DJ Kemo
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DJ Kemo

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Vancouver, B.C. - It's been well over a decade since artists like the Rascalz, Kardinal Offishall, Michie Mee, and Saukrates, amongst various others, created a niche for hip-hop in the industry and made the big dogs begin to take notice. Fast-forward to present day and it’s no secret that we're still working at it; the industry is still in development. With one urban station, coated with pop flavoring and one music video special interest station (read: it must be ordered) as the only mainstream outlets for our artists, their chances of achieving national success at the desired magnitude is rare. Try imagining international success.

Yet these artists mentioned above were able to brand themselves throughout the country and in some cases internationally without any major radio push (Flow wasn’t granted a license until 2000) and with very few media outlets (HipHopCanada wasn’t launched until 2000 either). Canada, in general, is a multicultural country and it seems especially hard for artists to come up under one identity. Often our hip-hop artists compare themselves to their counterparts to the south and emulate the concepts they see working States-side; from the music to the elements of the game that go hand in hand with it, Canadian fans often complain about a lack of unique identity deriving from Canadian hip-hop. Artists like The Rascalz created and mastered their own sound bringing mainstream attention to the genre, to the melting pot of talent emerging on Canada’s West coast.

They first broke ground in 1993 with the re-release of their debut album Really Living under Sony Music (initially released independently) and won Best Rap Video at the ‘94 MuchMusic Video Awards. The group’s notoriety rose in 1997 when they went over to BMG to release Cash Crop followed by Global Warning in 1999 and then Reloaded in 2002. Throughout their run the Rascalz were responsible for singles like “Priceless,” “Crazy World,” “Movie Star,” and most notably, the Canadian classic “Northern Touch” in which they unified Canadian hip-hop and brought together some of the country’s most promising talents including Kardinal, Thrust, Checkmate, and Choclair. The Rascalz made history when they refused their Juno Award for Cash Crop, since the Rap category was not being presented during the televised ceremony and therefore created a barrier to the commercial visibility of Canadian hip-hop.

Since 2002, the group has not collectively released any material and fans can only see its members following a solo path. DJ Kemo, 1/3rd of The Rascalz, continues to stay in Vancouver and focus on building a solid structure and surrounding himself with newer producers. Founding the Vanguards (a production team headed by Kemo himself) has given him the ability to carry on with his work while finding new inspirations. Kemo came to Toronto and HipHopCanda was lucky enough to interrupt his busy schedule for the sake of a quick interview. We had a chance to sit back and kick in to some good conversation as history unfolded…

HipHopCanada: I don’t think the group was ever dismembered publicly. Where are things at with you guys?

-You’ll get a different story from me and you’ll get a different story from Red. If you ask me if the Rascalz are done, I’ll say, “Yeah”. Why? Because Misfit doesn’t rap anymore. If you ask Red, he’s still trying to put together a Rascalz album, but we can’t even find the guy. You know how with every rap group, ever rapper goes on to make their own albums eventually? That’s kind of what was going on at the time. Two years ago now, Misfit told Red1, “I’m hanging up my rap gloves.” We had shows lined up and he didn’t want to do them. I guess ’04 was one of the last times I convinced him to do a show in Chile’ and I had to convince him to go.


HipHopCanada: Can you say that there’s nothing coming out in the near future from the Rascalz?

-I don’t see it... no time soon.


HipHopCanada: What about without Misfit, would you and Red 1 put an album together?

-Well Red released his own album.


HipHopCanada: Right, but that released as a solo project. Can you see anything coming from the two of you?

-His next project is a Killawatt record which will feature a lot of my stuff but also stuff from his artists like Heatwave and Juice [Vancouver].


HipHopCanada: You haven’t released anything with The Rascalz since 2002 with “Reloaded”. Did you see it being over then?

-From when we did the Global Warning record there was already like 1 or 2 songs that Misfit didn’t want to get on so I guess it started from there. When Reloaded came around, he didn’t want to get on half the tracks. He was just on a different vibe and as far as me and Red were concerned, we stuck true to the vibe Rascalz were on. He thought “Movie Star” was absolutely garbage…


HipHopCanada: So I guess in 2002, you knew the end was near…

-I guess I never put that much thought into it, but if I was to look back on it, I’d say so.


