Southern Cali Producer DJ Lord Ron Exclusive Big Noise Interview
Words by Kenyetta ‘Native’ McKinney: “…DJ Lord Ron, some might say, is a musical genius when it comes to having a knack for the purest, raw and grimy boom bap musical compositions, and this has been shown through his body of work—having produced for an abundance of talented rappers, including Guru from the legendary rap group, Gang Starr (please refer to Discography for a full listing of all of the great artists that have been blessed with production from DJ Lord Ron). Understanding the importance of tailoring a beat around the style of the artist, and not the artist’s style around the beat, is what has allowed for the emergence of DJ Lord Ron’s rising star as a producer…” We caught up with the multi-talented DJ / Producer for a few words.
Q. Big Noise: Can you tell the people a little about DJ Lord Ron? Where are you located?
A. DJ Lord Ron: Peace to Big Noise radio and the entire crew, word. Wassup peoples. This is DJ Lord Ron, a DJ and producer for 17 years now in Hip Hop culture. In the Fall of 1993, my cousin Warren “K-Yo 7” & I started Partners N’ Rhymes records and then in January of 1994…we added on with our family from the mecca of hip hop culture, the Bronx with Greg Moore and Rob Sacky. Los Angeles is my birth home and I still live in LA. New York is my second home. The universe is my stone for rollin’ like a proud Papa. Temptation must deal with me. Get ready world. Hahahaha.
Q. Big Noise: What was it that got you involved with spinning records as a DJ?
A. DJ Lord Ron: With me being the producer for our label in the beginning. It was a natural decision in my mind to be the labels DJ. Back then, all crews had a DJ. I didn’t want to be an emcee. I just wanted to create the music. I basically took the responsibility to buy some DJ equipment and taught myself to DJ. The funny thing is, I’ve been buying records since 1969 with my own money. What I’m conveying to you is I already had a large record collection of Soul, Funk, Rock, Reggae & Hip Hop records on vinyl plus numerous CDs and cassettes before I even thought of being a DJ. It was in the cards for me to be a DJ. I hear music first before I hear lyrics. I’ll tell you this….Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 was the first LP I ever bought with my own money….Birthday money yo. My first 45 record I bought was “Ball Of Confusion” by the Temptations in 1970. I come from the 8 Track era to know cause I played them all the time. My first cassette I bought in 1976 was Earth, Wind & Fire’s That’s The Way Of The World. I miss those days yo.
Q. Big Noise: What got you involved with the hip-hop movement? When was that?
A. DJ Lord Ron: “Freedom” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five in 1980 was my spark for hip hop and wanting to know more about this new art form. I first heard “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979 cause my brother Triple Ace had bought it. It was cool but I looked at it as a novelty record of sort. Blow Fly had some joints in the 70s where he’s rappin BUT “Freedom” actually had emcees rappin about a DJ plus rappin about themselves and getting the call and response part poppin for the live parties. I used to dance to that joint at house parties and high school, my senior year yo.
My brother Triple Ace was the other reason. In the late 80s Ace wanted to be an emcee and I would hear a few demo joints he was doing with Curtis “Binky” Womack & Meech Wells who are family too. Long story short, Bink and Meech were some busy producers plus they had a band. I pulled Ace’s coat one day in the Summer of 1993 and asked him about recording equipment. I told Ace we’ll set up our own indie label. He told me what to get and the rest is history.
Q. Big Noise: Where dose the DJ fit into the music release equation these days?
A. DJ Lord Ron: Good question. Now that we are in the digital era. That equation for a DJ is zero now. The mixtape game is dead now. Whose buying mixtapes on CDs? Every kid has a iPod or some digital gadget on their phones. The only thing a DJ can do regarding your question is to be a producer but this is not built for everybody. Some DJs just don’t have good ears. The record biz is hurting and has been for a few years now. So a DJ can’t get a A&R job and really have a hand in the release of that artist or artists. Shit is fucked up right now. A DJ is the back bone of hip hop and dance music regardless of music genre.
Q. Big Noise: Please tell us about the artists you are working with… what we should expect?
A. DJ Lord Ron: Peace to Wildelux! Will & I are working on “The Sinister Theory” EP. I’m producing an EP on NC Abram, he’s a nasty young homie…very old soul he is. We have no EP title yet but soon we’ll hit the studio because I’ve already create his music and we sat down and picked the joints. It’s just a matter of recording, mixing and mastering, etc. I’ll be doing some production with Group Home once again, big up to Dap and Melachi!…peace to Young Luchiano and Jack The Ripper too. I have my Rough Camp Production family to produce on. The Camp is thick yo. Peace to C Rayz Walz, DJ Killa Kal, Klu Shiesty, Kassius Kakes, Mad-Man Da God and the OG Phatz on production as well plus the young guns in Ra and Kalil on production too. I’m going to do something with Mad Flow out of the United Kingdom, peace to Flow! I’m not doing anything new under the sun. Expect that raw boom bap from me.
