Photo Credits: Ayana Rashed
The First Annual Goldie Awards took place on September 7th (Thursday) at Brooklyn Steel with a packed house and a fresh new batch of producers and DJ’s who graced the stage and took all of the spotlight. The DJ and Beat Battle showcased a tremendous amount of creativity, passion and hard-work. A-Trak drew inspiration to start the event from his past as a young ambitious 15 year old DJ who won the DMC championship. He is also the founder of a well-rounded record label that has help launch careers for Kid Cudi, Danny Brown and many more. The featured panel of Judges was phenomenal and featured some of the biggest producers in music culture such as Diplo, Mannie Fresh, Just Blaze and many more. The event was also hosted by Harlem rapper, Dave East who is fresh off the release of his project, Paranoia. The electric crowd kept the battle booming with great energy from start to finish and left with an amazing story to tell. Eight contestants took the stage to flaunt their abilities round after round until the crown from each category was chosen.
Standout contestant DJ Miles Medina had the crowd going bonkers with his old school beat selections and even scratched over the Simpsons theme. What a time to be alive. It was an amazing night and Miles Medina was crowned the winner of the DJ Battle coming fresh off a head-to-head with Yuto. Holly was crowned as the Beat battle winner all the way from Portugal. The winners will have a chance to showcase their talents at the next Fools Gold Day Off. The event shifted the DJ culture in another direction for the the first time, of our generation.
DJ and Producer Mannie Fresh said:
The Goldie Awards was awesome mixed with bossome, this is what hip-hop feels like and hopefully next year we can do this all again and it will be bigger, better and dapper, you heard”
Just Blaze is a legend producer and infamously known for producing tracks like “Show Me What You Got by Jay-Z,” ‘Girls, Girls, Girls by Hov,” “I Really Mean It by Diplomats,”Oh Boy by Cam’ron,” “Live Your Life by T.I.,” and so many more hit records. He has solidified himself as one of the best hitmakers in the business. As a judge who fully engaged in the action that took place on Thursday we sat down with the legend himself to talk about what he was looking for out of the contestants and his experience of learning how to switch up his sound as a producer, what influenced him to start making beats instead of DJ’ing and much more. Let’s get into the interview below.
RESPECT.: As a judge what exactly were you looking for out of the contestants?
As a judge I was looking for originality, substance, flare, technique and the ability to keep a beat. I think the most important thing is to keep the crowd engaged as a DJ if you lose the crowd, you lose your job. So that’s the most important thing.
RESPECT.: Being a producer, how hard was it learning to switch up your sound?
You have to switch up your sound if you want to keep your job. You know a people come into the game with signature things that we do, times change, crowds change and people change, society changes and when society changes you have to change with society, ultimately. The things that people danced to 20 years ago aren’t the same things that people dance to now. Things that your parents danced to, things that my parents danced to it’s not the same thing. My father used to make fun of Run DMC. He would take me to the record store on the weekend to go buy the new RUN DMC album but he would always give me a hard time. “Why you want that, I could do that,” (Ha,Ha,Ha,Ha,Ha) and I would laugh and laugh and laugh. He would take me to the record store and buy it for me because he understood what he loved is not what I loved. But, there’s always a common line or a common ground and that was one of the great things about this event. You could see the lineage of what guys like Rob Swift, A-Trak, Kid Capri, Cash Money, DJ Scratch, Miz and so many more going all the way back to Grandmaster Flash, Theodore you can watch the lineage go from generation to generation. One of the most interesting things was that tonight I took a shot while on-stage and I realized there was less turn-tables. Even though there was a lack of turn-tables, we had so much more innovation and that’s what really excites me and pushes the culture forward, innovation. I don’t care if you was with a turn-table, drum machine, controller or fader as long as you push the culture forward and push the sound forward and make me say “OMG.”
When I was on stage tonight I felt like I was in Juice in the movie theater when I was 13 years old. I felt like I was in Juice Part 2 and I’m not being facetious when I say that one of my homies put on something that made me feel like I was 14 again. – Just Blaze
RESPECT.: Who was your favorite contestant and why?
I don’t have a favorite contestant there were guys that I connected with that didn’t make it that I exchanged information with that didn’t win. But, I felt like they had something special. To me it’s not about the winner it’s about expansion. There were guys who didn’t make it past the first round that I thought had something special, to me that’s what matters the most. If I felt like you had something special I wanted to connect with you and if I can help you let me do that.
RESPECT.: What was your favorite track you ever produced?
Let me say this one time, this the last time I want to get asked this. People will ask me what’s my favorite track I always say to the writer or the journalist or the person who’s asking the question ‘Do You Have Children” ? Sometimes they say yes, sometimes they say no. Some have multiple children and I ask them to pick their favorite child, they can’t pick one. My mother has a special place in her heart for me because I’m her first born but that doesn’t mean she loves my brother or my sister any less. It just means she has a different type of love for each one of us, we all represent something different in her life. Every track that I’ve done represents something different in my life and for that reason I don’t have favorite record. I have some terrible records, but they still represent where I was in my life and I love them all the same.
Every track that I’ve done represents something different in my life and for that reason I don’t have a favorite record. I have some terrible records, but they still represent where I was in my life and I love them all the same. – Just Blaze
RESPECT.: How do you rate the First Annual Goldie Awards?
You can’t rate something like the First Goldie awards because even though it wasn’t the first of it’s time, it’s the first one to represent a new generation and I’m not being political when I say that. When I was on stage tonight I felt like I was in Juice in the movie theater when I was 13 years old. I felt like I was in Juice Part 2 and I’m not being facetious when I say that one of my homies put on something that made me feel like I was 14 again. That was the most exciting thing about it, watching younger people do something that I aspire to do and did and moved past and made an impact on our culture and society. You might not see the fruits of that labor for 10 years. The kid, Young Sidechain that didn’t win that a lot of people reacted to strongly, you might not see the fruits of his labor 10 years from now but one day you will see him again. My last DJ battle I did I was 16 and I lost, it was very discouraging but that’s what pushed me to go and make beats instead of trying to DJ. There were people who were on that stage or in that house that night that watched me and saw me at 16 lose that battle and probably to this day don’t know that they watched the birth of Just Blaze.