HipHopCanada: Did you enjoy making records and performing as part of a group, or do you enjoy being solo and working with a variety of other artists instead?

-Working with Rascalz there was never really much pressure. I like the group part because the touring and experiences we had were great…


HipHopCanada: Have you had a chance to tour with other artists? I know you worked a lot with Swollen Members on their “Black Magic” album. You produced like 3-4 records on there.

-Yeah I did. I don’t really go on tour though because I’d be DJ’ing and they already have their own DJ.


HipHopCanada: For many artists and fans The Rascalz created the sound and unity that hip-hop in Canada really needed and still does need. A lot of artists now are struggling to create that same feeling and that same excitement in their peers and their fans. How do you think the Rascalz were able to create what they did?

-I think we were just kind of lucky with what was going on at the time and the music in Canada. Canada’s music industry was ready to embrace and help promote urban sound and now it’s a different ball game. Plus, we had Sol Guy from BMG who was managing us at the time and who had good connections to Toronto at the time.


HipHopCanada: Did you guys have a big marketing plan or anything?

-I never got involved in that side of things. I just wanted to make the music and whatever got sold got sold.


HipHopCanada: Do you feel a lot more artists now are putting more effort into their business, trying to be business men at the same time?

-Maybe losing their creativity a bit…
Yeah, yeah… maybe. I guess what’s out there is what people are trying to measure up to and what’s out there [The States] is wack. What’s the top selling hip-hop? It’s crap. There is no originality or thought and the guys making the top dollar are not very creative or lyrical.


HipHopCanada: To this day, artists like Kardinal, Michie Mee, Choclair, Maestro, Rascalz, Saukrates and many others are the most notable names in Canadian hip-hop even though they are mostly recognized for stuff they have done in the past. Why do you think these artists still take precedence in the Canadian public and a lot of the new artists don’t?

-That goes back to the industry embracing it. When Maestro came out they were like, “wow, this is brand new.” In the US, hip-hop music is their music, for the people that are promoting it and supporting it. Out here, it’s not their music. Out here their music is rock & roll, or whatever. And I’m talking about the people that “run” the music industry; the people that run MuchMusic, MTV, the radio station. Hip-hop was just a fun time for them. Somewhere between Maestro and 2000, is how long it lasted for. After that they were like, “Okay this was fun now let’s go back to the stuff that’s more us.” In the States it is their life; it’s what they live, whereas here it’s a genre; it’s a sell and they’re done trying to sell it. New artists now have a much harder time getting their music played. Maybe there’s just not that one artist that people can embrace and identify with. K-os is one artist that the public can embrace and identify with because he’s not trying to be gangster because the majority of people are not buying the gangster shit [buying as in believing in it]. They’re not going to buy that someone coming from Canada is gangster…


HipHopCanada: Right… when singles like “Crazy World” and “Movie Star” came out, they had a tremendous response. Did you at any point think about your future and think about what would come next?

-Not really… I just kind of took it day by day.


HipHopCanada: Okay but did you ever think of working with bigger artists, signing endorsement deals, moving to the US at any point?

-I’ve always wanted to try to break into the US market, and so far it hasn’t happened. I need to move down there. That’s the next step because trying to place beats on records is the hardest thing to do. Not a lot of dudes can do it. How many Canadians have done it beside people like, Midi Mafia? That’s one of the things I did think about.


HipHopCanada: You still think about it?

-Yeah I do. I think my options right now are to go to LA. I got a homie right now that works at Power 106 and he’s been looking out for me.


HipHopCanada: Do you think the music you make relates more so to the West Coast of the US rather than the South or East?

-Yeah, definitely. I don’t really focus on making dirty south crunk beats. I work with a group of guys [which we’ll get more into later] and even though our sound is all over, it relates more to the West Coast. I came up off East Coast hip-hop. I was never big on West Coast artists like Tupac or when Death Row came out and the sound they brought. I was more into stuff like A Tribe Called Quest. The sound that they [West Coast] had was ahead of their time. Nobody is playing Tribe at the club right now, but they’re still playing Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube and Dr. Dre.