Q. Big Noise: Tell us about some of the projects you’re currently working on? Any expected release dates?
A. DJ Lord Ron: The Sinister Theory EP with my fam bam Wildelux will have 7 joints. The lead track Mirage is already available for DJs to spin…holla at me DJs! I’ll email you clean/street/instrumental edits. I’m working on my instrumental album at this moment too. I will have two music videos from my instrumental album. Both videos will be directed by Bad Fame’s Charles Bronson, big up to the fams! The Sinister Theory will be released in April or May 2011. My instrumental release will be around March or April 2011.
Q. Big Noise: Where can people cop your projects? Will there be any physical releases?
A. DJ Lord Ron: Old and new joints can be purchased at itunes.com, my website at djlordron.biz plus other digital outlets like Amazon, etc. CDs will be made available and can be purchased at my website or www.undergroundhiphop.com or catch me at my shows and buy a CD. Vinyl is comin too on Wilshire District with my homie DJ Ice. Look out for bonus joints that will not be on digital or CDs, strictly vinyl from Wilshire District…exclusive joints. Stay tuned for real.
Q. Big Noise: What inspired you to get into hip-hop production? What kind of equipment do you use in the studio? Do you have a favorite piece?
A. DJ Lord Ron: Triple Ace cause he was limited on production. Bink and Meech were too busy, respects to them. They was about their grind yo. MPC-60 II made by Akai..my turntable and records. My pre production set up is simple but thorough and effective for me. When it’s time to make the song whole. I record in Burbank and my cousin Mike Wells engineers my sessions in Pro Tools, Sonar. No favorite piece though.
Q. Big Noise: Can you give us your thoughts on the current state of hip-hop music?
A. DJ Lord Ron: The digital era is the streets now. With all of these social networking sites available from the click of the mouse. Any kid can sit down at his desktop or laptop and make a beat and write rhymes. The software is there and these kids know how to download for free. Everything is free now. So many releases every day….I can’t keep up. I look out for those who are about their whole packaging and of course the music must be dope. Like always, there will be good music and bad music. The current state is the matrix…that PC.
Q. Big Noise: Who are some of the producers you respect or admire?
A. DJ Lord Ron: Duke Ellington, Funk Brothers, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, James Brown, Mizell Brothers, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Rick James, Thom Bell, Norman Whitfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Leon Ware, Ed Townsend, Leroy Hutson, Willie Hutch, Mantronix, Rick Rubin, Orange Krush, Marley Marl, Mark The 45 King, Paul C, Large Pro, DJ Premier, Showbiz, Lord Finese, Diamond, Buckwild, Dr. Dre, E-A-Ski, Daz, DJ Battlecat, Rza, ATCQ, Pete Rock, Teddy Riley, Curtis Womack, Meech Wells, Tony Hester, John Lennon, Maurice White…so many great producers have my respect and admiration…too many to name.
Q. Big Noise: Who are some of the artists you’d like to work with in the future?
A. DJ Lord Ron: Not to get off topic. Guru, the icon of Gang Starr..respects and peace to DJ Premier. To work with Guru was a dream come true. There is nobody else on my list. He was the one artist I respected the most ever since I heard “Manifest”. Him and Lord Finese plus my fam C Rayz Walz always been my favorite emcees and that’s no disrespect to many, not at all. Back to your question, I can’t say at this moment. A good question but only time will tell. There are a lot of dope emcees in this game. Powerful peace to Guru!
Q. Big Noise: Are you collaborating with other DJ’s or producers that we should know about?
A. DJ Lord Ron: No but I won’t rule out an opportunity…it has to be right and exact if I do it and it has to profit all. Word. Other than that. If it don’t make dollars…..It don’t make what? Yes, the readers know what time it is….Hahaha.
Q. Big Noise: Is there anything that you’d like to share with us about “Fish & Norwood of Fish Bone”?
A. DJ Lord Ron: Two things. Fish & Norwood of Fish Bone are my cousins..from my mother’s side of the family & I’m the first DJ in hip hop history to release 5 professional music videos in one year from an album. I’ve contacted Guiness Book of World Records. I’m not bragging cause whoever knows me will tell you I’m a cool person. I just want my accomplishment to be known. If I don’t say anything, who will?
Big up to Charles Bronson for his vision and directing skills. Peace to Bad Fame! I’m the very first.
Q. Big Noise: How can folks get a-hold of you for business? Contact info?
A. DJ Lord Ron: Yo..Big Noise, thank you for the interview. It was cool building with you. All the best to your website and other biz ventures. Everybody should be checking for websites like Big Noise. We have the power people. Use it correctly. Holla at me at www.djlordron.biz for my Blogs, my music and merchandise…check my site thoroughly. Contact and booking info is on the site. Buy my new album, Environmental Shape Sounds Of DJ Lord Ron. Raw-ness! Peace and energy to all!