Sevan Matossian (00:00):
What’s up brother. Bam. We’re live. Ah, thank you. Are you’re on the, uh, DJ E F N. Are you on the east coast?
DJ EFN (00:08):
Sevan Matossian (00:09):
Okay. So you’re 10:00 AM for you.
DJ EFN (00:11):
10:00 AM. Where are you at? West coast?
Sevan Matossian (00:13):
Yeah, I’m in Santa Cruz, California, south, super
DJ EFN (00:15):
Early for you. <laugh>
Sevan Matossian (00:17):
South about, uh, 70 miles south of San Francisco.
DJ EFN (00:21):
Sevan Matossian (00:23):
Uh, cheers. I appreciate you doing this.
DJ EFN (00:25):
Cheers, man. Put some water here.
Sevan Matossian (00:27):
What, who, um, how do I, how, how, what, what do you go by? Do you go by E or DJ E or DJ E FM or
DJ EFN (00:35):
My friends call me E usually E
Sevan Matossian (00:37):
All right. Yeah. Is that, uh, is that appropriate for me?
DJ EFN (00:40):
Sevan Matossian (00:41):
All right, cool. We’re off to a fucking great start. I want to show some people something real quick before we get started. Uh, I, I entered the podcast game about a year ago and I, when I think of the people that I, I would like to, uh, interact with, first of all, I don’t give a shit about ratings. It’s funny. I got a note from buzz sprout to people who, uh, you know, host my podcast and they send little, uh, emails out telling you how to make your podcast better. Right. And like, it’s, it’s all just sell out shit. I just cannot fucking believe it. It’s just not who I am. That the pieces of advice they give an example would be like, if you do a video on how to grill a steak and it doesn’t do well, maybe you should do one on how to bake a steak. I’m like, fuck you. If grilling’s my thing, I’m grilling. Right. For sure if you like it or not. Uh, but, uh, he thi this library of people that you, um, have, uh, interacted with is, and we’re the same, I think you’re 48 and I’m
DJ EFN (01:43):
50 47. I just turned 47 in may
Sevan Matossian (01:46):
47. Uh, here you are with, uh, I, I can’t even believe it too short. I, I was, I was born in Oakland, California, so, I
DJ EFN (01:54):
Mean, Short’s big for you.
Sevan Matossian (01:56):
Yeah, when I, he
DJ EFN (01:57):
Was big for all of us, but I mean, especially in that area,
Sevan Matossian (01:59):
When I grew up, uh, listening too short, he was still selling, uh, you know, I was got, had, think I had one of the original tapes out of the trunk of his car. Uh, here you are with 50 cent. One of the newer guys LL cool, Jay. I mean, I, I, I didn’t even know when I heard him. I was like, wow. They rap in New York. <laugh>, you
DJ EFN (02:17):
Sevan Matossian (02:18):
Uh, Lil Wayne, um, uh, Floyd Mayweather nuts. And those of you who are looking through these slides, you’re gonna see gentlemen in the, in the, all of these photos also. And this is, uh, I’m really curious about that relationship. Um, it’s a rapper named Noriega, but now he goes by Noah. Right, right,
DJ EFN (02:38):
Sevan Matossian (02:38):
Yeah. Okay. And they have a show called drink, cha drink champs, which is, um, from what I could tell is, uh, part of a larger con consortium, uh, called revolt, which is owned by P DDY. Is that correct?
DJ EFN (02:53):
Uh, revolt is the, the TV network that distributes our television show and then our YouTube, uh, video. Okay. They’re just partners with it. They license the content from us.
Sevan Matossian (03:03):
Okay. Uh, DJ Khaled. Uh, Hey, is, does he have something sprayed on his head there? Is that his real hair what’s going on with the homie’s hair?
DJ EFN (03:13):
I think he, he probably dyed, I think, I think he had, he says it in that episode.
Sevan Matossian (03:18):
Oh, he does. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, Rick Ross, um, I had the, uh, pleasure what a trippy cat. I had the pleasure to go hang out with him at his house for a few hours. One day. He was, he was doing some CrossFit
DJ EFN (03:29):
Ross fit when he was caught.
