The history of being a DJ in hip hop is one told one hundred different ways through the success stories we know and hear of today. Decades before DJ Khaled became a household name, in the 70’s and 80’s hip hop legends such as Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Grand Wizard Theodore, gifted the world scratching, cutting, phasing and the all around new sound of the turntables. The music scene in New York city, Upstate, and soon the world would rapidly change.
While people were going wild over the newly discovered sounds in New York City, a young hip hop prodigy by the name of the Grand Incredible DJ Brandnew, was on the Upstate turntables like he was a man possessed. Which he was of course, possessed with the spirit of Hip-Hop, and he would use that passion to fuel his work.
Hes performed in shows with Fred the Godson, Cherp, Blicka Don, Large Amount and dozens of others. On top of his own events and day to day life, brandnew created Foundation Music Group(FMG). Along with Capion the Great, Dee Blaze the Pyro, Hoodrow, and numerous other artists and producers; FMG has become an inspiration to a generation in Upstate New York and a place of great support and development for the youth in the area. Stick along for the ride as 607 Sound dives into the incredible story of a pioneer in hip-hop, DJ Brandnew.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A DJ FOR?
“Man, I’ve been in business since ’83, but I’ve been a DJ all my life. I got my first turntable at the age of 3 but I was spinning before then, that’s why they got me my turntables.“
SO THEN YOU WERE IN BUSINESS DURING THE ERIK B & RAKIM DAYS OF HIP HOP?
“Oh yeah. Alot of people really dont know, but I’m the one who really created some of these scratches and stuff. Like you got Jazzy Jeff from the Fresh Prince who’s known for certain scratches like the transform scratch, I created that scratch, even though him and this other guy are known for creating it, I made that probably 6 or 7 years prior to them. I was just a kid and I’m local here, so I never gave it a title. I didnt know to call someone and say, “Hey listen uh, I just created a scratch”, but people who watched me grow up here they know.“
HOW DID YOU START GETTING BOOKED FOR EVENTS?
“Places weren’t with it. “No no cant do it da da da da da”, and this is how it happened for every place. I keep going, I keep asking and I keep getting turned down. Eventually there comes a time when the DJ that’s playing at the time says “Yo go grab that kid right there, the one who’s always asking to get on, yo I gotta run to the bathroom real quick just hold me down like 5 minutes till I get back.” That’s the worst thing you coulda ever done. By the time he came back I got the club ROCKIN. Next thing you know the club owner is calling me.“
IS THERE ANYONE YOU HAVE WORKED WITH THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU OR UPPED YOUR CREATIVITY?
“Nah cause I’m not really inspired by anybody, I set the tone. But that’s the era I come from, I come from when Hip-Hop first started. I’ve been in this game since before Hip-Hop was put on wax.“
IS HIP-HOP YOUR FAVORITE GENRE TO USE ON THE TABLES OR DO YOU JUST USE ANYTHING?
“Everything, you know it’s funny that you ask that because the hip hoppers, that’s what they think. I’ve had some of these guys whose dealt with me on a hip hop level have someone in their family having a wedding or a 60th anniversary party, and they walk in and I’m the DJ! I do it all bruh.”
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU HAVENT ACCOMPLISHED THAT YOU STILL WANT TO DO?
“That’s a good question……well I havent become a millionaire. I’ve probably put millions into it over the years and I’m definitely sitting on at least a million dollars worth of stuff but, I’m not a millionaire. There is another thing I wish I had, I wish I had someone who kinda laid the foundation for me. Like when I first started doing this I never even heard of DJ Scratch before. Like, I came up in the era of Grandmaster Flash.“
HAD YOU HEARD ABOUT GRANDMASTER FLASH WHEN YOU WERE STARTING OUT?
“Yeah but this is the thing if you go back and listen to the records, you dont hear Grandmaster Flash scratching on the record. So when I was doing it, it was the first for anybody out here to hear. Go back and listen to the records, he was doin all that in the park but it wasnt on wax. My techniques were more advanced than what Grandmaster Flash and those guys were doin. It even got to the point where some DJs thought I was corny cause they couldn’t grasp it. Then fast forward ten years later, all types of DJ’s coming out the woodwork now doin what I’m doin but I’m the creator of that.“
HOW DO YOU WORK WITH FMG THESE DAYS IS IT MORE SO LETTING IT RUN INTO THE CAPABLE HANDS OF CAPION AND DEE BLAZE?
“I still have my hands in the cookie jar, they dont put a product out unless it goes through me first I’m what you would call a behind the scenes executive.“
WELL THAT ABOUT WRAPS UP WHAT WE HAVE FOR YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME FOR US ESPECIALLY DURING THE COVID TIMES
“Thank you man and make sure you let em know I’m still the king!“
To Support the Grand Incredible DJ Brandnew and FMG click the link below to download the free FMG radio app. Thank you for reading and dont forget to support your locals!
Written By: Joshua Chaffer
Published: November 6th, 2020