DJ Scream is arguably the most influential DJ in Atlanta. Since breaking Waka Flocka Flame and Future on Atlanta radio and hosting mixtapes for 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane and Jeezy, the Hoodrich Entertainment co-founder has turned his brand into a massive platform for Southern talent, young and old. His latest single, “Grippin Grain,” is a perfect example, matching Southern legend 8 Ball with current star Big K.R.I.T. and up-and-comer Scotty ATL. BET.com got Scream to talk about his eye for talent, his advice for coming up in the music industry and why he is considering supporting Kanye West’s bid for presidency. “Grippin’ Grain,” featuring 8 Ball, Big K.R.I.T. and Scotty ATL is available on iTunes and Soundcloud now.
BET.com: How do you pick the artists that you want to reach out to in a compilation?
DJ Scream: This particular record was kind of influenced by me just wanting to do something a little different. I felt like radio and a lot of the music that was coming out was monotonous, so me just having a background and being a major fan of Southern music, I just went nostalgic. If you know the history of UGK and Cory Mo, the producer for that record, (he) gives it authenticity. Everybody knows 8Ball & MJG, Scotty’s on the rise with a crazy buzz in Atlanta and Big K.R.I.T. has been doing his thing solid for some time now. So it just inspired me to put together a different look. Everybody knows there’s a vintage Southern sound, just like there’s a vintage East Coast sound and a vintage West Coast sound and all of that. That’s what inspired it. That’s generally how I do all my records, man. I try to bring people together that haven’t done collaborations before that the fans would like to see.
There is always a lot of new talent to choose from in Atlanta, what stood out to you about Scotty ATL?
He reached out a few years ago and I did a tape with him. That’s just the homie. I supported all of his records, he got some dope records out. We talked about doing a DJ Scream record and I was like, 'Nah, the timing ain’t right, but we’re gonna do that.' We had a collab record last year that we were supposed to do. But the timing is just better now. He’s in a better space and I’m pushing this new record and he was the perfect fit for it.
What advice do you give to young artists and entrepreneurs like Scotty about what it takes to succeed in the music industry?
The first thing is consistency. You have to be consistent. You can’t ever take your foot off the gas. You want to let people that aren’t your fans know what you do. You want to let them know what you stand for, what type of music you’re making and so forth. But outside of that, just be on top of your hustle. Making music is the easiest part of being an artist. OK, you make the music, it takes you a few days, a day, however long it takes you. But how are you gonna get the music to the people and get them to actually care about it? Because it’s a hundred million other rappers that’s trying to get the attention of the urban hip hop community, so I just say, stay consistent, don’t get deterred, and if something don’t go right stay on top of it and believe in yourself first.
You had some funny tweets about Kanye’s VMA speech, would you vote for him if he really ran for president?
I think he has some great ideas. They don’t always come across in the way that they’re supposed to. They come across in an abstract way. He’s a person that understands that the traditional methods of doing things might not always be the right way of doing things. You can’t just follow the traditional way of doing things. You have to kind of look at it from a different perspective and he gets that and he applies it to music. And that’s kind of the state that we’re in as a country. In politics, some of the things we’re doing haven’t worked.... This is America, we should be in a completely different state. I think that some of his ideas would be good. And that would at least get me to check out his campaign. I’m not saying that off the bat I’m voting for Kanye, but if he can formulate his speeches a little better — like the other night was very entertaining. but it was a little loose and we’re still trying to figure out what he was getting at. But he had some points. If he could get it together and formulate his opinions a little tighter I would definitely give his campaign at least a fair listen.
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(Photo: Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)
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