Sevan Matossian (03:31):
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Uh, that was awesome. Um, really, uh, what are, what are your first, before I keep showing off this crazy? Sure. What, what are your impressions of Rick Ross? Like just,
DJ EFN (03:46):
Oh, I’ve known him for, for years before he blew up to, to everybody else. Um, I came up in Miami doing mix tapes. I was mix tape de DJs. That’s the lane that I created for myself and my brand through my company, crazy up productions and
Sevan Matossian (04:01):
DJ EFN (04:02):
Crazy hood productions and the main thing for, for us, our, our mission when we started in, in 93, coming outta high school is to like, just really help put Miami’s hip hop scene on the map. And through my mix tapes, I had all the guys that were bubbling in Miami. The first thing they did was usually get on a mix tape, you know, on my mix tape. Um, and specifically to Ross and pit bull and all these guys, they all came through my studios. They all did drops. They all did freestyles exclusive stuff for the, for the mix tapes. And I knew all these guys, like I knew pit bull when he was, you know, super young and,
Sevan Matossian (04:36):
And another Cuban, right. Pit bulls with Cuban. Yep. Uh, um, crazy social consciousness. I don’t mean in this. Sorry if this bothers you. I don’t mean in this fucked up woke bullshit social consciousness. Right. I mean like real social conscious.
DJ EFN (04:51):
Nah, he’s, he’s a, he a, he’s a good dude. He’s a smart dude. Yeah. Um, and you know, he, he believes what he believes in, like, to me, it’s like, if you wholeheartedly believe in whatever you believe in yeah. Power to you, you know?
Sevan Matossian (05:01):
Cool. All right. Sorry. Sorry. Uh, so, so the mix tape thing, you were a curator of rappers.
DJ EFN (05:08):
Yeah. I mean a mix tape. DJ’s basically every mix tape was like putting together a compilation album. That’s the way I looked at it. And that’s the way I approached it. Like I was the, a and R for, for an album. And I put ’em out probably every, every few months I was putting out these mix tapes. And this is before in a timeframe in the early nineties, mid nineties in Miami where commercial radio didn’t have, we didn’t have mix shows out here that played hip hop on commercial radio. So the, the labels and the artists needed to, to get their music out. And they got it through mix tape DJs, like myself, underground radio DJs, which I did that as well, pirate radio and college radio. And those were the, the, the outlets that they used in those times. So it, we were pretty important because they didn’t have the commercial radio to, to do that for them.
Sevan Matossian (05:50):
And you said you were a and R what’s that
DJ EFN (05:53):
A and R is, is basically at the label, the, that curates, it helps artists, you know, pick beats, get their features. They’re the ones that put together projects. And so I, I was like my own a and R I was like the artist that was compiling these compilations, which are mix tapes.
Sevan Matossian (06:08):
What, what’s it stand for
DJ EFN (06:10):
Artists and repertoire if I’m not wrong.
Sevan Matossian (06:12):
Okay. Uh, and, and when you would mix these tapes, would there be gaps in between the artists like you would, you would, you would curate them and be like, okay, this tape is gonna be Curtis blow and Kumo D and you, or you would actually mix them together. So it’s one long, 54 minute.
DJ EFN (06:30):
Yeah. Yeah. It was a, it was when I started, it was on cassette tapes and it was turntables with mostly with vinyl. I mean, I have my turntables right in front of me right now, I’m in my office. And, um, and I used to get a, I, I eventually got a four track and I started with a, with a cassette four track, like a real old school, four track. And then, you know, that way I could get creative and putting, you know, over dubbing sounds and, and doing different things to make the tape. It wasn’t about just putting songs together on a list. It was making the tape, have a, my personality on it. And so, and then I would have my, my crew, we would, they had rappers in the crew. We would intro, we would do these elaborate intros with, with skits. And we had skits in between different songs. Oh, all kinds of things. Yeah.
