INTERESTED IN A SPECIFIC CAREER? Search our full database
RELATED ARTICLES
ARTICLE IMAGE GALLERY
FEEDBACK
DJ Neil Armstrong
DJ/Musician
New York City, NY
Written By: Mike Maniaci
Posted: 09/06/2006

The first time I saw DJ Neil Armstrong live was at the USA DMC Finals. He was the host DJ for the night and mixed for hours skillfully blending original vinyl copies of songs with those that sampled them. Neil seamlessly moved from old to new so cleverly and with such precision that the whole set felt like one song. Afterwards I approached him to say thanks for the wonderful show. He put down his big crate of records and asked me my name. Every time that I have seen him perform or spoken with him I have been reminded of what makes people inspiring. I realized that it’s all about kindness, humility, and giving back to others.

CCB:  Kuttin’ Kandy, (A member of Neil’s crew the Fifth Platoon) just recently got married. How does that affect her life as a DJ?

Neil: Honestly the DJ stuff, unless you are one of those blessed people… When you have a family and are not by yourself anymore, when you are with at least one other person it’s different. It’s not like taking care of yourself. DJing is not the easiest way to make money, not a stable living, maybe like a hectic starving artist feel. I’m sure she will still be around, but not in the capacity that she was before

CCB: What category of DJ do you consider yourself in? (Club, mix-tape, scratch DJ)

Neil: I guess at this point I’m known mostly for putting together mix-tapes. My background is definitely part of the turntablist DJ scene. The battle thing is like a young man’s sport, you’ve got to do something afterwards and I guess I found my niche in making mix-tapes

CCB: Did you ever try out for the DMC competition?

Neil: Yes, but I never made it past the prelims. Oddly enough even though I was part of a battle squad I don’t have that many battle scars. I only really tried to battle once or twice as an individual. Most of the stuff I did for the group was behind the scenes stuff and I did a couple of team battles and that was it.

CCB: Did you ever want to produce your own music or make beats?

Neil: Not really. I do know how to use some production software but that’s another game, that’s another aspect of music that a lot of people kind of bunch in with DJing. They’ll say if you’re a good DJ you’re a good producer. Sometimes there is a correlation but not necessarily and definitely my niche is something entirely different. I seem to be doing pretty well with the mix-tape thing

CCB: You often play all types of music in your mix-tapes really branching off from playing one genre of music. Can you talk a little bit about why you feel it is important to do this?

Neil: I listen to a lot of different music. Growing up it wasn’t always just hip-hop and we’re in an age right now where if you look at the history of hip-hop there was always an edge to it. The kids who did listen to it, that weren’t urban, were like the rebels or the cool kids that were up on something else that nobody else was. But, were in a day and age where the same people who listen to Britney Spears are buying 50 Cent’s albums. It’s a different time period so all these people who want to find something different that nobody is listening to and nobody is doing are searching elsewhere now. That elsewhere is just people trying to find good music again so that’s what I try to put forth. I just try to play good music and oddly enough I think a lot of people, a lot more than you would expect, are open to giving something different a listen.

Premier for example, who is acknowledged as a very recognized beat maker would write how he wasn’t listening to just hip-hop. How can you grow if you’re just listening to the same thing over and over again? You’re going to be influenced and artistically directed in the same direction. I remember, I am almost positive, that he wrote that he listened to Slayer and hard metal bands. He’ll give it a listen because like I said good music is good music. A lot of that history, a lot of just music appreciation, is not really the same so that’s something I would like to bring to light with the type of work that I do.

CCB: Something you do with you mix-tapes is playing the original song and mixing it with a song that sampled parts of it. How do you go about finding the original song? Do you look at liner notes or have you listened to so much music that you can just remember where an artist might have sampled from?

Neil: I am a bit older. I am 32 now, so I do have a little more extensive knowledge. I guess a lot of that stuff just comes with life experience but the majority of it is definitely research. There are some people who just know a lot of music. I definitely will not be claiming to be one of those guys at all. I probably know a decent amount of certain other genres that other people wouldn’t. When I was younger my sister was four year older than me, so when I was in elementary school she was already in high school. Then when I got to high school she went to college. So I had like a generation before me, their music influenced me. My sister used to drag me to a bunch of new wave concerts and this and that so I know about a lot of that stuff that some kids might not because they didn’t have that available to them. But as far as the sample stuff definitely it’s a lot of research, a lot of the information is online these days. There’s actually a separate culture, the digging culture, and some of the nuances of that culture are different like a throwback to older days.

