DJ Wicked
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DJ Wicked

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1992

Portland, Oregon, United States
Established on Jan, 1992
DJ Hip Hop DJ



The best kept secret in music


"Portland’s Longest Running DJ Night Now Has A Documentary"

In the autumn of 1997, Kirk "DJ Wicked" Kirkpatrick heard about a raggedy new Ladd's Addition nightclub named Jezebel's that had a mid-week opening slot for a regular act. A former graffiti artist and skilled turntablist—he'd battle for a $250K prize on 2011 BET reality show Master of the Mix—Kirkpatrick brought around a crate of vinyl the following Wednesday for the first iteration of what soon became a treasured hub.

Over the next two decades, Wicked Wednesday would survive the closure of more than half a dozen venues, and serve as prime showcase for local MCs sharpening their skills on the open mic. But the fiercely communal nature of the event kept Portland's longest-running DJ night well outside mainstream attention.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Wicked Wednesday, now at Beulahland near East Burnside, Kirkpatrick sought out the services of a documentarian via social media. He eventually lured the project's director—Bay Area-transplant Andy Ridgway—from a Facebook post.

Before the film's premier at the Clinton Street Theatre, Kirkpatrick and Ridgway reminisced with WW about the proudly underground event.

WW: What were the early days of Wicked Wednesday like?
Kirk Kirkpatrick: Jezebel's? In '97? It was just a classic old SE Portland dive, you know – beer-stained carpets, smells like piss. Nothing fancy. Now, everyone has a DJ night, but then? For hip-hop? They were few and far between. You could go and see DJs here and there, but I don't know if there was necessarily one consistent hip-hop night anywhere in Portland.

But then Jezebel's closed around 2000?
KK: Ultimately, it was the neighbors. They had to cancel all the DJ nights because of so many noise complaints, and the bar didn't survive much longer after that.
Andy Ridgway: It definitely left its mark. That's where the foundation was laid, and the Jezebel's days are really still the heartbeat of Wicked Wednesday. That's the picture that's in everybody's mind despite the fact that it's been in six or seven different venues over the course of 20 years.

How'd the open mic start?
KK: The MCs were already there in attendance just as fans of the music, but, eventually, we started doing this thing every Wednesday—MC Cypher. At midnight, they would come gather around the DJ booth and just pass around the mic. It definitely became a thing. A lot of the MCs will even to this day show up at 11:55 just for their chance to be heard.

Anyone we might know?
KK: Mic Crenshaw, Sandpeople, Oldominion, Al One, Illmaculate …
AR: There are people that come to listen but also get on the mic at midnight. People that DJ with their computers a couple of nights at different venues but then drag out their crate of records to come to Wicked Wednesday because they want to do a set of old vinyl. That's part of the appeal and the beauty of the night. Even if Wicked comes with the same crate of 50 records for a whole month, it's never going to be the same because of the other DJs rotating in and out of there every week.

You had breakdancers?
KK: Breakdancers, yeah. Still do. Graffiti. All the elements. It's traditionally been the gathering place for graffiti writers, breakdancers, rappers, DJs—kind of like the hub for all those people—and it still captures a lot of the same old characters and the same old charm as it always has. We really try to preserve what it was like 20 years ago.

Was it difficult to capture that era in the movie?
KK: He incorporated a lot of old photos. Not everyone had a camera phone 20 years ago.
AR: We did have a little bit from the Jezebel's era, but it's more of a general overview—some breakdancers, some DJs and the crowd . . . It's not really a historical record of the Wicked Wednesday story from beginning to end. It's more like this is what the night is and has always been.

What did you discover about Wicked Wednesday as you were making the film?AR: There's a whole cast of characters that I interviewed for the movie, and what surprised me the most about the people I talked to was the emotional element. There was this consistent vibe to longtime patrons where you could tell they loved going there. Being a part of that tight-knit community is a big deal. It's special. It's like a family. - Willamette Week

"A Scratch In Time"

Kirk Kirkpatrick represents the old guard of Portland hip-hop. The turntablist known as DJ Wicked is old-school not just by tenure, having held down his Wicked Wednesdays night at various venues over 13 years, but by presentation. Kirkpatrick is near the last of a dying breed: A fiercely independent vinyl purist in the age of digital DJs, and a student of the underground who once named a mix CD Fuck the Radio (Volume 1).

So it was a little surreal to see Kirkpatrick, an understated, ballcap-wearing 37-year-old who usually lets his dexterous fingers do the talking, appealing for YouTube thumbs-ups in a video this June. Surrounded by crates of records and looking a touch like an escaped convict in a bright blue button-up shirt, Kirkpatrick engaged the camera with some pre-written dialogue: "I've been showing you for 20 years on these turntables why I'm a Master of the Mix; today is no different."