Sevan Matossian (07:14):
I remember when that, wow. I forgot that albums used to have like skits before the song sometimes. Right,
DJ EFN (07:20):
Right. And imagine it on mix tapes, we would go crazy. Cuz you know, we, we would have all these songs from your favorite artist, but then we would put our own stuff in there. It was, it was cool.
Sevan Matossian (07:30):
So, so when you would, when you would do this, you were basically just a one man team. What about, what about legal issues? Did you have a lawyer? Did you, did you have like a paperwork? Were you guys officially like, Hey, sign here, I’m about to put you on a mix team.
DJ EFN (07:41):
No, not when we started and I wasn’t a woman man team. I was, it was my crew out of high school that we all banded together to make this company and, and, and this brand called crazy hood. And it was like at the time when we started, it was like 10 to 15 of us. And, and no, and I remember I had a lawyer at one point and you know, a few years after I started and when I told him that I was doing the mix tapes, he like, he lost his shit. He was like, oh man, you’re, you know, this is copyright infringement and all that stuff. But mix tapes is a part of hip hop culture. So it, it just, it just flew under the radar. And for the most part, the labels, they sanctioned it. But once you’re mix tapes got to a certain level or the artist that they were pushing already didn’t need the mix tape. Then you would get these cease and desist letters from the labels. It was a, it’s a big, it was a sham on their part. Like they, they totally betrayed us
Sevan Matossian (08:29):
<laugh> so it was a game. Well, it was use you until we’re bigger than you, and then we’re done with you.
DJ EFN (08:33):
Right. And so you’ll hear about mix tape DJs, like DJ drama or, or there was a big distributor to Miami getting rated by the feds. Like if they were Al-Qaeda, you know, uh, and, and, and freezing their assets and all this crazy stuff that was going on. Luckily I was just getting these letters and, you know, sometimes I would just, I wouldn’t, I would wait to put out a mix tape when I would get one of those letters and then I, and then I’d, you know, I’d be like, alright, fuck it. I’m just gonna do another
Sevan Matossian (08:55):
One. And, um, when I hung out with Rick Ross, I was surprised by his personality. I didn’t know what to expect, but he really seemed like an artist to me. Like he could have been any artist. He like, if someone would’ve been like, Hey, that dude’s the greatest painter. That dude’s the greatest poet or that dude’s the greatest violinist. I would’ve been like, yeah, there was something like, uh, uh, soft about him, even though from room to room, he carried the gun everywhere room. We went in, he had a gun with the fucking extended clip in it, even when he was working out, he kept it, you know, within 10 feet of him. But there was even when I shook his hands, they felt like supple and the way his fingers moved and the way he moved, he was, uh,
DJ EFN (09:37):
He’s intentional as an artist. He’s very intentional. Um, he’s, he’s, he’s a great lyricist, which, which is one of the things that I always wanted from the artist in Miami, cuz you know, we’re in the south and, and, and we were known for Miami base, like two life crew and all then, which to me at that time, they were equal to like the run DMC just with different, different subject matter, you know? But as the south started growing, we started departing from lyrics and a certain sound. And, and to me, Ross, you know, he was a lyrical artist. Pit had his own style of being lyrical. And, and I like that about Ross and, and he was always very intentional. He knew what he was doing and he comes from a rough place. Like the gun thing he’s from Carroll city Carroll. City’s a rough spot. And, and so, but he he’s dope, man. He’s really dope.
Sevan Matossian (10:21):
Uh, I, I forgot about, uh, Miami base. I, I can see the album now and they had the base test right in the beginning, we’re going to run a base test.
DJ EFN (10:29):
Yeah. Some and that,
Sevan Matossian (10:31):
Yeah, that, that was, there was actual group, right. There was an actual album called the Miami or Miami base. It wasn’t just a, uh, I
DJ EFN (10:40):
Wouldn’t doubt. I don’t know if there was a group called Miami base. That was more, the style there might have been. I don’t doubt that there could have been, but two life crew, uncle Al a poison clan, like, like we had this, this whole genre, it became a, a parallel genre to hip hop at the time because they, in Miami, they looked at, at hiphop as this New York phenomenon, uh, kind of invading. Yeah. Uh, and so it kind of had these parallel universes, but Miami, you know, music, which was more of a dance you dance to, to, to Miami base. When you dance with the girls like here, if you went to a party in the early nineties, mid nineties, it was the hip hop was, you just stood there and kind of Bob your head, or you had break dancers maybe come out and you watched them. And then when reg and bass came on, that’s when you danced with the ladies.
