Die Slo Entertainment
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Die Slo Entertainment

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Spoken Word

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Austin local Big JD aka Sertified is ready to show the crowds of SXSW what the Central Texas rap scene is all about. He performed his first rap at five and now is the founder of the local label Die Slo Entertainment. Spinner recently sat down with him to discuss 'good music', the importance of Austin, and his plans for his SXSW debut.

When did you first start making music?

My mom wrote my first rap for me when I was five years old. So that was my first experience rapping. I started taking it seriously and as a career over the past three years.

What made these past few years stand out?

Going and getting on stage, you know. Its undeniable, everyone is just feeling it. I've never had any haters people know I am a real cool cat. I was always a party man and everyone knew me. So when I came in I was just undeniable I was a beast on the mic and kept it solid.


How did you come up with the name Sertified?

Everyone knows me as Big JD [that's] going to be forever it's my initials after all. I had to come up with something clever and you know to show that I was real and official. So it's like the only way to get that is to be certified, you know it aint official until I certify it.

Who are your musical influences?

I have a lot; I like West Coast and East Coast. Love the Dirty South, but really its anything that is good music. Where there is live music I could draw inspiration just seeing a band play. Yeah all types of good music.

What is your favorite genre outside of hip-hop?

I listen to a lot of hip-hop, but lately I've been getting on alternative music. Trying to sample Kings of Leon so [I have] been listening to them. I just keep trying to draw inspiration from all types of music. I like to see rock bands, jazz bands, anything as long as it's good.

Do you prefer the live atmosphere or sitting at home in front of your stereo?

I would do either. I could sit back smoke a bleezy and put on headphones and float away. I also really like seeing guys go off on the drums.

How would you describe your sound?

It's an original and refreshing sound. I can honestly say I am the only person who is my size that can get up on stage and spit like I spit. Not trying to sound cocky but its just true. I have that level of confidence.

How did you decide to create Die Slo Entertainment?

We had been doing our thing, each group solo. We all knew each other for a long time and I recognized where we were all moving. We just decided to come together and it's a lot easier to be heard when ten people are shouting your name instead of just one. It was just for fun at first, but now its serious.

Now you touched on something that is unique to Rap. It is very much sorted geographically from West to East to South. What is it about the local scene in Austin that sets it apart?

I think that is just that, the Austin scene. You don't see any other scene like this. You can go to Houston or Corpus Christi but you don't see anything as strong as Austin. Here every artist is talented.

Is this going to be your first SXSW?

Yeah this is our first time. We just go our promotion gear ready; we got a big showcase at Victory this year.

Any big plans for your showcase?

Yeah we going have my uncle who is a guitarist for some great local rock and thrash metal, he's very versatile. So yeah he's going to be alongside our sets.

What's going to be in your festival survival kit?

Shit, I'd have to say Arizona green tea and a big bag of Austin's finest. I mean that's just the Austin experience; everyone coming here gotta take part in it. Its just real laid back here I mean there are a lot of hipsters but also a lot of laid back like-minded people.

Finally, when can we expect a new album?

It will be available the night of the showcase, Saturday March 20, "I'm All About a Dollar." We are going to have matching t-shirts, so yeah starting that night. Anyone not there who wants to get some just hit me up on my phone or Myspace and we'll get it going. - by Nick Scott


Austin local Big JD aka Sertified is ready to show the crowds of SXSW what the Central Texas rap scene is all about. He performed his first rap at five and now is the founder of the local label Die Slo Entertainment. Spinner recently sat down with him to discuss 'good music', the importance of Austin, and his plans for his SXSW debut.

When did you first start making music?

My mom wrote my first rap for me when I was five years old. So that was my first experience rapping. I started taking it seriously and as a career over the past three years.

What made these past few years stand out?

Going and getting on stage, you know. Its undeniable, everyone is just feeling it. I've never had any haters people know I am a real cool cat. I was always a party man and everyone knew me. So when I came in I was just undeniable I was a beast on the mic and kept it solid.