HipHopCanada: What do you see as a major difference right now from when you first started?

-The internet now is a huge world of difference, but you have fewer labels now. There is less support from labels. All the money that they might have invested before, they’re not willing to invest anymore. All the labels have conglomerated, they have fired all kinds of people, there is no more divisions, no street teams; all that support is done. Now it’s all about the internet.


HipHopCanada: Since working on Black Magic with Swollen Members, what else have you been working on?

-There is a crew of producers that I am working with called the Vanguards. There are about 6 of us: me, Don Cristo, Vago, hAZEL, Big Syphe, Fac Jacson. I was working a lot with them because I was getting a lot of work from different angles and they also help me in terms of inspiration.


HipHopCanada: How did you guys get together?

-Well, I knew Vago from before. He used to rap then. When he started getting into production he was sending me his stuff and it was pretty good. 3 years after I was getting him some work. Some of the other guys were just homies that got into it. One of the guys is from Oklahoma and moved to Vancouver.


HipHopCanada: It wasn’t always called Vanguards though…

-No, the group was called Lab Rats… changed the name because I found too many other groups with the same name online on places like MySpace.


HipHopCanada: Yeah that happens a lot. So what are you and Vanguards getting into this year?

-I’ve been working a lot on Sol Guy’s TV show; 4Real TV. It recently broadcasted over the Christmas break. It’s going to start up again now through MTV, National Geographic, CTV. I’m doing the soundscape of the show. I’m doing some projects for EA Sports also and I’m waiting for Kardi to release his single for his new record [Dangerous featuring Akon].


HipHopCanada: Are you touring right now?

-I DJ with Flipout and JaySwing who hold down the BEAT 94.5 in Vancouver and collectively we’re Those MF’s. JaySwing is trying to lock down some touring in Asia and hopefully Europe.


HipHopCanada: That’s good. Is this something stable for you at this point?

-Yeah, it’s definitely stable. It pays my bills and makes me money. I think the next step for me to elevate what I’m doing in terms of music production would be to move to LA.


HipHopCanada: Anybody that you’re listening to right now in terms of Canadian hip-hop?

-I haven’t really been up on a lot of this shit. I’m waiting for Kardi’s record.


HipHopCanada: What do you listen to?

-Because I have to DJ at the clubs, I have to be up on what’s new…


HipHopCanada: What do you play at the club?

-Anything from reggaeton, dancehall, hip-hop


HipHopCanada: But you play American more so than Canadian hip-hop?

-Yeah, because it comes down to the media part. If they don’t have a video out or have a song on radio then it’s hard to play that record.


HipHopCanada: Do you believe in DJ’s breaking records?

-Yeah, but it’s harder to break a record in the club than on radio. If I played radio I would totally take records and do that. It needs a team effort. The artist needs you to put it on HipHopCanada, me to play it in the club, and the DJ to play it on the radio.


HipHopCanada: I agree. Anything else you’d like to say?

-Not really, just trying to push Vanguards more than anything.


HipHopCanada: Cool. Thank you.

-Thank you.
- Lola Plaku


Casual fans of Vancouver hip-hop will recognize Kemo from his membership in the Rascalz, but in recent years the local producer has made a killing on his own, lacing tracks for major-label American artists like Canibus and Frank 'n Dank. When he's not in the studio cooking up beats, the Van City legend can usually be found deejaying at one-off shows and weekly gigs around town, representing for true-school heads and weekend warriors alike. These days, Kemo is flying the flag especially high for reggaeton, a newfangled Puerto Rican genre that mixes digital dancehall-style rhythms with raucous Spanish lyrics. The Straight recently caught up with the veteran to quiz him on his role in the scene.