Sevan Matossian (11:25):
Yeah. When, when, when I was a kid, I, I went to a school, uh, may, may I don’t know, 3000 kids in my high school. And there was, uh, I graduated in 1990 from high school. And from, I don’t know, probably my sophomore, junior, senior year, I, I kept a cassette player in my locker. It was one of those ones that, um, came with the tr 80, the radio shack computer. Right. Right. Remember, instead of CDs putting into a computer, you put the cassette tape and you push it and it loads the, I don’t know how the fuck that worked through. Sounds it loaded the shit up on your radio shack,
DJ EFN (12:00):
All the cool gadgets.
Sevan Matossian (12:01):
DJ EFN (12:02):
I remember just going to radio shack and just looking around,
Sevan Matossian (12:04):
They were kind of the ghetto gadgets though, too. Right?
DJ EFN (12:07):
Right. Well, I mean, for us, we didn’t know. I mean, that’s how we could afford and couldn’t even afford.
Sevan Matossian (12:11):
Right. Um, so, but I, but I took that cassette player that was supposed to be for the computer and I kept it in my locker and I would just like, I would just bring all my friends over to my locker and I would always have like, just the gnarliest rap, just like, you know, all the NWA, two life crew, all that stuff. Uh, U T F O I guess they weren’t that hardcore, um, Gucci crew.
DJ EFN (12:34):
Gucci crew. Yeah.
Sevan Matossian (12:35):
Big, uh, Sally, that, that girl.
DJ EFN (12:37):
Yep. Yeah. That was a huge song out
Sevan Matossian (12:38):
Here. Um, uh, I had a little bit of Curtis blow. I think he was, I think he was in the eighth grade. I went to New York and, and I, and I got a cassette tape of him. I don’t, I don’t even think you could find him on the west coast that early. Anyway, my point being is it was all white kids,
DJ EFN (12:55):
Sevan Matossian (12:56):
It was all white kids. And when I hear about hiphop culture, it’s always these black dudes talking about hip hop culture.
DJ EFN (13:02):
Sevan Matossian (13:03):
And I’m like thinking to myself, the biggest part of hip hop culture probably is the part that no one ever talks about
DJ EFN (13:09):
The multicultural side of it
Sevan Matossian (13:11):
Or, or the, the fucking hundred million white kids. They grew up in it, in their fucking, in their, in their high schools that never the that’s the only fucking black culture they were exposed to, or the most predominant piece of black culture they were exposed to. Right. You know, that’s not single black person in their name, but they embodied it. They live by it. They, you know, girls who are getting straight A’s fucking knew. I bet you more white girls getting straight A’s know the lyrics to fucking the two life crew album than any other fucking, if you wanna categorize it demographic. Right. You know what I mean? Right. And it’s kind of, um,
Sevan Matossian (13:49):
It, it’s fascinating to me like, uh, so especially as I went through all of your, you know, as I went through your, your, uh, um, Instagram and I started looking at all the drink champ stuff, and it’s just this massive, uh, uh, portfolio of the artist. But I, I, I, I, it’s just fascinating to me that it’s never talked about, about who embodied that culture and what the effect of it had on them. And when someone like Kendrick Lamar brought that girl up on stage and had her sing the fucking song and it had the word nigga in it, and then she said it out loud and then he fucking called her out on it. That’s what I hear. I didn’t ever see the, the video. Right. I’m, I’m fucking blown away.
DJ EFN (14:26):
You, in what way are you blown away?
