Kid Capri on What It Means to Be a Real DJ

Kid Capri

Kid Capri performs live.

Legendary hip-hop DJ Kid Capri was a guest on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning show on Monday. The Bronx native, who’s credited with popularizing mixtapes in the ’80s, discussed the current state of DJing and hip-hop. He also reflected on some of his career’s greatest moments, like receiving a shout out from The Notorious B.I.G. on “Juicy” and contributing to Kendrick Lamar‘s DAMN. album.

When asked about what it means to be a DJ, Capri had plenty to say.

“My focus is to make sure I’m the best thing they’ve ever seen, and it doesn’t matter to me if this guy that’s coming on before me or after me has a platinum record and he’s the biggest guy. … And that’s the focus, to make sure that these people say, ‘Kid is the greatest I’ve ever seen.’ And that’s it. And that’s what real DJs are supposed to do. [They’re supposed to] come in there and make sure that everybody’s happy and be able to step out of the box and be good at it, where you not just playing one type of music. You’ll be able to play for anybody anywhere.”

Capri went on to give a personal example of “playing to the crowd.”

“When I did Khloe Kardashian’s wedding with Lamar [Odom], I knew that they was Armenian. So I went in, and I played the top Armenian records, and the whole place just shook. It was crazy to see how these people were so happy to hear this music because they didn’t think I knew it. But that’s the job you gotta have anywhere. When you go to Japan, you go to Haiti, you go to all these different places, they like our thing but what about what they do? When you got a place like Texas, they have so much Texas music that never get heard on the radio that doesn’t go anywhere. But when you come from New York, and you play that type of music, the first thing they saying is, ‘damn, how he knew that?’ And it drives them nuts, so and that’s what it is, it’s about knowing your job, knowing that it’s not about just MP3s. It’s about going out there, making sure every state is taken care of as if you’ve lived it and that’s what I do.”

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