NAME: DJ Heat
ABOUT: DJ Heat, of , and founder of DCMumboSauce.com has been a tireless advocate of music in the DMV. For the past 5 years, DJ Heat has striven to chronicle and put a spotlight on artists in the city to build a more cohesive and successful community.
WHY DID YOU START DCMUMBOSAUCE.COM?
“I started (DCMumboSauce.com) because at the time that was just when hip-hop blogs were starting to gain momentum and it was the thing you had to be on. I was thinking of blogs like NahRight.com, 2DopeBoyz.com, and I noticed that there really wasn’t a breeding ground for people in this area to start their buzz. So that’s why I started DCMumboSauce.com, as a one stop shop for people to see what’s going on with Hip-Hop and R&B and all types of music really. That was my goal of the site, I want to help people to get heard. It’s history in the making. As artists in the area get more recognition nationally, their fans are going to try to find everything they can.”
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING ARTISTS IN THE DMV?
“The biggest challenge I tell people (DC) faces is that rap-wise, DC is behind the rest of the country. And I say that because, you know, New York has been doing it for over 30 years, California, Florida, all these other regions have been into rap music for decades and they’ve been bring up their homegrown artists for decades. In DC, when I was coming up, it was not cool to be a rapper from DC. If you told people you rap people would think you were crazy because it was such a Go-Go heavy town. It didn’t become cool to pay attention to rappers in the area in probably the last 6 or 7 years, which makes us way behind. Now, it blows my mind that DC artists like Fat Trel and Shy Glizzy that have fans all over and people quoting their lyrics on Twitter and getting all these hits on YouTube. 6 or 7 years ago, that was not the case.”
“The biggest challenge is that we are in an infant stage of development in music. It’s just now starting to happen in this area, but it’s still new. I can’t disrespect the rappers of the past that paved the way, like Questionmark, but they had it tough. There really wasn’t that crazy support like there is now. DC is just starting to build that support system. We’re just trying to figure it out, other places have it figured out. If you go down to Atlanta, they support you, but they’ve been doing it way longer than we’ve been doing it. It’s developing and it’s getting there, so hopefully no one will have to leave or feel that frustration.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO LOCAL ARTISTS?
“One thing I wish artists focused more on is their singles and promotion itself. Rappers here are so quick to just rap over a beat and put that out and make a big video for that, but won’t take time to make their own original material in a single. That’s the thing that artists in this area need to focus on, making singles and making it big and realizing that it takes a year or more sometimes for a single to take off. I don’t think a lot of people in this area realize that and they might put out a new single every week. Naw, you gotta focus on something. If you have a song that you believe in and you think could be a hit, you need to put so much promotion and effort into it. Get some t-shirts, get some promo material. When I go down to Atlanta and places like Miami and I see how artists down their go full out for their singles and they stick to it until it gets caught. There are a lot of singles from down south that came out over a year ago, but they didn’t get signed until like this year. But they stuck with it and that’s what artists here need to do. Find a song, stop keep making tracks off people’s beats. Find something you think can be a single, stick with it, and push it. Up to a year, don’t just drop it after two weeks because it didn’t pop and move on to something else. Stick with that joint for a year at least.”