CURRENT RESIDENCIES
-Gasolina Wednesdays at Stone Temple Cabaret Salsarengue Saturdays at Richard's on Richards

MOST RECENT REMIX
-Pitbull "Toma (Samba Refix)"

CRAZIEST GIG
"I played a party in Santiago, Chile, last year where I had the big screen behind me, go-go dancers on either side, and a crazy flame-throwing machine in front. It was just crazy to have 1,000-plus Chileans wilin' out to some dope hip-hop."

CURRENT TOP-5 CHART
1. Kanye West "Gold Digger"
2. Rihanna featuring Elephant Man "Pon de Replay (Remix)"
3. Andres "Latin Queen"
4. Ying Yang Twins featuring Pitbull "Shake"
5. Don Omar "Reggaeton Latino"

RECORD THAT NEVER LEAVES YOUR BOX
Sazon Diamante featuring Don Primo "La Calle"

WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT REGGAETON?
"The music is getting much more evolved now. There's much more melodic worth and skills coming out from the artists. The drum pattern makes people move no matter what, and the shit is just plain hot regardless of what language you speak."

WHAT MAKES THE VANCOUVER SCENE SPECIAL?
"There are lots of diverse individuals all representing hip-hop in their own fashion, and all of them connecting and showing love for the music as a whole."
- Georgia Straight, By Martin Turenne


Vancouver, B.C. - He is the sound behind big Canadian tunes like Northern Touch, Top of the World, Crazy World and Fuel Injected. If you aren't familiar with the Rascalz' DJ Kemo it's because he is not a big fan of the spotlight. Don't worry though you'll know plenty about him after reading this through. Kemo is here now to discuss his career in general, current projects being worked on and opinions on certain industry related topics.

HHC: Mr. Kemomatic, how are you doing? Welcome to HipHopCanada. How is 2004 treating you so far?
Not much so far. But I've been in studio working on this and that really... some side projects. Projects as an engineer doing a lot of mixing for different artists.

HHC: Do you like engineering?
I don't like it as much as making music... It's more of a job then anything.

HHC: Anything you do to keep from falling asleep behind the board?
Umm... Slap myself in the face (Laughing)... Well you know it's a job so you just gotta do it and get it done.

HHC: No doubt. Let's take things back a decade (or more). Tell me how the Rascalz came to be. I know things started between you and Red1 so where does Misfit come into the picture?
I think I met Red in like late 1990... Not that I met him then but we linked at that point and just started vibing and starting something up. I was working on music and he was rapping. He was actually rapping with another guy at the time... A couple of months later we decided to form a group. We had the two dancers, Dedos and Zebroc... There was a lot of people in the crew so it became a lot of people in the group trying to do what they could to be a part of it. When Misfit linked up he was kind of a b-boy and Zed went back to Toronto so we needed another dancer to take his place. There was other guys in the group throwing in rhymes here and there but not necessarily being artists. As history goes, Madchild from Swollen was once in the group to. We did a couple shows with him in the group and what not. After a couple months it didn't really work out and he went on his way to do his own thing. Some of the other guys in the group who I had mentioned came out of the picture to... At that point someone encouraged Misfit to rap. Actually... Sol (Guy) was rapping at the time to. I'm not sure if I want to say this (laughing) but under my suggestion I told Sol to quit. About a month later he decided he wanted to manage. He didn't know anything about managing but said he was going to learn and that's pretty much what started things off.

HHC: Damn... That's quite a story. So from when things first got together in the early 90s to what you have now, what kind if relationship do you guys have? Has it changed?
I mean the b-boys, our manager Sol, myself and the emcees are the core and it's like family. Especially when we're on the road. We fight over stupid shit... hate each other and then the next day things are cool. No holding any petty grudges or anything like that. I mean... we're still family like that you know. I mean things are kind of growing a part now that each man is kind of living their own life but there is definitely a bond. The whole crew is like brothers but even brothers grow a part. It's family.

HHC: I hear that... that's life. How did the DJ Kemo name come to be?
Ummm... Originally it was Cris Deville but I changed it. I think from smoking too much weed... kemo weed which was the real potent shit, too much Cypress Hill I guess. Plus... I used to tag and shit and I liked the letters. I ended up with Kemo as a name.

