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interview // dj type a

What's the logic behind your DJ alias Type A?


There is no real logic, I just think of A as being the first letter in the alphabet. So its like saying I'm number one.


What inspired you to become a DJ?


I actually started out rapping in 7th and 8th grade when I met Fiti. I can remember at one of our school dances in 7th grade we rapped a song by Young MC called "Just say No" in front of the whole school. Back in the early 90's we used to go to all the under 21 clubs (The Attic, Key West, Sherwood,) and have our dance routines and try to battle all the other kids that had routines too. I ended up purchasing turntables in Chicago, January of 1996, with the help of a Indianapolis local cat named Top Speed. I have always found a strong connection in the entertainment aspect of hip hop. As I grew older I become more of a collector and would try to learn all the knowledge of how hip hop originated and who the founders were. I used to paint and break a little too but I guess DJing felt the most natural to me and gave me a chance to use my knowledge and ability to recognize good music as a form of entertainment.


Tell me about your successful design company, A Team Design?


I have been very blessed that ATD is growing as rapidly as it is. I basically started a design company in 2000 called Ideal Impact and at the time had a partner. When I moved to Cali in 2003 I decided to go solo and start my own web based design company at www.ateamdesign.com. I called it A Team Design to kind of tie into my DJ name, Type A. We have some big projects coming up this month. We have been hired to design the album art for the next Alkaholiks record entitled "Fire Water" as well as we are starting a new web site for Kirk Franklin and Fo Yo Soul Entertainment.

A little known fact is that you own 50% owner of HipHopForTheSoul.com, which is currently one of the biggest Christian hip hop resources and communities online, how did HipHopForTheSoul originate?


Actually my partner Chad Horton came up with the idea of hosting a lot of message boards for artists on one site. We used to throw shows in Indiana called Hip Hop for the Soul. So Chad decided to start HipHopforthesoul.com to carry the name over from what we had been doing for a year or so with events and shows. We wanted to provide a way for unsigned artists to market themselves and get their music heard without the help from a label or distribution company. I basically provide all the design and back end of the site while Chad handles the content and deals with the artist directly. I don't think either of us thought that it would grow as fast as it has. We now have over 2020 registered members on our message board and have an e-mail list database of over 20,000. We are the only Christian hip hop resources site of our kind that offers reviews, interviews, radio station listings, industry links, and release dates to name a few. We are also planning to launch our online store this month (NOV. 04) that will feature all the major artists as well as many talented independent artists. We will carry CD's, LP's, Vinyl and clothing and our CD's will always be $10.00.


Tell me a little bit about your upcoming project, the HipHopForTheSoul Mixtape.


We are planning to release the Hip Hop for the Soul Mixtape early 05. This will be mixed and arranged by me, DJ Type A, and will feature all exclusive material from a who's who of artists ranging from Pigeon John to Cash Hollistah to Mars Ill to Sev Statik. Any and everybody doing it today will be on the mixtape. We plan to make the mixtape a lot different from what has been coming out of the Christian Hip Hop seen form DJ's. I have always been a big advocate of keeping the secular standard of quality when creating mixtapes. I don't think just because the music is Christian or positive that it should not be appealing to your average hip hop fan.


How did you hook up with Fiti Futuristic?


Like I mentioned earlier Fiti and I met in the 7th grade. I think it was Mrs Mcdaniels class but I can barely remember what I ate for lunch today let alone 13 years ago. I just remember that we hit it off pretty tuff. I think we were probably the two biggest Beastie boys fans to walk the earth in 1991. We used to wear matching outfits the whole 9. I remember this one outfit were Fiti had a black turtle neck with green bugle boys and I had a green turtle neck with black bugle boys. We really thought we were doing it. Zach used to want to be a pilot and used to look just like Parker Lewis and I had glasses and everybody at my school called me Doogie Howser, good times.


Fiti Futuristic and you are planning to re-release "Watch What Happens", is their anything new on the re-release?


We are planning to re release "Watch What Happens" featuring 3 new songs and a new instrumental. Fiti and I recently did a new song called "Triple A Track Missionary, and I think this is easily one fo the hottest songs Fiti has ever made, this will be on the new re-release as well. Fiti also came to LA, for the Syntax Records Cold Cuts Tour, and did a photo shoot, so we totally redesigned the entire album cover. I think this will really be something that Fiti fans will like and it will also open him up to lots of new fans. This album is way to dope to get slept on or swept under the carpet.



What albums are in your discography?


In 1998 I released a mixtape called "Sucka Ducks get da Gasface. In 2000 I released "Return of the product" and in 2002 I released "The Life Skills Tour Mixtape" in support of our tour The Life Skills tour with DaFilled. I have also been featured on "All in a days work" and "Watch What Happens" by Fiti and on Sharlok Poem's new release entitled "The Movement." Check out my web site for more info at http://www.djtypea.com.

What would the ultimate reward for you be?


I would say the ultimate reward for me would be, to DJ on a regular show on the Radio in LA. When I was in Indiana that was my goal but I moved to LA before I had a chance to meet that goal. I would also like to see my wife become a successful actress, Fiti get signed to a major label, Chad get hired to book for E40 and my homey K See to own his own record store.


What can we look forward to in the near future from Dj Type A and HipHopForTheSoul?


I will be DJing at a once a month event at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. This time it will be The Alkaholiks, Wildchild of Lootpack, EMANON (Aloe Blacc & Exile), DIGITAL MASTERS (Jwells, Bishop, Styliztik, KB i Mean. Check out http://www.djtypea.com for more details.

HHFTS will continue to be blessed as the largest Christian Hip Hop community and grow to be something that will benefit many of the talented independent artists of our time. We are launching artist pages, a complete online store as well as a charts system to track plays and requests of songs listed on our site. Check us out at http://www.hiphopforthesoul.com for exclusive music and more details.

Any last words?


I hang out tuff, I'm a real boss.


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