But it was different, and not just because the video showed Kirkpatrick using Serato's digital software for the first time. Portland's best turntablist had been bitten by the reality-TV bug. When his Detroit audition for season two of the BET network's Master of the Mix failed to yield him a spot on the show, the producers encouraged him to try for an online vote-driven final spot. That's when Kirkpatrick found out that he had a posse. Fans voted, tweeted and posted to Facebook in support of the contest's only Northwest participant.

"A lot more people came out to support me than I ever imagined," Kirkpatrick says. "I saw people [online] that I always figured, for whatever reason, didn't care for me. That feels good, seeing that many people go to bat for you."

In Portland hip-hop's heyday, that might not have been a surprise. Kirkpatrick has been involved in the local scene since he was a teenager, when he practiced his art form by scratching on his parents' console turntable. He gravitated as much toward visual art as he did turntablism in his early days, but a graffiti-related arrest at 21 compelled him to take the craft more seriously. Kirpatrick met local MC Terrance "Cool Nutz" Scott in community college in 1992, not long before the rapper became Portland's biggest hip-hop star.

"In '94 or '95, you could sell out the Roseland with Cool Nutz," Kirkpatrick remembers. "You could get a thousand people at La Luna for POH-Hop." But over time, the local scene's popularity faded and the crowds began to dwindle. "The stars just never aligned," Kirkpatrick says. Many of the era's artists left the scene, but DJ Wicked carried on, releasing mixtapes, playing parties and opening for everyone from the Wu-Tang Clan to Eminem. But the audience for hardcore underground rap—which Kirkpatrick refers to as "my shit"—isn't what it once was.

"When you're just hardcore underground, you get the five hardcore underground backpack guys to come out to your show," he says. "It's cool, those are the heads, but it's like, 'This dude's about to fire me because there's five people here.'" Music being Kirkpatrick's sole means of employment, five people wasn't going to cut it. So over the past few years, DJ Wicked has expanded his horizons. He's played corporate parties and even dropped a few Top 40 singles on his crowds—still on vinyl, of course, though Kirkpatrick figures he may eventually have to make the digital leap if he wants to stay relevant.

"I'm trying to be open-minded," Kirkpatrick says of his latest career phase. Hence his transition from mean-mugging radio-hater to minor reality-TV star. Not that he's gone Hollywood. "The whole [Master of the Mix] thing reminded me of how much I love Oregon," says Kirkpatrick, who prefers camping and bike-riding to hanging out at bars when he's not performing. But he hopes the exposure will get him a few more gigs—and perhaps a little well-earned respect. "I'm the underground dude. I'm the dude who plays the basement parties and smoky bars and after-hours parties," he says. "So the chance to be in that spotlight, it's priceless.” - Willamette Week


Still working on that hot first release.



DJ Wicked has been a staple in the Northwest Hip-Hop scene for more than 2 decades. His determination and dedication to the art form has led him to opening shows for the likes of the Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem, and Outkast, as well as performing on the Northwest stretch of some of the most prestigious DJ tours of all time, including the Future Primitive Sound Sessions, Deeper Concentration, and the 2003 "Scratch" Tour. Wicked has showcased his talent both nationally and internationally at a number of high profile music festivals, such as the Phoenix Festival, North by Northwest, South by Southwest, and the "Avataria" music festival in France. Wicked has also performed at numerous skateboarding and snowboarding industry events, including "Vegetate" at Mt. Hood Meadows, the "Backyard Bang Railjam", and demos for both DC Shoes and Girl Skateboards, as well as teaming up for various events with Adidas, Toyota/Scion, Skullcandy Headphones, NIKE, Pony, and more. Wicked's diverse DJ sets combined with his turntable skills, tasteful record selection, and devotion to preserve quality Hip-Hop music, has earned him the honor to share the stage with some of the most prestigious artists in the industry, including Grandmaster Flash, Mix Master Mike, De La Soul, Z-Trip, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Revolution, and DJ Q-Bert. Wicked is best known for his self released mixed CD's: "Got Milf?" (a collection of some the of best 80's pop, guilty pleasures that you hate to love), "Just Plain Terror" (a Halloween inspired mix from Hip-Hop's dark side), and "Fuck the Radio" (an Underground musical assault against watered down, mainstream rap music). Collaborations with Crooked I, 2MEX, Grayskul, and Boom Bap Project, have gained Wicked recognition from URB, SPIN, and The SOURCE magazine, and have led to Wicked's spotlight in the upcoming Street Artist Pictures documentary titled "God Damn That DJ Made My Day".
DJ Wicked also hosts a number of DJ residencies in the Portland area (including the legendary "WICKED WEDNESDAYS"), as well as performing at clubs, concerts, and DJ events around the globe. Currently in the studio working on his next full-length release, DJ Wicked continues to maintain his reputation as the hardest working, most sought after DJ in the Northwest!

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