Back in the day people didn’t show their records to other DJs because records were weapons, instruments to go out and rock a party. What’s going to set you apart from Joe Shmoe in the corner? Because you have this record that no on else did. Diggers are kind of like that, they don’t like to show their records. They don’t like to share where the sample is from in general. So, initially I think it was difficult but information gets leaked. Also as with any culture people talk so a lot of it is verbal. Someone will ask somebody, they’ll find out this and that, that’s how people find out. I’m actually kind of the opposite. But if you look at the liner notes I don’t tell you where to get it. I don’t tell you the name of the song. I’ll lead you, you know if you like this song this is by George Benson so go buy every single album until you find it. But for some reason some of these guys don’t see it that way. There’s the idea that music, once it’s out in the air it’s everybody’s blah blah blah. It’s not everybody’s, a person made it. What I mean by that is that it’s not mine so I can’t hide it from you. I didn’t make it. How am I going to claim that its mine and no one else can have it? That’s just childish six year old behavior when it’s presented that way.

We (Fifth Platoon) were always, and this goes for the turntable stuff too, we never hid our skills. If you wanted to hang out with us and practice with us we would practice. We were always about bringing the next generation up, hanging out and spreading the word, the culture. There is a scratch academy. You ask us we’ll teach you how to do it, or we’ll try. That the only way cultures are going to keep on going. It has to be spread so I would definitely tell people if you ask what a song is. It’s not that big of a deal to me. In that way it also helps the original artist. The average teeny bopper is going to love 50 Cent but that same lover of 50 Cent probably doesn’t realize that in essence she kind of loves Barry White too because 50 Cent sampled Barry White. If it’s not put forward that way that kid will never give Barry White a chance because it’s not on MTV. It’s not shoved down their throat. But if I tell them hey, this is where it came from maybe someday that person will be like, oh you know what let me explore, let me see what else is out there. I already know I like what they took from this guy so maybe I’ll listen to the whole thing.

CCB: How does it feel when you find that original? Is there a rewarding feeling for you and do you also sit back and marvel at what an artist was able to do with a sample?

Neil: With certain producers that’s the feeling. How did you make the new song from the old song? That was also part of the producing and digging culture trying to kind of hide where you took the sample from. You didn’t want the people to find out a lot of the times because it would cost a lot more money. That’s one of the things you want it to be as creative as possible. Of course someone like Premier would take a sample that can’t be more than two seconds maybe and he turned it in to a full song (Referring to the Joe Simon song that DJ Premier used on You Know My Steez) and that is one of the more classic songs of hip-hop. There’s always the aspect of surprise, it’s just nice.

CCB: Do you respect the creative sampling more than the really blatant samples?

Neil: Of course, I respect that 100 times more. Some people say that after Puffy came along and he did One More Chance which is sampled from the Isley Brothers, he just started taking huge loops but that’s not really true. What was Rapper’s Delight but a long ass Good Times by Chic? In hip-hop originally the DJs used to play records, they used to play songs and Flash was able to find a break and repeat the break over and over by back spinning the record and they would do it live. I wasn’t there back then but someone would take the record, loop that part over and over and then that’s essentially what people started doing. They started rhyming over the break beat. As time went on I think producers got really crazy and creative with chopping up samples. Like Premier, Alchemist is another one, even Kanye the way he flips stuff. I definitely have a greater respect for it but I don’t necessarily dislike the blatant samples either cause there is a fine line in all artistry. Some people take a blank canvas and put a red dot on it and call it art and say that’s really different from everybody else. I guess what it boils down to is what you end up feeling and what the collective world ends up treating your work as. If people like it and I like it, that’s how I feel about it.

CCB: I imagine that it is much easier to find the originals on MP3 and with technological advancements like Rane Serato (Software that allows you to manipulate MP3 files on your turntables just like records.) which in turn must be much easier as far as taking all these rare records around with you. Have you taken advantage of this new technology?

Neil: Whenever I do the original stuff I’ll always use real records. Just from the cultural aspect of what I’m doing. It’s not just that I’m playing the records. It’s that I have the record. That’s part of the air. I want people to be like, “Damn, where the hell did he find that?” So when I do that type of stuff I’ll never do the original part on a non-piece of vinyl. I’m not that strict. I think I do have certain songs on bootleg, but that’s also because I don’t want to throw around a hundred dollar record on the floor. If you ever see me spin, I’m chucking records all over the place, I’m not that crazy! To throw around rare records I have, unless certain things were not pressed up and it’s usually the hip-hop side of stuff and some songs you can’t get on vinyl… All the originals that you ever heard me do I have now. I might not have had them at the time. I had to borrow someone’s copy but I have all of them now. Whenever I do that type thing I will always use vinyl because that’s part of what I’m trying to show.

