DJ Cut Creator
"It [Hip-Hop] will always be there, I think we need to get creative with it more." - DJ Cut Creator
DJ Cut Creator, immortalized on wax in LL Cool J's "Go Cut Creator Go," is known for his precision on the turntables, his ability to rock a party, and a career that endured Hip-Hop's rapid changes. He is one of Hip-Hop's icons.
Photos courtesy of djcutcreator.com
As one of the pioneers of Hip-Hop who helped define a brand new genre of music, who were the musicians, or the DJs in your case, that you drew your inspiration from?
DJ Cut Creator: In my era there were very few. I have to look at guys like DJ Hollywood, Grandmaster Flash, and a guy that was little known but [played] a big part by the name D.J. Divine from a group called Infinity Machine. He worked at a local record store and he had one of the biggest sound systems in New York City. Those would be my influences.
Can you see your influence in the careers of DJs that have followed you?
DJ Cut Creator: …Pretty much when I came about there were a whole bunch of cats who came after me…I wasn’t really one of the flashiest guys I was more of a technician. I kind of followed in the pattern of Jam Master Jay, as far as the all-around DJ. That’s an interesting question. I don’t know. I’m trying to figure out how to answer that one. That’s a good one.
Can you pinpoint a moment when you knew that you were part of a historic moment when Hip-Hop was becoming much more than anyone thought it could be?
DJ Cut Creator: I think when I did Soul Train. Growing up as a kid you know you watch Soul Train, we would sit down on Saturdays…it was a big thing in a lot African-American households on Saturdays. And really when I was there and met Don Cornelius that was like: “Wow.” Watching that with my mom and my aunts and everyone calling me that Saturday when they saw the show, that to me was amazing.
How has Hip-Hop evolved since you began as an artist; you have a career that’s endured through the changes Hip-Hop has seen. How do you feel about its current direction?
DJ Cut Creator: When I started leaving school, leaving college to do that [become a DJ] it wasn’t my initial plan of course…with the growing population [of people listening to Hip-Hop], LL Cool J, DJ Cut Creator and the movies it was like, “Wow, I’m going to take advantage of this.” I always said I was going to go back to school—you had to deal with your parents…[them asking] “What are you doing?” But it [Hip-Hop] just kept growing and growing and growing… To be totally honest I really don’t like the direction that it’s going. People don’t have a lot of a lot of creativity. They’re not putting a lot a lot of heart and soul into it, that’s my opinion… I think the technology is making it easier…you know you have programs like Reason where you can make music in the house on your laptop but on the flipside you’re not getting nothing. You should be making much better stuff now [with the technology]… I think we have to be more creative with our music.
Where do you see Hip-Hop evolving in the next 40 years?
DJ Cut Creator: Going back to the last question, I’m not sure. If we don’t get more creative I’m not sure where it will evolve. I think people should be more open-minded. A lot of the youngsters, you know, sometimes we the older Hip-Hop artists speak our mind and they call us old and bitter. Nah, we’re not old and bitter, the problem is I think in the '80s and '90s you had a variety of Hip-Hop. If you didn’t like LL Cool J, you had Public Enemy. If you didn’t like Public Enemy there was De Le Soul and those guys. If you didn’t like them you had Rakim and Big Daddy Kane and those type of cats on that side. And if you didn’t like them you had Run-DMC who was a rock infused trio, you had variety…so I think we need to get more creative with it. It [Hip-Hop] will always be there, I think we need to get creative with it more.
In your opinion what are some of the most important influential contributions in Hip-Hop’s 40 years?
DJ Cut Creator: I have to go Run-D.M.C. I think they paved the way in a lot of ways for Hip-Hop to be on TV... The work they did from Live Aid to all kinds of events that we weren’t really accepted in. Also a lot of people sleep on Arsenio Hall… the Arsenio Hall show had so many artists that nobody booked. No body put Hip-Hop on late night TV, on the talk shows, then sat down and interviewed them. I think Run-DMC and Arsenio Hall are really major contributors.
What was your greatest contribution to Hip-Hop?
DJ Cut Creator: My creativity, my honesty, my longevity, my dedication and love for Hip-Hop and DJ'ing for others, mentoring others—youngsters. I mean it’s weird to sit down and be on the road somewhere and [Parrish] from EPMD is asking questions and I’m like “Wow, this guy is asking me questions…and he’s a legend in his own right"... I’d have to say my dedication and my honesty.