Power 105 The Breakfast Club’s DJ Envy chatted with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson about his evolution as a DJ and more on Scoop B Radio. Press Play Below To Listen.
Host of one of the hottest morning radio shows in the nation, DJ Envy chatted with me about his journey from being DJ Shrimp to working from any and everyone that is hot in the nation.
Check out our Q&A below.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Last year I had a podcast over at play.it called Brown and Scoop. We would take a photo in front of the CBS sign and I would put my right leg on the back of the wall. Where did that come from?
DJ Envy: You know I don’t I know. At the end of the day I’m a Queens n**** and that is just some Queens shit and that is what it is. I really don’t know what it is I have been doing it since I was a kid and that is my swag, my style,my thing. I didn’t really notice it. People just started pointing it out to me when I was doing it.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You’ve got a new something going out with Fetty Wap right now. Tell me about it.
DJ Envy: New single is called “Text Your Number.” It is my first single off my album. Like I said, it features Fetty Wap. It features DJ Sliink. It is called “Text Your Number” and it’s off my album, Just A Kid From Queens. It comes out next year sometime.
Check Out Fetty Wap’s Text Ur Number featuring DJ Envy and DJ Sliink
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: One thing that I find very interesting about you is the fact that you have the balance being college educated, you are a Hampton University Alum and you have your foot in hip hop. That is rare. Someone that is able to balance corporate, street and education. Why is that so important for someone of your stature that is a DJ and hosts a top rated radio program?
DJ Envy: I think for myself, I don’t have my foot in hip hop. I am hip hop. That is how I was born. I didn’t look at it like: I have to get into hip hop. That is how I was raised listening to the music. I enjoyed the parties. I enjoyed the clubs, the DJ aspects of it, the graffiti aspect of it, the dancing aspect of it. It’s just how I was raised. It wasn’t like I was anything but hip hop, you know? I was just a person that loved hip hop, that went to school, got my degree and then when I graduated said: ‘I gotta do something that I am going to enjoy.’ I was DJing at the time and I was like: ‘listen this is what I am going to do.’ I am going to try and make money off of it. I didn’t have any responsibilities, all I had was school loans. I didn’t have a car or a crib. I lived with my mom and I was like: ‘I am going to give it a shot.’ I didn’t have no kids and the rest is history.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: A guy that I interviewed and featured a couple of years ago is DJ Steph Floss out in Cleveland. He told me a story about how the movie, Juice inspired him. His mom wouldn’t let him spin records in the house, but when he got his refund check in college at Ohio State, he bought a DJ set and aspin table. Do you have any stories like that? What got you beginning to spin?
DJ Envy: Mine was DJ Clue. Clue was my neighbor and I knew him as Ernesto. Like we used to ride bikes together and play ball together. I didn’t know he was a DJ. One day I was waiting for the bus going to school and I seem him drive by and at the time he had a Honda Accord. Honda Accord when we was kids that was the BMw, that was your Lexus, that was your Mercedes. He had that and I asked him what he did and he told me he DJ’ed and I was like: ‘Yeah aight!’ I thought he sold drugs at the time. I didn’t have any money, I was broke and all I wanted to buy was some sneakers, so I was like alright. So one day he was like: ‘come by my house and he will show me.’ I went by his house and I saw tons of mixtapes turntables, CDJs and everything. Right then and there. I was like: ‘ok I am going to give this a shot.’ And you know, I would call Clue and ask what turntable should I buy? And he would tell me and I’d buy one turntable. I would work some more and save some money and buy another turntable, buy records and then the rest of it I just started. I started as a host. I was an MC. It was DJ Mono and DJ Shrimp was my name. And together we were Envy Productions.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Why Shrimp?
DJ Envy: I was shorter at the time. I was 5’2 and I was real small. So I was like shrimp and what people don’t know is together we were Envy productions. But back in the day we would stamp the cassette tapes Envy. When my partner, the guy that actually taught me how to physically dj, Mono stopped DJ’ing, we weren’t making no money. We were just doing it for fun. He stopped doing it and when I continued to do it, I would hand off the mixtapes to the Africans on Jamaica Ave, & 125th Street, they would be like: ‘oh you got the new Envy?’ And the name Envy just stuck and I went with it.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: I had DJ Clue actually on Scoop B Radio a few weeks ago and we talked about the evolution of the DJ. You look at The Breakfast Club. You have Angela Yee who was a manager of someone you have Charlemagne who was Robin to somebody’s Batman and you have you, who is aDJ. You guys are the underdog. What is next for the DJ?