The Serato thing is definitely a double edged sword but it’s inevitable. You can’t stop technology and it’s somewhat unfortunate because people aren’t seeing the big picture on how to keep certain things alive. What I mean is this. Technology has made it so that anybody can make music. Anybody with a computer can make music essentially. Even if its shitty ass music, you know, not good music, anyone can find a program that will record something to your computer and record it as a wave. It’s just really easily accessible. In those ways technology is good.

For example all my CDs are different. If I go to a party where they want me to play rock music but say this was before Serato I go to a gig and they are all expecting me to play rock but all I have is my hip-hop, I’m screwed. The only way I can be prepared for anything is if I carry 5, 6, 7 crates of records and it’s a physically daunting task to do something like that. It might also be financially impossible because lugging all that extra stuff you can’t. They won’t let you bring that stuff. You’d have to pay extra money for the extra crates. So, Serato allows me to… I can go to China. I can go across the world and not really worry about it and just go and rock, which is something that happened recently. They called me up and said Neil we want you to come out to Shanghai

CCB: How was that?

Neil: It was a really nice experience, I learned a lot. I don’t know what it is like today, with regards to what people teach about China or about communist countries, but I just remember being young and the only thing we really learn about in detail was Chairman Mao and that whole time. It’s just painted as a very bleak desolate place where everybody looks alike, everybody dresses alike, that type of thing. But, it’s a beautiful place. Some people would argue its way nicer than a lot of places here in America. Shanghai was nice. I think overall Serato is a really good thing and it’s at least one technology that is trying to hold on to the interface, which is hands touching pieces of vinyl on turntables. All the other things, CDDJ’s whatever, they’re getting rid of the interface entirely which is terrible. I really wish that how people thought of music sharing and how people share music… Like you said you just downloaded stuff off of the internet. I’m assuming something illegal, right?

CCB: No way, I paid for it. I went to Rhapsody.

Neil: Get out of here. You can buy original stuff on there?

Mike: What amazed me was the vastness of what they have on there. I was trying to go through itunes and I was trying to figure out where I was going to find them.

(Mike continues to talk proudly of finding a beautiful bossa nova track by Stan Getz that the late great JD sampled for Runnin’ by the Pharcyde.) 

Neil: Yeah, I can’t find any of that stuff on itunes. I didn’t know that. Wow, that’s really really, great. I didn’t even know that. I just learned something new.

Mike: (Anyone reading this interested in the origins of so much of today’s hip-hop music, go get one of DJ Neil Armstrong’s CD’s “Original” or “2 Original.” Look at the liner notes inside to find the artists names and then get on Rhapsody or itunes or CD Now and support those artists. Find that original music, the search is so rewarding.)

Neil: The majority of people out there, for example let’s just take new music. Busta Rhyme’s new album everybody can get it on the internet even before it drops. Any music head who is anywhere nearly decent technologically, they know how to get it. You can get stuff literally five minutes after it’s been made. That’s how crazy it is these days. What would be cool is if people were like, I like this song so much, I play it all the time, I’m gonna go buy it to support the artist. But somewhere along the line people lost that type of mentality. This idea of music sharing it’s not new. I used to make tapes all the time. I’d go to my friend’s house; I’d dub a cassette of whatever. I’d make these compilations but eventually somewhere along the lines people were like I want my own copy. I want a real copy and that was because when you use cassettes there was sound degradation. Especially after a while when you make a copy of a copy of a copy there’s massive sound degradation so you are like you know what screw it I’m just gonna go buy my own copy because I cant take it anymore. People don’t do that anymore because in the digital realm you don’t lose any sound when you make copies and what people are forgetting is that this music that you’re enjoying someone put their heart, their labor, their sweat, their tears, everything in to making it and you’re just taking it without giving anything back. If people realize that and I’m sure it will still go on but it would not be as bad as it is.

