For some less worldly hip-hop fans France’s presence in the culture began with A Tribe Called Quest’s “Luck of Lucien.” Thankfully, today we know that Europe contributes infinitely to the continuation of hip-hop as a global force and Paris is a leader in that movement. One of the native sons of France, DJ Just Dizle, has spent the last few years making the world a little smaller with globe trotting mixes and tireless hustle. Several years after profiling him in Scratch magazine I caught up with Dizle to see how he’s come so much closer to becoming “Le Champion,” the most requested DJ in Paris, France.
Nodfactor.com: I remember when we first connected you were trying to get up with Jazzy Jeff and some other folks, now they are like your best friends. How did this all happen?
djjustdizle:Man…thanks for the hook up man, for real…u a legend…What happened is basically I was trying to get the instrumental of the song “I’m Looking for the One” by Dj Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince, so I kept trying to get in touch. Finally he got back to me and instead of getting the instrumental, he had me come to his crib and from there we clicked (big shout out to darnell). We did shows and all that and the relationship grew from that point.
Nodfactor.com: What was it like spinning records in his house? Did you pick up any tricks?
djjustdizle: We didn’t spin at his house, we swapped mad music. Even Jesus would of hated [on me]
But yes I picked up some tricks cause I witnessed him play worldwide several times.
Nodfactor.com: Oh yeah? what did you notice?
djjustdizle: The focus. He is on his zone while on the turntable and it’s really important. Thats how to me, I get more inspired when i’m in the zone, i can come up with crazier mixes and all that.
Nodfactor.com: When did you first touch a pair of turntables?
djjustdizle: Wow that’s a tough question. I believe in the 80s my dad had two nightclubs, so he had all the
Nodfactor.com: your dad DJ’d as well?
djjustdizle: no not really, but hes a huge music critic. He plays a lot of instruments
Nodfactor.com: you were involved with a hip-hop show at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center last year. What was that and how did you become involved?
djjustdizle: oh wow, good times. I met this lady Daha through a mutual friend and she became a fan of my music and hustle, and since everything in this life is about timing, she was looking for a International DJ with enough hip hop knowledge so he can represent both sides of the globe. I was there at the right time, she submitted my profile and we all clicked and made it happen. That was a beautiful experience. I met a lot of interesting artists and ilearned a lot from them and their vision of hip hop. It was refreshing to see its a lot of people from different areas that still like H.E.R.
Nodfactor.com: So for people like me whos exposure to French hip-hop is limited, fill us in on the real deal.
djjustdizle: well, you have two sides. The followers and the keepers. The followers are the ones that put their focus on the wrong thing, money. Here people speak French, so when they see the videos they necessarly don’t get the message (or the joke) so they just emulate it the wrong way because they wanna make money or being trendy, but it doesn’t necessarly work cause it doesnt match with the state of mind here and not everybody can relate to something not even the singer understands…Then you got the keepers, that like the purest form of hip hop, dope lyrics, tight beats, a message (even good party records) and trust me its a lot of hip hop addicts here. As far as the market is concerned, it’s really similar to New York. Mainstream and underground artists come here every week so we are really up to date when it comes to that. French hip hop is really rich cause we get inspired from every regions in the world and make a good mix of it. Americans when they come here underestimate us. The other night in the club this guy asked me if i knew about Rich Boys (throw some ds) and “Big Poppa” by Biggie…the outcome is they always go back home more than happy, cause they get more goodies than expected.
Nodfactor.com: Which clubs do you spin in when you’re home?
djjustdizle: Mostly all the club in Paris, cause the difference is Paris is the only city in France where all the promoters do parties in the same clubs. So i pretty much touch all the hot spots: Man’ray, Club Med, Milliardaire, Prestige, Les Coulisses, Le Gibus, Le Bus Palladium and Le Regine. Good visuals @ those clubs
Nodfactor.com: Bet. You stay hitting me with new songs you find. What is your record collection like and how much time do you spend digging?
djjustdizle: I’m still digging man. I dig all the times. You know sand grains right? Think about the Sahara, thats how big they say my collection is.
Nodfactor: damn, do you have it still on vinyl or have digitized most of it?
djjustdizle: both man. still digitizing it. backin up back ups that have been backed up. I use sound forge, pro tools too
Nodfactor.com: You do a lot of mixing live in your crib and podcast live. How exactly do you do that?
djjustdizle: i bought a server and installed it so through a relay server (sorry for being a geek) I broadcast live to thousands of listeners. Also my podcast on itunes is always up to date. Whatever vibe I’m on I just record it and put it up there for the listeners. I realised a lot of people requested fully mixed music, so i do it for hip hop and rnb too. I use a really fast internet connection to make it happen.
Nodfactor.com: So when you come State side you take a lot of meetings at labels and radio stations. Did a mix for Columbia Records last year. What do you have brewing for 2008?
djjustdizle: man a lot of projects, shows all over the us, some music projects with a hip hop legend (you’ll find out soon) i wanna be global. almost like another planet. I dont mean to sound arrogant, i really mean i have a lot of music love to share. I’m also looking for independant and unsigned artists. So i can break their records and do any type of projects with them. Like mixtapes and all that, cause i think now, the big dj’s forgot what its a bout. They play safe, it ain’t no shame about breaking records, people don’t do it no more, it’s the name on your record that breaks it now, its messed up. Some artists dont get the shine they deserve because when they were younger,i guess, they were in the kitchen trying to cook and they accidentally cut their thumb and their major in both hands, so without them u cant do snap music which is hot now in the airwaves, they are stuck….i wanna help
Nodfactor.com: So what are you feeling right now?
djjustdizle: I played this new track by Keith Moses called “Track 14.” It’s a banger, real hip hop nice simple beat , good name dropping, nobody really knows it and it had a good response from the crowd. DJ Premier hooked me up with that. As far as R&B is concerned, I am sorry but I really feel what Ryan Leslie does. I really think he has a different touch, and he’s on my radar. Also, Kidz in The Hall, you made me discover them dudes. i finally met them. Their current single “Driving Down the Block” is so fresh and so pure…it bangs in the club. It’s my favorite from new artists.
Nodfactor.com: You know Double O is friends with Just Blaze. Didn’t you connect with him a while back?
djjustdizle: Yes I connected with him when we deejayed in Paris, pretty dope party.
Nodfactor.com: Word, so any plans to get into producing? That’s the logical next step
djjustdizle: Yes I’m already into it, you know calibrating myself, i’m on it. gotta make sure everything is on point before spreading it to the masses.
Nodfactor.com: What are you using? going old school with an MPC or using software?
djjustdizle: Use the mpc and the Reason. Gotta mix it up. I always believe you gotta know the basics to be able to spread your wings and fly. I gotta understand both ways.
Nodfactor.com: So do you ever get mad when you hear about big name DJs coming overseas and getting paid $20K to spin bullshit?
djjustdizle: Oh yeah man i get emotional like Carl Thomas. I hate the fact that skills has nothing to do with the name but the way they market themselves, so we hype when they come. When we hear it it reminds us of a movie leonardo di caprio starred in with kate winslet, whats the name again?
Nodfactor.com: oh, Titanic. Ouch.
djjustdizle: You said it, not me…lol…yeah they get bills with no skills. We hate it, cause here we still think since hip hop is from the U.S., they should live up to their name like back in the days.
Nodfactor.com: Why do you think classic groups from the U.S. cant’ get love here but can come overseas and tour?
djjustdizle: Because in the U.S. the young generation dont care, here people still study hip hop, they do their research so its a pleasure for us to witness history. People love classics here.