Sevan Matossian (14:27):
I I’m, I’m blown away that there’s a, uh, that it’s so divisive still that, that, that, that, that, that, and, and maybe we still have time there. There’s an artist called, um, I had him on here. Do you remember his name? Caleb? The rapon. He has a song called let the white kids say, nigga, have you heard that song?
DJ EFN (14:55):
You, you talking to me? Yeah,
Sevan Matossian (14:57):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sorry.
DJ EFN (14:58):
No, no, no. I haven’t heard that song, but what I, what I will say to that is, is this is that. So I grew up in Miami and we were saying, N we’re
Sevan Matossian (15:07):
I seen white guys on your show, say it. I seen, I, I watched your, uh, I watched your piece where you guys went to Cuba. Crazy. I don’t know if he’s a white guy, but he is not a black guy.
DJ EFN (15:15):
Oh, he’s Latino. Yeah. Yeah. He’s Latino. But, so that’s what I’m trying to say is like, we grew up saying that it was, it was in our vernacular was, was what we said, but I will tell you that. I’ll tell you something that changed me. Why? I think that even though it’s hard for even us to get it out of our vocabulary, because we grew up with it. It’s just, it just, it made me feel like we have to try to get it out of our vocabulary.
Sevan Matossian (15:37):
Okay. I feel okay.
DJ EFN (15:38):
Because, so I went to Atlanta and it was like, uh, I don’t know, maybe mid nineties, mid to late nineties. And we’re, we’re, we’re my crew’s mixed. We’re, we’re black and Latino. And, um, but we’re in the elevator and it’s mostly a bunch of Latino kids of Brazilian Cuban, Puerto Rican, Colombian, and this elderly, uh, black woman walks into the elevator and we’re from Miami. We’re just talking the way we talk and we’re throwing around and we’re like, normal. We’re not, obviously the way we’re looking at is we’re not staying racially as a, as something negative we’re saying is just, it’s just the way we talk to each other, like saying bro, or dude,
Sevan Matossian (16:15):
Or like, or like sometimes how I use fuck. It’s just like just goes in every single. Right.
DJ EFN (16:19):
But, but when I looked at the elderly black woman and, and cut how we were talking around her and figured did some quick math and said this, she grew up in, uh, the civil rights movement. Most likely it, I’m gonna be honest with you. It, it bothered me yeah. For her. And I felt like, you know what? She doesn’t, you know, first of all, I’ve come to understand it in different places, different regions, everybody’s different. So you, you might be com someone might be comfortable with you talking a certain way in one region, you go to another region and they’re not comfortable and they’re not wrong for that. So I’ve, I’ve actively, you know, said, you know, I’m not gonna say it like that. I’m not gonna say that word. You know, if I have any, you know, if I can help it. And, and I,
Sevan Matossian (17:03):
You do, I don’t, I don’t say that word either, but I do say it in context. I don’t say N word. I say the word when I say it, but, but I don’t say the word. I think it’s a bad word. Right? Right. Like a naughty word.
DJ EFN (17:12):
I understand the, the confusion because of the music. Like we went, I do this film series where we travel to Peru, I mean, to different countries, but
Sevan Matossian (17:20):
Amazing series. Amazing. God, it’s
DJ EFN (17:22):
Amazing. And, and, um, my, my, my, one of my friends is with us, he’s Jamaican, he’s black. Um, and we’re all together. And this Peruvian graffiti artist, who’s really cool. He’s the one taking us around really entrenched in the hip scene, improve. He’s saying the N word left and right. And throughout the trip. And so finally, my boy turns to me, my boy Dre, he’s like, look, man, you know, it’s bad enough. I gotta be in Miami in the states and, and hear a bunch of Chi. They call Chicos in Miami. A bunch of Chios saying the N-word that I gotta come now to another country and hear them saying the N-word, you know? And he he’s like, I can’t take it anymore. And, and, you know, I had to respect that. And I, and I pulled the kid to the side and I said, look, do me a favor, man. You need to stop saying that it’s, it’s bothering my friend, uh, do me the favor. And he just looked at me, confused the kid. And he said, but you guys taught us this.
Sevan Matossian (18:15):
Yeah. That’s the irony. Right.