I can honestly say that I don’t do this for the money, that’s definitely not my reason. I had a well paying job not some dinky little thing. I was working in technology. I could make my paper, not drug dealer money but I was making more than enough to have a comfortable life to take care of a family and all that good stuff, but it wasn’t the same as doing something that you’re passionate about. My understanding is that my stuff is taken as something very different from everybody else’s and I hope that’s one of the reasons why. I treat every project I do with the utmost respect. This is what I want to do, not what I have to do. I do it because I want to spend my time doing it and for the rest of my life what I’ll always be is a fan. First and foremost I’m a fan. There’s a difference between a fan and a critic and I’m a fan. As a fan who is trying to do stuff for other people I always want to not disappoint people so I know I can’t give you crap work. I have to give you something that I would be excited about. Underlying everything those are the reasons why I do the stuff that I do. Luckily I am able to get some compensation for the time I put in. In that way it’s definitely a blessing. There are other people out there who play the game a lot better as far as their marketing.

CCB: Is there anyone who you wish you could talk to whose song you’ve used?

Neil: I would say somebody like Stevie Wonder. That would be great. People that run the gamut of music even like a Paul McCartney, even Michael Jackson.  All we see is what’s on TV. I wonder if he’s a normal cat behind closed doors.  He might be normal, man.  Who knows?  People like that, definitely the older music.

CCB: I don’t know if it’s a stereotype but people tend to think of DJ’s and they think of the nightlife. They think of people who are out in the evenings. You seem to keep a busy schedule and you’re very disciplined. You’re up early in the day and you’re doing all these shows. If you had to give advice to someone who wanted to be successful, how important is it to be disciplined, to be up, and to be constantly out there doing shows?

Neil: I think discipline and hard word are the backbone of anything you want to do, whether it is trying to become a doctor, being a garbage-man whatever. It doesn’t matter.  There are people who have found shortcuts who are able to do certain things. I got it instilled in me. I’m not really sure from where, maybe my parents. My parent’s all have Master’s degrees, Ph.D.s’. They all went to very prestigious schools. Almost all of my family went to Columbia University. That type of mentality. When you’re a kid the only job you have is going to school and getting into a good school. I always wanted to do a good job. I think people who have that instilled in them go far. Definitely in the long run people go far.

As far as advice goes, nothing comes easy. When it does it’s a super blessing. You’ve got to persevere or move on. In the last two, three years my name has been spoken of more highly, but I’ve been DJing for ten years. It didn’t happen to me overnight. Even all these people who you see who are overnight celebs, like 50 Cent, he didn’t come out overnight. I have the utmost respect for how far he has taken what he did. His lyrics and what he does is an entirely different discussion. He came from his lowly beginnings to being a movie star to selling eleven million in a week. That doesn’t happen with him sitting on his ass, doing nothing. He did something to make it happen.  Hard work is definitely important. 

Finding your dreams is nice, but not every person is meant to be Beyonce, not every person is meant to be Jay-Z.  Honestly, I don’t need another poet. I don’t need another MC.  I don’t need another DJ. I don’t need another person making music. I need people to be doctors. I need someone in my life to be a lawyer. I need someone in my life to do what you do. The end all is not being some famous person on TV. All of us, every cog in the universe makes some kind of contribution that’s important in the long run.  If everybody is trying to be the same cog then what the hell. Nothing is ever going to get done. We need someone to run the government. We need other people. We don’t need another singer on TV. That’s the last thing we need, especially in this world.  Look where we’re going. 

That dream thing is all well and dandy, but if you really look at your life and what you’ve contributed to the world, that’s important as well. You’ve got to look at that. I had a normal day job. I remember it not always being so self-fulfilling, but that’s okay. Certain people are meant to be good parents. With my type of lifestyle I just imagine having a family and how horribly hectic it would be. 200 percent of my energy has to go into maintaining what I do in order to just be okay. I don’t live a starving artist lifestyle. I own a house. I want things that everyone else does. I want a retirement plan. I do want a family and those types of things. For me to be an artist and to make it happen takes an extremely grueling amount of energy, as opposed to a 9 to 5er. They might hate their job, but they get three weeks of vacation. I don’t get vacation. You always have to think about little things that can or cannot happen. Each individual person has to tailor-make their life accordingly. 

The bottom line of all of that is hard work, discipline, and some aspect of love. You’ve got to love what you do. It might take a long ass time. There were times when I thought I couldn’t keep doing this. It was just too difficult to have a “normal life.” I was going to quit. Vinroc was one of the people who said, “I don’t think you should do that yet.”  You should give it a little more time and see what you can do.”  Then I did it.  If I didn’t I’m almost positive that I would have just kept with my day job and all of the CDs that you’ve heard never would have come out. 