HHC: Are you down with talking about your brother?
Diamante... Shit man he was there from the get go... I have pictures actually (laughing)... That's fucking jokes. I have a picture on my mantel. It's me sitting on a turntable and Sol crouching over reading lyrics. Red and Madchild both holding mics... this other cat Stretch... this kid Gershwin who also passed away a few years back and my little brother sitting in the back just watching so I guess that's where I influenced him. A few years later he hooked up with this other kat and formed a group. He was always doing his thing but never really die-hard trying to be a rapper... It was more for the love right. I think he started taking it more seriously like maybe a year or two before he passed away. I was always a busy guy and never really focused to much or took him that serious with it but I think that's because he wasn't that serious himself with it and had a lot of other things going for him... like soccer and studying in school for criminology. A year before he passed he was actually getting ready to open a clothing store right downtown Vancouver. He had a lot of shit going. He was murdered... murdered over some foul shit.

HHC: I know it's been a while but I'd like to express my condolences for your lose. I'd like to know if they caught the guys that did it?
Yeah... they're serving life without parole. He was turning 23.

HHC: Getting Crazy World out there with him on a verse must be something really special to you then.
Yeah you know what... Initially I wanted to do something like that but it came about in a different way. I did the beat and took accapellas from different songs and put them on there. Red rewrote his shit but the one that Misfit dropped was actually from another song and he just did redid it. I had a verse from Concise and that part where my brother was speaking Spanish was in there. Red was like" why don't you put your brothers verse in there..." We did it and that just turned out to be probably the hottest track on the album. The label was like this one has got to go first right... It wasn't a conscious effort to have him on the first single but that beat was hot and then Notch came and dropped the hook... the shit was ridiculous.

HHC: What would you say is your favorite Rascalz release to date?
Shit... I dunno. Everyone always tells me the like the older shit better... Like "Cash Crop is the shit".

HHC: Which album do you think best represents the group to date?
Well I guess it couldn't be the new one since Misfit is only on half of the tracks. I'd have to say Cash Crop I guess.

HHC: Why was Misfit on only half of the tracks?
A couple of years ago he started to get on his own vibe, you know what I mean? Like a lot of the beats we were feeling, he wasn't feeling. It's like he felt he wasn't representing himself like he wanted to be seen over a lot of these beats and maybe even on the topics. He was really against Movie Star... thought the beat was whack or whatever and just didn't want to get on. That's what happened with a lot of the tracks.

HHC: So will there be another Rascalz album?
That's a good question. See right now Misfit is releasing his own material which is something he has wanted to do. This in turn leads Red to release his own material because he's not going to wait around and I think he has been wanting to do that to... You know, I think each of them would say yeah... but I personally deal with reality and I think it's hard to say.

HHC: I guess we'll have to see when we get there.
Yeah I mean... whether or not each man can come back... maybe each man will think they are compromising their own style to work with each other again. Time will tell but time in those cases doesn't really help. I mean... look at EPMD. They came back together and did that one album... it was cool but they never stuck together after that. It was probably just a cash grab for them.

HHC: What happened with the Movie Star beat? I've never heard it from your perspective.
Yeah... I kind of understand where the guy came from because I would do the same thing. I mean, he sold us a beat kind of reluctantly and then we took like months to get back to him in terms of needing the tracked dumped down to mix properly. So all we had was a 2-track mix and Red was still writing at the time. This guy hits us back maybe 5 or 6 months later and was wondering if we were going to use the track. We were telling him yeah but Red still hadn't even finished writing. I was talking to Red and he was set on keeping it and said it's going to be hot and a single. So we told him we were going to keep it and he got vexed telling us he would give us our money back and that someone else wanted it. We just told him to keep the money because we were going to keep it and release it. He was like "Fuck ya'll I'm going to resell it anyway..." I mean this guy was telling us he would run up on us if we ever came to LA to do the song. So regardless we released it... Then there was issues with clearing it. The publishers had some issues about clearing it and they had already heard the Keith Murray version. BMG showed them that we bought the shit off of him at this point and they gave us clearance. We had no contract which is why the guy went and sold it again. So anyway, they gave us clearance first but I guess they gave the Keith Murray version clearance afterwards. They were kind of waiting to see what kind of noise our track would make in the US. It didn't really make any noise so they went ahead and released it themselves but as far as what it did for Keith Murray, it didn't come close to what it did for us. People weren't really feeling his shit.