How did you come up with the name Sertified?

Everyone knows me as Big JD [that's] going to be forever it's my initials after all. I had to come up with something clever and you know to show that I was real and official. So it's like the only way to get that is to be certified, you know it aint official until I certify it.

Who are your musical influences?

I have a lot; I like West Coast and East Coast. Love the Dirty South, but really its anything that is good music. Where there is live music I could draw inspiration just seeing a band play. Yeah all types of good music.

What is your favorite genre outside of hip-hop?

I listen to a lot of hip-hop, but lately I've been getting on alternative music. Trying to sample Kings of Leon so [I have] been listening to them. I just keep trying to draw inspiration from all types of music. I like to see rock bands, jazz bands, anything as long as it's good.

Do you prefer the live atmosphere or sitting at home in front of your stereo?

I would do either. I could sit back smoke a bleezy and put on headphones and float away. I also really like seeing guys go off on the drums.

How would you describe your sound?

It's an original and refreshing sound. I can honestly say I am the only person who is my size that can get up on stage and spit like I spit. Not trying to sound cocky but its just true. I have that level of confidence.

How did you decide to create Die Slo Entertainment?

We had been doing our thing, each group solo. We all knew each other for a long time and I recognized where we were all moving. We just decided to come together and it's a lot easier to be heard when ten people are shouting your name instead of just one. It was just for fun at first, but now its serious.

Now you touched on something that is unique to Rap. It is very much sorted geographically from West to East to South. What is it about the local scene in Austin that sets it apart?

I think that is just that, the Austin scene. You don't see any other scene like this. You can go to Houston or Corpus Christi but you don't see anything as strong as Austin. Here every artist is talented.

Is this going to be your first SXSW?

Yeah this is our first time. We just go our promotion gear ready; we got a big showcase at Victory this year.

Any big plans for your showcase?

Yeah we going have my uncle who is a guitarist for some great local rock and thrash metal, he's very versatile. So yeah he's going to be alongside our sets.

What's going to be in your festival survival kit?

Shit, I'd have to say Arizona green tea and a big bag of Austin's finest. I mean that's just the Austin experience; everyone coming here gotta take part in it. Its just real laid back here I mean there are a lot of hipsters but also a lot of laid back like-minded people.

Finally, when can we expect a new album?

It will be available the night of the showcase, Saturday March 20, "I'm All About a Dollar." We are going to have matching t-shirts, so yeah starting that night. Anyone not there who wants to get some just hit me up on my phone or Myspace and we'll get it going. - by Nick Scott


It takes a little something extra to get noticed in Austin, the live music capital of the world, but when three independent hip-hop groups -- Southern Made Click, Fiyah Boi Ent. and Throwed House Click -- came together to form their own label, it was bound to gain some attention. Die Slo Entertainment are focused on promoting innovation and creativity in hip-hop -- not just in Austin, but all over the world. Big JD of Die Slo took time out to talk to Spinner about the label's sound, vision and plans for the future, including their upcoming gig at SXSW.

Describe your sound in your own words.

We have our own sound. We've got people like Stat 1 from Throwed House, who has a distinct voice and a distinct way of rhyming. Our producer makes real orchestrated music, real big and real huge. I'd have to call it real hip-hop. It's something that you've never heard before.

How did your label form?

I had my own group, Southern Made Click, my friend Cham had his own group, Fiyah Boi Ent, and my friend Stat had his own group, Throwed House Click. And at the time we were each doing our own individual shows around Austin. We knew each other, and we just decided to come together as one. We all had the same love of music.




How'd you come up with the name Die Slo?

It started from a simple little phrase we were always throwin' around. It just had a little ring to it, and we stuck to it and ran with it.

Who are you influenced by?

Me personally, I'm influenced by a lot of West Coast rap and underground rap. We're heavily influenced by real music -- music that has a meaning behind it.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

I don't think too many people know that a lot of the dudes from the group listen to alternative music. We like Kings of Leon -- they're a great group.

