To the non-hiphop crowd, turntablism, would at first seem like child's play. Put a plaka on there, and proceed to destroy it with a little finger play, thus producing those signature "chika-chika-wa-wa" scratching sounds.
Pardon our clumsy way of describing the sound, but we are far from being hardcore hiphop enthusiasts.
We did meet one though who is: Richard Quitevis a.k.a. DJ Qbert. And he isn't your everyday, ordinary hiphop enthusiast. Qbert is considered the "Jimi Hendrix of the turntables," for the inumerable ways that he's made the instrument "sing" over the course of a 20-year career. A four-time grand champion of the Disco Mix Club World DJ Championships (1991 to 1994), DJ Qbert is a Grandmaster in his field, a title bestowed upon only the most respected members of the community. For proof, have a serving of his performance video:
Pretty fantastic, yes? What's even more awesome to know is that DJ Qbert is one of our own. Though raised in San Francisco, this iconic artist was born to Filipino parents. His mother is from Iloilo while his father is from Ilocos Sur, and for three months out of the year, he makes it a point to visit the country.
His most recent visit though, last Friday, September 27, was a trip made possible by Red Bull. The energy drink brand was hosting the Red Bull Three Style Showcase, a global event that celebrates the best in the DJ-ing world. It marked the first time that Red Bull brought the showcase to our shores, with DJ Qbert serving as an ambassador.
Naturally, we didn't miss out on the chance to chat with the legend, whom we peppered with questions like "Hey DJ Qbert, please teach us to be a great DJ?" Okay so that wasn't even a question, but read on the next page, our full Q-and-A, and find out his views not just on making music but on why loud people are irritating, why Filipinos should offer their talent to the world, and why he wants to be a samurai.
Check it out, yo, yo, yo! (We told you we're far from being hiphop heads.)
NEXT: Qbert on race: "It didn't matter what your race was, only your skills."
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