CCB: Should aspiring DJ’s constantly be calling up clubs to try and get shows for steady income?

Neil: I think most people do, but I don’t DJ outside so much. A big chunk of your success as a DJ will be your networking or trying to get in with people who will pay you to do what you love. Whether that be calling up promoters or throwing a party yourself it’s all about getting to the people who will be able to get you money for what you do. My best advice is you just have to learn how to meet the right people. For example, you’ll see on TV these crazy people with a movie script who will try to follow Meryl Streep in to a club or a restaurant and hand her a script. That’s an extreme and probably a bad way to go about it but that’s essentially what you have to do. If you want to DJ at a club you’ve got to meet the people at the club, you’ve got to try and find out who picks the DJs and hand him or her a CD, that type of thing. At that point it’s about networking and you can be really smart about how you do it too.

So just try and be smart about how you go about it. Say there is a soul food restaurant on your block. You can even go and ask them. I really like to play funk and soul breaks. It looks like the crowd that comes in here would be really appreciative of that. Can I bring my turntables in and every Friday could I just spin? If they have the room and the space, why would they say no? Just be smart about how to get yourself out there. Art galleries, most art galleries have people just standing around watching. If you have a friend who runs an art gallery, you can be like you know what would add to your event, if there was background music. I’ll play for free, just to get out there. What if that particular art exhibit brings in someone that works for the fashion industry who is then like we need a person to DJ our runway show. We’ll pay you money and all of a sudden you went from doing something for free to having a gig for Calvin Klein. That’s essentially what you have to do and that transfers on to other stuff. If you’re a model, a piano player whatever, it’s somewhat of a universal formula. Most of the places will have the equipment there for you, but if they do not, from a business standpoint if you are bringing all your equipment make sure you get some compensation for it.

CCB: The DJ scene out in San Francisco seems so incredible. Do you ever see yourself moving out to the bay area?

Neil: If I was out there permanently it would probably be more damaging to my reputation. Basically the reason it’s really nice when I go out there is because it’s such a treat. You know chocolate tastes good but if you have chocolate every five minutes you are going to get sick of it. So I end up doing a lot better because I’m only out there maybe four times a year. The more I’m out there it wouldn’t make people react as well.

San Francisco is this place where you can play anything you want, their appreciation of music is just really different than anywhere else I’ve ever been in a very good way. It has less to do with the place and more to do with what I do. If you hear me spin every week sooner or later you’re going to hear me spin what I spun somewhere before. It’s inevitable and if you keep on hearing it over and over and over, firstly I get tired of it, I don’t like to do the same thing. I’ve set up my lifestyle so that I have no idea what I’m doing the next day but some people can’t function that way. Some people need routine, I’m kind of the opposite. Luckily I have that ability to schedule in me when dealing with people and other companies. I can’t be a person that gets to gigs late. Unfortunately that’s not always how artists work. They don’t always work on other people’s schedules, they work on their own, and that’s one of the downfalls of some people I know. They might be very talented but if they want you some place at a certain time and you’re not there it sucks. I have enough of that to be all right. I’m definitely not the most organized person, lately I have no idea what I’m going to be doing with the exception of the times when I know I’ve got to be on this plane to get over to Cali. I live in New York, but I rarely gig in New York. Its’ pretty rare, it’s usually somewhere else like Frisco. I like to go to Toronto, but as far as moving anywhere else? I did for a while. I actually lived in Hawaii for quite a while and I was working all the time. I was out there to work and I would work for twelve hours, then I’d go outside and enjoy the weather for four hours and I’d go right back to work or go to sleep.

CCB: Is there any place you have yet to go to or a place you would like to go to more often?

Neil: Southern California, and definitely Japan. I think the type of things I do would be very appreciated out there. For some reason I have a lot of trouble getting out to Southern Cali, I’m not really sure why. Japan of course is notoriously big pop culture wise and for being up on something before anybody else. I would love to be able to go out there and rock, but I don’t know if that will ever happen. I’ve never been to Japan. I know my stuff is sold out there. It’s kind of nice. One of the first times I went out to Hawaii, I was trying to find places to sell my stuff and I walked in to this one store, and they were already playing my CD. I went to Sweden once and there was a place that was fully stocked with all my stuff already. I guess it’s something that everybody looks for, some sort of recognition in what they do and it was definitely cool to have that happen.

CCB: Could you talk a little about the “All Out Kings” Series of mix-tapes that you have done, and your latest project “The Certified Majestic” series?