Who was your first celebrity crush?

I'd have to say Jessica Alba.

What kind of artist grabs your attention?

Somebody with an original sound, somebody that has a sound I've never heard before.

What's in your SXSW survival kit?

This is our first year to be a part of SXSW and I'm really looking forward to it, all the great music that's going on. Just gotta find a way to sleep downtown, maybe on the corner. I'm just really excited to be a part of it.

Anybody you're looking forward to seeing this year?

I was kind of disappointed that the West Coast showcase is the same night as ours. I don't know if it's possible, but I'm gonna try to make it!

What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced on the road?

I'd have to say when we were performing at a club down here in Austin. We were performing one of our songs, a brand new song at the time. We had the whole crowd jumping, and then the power cut off in the whole club. We just kept doing the song a cappella, and it was just crazy. You feel it in the atmosphere and realize, "Damn, this is badass!" That's one of the best times on the road. That and when Cham almost fell offstage.
- by Stefanie Schwartz


I knew I wanted to do something on Austin's hip-hop scene. It's alive and kicking, yet no one really knows anything about it. So, I thought, SXSW is the perfect time to feature a thriving aspect of Austin's music scene, right? Well, the story I discovered ended up being so much better.

I met Priscilla Villegas at her home one evening. Her husband was there as well as her two young daughters. She says her family, often doesn't get her full attention. Most nights, she's on the computer, on the phone, as the manager of hip-hop label Die Slo Entertainment. She was convinced Die Slo had success within reach, and wanted to advocate for them.

The label itself was created by Sertified. He started it back in 2007. But, it's what led to the label that caught my attention. Sertified is a giant teddy bear. When sat down to chat, I asked him, "So, what do you rap about?"

"Anything that comes to mind," he tells me. "So you don't rap about drugs and gangs?" I joked with him, really, and, then, he says, "No, those days are over."

At this point, Sertified, aka JD Flores, opened up about what led to the label. He tells me in his teens, he was messing around with the wrong crowd and got tangled up in drugs. He ended up in DelValle jail on a possession of marijuana charge. When it came down to spending some real time in the big house or rehab, he chose the latter. He spent 6 months in rehab and he calls it a blessing. He came out a new man, said it's what turned him into a man. He snapped out of his old ways.

That's when JD became Sertified, because "without him it's not official." He got real serious about his music and thought the label would be the best way to collaborate with other entertainers he knew growing up. He said since joining forces, they've been well-received, created a following of fans. The chant rings through the crowds, "D-I-E S-L-O, D-I-E S-L-O!" That just fuels him and the rest of the crew -- a taste of success that helps JD grow stronger in his talents and in his convictions.

JD started rapping when he was just four years old. His mother wrote it for him. You know her -- Priscilla, the label's manager. She was, too, a rapper back in the day. She'll never forget JD and his first rap and the dollars he would collect for performing. Now, she tells me she's living her dream through him.

The dream lives on--Die Slo Entertainment's success landed the label its first SXSW showcase. Priscilla and JD are preparing very differently, but busy nonetheless. Like JD says, it's not just about the performance, there's tons of music he wants to see too. But, this isn’t just any showcase; it's a celebration of generations of entertainers and the hard knocks it took to get there. Clean. Sober. Blessed.

Die Slo Entertainment and Sertified's SXSW showcase it Saturday, March 20 starting at 11:40pm at the Victory Grill. To find out more about the label or hear some of its music, check out http://www.myspace.com/diesloentertainment. - By: Crestina Chavez


I knew I wanted to do something on Austin's hip-hop scene. It's alive and kicking, yet no one really knows anything about it. So, I thought, SXSW is the perfect time to feature a thriving aspect of Austin's music scene, right? Well, the story I discovered ended up being so much better.

I met Priscilla Villegas at her home one evening. Her husband was there as well as her two young daughters. She says her family, often doesn't get her full attention. Most nights, she's on the computer, on the phone, as the manager of hip-hop label Die Slo Entertainment. She was convinced Die Slo had success within reach, and wanted to advocate for them.