DJ Envy: I mean, a DJ can never go anywhere. It is not like the DJ is going to be nonexistent and they are going to have robots spinning. The DJ has to feel the crowd. It’s just the type of DJ has changed. At first it was the pop DJ and then it was the mixtape DJ. Then it has changed a little bit. Mixtapes don’t really matter anymore because artists do their own stuff. Before it was all about exclusives. That doesn’t matter anymore. DJs are still existent. You look at the radio, you look at clubs. You look at: you still have to go out every night and you want the DJ to spin the dopest s***. So the DJ will never go anywhere, just like the way of doing it will change. Like with me, it is just a matter of changing your platform. I was a mixtape DJ making a lot of money, making mixtapes. I was making 20 or 30 thousand doing mixtapes a month at the age of 20, 21,22 years old. I knew it was about to end. I seen it before it happened. So I was like: ‘Alright I’m going to jump on the radio.’ Some DJ’s didn’t. You can name 20 or 30 DJs that were doing mixtapes back then, that you don’t know where they are right now because they didn’t see it. You have to foresee everything and that’s the same thing today. I went to the radio and started mixtaping on the radio and i was like: ‘alright.’ And everybody was like nice DJ. Let me stop yelling on the radio and start being a personality and learn how to interview somebody and learn how to talk. learn how to almost be like a point guard where I can pass the ball to Charlemagne and pull it back and pass it to Angela Yee and be able to make a play like that. You know, it is foreseeing what the future is.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Ok. So I think it’s interesting. It must be instinct because when you look at LL Cool J, a guy that was on ‘In the House,’ he was able to transition from hip hop to acting. Was there someone in your ear? Or was it just your foresight? What was the light that came on?
DJ Envy: I think for myself, I always next. I always want what’s next and I alway want more. Even when I am doing this album, I did an album in 2003, but I wasn’t there yet. I was good and we did 60 or 70 thousand units, but now I am in a better position. So me doing an album now, means a lot more to the people. I owned a sneaker store before, I owned a car wash before, that is cool. But now me owning a juice bar, is I am in a better position to talk about a juice bar and really do it. I own a Soda company, I own so many different companies and real estate. So many different things that I can profit from. You know, before I was living check to check. Now I can throw some stuff out there and see if it sticks. If it sticks, great. My whole family is set for life. If it doesn’t, then ok we keep pushing.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: When do you sleep?
DJ Envy: I don’t. I take naps. That’s the truth. I try to take naps. With me, I don’t have many hobbies and the reason I don’t have many hobbies is because if I have time for a hobby, I have time to take a nap. So like some people take flights and they read or listen to music while they are on the flight, but I sleep. Some people play video games. If I play video games I am playing with my son because it is bonding time because I enjoy playing with him. But I am not going to be at home playing video games by myself. I really don’t watch TV shows, the only TV show I watch which is my little guilty pleasure is Game of Thrones. Other than that, I really don’t watch TV, I don’t have time.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: I think that it’s interesting that hip hop has kind of gone Barbara Walters, in a sense. You are able to get those interviews that everybody wants to see. When you do interviews for The Breakfast Club have you ever consulted with journalists on how to conduct the perfect interview”
DJ Envy: No. I mean, no not at all. And I think that The Breakfast Club has really opened it up for people outside of the hip hop community to want to do interviews because they see how far our reach is; how far our arm goes. No. I never reached out to anybody. I always watch and see how people do interviews, but here it is a little different. Here we all kind of have roles and I know what my role is here. I know that if there is a question that is controversial, it sounds better coming from Charlemagne because that is out character. It is what it is. It is kind of like, I can dunk on a player in the NBA and it be like: ‘ok Envy dunked on a player.’ But now, if Blake Griffin dunks on somebody, everybody is like: ‘oh shit!’mIt is what it is. That is what keeps our show alive and that is what keeps our show good. If all three members of The Breakfast Club are all saying things that are controversial, you get to the point where you really don’t like them and that whole show is negative. If you get a little bit out of Charlemagne and a little bit out of Yee and a little bit out of me, it keeps it balanced. And a well balanced show there is always someone that agrees with Charlamagne, there is always someone that agrees with me, there is always someone that agrees with Angie. But if we all have the same mentality, then people will be like: ‘no i don’t f*** with them.’ It is that perfect balance that makes The Breakfast Club really successful and everybody really wants to come on the show and give us that reach. We all grind and act like we are broke.