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  • Writer's picturerhymefestla

"Behind the Decks: A Q&A with DJ Luman"

How did you initially become involved in the hip-hop community and what led you to become a DJ?

I was 17 years old an a bit of a knucklehead In 1997, I found this spot called Hope in Hollywood on Mondays, they held Bboy sessions with an amazing dj, Dj Abel  spinning hip-hop & Bboy breaks all vinyl & that fully inspired me to dj. I started bringing my records & he would let me open up.  He took me under his wings schooled me & inspired me, til this very day for life! and that was the beginning of my DJ career.

As one of the DJs that has been part of Rhyme Fest since the beginning, how do you view the festival's role in nurturing the hip-hop community?

I always love that Rhyme Fest has a diversity of elements, always involving DJs, MC’s, graffiti, BBoys/BGirls, the entrepreneurialism and appreciation of culture, uniting everyone together which is HipHop. Rhyme Fest continues to grow strong by putting on amazing events for the masses.

how did you become a  DJ on the "Break Beats and Rhymes" radio show on 90.7 KPFK, ?

Through O.G. Dj Lord Ron who believed in me, gave me an opportunity to start going to the station & doing live mixes alongside him. He’s had other projects he wanted to accomplish and he offered me to come in full time to Breakbeats & Rhymes. I also had to convince that I was worthy of this position to MP & Cheddy (Rebels To The Grain) whom were the main host and run BreakBeats & Rhymes. After a couple of months of consistently coming in to the station & getting down with my mixes they had a meeting & decided to make me a part of an amazing family which is BreakBeats & Rhymes & Rebels To The Grain. From then we built a strong bond & brotherhood that still remains, we’ve performed at many shows & we still continue to rock the airwaves every Friday night.

What do you consider to be the most significant contributions of hip-hop culture to society?

The freedom to express oneself through dance, art, music, rhymes, entrepreneurialism in any part of the world. Inspiring children & people of all ages of a culture that is open to anyone & everyone, anywhere with peace, love, unity, and having fun.

What challenges have you faced as a DJ in the hip-hop industry, and how have you overcome them?

Not really a challenge,  more of an understanding of self & style, the respect that I have for my craft & the love of an audience that I adore which has helped me overcome many obstacles.

What has been your most memorable moments DJing at Rhyme Fest?

Hands down, Deejaying, owning the stage with Raekwon The Chef of the the

Wu-Tang Clan at The Legendary Arena in my hometown Hollywood. It brought me back full circle, a lot of my friends & peers from Hollywood High were in attendance and they always knew how much Wu-Tang was an influence on me so being on stage Deejaying for Raekwon was a manifestation of a young man who only could dream on being on stage with Wu-Tang. With that brought a lot of opportunities for me to continue to DJ for Raekwon and other members of the Wu,  it opened up a lot of more doors and I’m thankful to Rhyme Fest for making that happen.

In your opinion, what are the essential elements of a successful DJ?

For me , a successful DJ should have style, rhythm, knowledge of music, respect  for the people. The time & dedication it takes, the many hours of practice. Being able to perform with an open mind of music to rock a crowd anywhere, giving the people what they want & hitting them with what they need.

What are your aspirations for the future as a dj?

Teaching the youth the same way I was taught, taking  someone under my wing so they can fly on their own & manifest greatness in their life.

What does Rhyme Fest mean to you?

Rhyme Fest to me, means a lot. Bringing Peace, Love Unity & massive fun in a nutshell. Having artists performing who inspired us, up & coming artists who will inspire others, from classic era to new era all in one. Rhyme Fest is Always setting the bar higher each time & I am honored to be part of such a wonderful hardworking family, making sure everyone walks out of a Rhyme Fest event with a memorable moment that will live on & talked about in HipHop history.

Do you have any tips for up and coming dj's ?

Be yourself, follow your heart, keep pushing forward, enjoy every moment. Respect yourself & the craft. Oh yeah & Practice, practice, practice…

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