DJ EFN (18:17):
So I understand the confusion, but I think that we just, you know, if we know better, like how I felt when I was in that elevator and I knew better, I knew the context of history. I knew where it might bother somebody. Like, why do I just because I wanna say this word, just because I’m gonna bother this person, I’m gonna upset this person. I’d rather just try not to say it. You know, it’s not that important. You
Sevan Matossian (18:40):
Know, I agree wholeheartedly. And it’s just like, if I have a, if I have a 17 year old on the show, let’s say I’m interviewing a 17 year old. I think I empathize with the fact that they have parents who are probably watching the show and that I need to be very, very conscious that they have parents watching the show and treat them like how I would want someone to treat my kid. Don’t lure them down any fucked up questioning. Try not to swear in front of them. You know what I mean? Be, uh, have some situational awareness that being said, I got three Jew boys. Right. I got three little boys, Jewish boys. Right. I never want, I, I, the fact that they’re born on to planet earth where there’s a word waiting for them, that they’re supposed to be offended by their whole life. Fuck you, my kids aren’t playing that game. Right. Like, fuck that you can’t words don’t are never gonna have, if, if I have anything to do with it, they’re never gonna have that control over my boys. Not that, that word’s not still, not just a valuable word. If, you know, like if they hear someone throwing the kike word around, they should be careful like, Hey, don’t turn your back to that cat. Right. Right. But, but on the other hand, I don’t want, I want my boys to be so whole,
DJ EFN (19:48):
You don’t want to be so powerful.
Sevan Matossian (19:50):
Yeah. Because it’s what a, and, and I, and I emphasize this to, and, and Jewish kids are raised a lot like black kids or, you know, the parents whisper them to, em, the world’s out to get you right. That it’s gonna be really hard. You gotta work twice as hard as everyone. I don’t even wanna tell my kids that. Right. You know, it’s a, um, I’m going way off here, but I’m, I was so proud of Kanye, the route he took. So, so, uh, he, he kind of gets that he’s he wants to go super high, high, right. The 500,000 foot view right. Of, of how words work and how love works. And how did that affect the, uh, do you know what I’m saying about he, he’s more red pill where a, a lot of, uh, the world isn’t, isn’t isn’t red pill. How did that affect the hip hop world? Did, did that drop a bomb on it as he started?
DJ EFN (20:40):
Yeah. I mean,
Sevan Matossian (20:41):
Swerve and off of the conventional wisdom, it
DJ EFN (20:43):
Went all over the place. You know, for the most part, the hip hop community turned their backs on him when, when he, you know, when he decided to go to the white house and he wore the mag hat and all that stuff, for the most part, I can’t say everybody because that’s right. People wouldn’t know that. Um, and they thought, you know, I think he said something about slavery being a choice, something crazy like that. But what, you know, what I’ve learned with KA cuz then we had him on the show and I feel like we helped, we helped give him a platform where he was, he was open to speak for as long as he wanted to, which some people criticize us to allow people, but whatever, I don’t care about that part. And he was able to get through his ideas and thoughts a lot more clearly to the audience and people understood him.
DJ EFN (21:29):
And my thing is whether you agree with him or not at least try to understand his position and you know, and his perspective instead of just off, you know, really quick, just negating it. And I think it changed. Um, I think we had a part, a small part at least and helping kind of change, you know, the, the, the, the outlook on, on Kanye, uh, the narrative that was being put out there for him. But I definitely think he, again, like how you said about Rick Ross being an artist or like Kanye is, is, is truly trying to be the freest artist possible. Ah, and, and that is refreshing. And, and, and to me, that’s what I believe in art in general. Like not just hip hop and all art, it should be free to do and explore anything without criticism, but we’re humans and we suck.
DJ EFN (22:16):
So everything we do is gonna be criticized, but if you’re a true artist, you have to expect that you have to be ready for that. You know, don’t get into art because you think you’re gonna please everybody and make a dollar because that’s probably the, the last thing that’ll happen, pleasing people and making a dollar, if you’re going into art, you know, the percentage of people that make it. But, uh, but yeah, he he’s, he’s freeing himself. I’m not saying, I don’t know that he’s truly freed himself, you know, the way he wants to, but he that’s his goal. And, and he’s, he’s practicing that. He’s actively practicing that.