Neil: The All Out Kings series is a bunch of mix-tapes that push the idea that you should just play good music. Each CD is very different from the next one. One of them is all lovey dovey and the music runs the gamut from groups that could be considered hard rock to alternative, to soul, to hip-hop but they are all connected by the mutual subject matter of love. It was for Valentines Day. The next one was all rock music, the one after that was all hip-hop and it just runs a wide gamut of music tastes. While I was doing it there was this kid I met. (DJ Steve 1-Der)  He actually just sent me a bunch of his CDs and said I really like your stuff here’s mine, check it out, and he played it for me and it was really good. It was stuff I wished I never heard because I would have liked to do it. We got to talking. I had never heard of him and just like everything marketing is part of it and I knew it would be really difficult for him to get his CD to places that would help his CD get heard, for example like a Turntable Lab or a Fat Beats. But because of the CDs I’ve done, I’ve built a branding around the name Neil Armstrong enough that I do have fans who will pick up a CD because I put it together or because my name is on it. They want to hear something that I put out which goes hand in hand with the hard work I put in to make a quality product. I really really try to make people understand that every time they pick a CD up that there is quality involved in it, and this guy’s CD was really good. I asked him are you selling it and he said he could only sell it locally. I was like I can help you out. I would like to put this out for you. I’d like to add a little extra piece of my own stuff and we’ll put it out under a new series called “Certified Majestic”. The reason why we chose that name is because the All Out King thing wasn’t me saying I’m an all out king. It was meant to more define a style that you can play anything. You can play good music regardless of what it is. This kid’s CD was an all out king. It was exactly what I wanted to hear, what I would like to do. He is certified. If I were to choose who is an all out king, he’s an all out king. What he does is all out king material. He’s certified majestic. One of my friend’s came up with the name.  His name is Bozac. He runs this web site called Black Rap. He does stuff up in Canada.  He came up with the name. I thought it was great; I thought it was perfect. It just made sense. That’s why we’re working together on this. 

CCB: That project goes with everything you seem to be about, helping others, giving back. Before you had your name, how did you get your stuff out there?  You have your stuff in Fat Beats and Turntable Lab and all over the internet. The very first CD you put together, did you just play it for a lot of the right people?

Neil: I knew a lot of people already, there goes the networking aspect. I used to work at Turntable Lab. We did our first show at Fat Beats. We’re going to come out with our ten year anniversary DVD and it’s going to show footage of our first shows. I used to hang out at Fat Beats when they first opened. They were on the east side. I would be there so often that I would get phone calls there. I was just there all the time. When it came time for me to promote my stuff it wasn’t very difficult. They were just like, “Yeah, we will try and sell it for you.” I was already a proven name. Not even a proven name, I just knew the right people who would give me a chance. It grew from there. They got it out and people heard it. It just went from there.

CCB: Who influenced you when you were just starting out?

Neil: The guys I looked up to were the X-Men, Total Eclipse, and Sinister. In interviews I’ve stated the whole reason I am able to do what I do these days is particularly because of those two members. They used to come to my crib and teach me how to do patterns.  They would help me out a lot. Those are the guys that I looked up to as far as wanting to emulate what they did. As far as mix-tape stuff there’s other people in that genre. He’s not really a mix-tape DJ, but this kid DJ Spinner what he did once inspired me to do the originals mix-tape. Older heads like Tony Touch, there’s a DJ named Goldfinger. I would listen to their CDs and they were really, really sick. Those are the people I emulated. Also, Daddy Dog and Vinroc, two members of my crew. I would listen to them spin and they were extremely smooth. That was one thing I always try to do. i.emerg and Doughboy, they taught me everything I know about scratching. 

CCB:  What’s do you have coming up?

Neil:  More CDs, coming out with one. A Ten year DVD with Triple Crown. It will come with a ten year anniversary t-shirt and an exclusive DVD of the Fifth Platoon and our early years with battle footage and show footage that’s never been out before. I’m trying to do higher profile type events. I’m actually doing something for the NBA. More stuff for companies like Adidas. Hopefully, you’ll still see me rocking a party somewhere. 

CCB:  Since you play a lot of original rare records, what is the best way to take care of them?

Neil:  I’m probably not the one to ask.  Don’t lie them down.  They should always sit upright. If you lie they down, they’ll get warped. Keep them away from intense heat.  Be careful when you put your needle on, make sure you don’t scratch it.

*Find out more about Neil and the 5th Platoon here: 5thplatoon.com