HHC: Wow... a lot of history to process. I think it's time to look at your own projects. Tell me about your Kemomatic release.
We were going to Europe and I'm like "Fuck I need a CD to sell... should I make a mixtape?" I decided I would just take a bunch of songs that I had done with people and throw them together. So I made a first version and then got a few more songs to put on there. Even to this day it's kind of like a mixtape release out of my own hands... No distribution or nothing. At this point I'm working on getting a label to release it and I'm working on improving it by maybe adding a track or removing things here and there.

HHC: Who are you work with on the production tip?
I got this R&B artist named Andreas... I'm doing some work with Bishop right now. We're trying to work on an album but right now I would say its a 12". He was out here in December and just came back now. Other then that I'm working with Concise... not as much with Checkmate anymore...

HHC: Did you and Checkmate have a falling out?
Not at all but he's just like... even Concise... these guys make their own beats so they don't like anyone elses. That's what I've noticed...

HHC: Why dish out cash when you can make the beat yourself?
Well this ain't even about Checkmate or Concise but I see other cats making their own shit and they feel their beats so hard that everything else is whack to them. It's the same thing with emcees though. I can play the top 3 tracks from Ludacris and the emcees will be like "ahhhh that shit's whack, my shit's hot to death". That's the attitude you know... It's nothing personal against me but some kats just feel their shit real hard.

HHC: What would you say is your proudest moment as DJ Kemo in terms of accomplishments in the music industry?
I dunno... That's a good question. I guess receiving like 3 SOCAN awards for number 1 videos including Fuel Injected from Swollen and a couple of Rascalz ones. That's always cool.... I dunno though. I guess being able to etch myself into Canadian history with a group that did some positive things.

HHC: Northern Touch by itself is a groundbreaking joint and definitely etches you into hip-hop history up north.
That was actually just a mixtape track for my man J-Swing's tape and then Sol heard it and said we should make it a single... We got the Toronto kats on it (initially it was only Checkmate and Rascalz) and rolled with it from there. The Toronto connection was Sol's link because in reality I personally didn't know those kats to well but he was out there already and whoever Sol was cool with was family.

HHC: So we've talked about what you are working on - What is your overall goal for 2004? Or just goals in general?
Well at this point the music has become a real business like I gotta live off it. So whoever wants to do work needs to holla at me. I do hip-hop, R&B, dancehall or whatever... I'm just trying to work with whoever is talented and serious about it. The hardest thing to do in Canada is to make a living off your music. I've always been a humble kat just trying to stay on the water. Hopefully this Kemomatic shit will come out... It ain't even about me though. I just wanted to work with talented people and let them shine. That's why you really never see me in the videos. It's like... I'm not rapping so what do you want me to do? Give me a comedic role to play and I can do that... (laughing).

HHC: It's been great talking to you... How do you want to end things? Any shout outs?
Shout outs.... shit.... ummmm.... big up my crew Thoze Mo'fuckaz which is me, J-Swing and Flipout collectively as a DJ crew... although we don't play that often... put that out there I guess. Diamante forever! - www.hiphopcanada.com


Discography

DJ Kemo Discography 1993-2008:

RED 1 feat Barrington Levy
'No Fuss No Fight'

RED 1 feat Afu-Ra
'Dem No Worry We'

RASCALZ
'Really Livin' LP
'Cash Crop' LP
'Global Warning' LP
'Reloaded' LP

KARDINAL OFFISHAL feat. Akon
'Dangerous'

BISHOP BRIGANTE
'BODOG Fight'

AFU-RA feat. Gentleman
'Why Cry'

FRANK N' DANK
'Wit FND'

CANIBUS
'Poet Laureat'