Sevan Matossian (22:48):
Yeah. What, what, that’s a theme of this show getting free. Right. Did you, do you, do you remember being a kid in an artist and, and those, um, I, I I’m projecting onto you, but up until your twenties, maybe your mid twenties or something, you build a cage for yourself. Right. And identity, I’m this person, I like this kind of music. I like these kind of girls. And then at some point, the you’re trapped and you don’t even realize you build to cage yourself and you break out of it. Did you ever have one of those moments as an artist?
DJ EFN (23:23):
Yeah, I mean, absolutely. You know, when I was, when I was a maybe pre-teen and a teen, I was into, into, into punk rock, into thrash into metal, I was a skater. I wanna be surfer. Um, I was, you know, I was into this and my mom she’s, she’s kind of, you know, into the arts. And so she kind of instilled this whole, like freedom of art type of vibe. And then I, then I discovered NWA and public enemy and two life crew and run DMC. And, and that changed my, my whole world perspective, because I felt like that was the music of my generation, but I didn’t wanna neglect wor like my whole thing is everything that you’ve experienced, everything that you were into should be a part of who you are. And just because you get into one genre of music or one thing you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t like, that’s it, you know, negate or, or, or shed that other part of you.
DJ EFN (24:14):
Because like, for me, you know, I was a skater, wasn’t the best skater, but I was into, I was a, I was a skater, nonetheless. Like I live that life. I feel like I’m always gonna be a skate right. In my heart. You know, that, that, that, that, uh, that attitude, you know, I loved punk rock. I loved thrash. I loved all that stuff because I, I needed that, that energy. And I founded in NWA, in public enemy and, and it, and it kind of, I related more to it, but it, I feel like it’s all punk, because if, if you hear a lot of the early stories of hip hop, they were, they were kind of like side by side with the punk scene. They were both counterculture musics. And so it made sense to me when I found that out later. So, yeah.
DJ EFN (24:52):
But, but to what you said, you know, when you get into your twenties and early thirties, and you’re kind of like now as an adult, trying to, to fit in and, and, and make a living and all this stuff, you do box yourself in. And then when you get kind of, I feel like for men, it takes us a lot longer to really, truly mature and kind of find ourselves, then I could, you could shed all that and be like, no, this is who I am. I’m all of these things. I’m all these things that maybe you don’t accept or not cool with.
Sevan Matossian (25:21):
Did something happen? Did you have a, did you have a rock bottom? Did you, did you do I WASA? You did.
DJ EFN (25:26):
No, I didn’t have, I want man. I wanted to do Iya WASA. <laugh> so bad when I went to Peru, but I re I wanted, do I wanted to do peyote from watching the movie young guns?
Sevan Matossian (25:35):
Oh my goodness. My favorite movie of all time, that and top gun were on, repeat in my house as a kid.
DJ EFN (25:41):
I wanted to be in the spirit world as they were
Sevan Matossian (25:43):
Sick. Oh my goodness.
DJ EFN (25:44):
But I wanted to do, did
Sevan Matossian (25:46):
You like the doors movie too with Val Kilmer?
DJ EFN (25:48):
I watched it. I don’t, I can’t, I can’t remember, but I know I watched, I’m pretty sure I liked it, but I, I left, you know, I was a kid when young guns came up, but, but later on, I said, if I’m gonna do something like that, I wanna do it in that environment. Like the desert, I want an native American, you know, chief or somebody, you know, somebody to, to like guide you through that stuff. And, um, and then later on, when I learned about Ayaka and I had friends that went to the, to the Amazon and did it with a shaman in a, in a, in a, in a, in an, in an Indian village, in, in the Amazon, I was like, I wanna do it that way. But when I went to Peru to film the movie, I was almost down to do it.
