Hip-Hop Don’t Stop: Jaguar Skillz
Jaguar Skills' brand of head-rush hip-hop sets the floor alight wherever he plays - so you can expect one very messy Thursday this week, as the big cat comes to town.
He’s the masked intruder, set on saving the soul of Hip-Hop, and he’s headed this way. Take our advice – if you’re in the market for a bit of mashed up, reworked, scratched up nu-school, old-school edits, the Jaguar is at the very top of the feeding chain.
Crowd friendly, for sure, but a more committed connoisseur of the genre you’d be hard pressed to find. David Lloyd caught up with him ahead of his O2 Academy gig – part of his Revenge of the Ninja Tour – this Thursday. Hip-Hop history lessons we’re happy to stay behind after school for..
If you were a doctor giving a diagnosis, how would you describe the current health of hip hop?
I would put Hip-Hop on a course of suppositories. And tell it to stay off the cough syrup for a few months.
How did you end up here?
My father was a DJ. I grew up with thousands of records around the house. He had a huge collection!
Everything from Pop, to Funk, to Hip-Hop, to Disco – when I was a kid I used to sort the records out for my Dad and put them in the right place.
What made you fall in love with music?
My favourite records were the soundtracks. I had a little collection of records too. The Star Wars soundtrack, The Superman soundtrack, The Muppets LP, The Buck Rodgers soundtrack, The Battlestar Galatica Soundtrack and a few comedy records. It was my Dad that started me on all of this. He passed away last year suddenly. It was a real blow for me. I’m sure he’d be proud of what I’m doing.
You’re known for your re-edits. What are you particularly proud of?
There’s a load of re-edits that I always use. I LOVE re-editing tunes. I think sometimes a tune really needs a -re-edit. Maybe the producer of the tune isn’t a DJ, and maybe if they cut out a few bars – here and there – the tune would work better on the dancefloor. For me, I usually cut all the front of the tune out and just extend the drop a bit. Other times, I go all out, and totally re-work the tune.
What’s going to go massive on this tour?
There’s this new one I’ve just made that has a vocal from Wiley and 2 massive Dubstep joints in it. I’ve called it “WAIT FOR THE DROP” – it’s just a total dancefloor wrecker. It makes people do weird shit. It might even be my ultimate re-edit….I’ll be spinning it on the tour. Wait for the drop…..
What do you think of the digital revolution? What about Technics stopping making turntables?
I’m not too sure why the hell they’ve stopped making Technics. It’s a real blow to me. Probably some ninja will start making them on spec for a huge price. I want two!
But, the digital revolution really helped me. I’m a total product of the digital revolution. My style and what I do, you can’t do that on vinyl. I play too many records and all of them are re-edits. So digital DJing (for me) – very good. The end of Technics – Very bad.
What’s your favourite type of venue/gig?
A small spot with massive speakers.
Your HipHop Odyssey (800 tracks in 48 minutes) is a work of genius. But what if you had to condense it to five tracks only? What would they be?
Oh thanks. OK….well, if you’re doing something historical – then it would have to be something like:
GRAND MASTER FLASH – The Message
RUN DMC – Peter Piper
PUBLIC ENEMY – Rebel Without A Cause
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST – Electric Relaxation
JAY-Z – Dead Presidents
But then, I’m leaving out people like De La Soul, Rakim, Nas, Biggie, Wu Tang – I mean, NO, you can’t do it in five records. Ha! It’s impossible!
Clubbing: Where’s it heading?
Round my house.
Who are you loving at the moment?
Do you regret revealing yourself in front of Chris Moyles?
Moyles is one of the most lovely dude’s I’ve ever met, honestly. So – no. But he did say, on air, that I looked like a thin Matt Lucas (which I don’t really)….so he might get a ninja slap for that!
Jaguar Skillz, 3 March
O2 Academy, Liverpool