SON DOOBIE
'Por Amor'
'Is U Wit Dat'
'Party People'
'From the Ghetto' feat. Sazon Diamante

BERES SMITH
'Never No More' feat.Young Kazh & NORE
'Daddy Loves You' feat. Slim (112)

BUC FIFTY
'I'm Rollin'
'You Fear Me'

ACEYALONE
'Mic Check' (remix)

EMBASSY
'Nuff A Dem'

A.M.P.
'A.M.P. Army'

SWOLLEN MEMBERS
'Pressure'
'Dynamite'
'Black Out'
'Fuel Injected'
'Commited' feat. Son Doobiest
'Valentines Day' feat. Saafir
'Steppin Thru' feat. Moka Only

CHECKMATE
'The Devil Vs The Maker'
'Bait N Switch'
'Rap Passion' feat. Red 1
'Runnin Gunn' feat. Red 1

DEFENDERS of the FAITH
'Don't Trip' feat. The Dogg Pound

K-OS
'Heaven Only Knows' (remix)
'Exit' (callme)
'Blindspot'
'seven' (unreleased)

FREE AGENTS
'Clash Of The Titans'
'The Breakdown'

KANABLISS feat. Don Primo
'Dinero'

BRASSMUNK
'Gettin' Too Easy'

ANDRES
'Show U Love'
'Latin Queen'

PABLUCCI
'Ritmo Sano'
'No Te Metas'

DON PRIMO
'Calor'
'La Calle' feat. Sazon Diamante

SAZON DIAMANTE
'Porsupuesto'
'Sign of the Times' feat. Concise the Black Knight

JENNA G.
'Gentleman' remix feat. Frank N Dank

JAH-FUS
'Holla My Name'

Photos

Bio

DJ / Producer
VANGUARDS Crew (vago,hazel,don cristo,fac,big syphe) *** lab-rats has been stolen from me a few times. Had to move on. ***

...Djing parties since '91 specializing in hip hop music. but not limited. Repitoire also includes...
- Dancehall reggae
- Funk & Soul Classics
- Reggaeton & Latin music
- Electro & House
- 70's Disco & 80's hits...

DJ Kemo fell in love with HipHop at the tender age of nine years old, watching his older brother break dance. He picked up dancing at nine then through buying lots of records and learning to scratch and mix on two cheap turntables he discovered the art of DJing at the age of 16. Soon after Kemo began gaining interest in how these HipHop records were made. He began trying his luck at music production in the summer of 1989 with limited instruments and a 4-track cassette recorder. A year later he hooked up with Red-1 at a friends house party, where they became good friends and a few months later formed "RaggaMuffin Rascalz”. After a couple years of dealings with a shady record company, Kemo along with the group and new found mangers (Sol Guy & D.Barrington) formed the independent label "Figure IV Records". While completing a new LP, the (now renamed) RASCALZ landed a deal with BMG Canada/Vik Recordings, and in 1996 released the critically acclaimed LP "Cash Crop".

Having experience while working with a mobile DJ company, DJing in niteclubs/SchoolDances/Weddings/Private functions and also at local HipHop Events sinces 1991, Kemo has become a well-respected HipHop DJ. Though he is definitly not limited to HipHop, Kemo is known to play everything from Dancehall Reggae,R&B,OldSchool Funk/Disco & even Latin. His vast music knowledge and crowd rocking abilities have gained him high recognition as one of Vancouver's most prolific DJs. You can find him DJing on a regular basis @ clubs in and out of town keeping the floors packed and vibrant.

Kemo has not only become a prominent figure in the Vancouver scene, but also the canadian music industry. He has won numerous Juno,Socan & Muchmusic awards in the past decade, and with these accomplishments they've only made him want to progress as a producer and artist. Kemo is recognized most for his work with the Rascalz, but he also has produced music for K-OS, Swollen Members, Canabis, Frank N' Dank, Kardinal Offishall, Checkmate & Concise, Afu-Ra, FunkDoobiest, Sazon Diamante, and a host of other up & coming HipHop, R&B and DanceHall artists. This man definitely has a lot more heat in store...So keep ya ears open!!