DJ EFN (26:23):
But then I was like, this is not the right environment. Like, you know, the, what we’re doing here. I don’t think, I don’t think that this is the time to do it, but I did wanna do it. Um, but I never did it. And I would like to do it still. I’m I’m afraid of it. I’m afraid of what it’s gonna reveal to me, to be honest with you. Yeah. But the rock bottom I had besides anything like that was the, the 2008 crash, the recession, which threw me all the way to the ground financially. Um, and I was being told, you know, by everybody that loved me, like, all right, this, this pursuit of anything within the music realm, it’s over for you. It’s time to come to grips with it. It’s time to, you know, grow up, you know, your parents want you to be, yeah, yeah.
DJ EFN (27:09):
You know, your parents always are like on, you’re gonna, and you know, and the thing is, is that when I started this journey with my, with my boys, you know, we’re from this area in Miami called Kendall and, and in Miami, in general, wasn’t a big place in hip hop. And so people were like, this is a ridiculous dream of yours. Like, you know, you don’t have any connections to the scene, to the industry at large, you know, what are you guys doing? And so, I mean, I, we, we made it through, I had, I opened up a, a hip hop clothing store with a, with a partner.
Sevan Matossian (27:39):
Is Nora from you? Is Nora from Kendall?
DJ EFN (27:42):
No, no, no. He’s from Queens. He’s from left right Queens.
Sevan Matossian (27:44):
Okay. Okay. We’ll get to him. Sorry. Okay.
DJ EFN (27:46):
Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, you know, I, I started a marketing company. I was managing, I was, I started doing as much as I could and, and, and building these different branches in this tree to try to like, to fund the dream, to keep it moving and keep it going. And, um, and then the, and then, you know, I had an office after we close down our store, cuz we were getting rated by the cops cuz they thought we were drug dealers, which is another story. But um, were
Sevan Matossian (28:10):
DJ EFN (28:11):
You no, we weren’t. The one thing I was trying to do is create a safe Haven for parents to bring their kids, to really be able to just have hip hop culture, you know, have access to it because at the time the stores that were available were all head shops, you know, where you find bong, weed para and I don’t
Sevan Matossian (28:28):
Smoke. I used, still love going into those.
DJ EFN (28:30):
Yes. Well, I mean, for me it was like, you know, I just felt like that wasn’t fair for the hiphop kid who just wanted hip hop. Right. So anyways, um, we got rated the cops
Sevan Matossian (28:39):
And you didn’t smoke weed. You didn’t smoke weed.
DJ EFN (28:41):
I mean, I tried it in my early twenties. I sold it a little, you know, and it just didn’t work for me. It wasn’t something like I have nothing against it. All my friends are, we heads, but uh, it’s just not for
Sevan Matossian (28:51):
Me. Yeah. Not for me either.
DJ EFN (28:53):
But anyways, the recession is, is kind of what reset everything for me and I had to make it or break it moment. And I had to decide like, am I just gonna, you know, give it all up. Am I gonna, is this all a, you know, a fake dream? Like, is it just, it’s not re you know, real, is it? I just, I had to, I had to really account for everything I had done. And my whole thing was I invested my, my time, my life into this and, and I’m not, I don’t care. Who’s telling me what I’m gonna, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna Betten down the hatches. And, and, and that’s when I came up with the, the idea to do the film in Cuba, the first film. And that’s when we started dealing with the podcast stuff too.
Sevan Matossian (29:33):
Do you hear that people while he’s knocked down, instead of licking his wombs, he dreams bigger. Oh, okay. Fuck. I’m my shit’s unraveling. I’m gonna start making a movie. Yeah, fucking crazy.
DJ EFN (29:43):
I never, I never made a movie. We were amateur filmmakers for sure.
Sevan Matossian (29:47):
Did you know this young lady at the time
DJ EFN (29:50):
At that specific time? No, but shortly after that, Karina
Sevan Matossian (29:54):
DJ EFN (29:54):
So girl Karina who connected us
Sevan Matossian (29:56):
And, and, and at this point, um, in 2008, um,
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