Monday, August 3, 2009
Can You Dig It? Vol. 33: Jesse Felluss
Name: Jesse Felluss
Claim to Fame: I was pretty well known in the New York hip hop mix tape scene for the 6 Great Albums series. Now I’m more known as the dude that just rocks the party, whatever kind of party it is, 80’s, hip hop, house, or rock. In a way that kind of hurts me sometimes because I’m not known for one specific thing like hip hop or mash ups. These days, I’m going for more of the house vibe. I really like the energy of a house party going off.
Unfortunately, outside of the house scene it’s all Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Danity Kane. It’s alright, I guess. It gets the girls going, but it’s not really what I’m into. I’m working harder on my production than working the New York scene. To me, right now, the New York scene is played out. It’s stoke brokers and hot gold digging chicks that want to here cheesy music. That’s how I see the New York scene at the moment. I’m trying to bust out these house tracks, get on the road, and get out to where people want to get hit with something different, instead of just making a bunch of young girls gyrate. That can be fun too though (laughs). I can’t be too mad at it. I have my complaints, but overall, life is good. The DJ living is great. I get to sleep in and watch my soccer games during the day.
Representing: I grew up in DC and then spent three years of high school living in Port smith, New Hampshire. I went to college up in New Paltz, New York and then moved to NYC in 2000. I’ve been living in the same building ever since.
Years in the Game: If you consider me scratching on my brother’s record player and totally fucking the thing up DJing, I started DJing and buying records at around ‘93. For a while, I guess I wasn’t in the game, I was in my bedroom learning how to do everything. I was probably better than most club DJ’s when I started doing clubs because I had practiced so much. I didn’t have any gigs when I was in New Hampshire, so I did it as a hobby. I didn’t really think of DJing as a business until it started making me more money than my regular job. I made the leap, and here I am. I always practiced like a motherfucker, even before I was doing this as a job. A lot of people see DJing as a business first. With any art, you’re only going to be good at it if you’re thinking about the art first. If you’re only thinking about the money and the red carpet, nine out of ten times you really won’t go anywhere.
Best Digging City or Town: There’s a special place in my heart for the old school days when I first kind of discovered DJing. I would go to Satellite and Biscuit Head records in Boston. I could stay in those places for hours and hours. My friends would be wylin’ out like, “Dude, what is this, how can you spend three hours in one store?” So I ditched them and started going on trips to dig without them (Laughs).
The old Beat Street was really sick for everything hip hop that you needed. Rock & Soul was the home base I used to hit up on a weekly basis. That was always a good spot. Atlanta had some good spots. I haven’t spent too much time in California, but I found good shit in the vintage shops there. Some of the shops had really good records and they’d cost 99 cents. It’s great to be able to go into a shop and find dope records for that cheap. I remember San Diego having some good spots.
Back when I was in the DJ battle scene, I used to always go to Fat Beats for the Dirtstyle battle and hip hop records. Back when hip hop was fun (Laughs). It was great man, getting destroyed by I Emerge all the time (Laughs). It was fun.
Most Prized Piece of Wax: I would say my number one overall is the copy of Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly that my brother owned. When I first started fucking around with turntables, I’d put that shit on and when “Pusherman” came on, it was one of those musical moments where it took over my whole body. Listening to that record was my first vinyl moment. I put the needle on and it was all scratchy and it sounded great. That one always sticks out, it was just awesome.
Appetite for Destruction was one of my first records ever; I got it when I was in sixth grade. I used to read the words and sing along to that album. Picture that, a sixth grader signing along to "Mister Brownstone". I didn’t know what the words meant until a little later. I remember thinking, “Man, my mom let me sing that shit?” I guess she didn’t really know what the song meant either (Laughs).
I’d also have to say my first ever Booger Breaks record. When I first bought that, it got a workout. It actually got a work out for something like 10 years (Laughs). Whenever I practiced scratching, I would take that one out. When I first started DJing, I was mostly going to raves. Eventually I got a VHS copy of a DMC competition and that was my introduction to battles. When I got Bionic Booger Breaks, I was hearing every sampled I’d ever heard anyone scratch. I was going nuts.
Favorite Album Cover/s: I always liked the Appetite for Destruction.
The Illmatic cover was obviously dope.
A guy like me is always going to love The Chronic.
Abby Road by The Beatles is really good.
I like Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy. That cover looks all bugged out, like it’s a scene from Lord of the Rings.
Another cover I love is Jethro Tull’s Aqua Lung. That has a weird, medieval vibe to it.
Dollar Bin Miracle: There was this thrift store I went to in San Diego while I was on the 2003 Lipton Brisk Flavors of Hip-hop Tour. Everything record cost 99 cents. We were finding sick shit: 70’s, 80’s, and all original pressings. Some of us had to buy new crates to stick all of our new the records in. That was dope.
I like the Grateful Dead, and one time I got this triple live set of theirs for 25 cents at a yard sale. It was six records total. Sometimes I find the Dead boring, but sometimes I love listening to them. I can’t explain it, it’s weird. I have ADD like a motherfucker, so sometimes I have trouble listening to a 20 minute song.
Total Records Owned: I’ve cleaned out a lot of the stuff I don’t have an emotional connection to. Right now I’m probably rocking around 1,500 records. I only keep stuff that I’m actually going to want to play for myself. I’m not going to keep a copy of Lil’ John’s “Get Low”. I have no use for that ever again in my life.
Or Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love”. Yeah, it was a big song, but guess what? There’s never going to be a day in my life where I’m going to want to put that on in my living room.
I live in New York. I’d love to be one of those guys who has a basement like Jazzy Jay. That would be awesome if I had the room, but I don’t, so I got rid of the shit I really don’t need. It’s tough to start getting rid of records. The mentality used to be just horde that shit, because everyone wanted to be the guy with a million records.
Best Digging Story: I remember going to Boston on a digging trip with my friends when we were either sophomores or juniors in high school. For us to go to Boston solo was a big deal. We got so fucked up; we were drinking and smoking on the way there. Biscuit Head was on the second floor of some building and we didn’t know where the fuck we were going. Our car was running on fumes; it was a total mess.
Once we got to Biscuit Head, I didn’t want to leave. My friends were like, “Uh, this place is cool and all man, but we we’ve been here for a couple of hours and we want to eat.” I told them, “Go ahead, I’m here.” Just sitting there for hours and listening to records in the store was like heaven to me. That was the same day I got Booger Breaks and I also got to hit Satellite. My friends were pissed though. Oh man, they were pissed. They were not feeling me one bit. They didn’t really know what was happening inside me at the moment. Those trips were the beginnings of where I’m at today. After that day, they were done doing Boston trips with me.
Record shopping is great. There’s just something about flipping through those stacks. You never know when that next flick of the finger is going to expose some sick shit.
To find out more about Jesse Felluss, check out his MySpace.
Also make sure to check out his new band, Nue Pourn. You can download a free summer mix from Nue Porn titled Days of Color by clicking here.