have all collaborated on Vlad the Butcher CD's.

DJ Vlad started with Hip-Hop back in 1983 during his breakdance days. In the early 90s he got involved in the San Francisco Bay Underground Hip-Hop scene as a producer. By the mid 90s, he switched from music production into the DJ arena, starting out with mixtapes. By using his production savvy to create his mixtapes, he quickly gained notoriety. Vlad originated the "Internet Mixtape", being the first DJ to release mixtapes in MP3 format. Even today in most MP3 sharing programs a search for "DJ Vlad" will typically garner about 1000s of copies of his mixtapes still in circulation. In 2002, Vlad moved to New York to further his DJ career. After only a few short months in New York, DJ Vlad was nominated in the 2K2 Mixtape awards a feat that takes most Mixtape DJs at least 5 years to accomplish. As his mixtape notoriety grew, big name started to work with him - DJ's like Eminem's own Green Lantern and Nas's DJ Dirty Harry. After hot CD after hot CD, Vlad became the first out-of-state DJ to make it in the cut-throat New York
DJ game. His style revolved around his production skills - where he created his own exclusives songs from pieces of other songs. "At first, it just started with taking the vocals from one song and ta beat from another - but then I stepped it up. I would have an artist like Xzibit do an original verse, then I would have Busta Rhymes do his own verse,
I'd call up a super-producer like Hi-Tech and get a new beat, finally I would have an singer like Brooklyn do the hook - and suddenly I got a hot song that nobody else has"

In 2004, Vlad began working with video - dropping DVDs with artists like The Game, Lil Wayne, and Akon. This eventually led to a TV deal with Russell Simmons' H2O Hip-Hop Channel. Vlad was a host on the show, as well as producing much of the content.

In 2005 Vlad joined forces with Oscar-nominated director Peter Spirer. The DJ Vlad-directed 'Ghostride the Whip' documentary was purchased by Image Ent. , and will be released in July 2008.

- # 3 Hip-Hop Album of All Time (Rap Phenomenon II) - Rolling Stone
- Mixtape Series of the Year - Vibe Magazine
- Bootleg of the Year - XXL Magazine
- Mixtape of the Year - Justo's Mixtape Awards
- Mashup of the Year - Justo's Mixtape Awards


How did you get started as a Dj? I always played around with music…from playing instruments to producing…DJ'ing was just another extension of the same thing

What sets you apart from all the other djs out there? I'm a lot more handsome then the rest of those dudes ;)

Do you think the mixtape is played out at this point in the music game? I think the cd version of it is, but the internet allows a bigger distribution of it, so no

How do you see the "mixtape DJ" staying relevant? By creating and securing the hottest music

What's the next wave for the dj? legal mixtapes

You teamed up with Peter Spirer on this Ghostride The Whip dvd…Tell us about the dvd. Ghostride the Whip is the definative story of the hyphy movement and the history of the bay area. it explores everything from the car culture, to the music, to the fashion, and even the drug

How much do you cover Mac Dre in this dvd? a lot - he's the focal point of the movie

You still doing the H20 show? yup

What's next for you? More movies.

What artist(s) are you working with right now? Sammy P,. Keak Da Sneak, Casio Disco, Haji Springer, Team Facelift

What's your take on the whole music biz scene right now with poor album sales across the board? All it means is that people need to rethink how to structure music deals - that's why u have 360 deals where the label gets a cut of everything, including show money.


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