DJ 3RD RAIL
DJ 3RD RAIL
Around '83, my cousin (Papo) bought some turntables; one Technique with no pitch...and a Pioneer with pitch; and a GLI mixer. I practiced blending records using my fingers to control the speed. Around this time Breakdancing was my thing. In '84, I got a birthday gift of two Technique 100's. I used all my paper route & car wash money to buy records.
I stopped Breaking in '85 and got into doing Graf, while continuing to mix. By the end of '85 I started doing parties around the neighborhood. It was in these years that the same cats I would Break against/with, would become some of Chicago's best Dj's. They were Gabriel "Rican" Rodriquez & Devastating Dennis.
Even though some of you have never heard these names before, they are considered the best by many as far as House music; Classic's; and Disco. These guys were not only the foundation for my style of mixing, but friends that have a love for mixing, music and records...which still thrives. 1987 was my worst year. I had to move to Mexico, so I had to sell everything. I took a four year pause.
In those four years, I must have moved 10 times! I would occasionally buy records. I was involved with a volunteer group that would re-focus my life; make me a man; and introduce me to "TowTruck " (the webmaster). During this time period, I was tuned into the streets, while also traveling to NY & LA to learn more about the Culture and music. In '91, TowTruck and I bought my first 1200's. That same year I released my first some-what professional mixtape entitled "Subway Hip-Hop Volume 1".
I sold that tape in two stores. No other stores would carry it. During this time, a Hip-Hop show on WCYC 90.5 was about to start. This was an important part of my life.
I dropped three more Volumes of Subway Hip-Hop and did a Breakdancing tape. It wasn't until then, other stores started carrying my tapes. At the same time, few people wanted me to Dj a party. They were a group of Graf artists who threw parties, and they were the first people to believe in me.
They were Zore, Raven and Demon. A group called SB's or like I recall them, 'Inner City Eight' and 'Knomads' (Demon's rap group). We would do this spot called 811, which was located at 811 W. Lake St.
under the El tracks. After a while the parties got raided, but these were the guys that gave me love back then. WCYC was in full effect on Chicago's Southside. It was done on Sunday's from the Boys&Girls club, hosted by Mr.
7 (Jose Alvarez). That show had a lotta love and a very good choice in music. Mr. 7 would play all the stuff you wouldn't or couldn't hear anywhere else.
Unlike WNUR & WHPK , this station was different. With only 12 watts and the support of his listeners, Mr. 7 was determined to broadcast this music to whoever wanted it. He had no help from labels or any record promoters in Chicago, Mr.7 did his thing with his own collection.
One Sunday Mr. 7 made an announcement, "All Mc's, Graf writers and Dj's that wanna be heard, call the station", so I did. Fortunately, he had heard of me and asked if I could bring a tape. The next Sunday, my tape was on the air.
He liked the mix and asked if I could do another one for the next week...of course I agreed. As the weeks went by, we would play records and tapes on the show. One afternoon Mr. 7 suggested we do the show live on the 1's &2's.
I asked if he thought people would like that, which he replied, " I would". So we tried it out, and sure enough it worked. Although it wasn't the first time people mixed live on the air, but as far as I know it was the first time a rap show was done live from beginning to end, radio friendly, in Chicago ( 1993 ). This is why Mr.7 is and will always be the most important person in Chicago as far as Hip-Hop is concerned.
If it weren't for him opening the most important door for me, where would I be today? At a time when people didn't want anything to do with me or didn't know me, he welcomed me to his show and gave me the opportunity to Dj for Chicago. Mr.7 and his family have always supported me & my 'hobby'. They even helped store my equipment and records when I didn't have a home. For that I owe him the world.
Thanks Mr. 7. The following year, 1994 , I heard another rap show on WCRX 88.1 Thursday night hosted by Big D & Fat Kid...aka Don Russell & Jermaine Johnson. I called and asked if they wanted a Dj, they said "sure, send a tape". I did.
The next week, I was at home listening to the show, and they played my mix. That was the last time hearing my own mix on the radio. I was asked to be the Dj on their show, 'The Last Crate'. As the weeks went by, we finally did the mix live.
Soon after, Big D moved so Fat Kid became the host. I was the only Dj on two Friday nights with JP Chill; and on WNUR Thursday nights with the "Time Travel" show hosted by AMC & Lucas. There were weeks that I would do all four shows live. In 1997, the show 'On Two Turntables' hosted by Mr. 7 and me on the wheels, was cancelled due to some political bullshit at the station.
This was our first lesson in never kissing ass. A lesson we continue to practice. That same year, Vaughn Caldon (Vaughn C.) , the host of ' 6Ft.Unda ' and rap director of WNUR , asked if I wanted to Dj on Sunday nights. I said yes, but that same week somebody broke into my crib and stole my 1200's; mixer; and about 1000 records. I was devastated! It seemed like I lost an arm, but it woke me up.
The Dj's that I thought were cool, became shady. Only two people let me mix at their crib... Dj Archives & Dj Awon D. 0perat0r.
Everyone else wanted nothing to do with me. They all thought I was finished. I really found out who my true friends were. A-1 would become my right hand man.
He even let me practice in his dorm instead of spending time with his girl (good looking out). This is the time I encountered the most hate. The Chicago Dj's and promoters were talking shit, so the Quest was on. I sold my mountain bike and bought one 1200. I nickeled and dimed to get the other one.
This is when I recorded Subway Hip-Hop Volume 10 'Can't Stop Me, Even Without My Tables'. I recorded it in A-1's dorm room. I bought a new mixer and continued to Dj on WCRX. Fat Kid graduated, so I became the host/Dj. I guest Dj'd on WNUR 's, " 6Ft.
Unda", for an hour. Then two hours. Vaughn then approached me about becoming the permanent Dj. I said yes.
For about a year before that, he only had guest Dj's, no one took the spot on the regular. As soon as he gave me the spot, other Chicago Dj's got jealous and asked Vaughn why he gave the spot to 3rd? Vaughn explained that the spot was open & no one stepped up too the plate like 3rd. Even the old Dj's wanted the spot back. I really began to see how much hate was directed towards me. With the constant flow of hate, I have taken all that negative energy and made positive outcomes.
I have made it my personal mission to shit on anyone & everyone who has dissed me in my struggle to play music for the true Headz in Chicago and the World. I have done more than any other Dj in Chicago for no money. If I offend you, then I am probably referring to you! Chicago radio is on lock. In 1998, I dropped 25 different mixtapes , a feat that may never be duplicated. It's 2002 and I continue to do WCRX on Thursdays ...
WNUR on Sundays , as well as guest mixes on WHPK , Friday's with JP Chill and guest mixes for Rap Attack Flashback with host Nasty Ness. I have taken my love for real HipHop very personal. I have lost girls; friends; sleep; and equipment just for doing what makes me happy. If you diss me or say untrue shit about me...I'll always show & prove . This should give you some insight as to how this Jedi thinks. Remember, without Mr.
7, there would be no Dj 3rd Rail. **Dj 3rd Rail is currently a Hits; Insomniac; and Urban Network reporter. http://dj3rdrail.bounceme.net Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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