An Interview with Grand Master DJ Ready D (Beat Bangaz)


DJ Ready D is a world-renowned turntablist, producer, educator, and overall Hip-Hop ambassador, and he’s been a regular feature at Bboysounds, not only for his Grand Master’s command of the wheels of steel, but for his large number of cipher-ready beats and breaks, like “Let’s Rumble”:

We were able to catch up with Ready D (@djreadyd) amid his Big Air Society tour across South Africa and to hear from the DJ himself:

DJ Ready D

[hr] Who is DJ Ready D?

DJ Ready D is a student of the art of being a DJ. I am enjoying the new technology and finding interesting ways to develop my craft.

I grew up around DJs all my life and I’m blessed to have been exposed to different genres of music since an early age.

Coming from Cape Town South Africa gives me the added edge because of the broad spectrum of local music that we are able to access. This added with a Hip-Hop state of mind adds interesting textures to my production work.

(DJ Ready D’s Beat Bangaz crew runs a DJ training facility in Cape Town City called Scratch Lab (@scratchlabcpt) and you should definitely check out DJ Ready D’s YouTube to see their videos, like this gem:)

Please tell us a bit about the Beat Bangaz crew…

We decided to form the Beatbangaz round 1997. We were inspired by the Skratch Piklz, Beat Junkies and many other turntablist crews. Team members come from other Hip Hop crews in South Africa such as P.O.C and BVK.

Each member have their own distinctive style and music taste. The latter is a perfect formula that gives the crew an interesting performance style and range.

We also specialise in music production, television, radio and organising events.

(Check out this dope video promo for the Beat Bangaz crew:)

Your sound appeals to a diverse, international Hip-Hop community, with something for the DJs, the MCs and beat heads, and of course, the Bboys and Bgirls. What do you have in mind when you’re producing a track like “Let’s Rumble”? [hr]

“I started as a B-Boy when I got involved with Hip Hop culture in the early 80’s. I always try to capture the energetic spirit and battle nature of the culture through my work. My aim was to engage the listener and encourage participants to take action when tracks such as Let’s Rumble start hitting through Boom Boxes.” [hr]

The DJ Mag top 100 has drawn a lot of criticism in recent days, with many calling out the DJs on the list for not having any talent as a DJ vs. as a producer. What is a DJ to you?

My view of a DJ is someone that’s committed to their craft with an open minded approach to music. It’s important to evolve and respect the audience.

I feel that it’s our duty to take risks and educate the music loving masses. We have really awesome platforms at our disposal to demonstrate this.

When you’re not producing, scratching, and mashing up the dance, what music are you listening to for your own enjoyment?

I love Jazz and Classical music. I’m always tuned into local radio that provide that type of music. It helps to relax and recharge for another deck wrecking session.

What are you working on today?

I’m revisiting music from P.O.C ( Prophet’s Of The City) and exploring remix possibilities. A Beatbangaz album is high on the agenda. My radio show and gigs also keep me grinding daily.

(DJ Ready D’s “Big Air Society Promo” mixtape is a Bboysounds favorite, spilling over with rhythm and breaks)

What message do you have for the Bboys and Bgirls around the world? [hr]

“I would like to encourage B-Boys and Girls to embrace Hip Hop culture in it’s entirety and keep pushing the envelope. We need to form strong international alliances and show the world the true power of this culture.” [hr]

Massive thanks to DJ Ready D for taking the time to chat with us, and you should definitely pay a visit to his website, follow him on Soundcloud, and Like DJ Ready D and Beat Bangaz on Facebook!