Battle Chat with DJ i-DEE
DJ i-DEE has been crushing the battle scene for a very long time. As a DJ who began his run of titles in the golden age of all vinyl battles, and also mastered the competition in the modern age of DVS systems, DJ i-DEE has secured his place among the all time greatest competitors. A quick glance at his accomplishments speaks volumes about how long he has competed at the highest level. With his battle accomplishments completed, his music production has also taken off. He has then produced records for Jean Grae, Royce Da 5’9″ (Bad Meets Evil), C-Rayz Walz, The X-Ecutioners, Eli Porter and has shared the stage alongside Lady Sovereign, Fat Joe, 3 Doors Down, The Wailers, Souls of Mischief and Pete Rock. He has also produced 2 solo albums “Solitude” in 2008 and “DJ’s Have Feelings Too… But Can’t Rap.” in 2011. When not DJing, you can catch him sharing his knowledge with the next generation of DJs at the Beat Refinery DJ School. We are honored to have him share his knowledge with us.
DMC ONLINE WORLD CHAMPION (2014)
DMC USA CHAMPION (2014)
2x DMC USA VICE CHAMPION (2011, 2012)
Gong DJ Battle CHAMPION (2006)
Scribble Jam DJ CHAMPION (2006)
Guitar Center Southeast Regional CHAMPION (2006)
DMC USA Supremacy CHAMPION (2005)
5x DMC Regional DC CHAMPION (2004, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014)
What was your most memorable Battle Moment and Why?
My most memorable battle moment would have to be the 2014 DMC World Finals. This was my second time in the world finals as a competitor but my first time doing the 6-min category. I felt pretty high coming having secured a DMC World title through the online championships a few weeks prior as well as conquering the DMC USA Finals. That year, I went through a lot of difficult moments during my practice regime given the complexity and music style of my set. I think the time between the US and World Finals is what gave me an opportunity to perform a “possessed” style set in London where I came off near flawless which was my ultimate goal. Plus, it was so dope having both my Mom and girl in the audience cheering me on.
How has battling helped your Dj career?
Battled essentially helped mold my career into what it is today. I never thought of making this a full-time job and I’m extremely grateful to have seen a good chunk of this world thanks to battling. I spent my youth between school and working at my parent’s hispanic grocery store so practicing was ample and I was able to dedicate a strong work ethic towards building routines. I did a guest mixing spot on 93.9 WKYS in D.C. when I was 17 and ended up turning down a weekly residency gig because I wanted to focus more on battling at that time. I was fortunate enough to be taken under the wing by my crew, The Trooperz (Enferno, Quix-05, Geometrix, Oz & Sneek) and some of the battling tips they gave me way back then are still relevant to my career as a DJ.
I think one of the misconceptions out there is that people think you’re touring the world performing your winning routines in various places and thats it, which is true to a certain extent but its almost 5% to 10% of my live show with the remainder being party rocking. Regardless, achieving DMC titles both at a national and world level helped put myself into an elite category amongst industry professionals who know the history behind the DMC, what it stands for and how its the pinnacle of what real DJing is all about; skills and how you freak whatever it is that you’re doing.
What are you up to now? New Projects/Content?
I’m working on a bunch of singles that I’m going to be slowly releasing over the next year alongside some really dope features. The homie Darku J and myself recently did an official remix for Mannie Fresh & Juvenile’s single “Energized” which is on my SoundCloud. I’ll pump out a few more turntablist routines for the scene before the year is up, definitely.
What are 2 routines that inspired you?
Within the last year, these are the two sets that have made me want to just stop whatever it is I’m doing and go into the lab to create.
ENFERNO – Higher (#LiveRemix)
DJ Trayze – 2016 Red Bull Thre3style U.S. Finals
Name 2 DJs who have impressed you lately?
I did a couple of shows this past year with a kid named Ian Munro out of New Zealand who’s not just a killer Trap ’n Bass producer but a killer crowd selector too! On the turntablist tip, Brace’s DMC set this past year was the kind of set that the scene needed to expand to audiences who still don’t know about what it is that we do.
What tips do you have for upcoming DJs?
You hear it time and time again, but practice is vital. Try not to be one-dimensional and instead be a jack of all trades within whatever it is that you’re doing. A-Trak helped ease the tension towards the acceptance of being versatile on both turntables and CDJs so I can’t strive enough how important it is to preserve the art form by learning all platforms even if one might feel intimidated.
i-DEE – “All The Way Up” Routine
Thank you for taking the time to share some knowledge with us. If you would like to learn more about DJ i-DEE, check out his links below.