December 5th, 2008 | by NILINA MASON-CAMPBELL Music | Posted In: Columns, Columns

Hang the DJ: DJ FlipFlop

     
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flipflop On the docket this week is DJ FlipFlop. We get the origin of his DJ name out the way first. Note: It is not inspired by the flip-flopping allegations against John Kerry during the 2004 Presidential election, but instead his racial background. Where do we go next? Read along to find out.

How did you decide on your DJ name?
Why is it I always get this question!? Well, I'm half Filipino (Flip) and half white (Flop). You do the math. Although, you might see me and mistaken me for being Hispanic (don't worry people get it all the time).

Are you really always asked about your name?
On occasion I'll get asked about my name. People seem [to] just leave it at "FlipFlop eh, cool."

Has anyone ever mistaken it as a reference to the presidential campaign of 2004 and the attacks on Kerry?
Haha. Nah.

As the Rapture say, "People don't dance no more, they just stand there like this. How often do you encounter this?"
I've encountered this a few times, mostly due to the fact that I'll be flexin' some scratches/routines that make people stop and actually watch and listen to what I'm doing. So really, I don't mind them not dancing so much because my forte is based and started around cuttin', scratchin', turntablism which is more a visual artistic form.

Ideal crowd?
Usually around an array of different types and sizes. If you really want to see what kind of crowd I bring, come to the next show near you! I'd be glad to kiss your baby and sign your picture of Lou Diamond Phillips.

How do you feel about requests?
Hate them! How do you expect me to set my[self] aside as a different DJ from the next one if you ask me to play something everyone hears on the radio a million times a day. If you don't hear me playing the music you like, then I'm probably not going to be playing the music you want to hear and you're probably in the wrong place to be.

So are you saying the only requests you get are for radio hits?
Times have rolled on. Most gigs [that] I get now are with folks that know/expect what kinda music I'll be mixing up.

Do you have a story about a particular request or requester?
I've had someone try digging through my records without even asking. I just stood there and looked at him like "really???" and of course my Medusa stare got him shook and he ran off like nothing happened.

Do you DJ full time?
I do not. I DJ for the love of music and the art really. Money is a bonus, but not expected. I just like to be an entertainer.

What do you do outside of DJing?
Outside of DJing I spend a lot of my time tailoring some beats, recording, COD4 (Gamer Tag: djflipflop... Step up and get murked!) and various nerd stuff.

As for tailoring beats—are they for yourself as a DJ or for others to use?
Mainly MCs. I've been plotting on making some self-produced tracks for mixing purposes, but I have yet to figure out what I could make for that situation.

Where can we find you?
You can find me anywhere and everywhere.

How'd you get your current main gig?
[I] don't have a real main gig around town but you can find me DJing for CunninLynguists. I became their official DJ as of this year. I met the guys spring of last year when I opened for them at Berbati's Pan. Year later [I] get laid off my day job, 10 days after [that,] Kno [CunninLynguists MC] asks me to go on the West Coast Dirty Acres Tour with them. From there, the journey begins.

How long have you been spinning?
Eight years strong.

What drew you to DJing originally?
The back of a Source magazine back in '97. They used to sell the 'DJ inna box' setups (which I never owned). [Then] I soon saw Mix Master Mike in the "3 MC's and 1 DJ" video and from there I was drawn towards DJing. I originally started on the drums back in middle school in sixth grade. Played drums for five years then my boy Jimmy (what up man!) bought a pair of turntables and we messed around on those for a year 'till I could scrounge up enough money to get my own setup.

What are your thoughts on vinyl vs CDs vs laptops?
I love both vinyl and Serato. Of course vinyl generally is the way to go. Nothing sounds better than analog sound when scratching. But, mixing... I've become a big Serato user. People hate when they find out you use a laptop for your crates sometimes and that kind of boggles my mind. If I where to do a crazy live mix and you (the hater) heard it, were the first one feeling it and going crazy about it then later found out I was using a laptop, you'd be the first one to turn around and start disliking me because I used a laptop. Now initially, you loved the mix. Why? Because I was playing all your favorite songs and playing them in a fashion you've never heard before. Now, in what way does it matter if I flipped those songs with a laptop instead of vinyl?! You were the one having an eargasm over my mix!!!

What songs will we find ourselves dancing to with you?
Paul Hardcastle - Rain Forest
Rene & Angela - Ill Be Good
Dismasters - Small Time Hustler
Extra T's - E.T. Boogie
Tony Toni Tone - Annie May

No particular order, just a few of my favorites.

How would you describe yourself in five words or less - complete sentence or not:
Fonky(yes, with a "O"), fresh, amazing, eclectic.

How do you describe the genre you play?
I mainly play a lot of old school, early '90s golden era hip hop/R& B, funk, soul [and] electro. I love beats based on live drums (drum samples). I'm really into raw sound.

Who are your other favorite Portland DJs?
Man, too many. Void, Spark, Wicked, Wels, Fatboy, Sidetrak (former Portlander), Grimrock, Papercuts, Queasy, Juggernaut.

Links:
DJ FlipFlopSpace
CunninLynguistsSpace

Photo care of MySpace
 
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