DJ Modesty Hip-hop in America and France has some vast differences, but many similarities. DJ Modesty is one of the hottest DJ’s in France and has his show airing through a variety of outlets. His respect and focus on the underground makes this article a must read!
Interview by Rob Schwartz
WHO?MAG: Who is DJ Modesty? DJ MODESTY: DJ MODESTY is a 29 years old DJ from the south of France. I have been on the turntables since 2000-2001, but live for the Hip Hop culture since the 90’s with graffiti, b-boying, deejaying, etc. I am the creator of The Real Hip Hop Show since 2003-2004. I also DJ for mixtapes, albums, shows and everything to represent hip-hop.
WHO?MAG: What separates your style from other DJ’s? DJ MODESTY: Many DJ’s use to host the mixtapes, just with some words, but no mix. Many of these DJ’s use to play some crunk or commercial songs to have more listeners & money. I got some references like Funkmaster Flex, Cut Killer, and Jr Ewing. These DJ’s mixed with different technique on the tempo, with some cuts, beatjuglings. I try to do the same and to respect a theme in my mixes. I’m a Golden Years & Thug Muzik fan, so I represent this style on the turntables and I try to give a chance to each new artist who does some good music to be in my mixes. Many people use girls, money, cars on their covers. I prefer to keep an underground touch on my projects because it’s not my lifestyle. I think that everybody is different and I sincerely hope that I got my own style and that there are some fans who like this one.
WHO?MAG: What does it take for a new artist to get on a DJ Modesty mixtape? DJ MODESTY: I’m more contacted by the artists to work on their mixtapes or street album and I’m open to work on all projects. I think that I’ll work on more mixtapes in the future and if an artist wants to perform on it, I just need their music. I like when it’s some exclusive stuff, especially for the project with an original beat or a great remix. Just submit your sounds to email@example.com with your request.
WHO?MAG: What are the top 5 songs every DJ should have? DJ MODESTY: It’s very difficult for me to do a top 5 because I got so many favorites records, but a DJ need these golden era classics and when I talk about classics, DJ Premier is often here…
1) GROUP HOME – Livin’ proof
2) GANGSTARR – You Know My Steez
3) RAKIM – Guess Who’s Back
4) MOBB DEEP – Shook Ones Pt. 2
5) KRS ONE – MC’s Act Like They Don’t Know
WHO?MAG: What are some of the major differences between hip-hop in France verse the US? DJ MODESTY: The first one is the language and the difference of culture. Hip Hop is not a part of the French Culture. It’s just some people who liked hip hop and tried to live hip hop, but it’s more difficult than in the US because the majority of people in France don’t like Hip Hop and prefer POP music, Rock, or a French Variety. In France we created our own style with French Rap. Like in the US, the best period for Hip Hop in France was during the end of the 90’s. Many people in the US think that the original and real hip hop stays more alive in Europe, but I think that it’s the same over here, because now there are many crunky beats, artists and clubs. We are a little bit late with your country, so if the Hip Hop will change in the US, it’ll change later here too. Some people try to keep the spirit of the real hip hop like back in the days, in France, Europe & USA ,with good lyrics and boom bap beats, B-boying, DJaying, writing , so we could say that it’s the same everywhere for the lovers of real hip hop.
WHO?MAG: Tell me about “The Real Hip Hop Show”. DJ MODESTY: It’s my Radio Show that I created in 2003-2004. It’s more than a Radio Show, but a Concept to promote all the hip hop artists & labels, especially the indies. It’s sometime a chance for us to be played on radio with some majors artists. I’m underground and I know how it’s difficult to get a chance in this game. The show started on the web in Canada and is now on FM on RADIO LASER, a great hip hop station from Rennes in France. The show is available for download on WWW.DJMODESTY.PODOMATIC.COM and I look for a NY radio to get a big exposure in the US.
WHO?MAG: What is the biggest obstacle you came across so far as a DJ? DJ MODESTY: The bigger obstacle is everyday. It’s to work hard to put my name on the top because it’s a closed world and nobody gave me a chance to do my thing. I had to improve my DJ activity, my Real Hip Hop Show and I continue to do it all day everyday. I really understood that the money is the principal problem in life. I think that it’s the bigger obstacle because without money, you can do anything. Deejaying equal time and work; time and work equals money! So you understand, I worked a lot for free to become famous and I continue to wait to have the name of Modesty on the top of the most respected DJ’s. HARD WORK!
WHO?MAG: Tell me about your latest project, “Kings from Queens”. DJ MODESTY: “Kings from Queens” is an album/mixtape with the most famous MC’s from Queens. It’s more than 70 minutes mixed with some real hip hop, and thug music with the most popular artists like Royal Flush, Killa Sha, Imam Thug, DJ JS-1, Twin Gambino & Infamous Mobb, Craig G, Grafh, Tragedy Khadafi, Littles, but also with some underground names like Nut Rageous, Musik G & The UGA, Jak Danielz & Johnny walker, Camiliano and much more. As a Fan of Queens, I tried to represent for this great borough and by the way, to promote all these artists and their future releases. I dropped this project with Rajahru, LLC and we got a promotion worldwide in stores with a BCD deal. It’s my first album and it’s the beginning of a great series. You could check more info about all that on WWW.ALLSKOOL.COM.
WHO?MAG: What’s next for DJ Modesty? DJ MODESTY: I’m working on the next episode of “Kings from Queens”. It’ll be an exclusive album with unedited tracks from Queens artists like Mic Geronimo, Killa Sha, Red Eye, Imam Thug, Camiliano, Royal Flush and some unreleased beats from me, DJ Black Panther, DJ JS-1, Shawneci, and J Coleman. I’ll work on the Imam Thug street album and more mixtapes, street albums. I look to play my Real Hip Hop Show in the US on a bigger radio station and I hope to find something soon. I also look to mix for some live shows, on scene with hip hop artists and in some clubs. I’m open for tours & projects. Just contact me if you need my work at firstname.lastname@example.org.