DJ Choco aka GDubs, a product of New York, residing in Los Angeles. He is a simple dude with a huge and complicated appetite for sound. From studying piano, clarinet and music composition in high school to mixing it up and down in the studio with the likes of Masta Ace INC, Guru (of Gangstarr), Dee Lite, Wu-Tang Clan and more. He is one half of the house duo 1200 Warriors. He’s executed the sound on several of our past episodes of Beats of All-Nations Radio, but now its his time to control the sound alas, Beats of All-Nations Radio Episode 11: DJ Choco // 12 Hunit Mix!!
“It’s great to take a left turn from the rigid labeling of genres and present a DJ mix in a more artistic light” – DJ Choco // 1200 Warriors
CONTINUE FOR INTERVIEW & TRACKLIST!
BEATS OF ALL-NATIONS: Give us background on the 1200 Warriors and how it is working with your partner Junior Rivero.
DJ Choco: Its good to have a partner to bounce off of. He and I have the same DJ history. From Washington Heights, NYC, our disco and house past runs deep with OGs like Benji Candelerio, Cutting Records, Nitro Deluxe, 2 in a Room, Hex Hector, etc. Its a great place with different kinds of rhythms banging from all the apartments at the same time, you can’t help but be creative.
What makes 2×4 DJ sets fun and what makes them challenging?
The creativity is more open to interpretation. Everything we do is live, never rehearse cause of scheduling so Jun might do something live, I’ll bounce off that and before you know it we have a new track. The challenge is the setup, you would think with DJ culture being as big as it is, the respect for the DJ would be there in regards to a proper soundcheck and placement of the decks; its not. Thanks to Pioneer and our peeps at Native, set up drama is reduced with our self made 1200 travel kit.
You’re also well know for your work with Wu-Tang. When did you first start producing/engineering/DJing for them?
I’ve been engineering and mixing for Wu for over 20 years now. Producing was never really my role with them, they had a great stable for that, but I always found myself producing one cut on all the albums which is always a cool thing. I’ve basically worked on all their albums and projects whether it be a mix, production or drums. I started DJing for RZA at his shows but as the work started shifting towards the movie soundtracks RZA wasn’t performing as much and in the early 2000’s I hit the road with GZA and I haven’t been home since [laughing].
Are there any crazy stories about work with the crew you can share?
ODB wouldn’t be to excited about a track, he’d ask to mute the beat and spit the verse acappella. When I put the track back in the verse would magically fall on beat.
One of your most current endeavors is studio engineering for the Epic Rap Battle guys. How did you hook up with ERB?
I was at a musical point in hip hop where everything felt basic. The A & R from Loud Records introduced me to them and the rest is EPIC HISTORY!
Is there anything different about recording with them versus Wu? How much more room for growth is there for internet stars in their position? Plateauing or unlimited?
Its all the same, “music.” As far as growth the internet is just the next platform to present your art. The Growth comes from how much energy you choose to put in.
What projects of your own are you working on now?
Besides my current work with ERB, I am currently working on the next GZA album, Dark Matter.
What musician/artist do you want to collab with most?
As a veteran, what keeps you inspired to keep writing and working in music?
Technology, people hate on all the gadgets we have now. They are great if you have the skill. They free up the mind to be creative without road blocks!
1. Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta
2. Ed Wizard, Disco Double Dee – Slow Fire
3. T Coy – Carino
4. Hidden Beach – Rapper’s Delight
5. De La Soul – Say No Go
6. Let’s Get Closer // 1200 remix
7. Angela Winbush & Renee – I’ll Be Good
8. Ronnie Jordan – So What
9. Iz & Diz – The Balance
10. Vaughan Mason & Crew – Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll
11. Lazaro Casanova – Canoa // Moombahton Edit
12. Sabo – Philly Bounce // Moombahton 2
13. Eminence Front // 1200 SUPREME RE EDIT
14. Auxvoyager – Tool Shed
15. Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – Butch & Sundance