The label itself was created by Sertified. He started it back in 2007. But, it's what led to the label that caught my attention. Sertified is a giant teddy bear. When sat down to chat, I asked him, "So, what do you rap about?"

"Anything that comes to mind," he tells me. "So you don't rap about drugs and gangs?" I joked with him, really, and, then, he says, "No, those days are over."

At this point, Sertified, aka JD Flores, opened up about what led to the label. He tells me in his teens, he was messing around with the wrong crowd and got tangled up in drugs. He ended up in DelValle jail on a possession of marijuana charge. When it came down to spending some real time in the big house or rehab, he chose the latter. He spent 6 months in rehab and he calls it a blessing. He came out a new man, said it's what turned him into a man. He snapped out of his old ways.

That's when JD became Sertified, because "without him it's not official." He got real serious about his music and thought the label would be the best way to collaborate with other entertainers he knew growing up. He said since joining forces, they've been well-received, created a following of fans. The chant rings through the crowds, "D-I-E S-L-O, D-I-E S-L-O!" That just fuels him and the rest of the crew -- a taste of success that helps JD grow stronger in his talents and in his convictions.

JD started rapping when he was just four years old. His mother wrote it for him. You know her -- Priscilla, the label's manager. She was, too, a rapper back in the day. She'll never forget JD and his first rap and the dollars he would collect for performing. Now, she tells me she's living her dream through him.

The dream lives on--Die Slo Entertainment's success landed the label its first SXSW showcase. Priscilla and JD are preparing very differently, but busy nonetheless. Like JD says, it's not just about the performance, there's tons of music he wants to see too. But, this isn’t just any showcase; it's a celebration of generations of entertainers and the hard knocks it took to get there. Clean. Sober. Blessed.

Die Slo Entertainment and Sertified's SXSW showcase it Saturday, March 20 starting at 11:40pm at the Victory Grill. To find out more about the label or hear some of its music, check out http://www.myspace.com/diesloentertainment. - By: Crestina Chavez


Discography

"All About A Dolla" - Die Slo Entertainment (2010)
*singles include - Get Sum Moe, Killin It

"Keep Austin Live" - Yung Clova (2010)
*singles include - "Awwready ft. Pimpin Pen, Mr. Miyagi (wax on, wax off)"

"Beautiful Music" - Q-Will & 2 Tone (Dec. 2010)
*singles include - "Kool Out", "Paint The Town"

"I'm So Focused" - Sertified (Apr. 2011)
*singles include - "Angel Dust", "Really Loaded"

"Proof" - Stat-1 (May 2011)
*singles include - "Big Star, Proof"

"The Mextape" - Mex (June 2011)
*singles include - "Durty Dollaz, Stay Ready"

"The Goin Up EP" - Chamothy The Great (Sept. 2011)
*singles include - "Bat Shit Cray, What Ya Call that"

"F.E.A.R" - Chamothy The Great (Oct. 2011)
*singles include - "9-5, Good/Great, Weed & Cologne"

"Death Never Sounded So Good" - The Mixtape" (Oct. 2011)

Photos

Bio

3 independent hip-hop groups (Southern Made Click, Fiyah Boy Ent. & Throwed House Click) came together to form their own label DIE SLO ENT. We're focused on promoting innovation & creativity in hip hop -- not just in Austin, but all over the world.

Underground hip-hop collective Die Slo Entertainment, that doubles as a record label, is the amalgamation of three Austin-based hip-hop groups, Southern Made Click, Fiyah Boy Ent. and Throwed House Click. With a particularly diverse set of emcees, all coming from different cultural backgrounds, Die Slo Entertainment produces equally diverse music, though it does consistently showcase a DIY production aesthetic. Believers in the alternative and underground nature of their music, the group of hip-hop producers attempt to spread their positive motto "Stay humble but stay hungry," throughout their journey.