[Interview] Mixtape Queen DJ Lazy K Talks Working With Jay-Z, Cooking Up Dope Mix, and Max B
DJ Lazy K is known as one of the most respected female DJs to break out of the streets of NYC. She ran away from her country to pursue a career in Hip Hop music and since has worked with rappers Max B, Waka Flocka Flame, French Montana, Wu Tang Clan, Jay-Z, Dipset, and so many more. English being not her first nor her second language, Lazy K has an amazing story as to how she helped change the mixtape game with little support. Here’s the full interview!
1. Tell us a little bit about your cultural background because it is very unique and important for people to understand your diversity.
Born in Mexico, and I was raised in Madrid, Spain, and Switzerland. So I speak spanish, french, slang and english!
Yes, that’s what I learned when I first came here. I went to school for spanish so my writing and reading in English is not the best. So slang was what I learned being around the urban culture. I caught on to the street language.
2. What made you leave overseas and pursue music in America?
I came over in around 1991 . At the time I was already in love with Hip Hop, so that was the main reason I came here. My favorite at the time was Tribe Called Quest. I was born to do work in Hip Hop so I knew I could get my start here. I pretty much taught myself how to DJ, but I hung out with people like the X-Men they helped me learn how to perfect it. It took a long time but it took even longer to learn the business.
3. Who gave you your first start as a Hip Hop DJ?
The WU Tang Clan gave me my first shot, with Raekwon, and then it was actually Jay-Z. He opened his doors to me early, he would cut songs and have me put them on my mixtapes. That’s actually how I met Kanye West, when he was producing for Jay. They started teaching me more about behind the scenes, the business aspect of music.
After that I started working with Remy Ma, and The Murda Mamis and we put a team of females together.
Tell Us More about Murda Mamis. That was on the biggest female movements in Hip Hop at the time.
Someone at Def Jam told me I need to get a street team. Instead of a street team I ended up recruiting celebrities, so it didn’t run as smoothly because they were famous and we had to deal with everyone’s schedules. I had a great eye at the time because Lala Anthony was a Murda Mami, and she met Carmelo Anthony through us. At one of my parties in Miami, they spotted each other and connected, next thing you know they were flying on jets together. A lot of things changed after Remy Ma got locked up and we kind of all went our own direction and that’s when I created Lazy K Productions, the company.
4. Working with Max B, you were pretty much the power house behind him. Do you still keep in contact with him?
Yea he calls me through his manager and a lot of the times I miss the call, but he loves to leave long messages on my answer machine. Hopefully he comes home soon, we have a lot of hope that he’s coming so we’ll keep pushing for that.
5. As a female DJ coming up in that era, how was it trying to maintain dominate in a male driven business?
There was no way I could be looked at 100% the same, but practice made perfect so with time I could stand next to the guys. I wanted to be a better mixer, a better scratcher, better on the mic to get their attention and establish myself.
6. What does an artist have to do right now to have Lazy K host their mixtape? Or break them as an artist?
Right now, they just have to send me their music that is final. Don’t send me a song that is not mixed and mastered, and honestly the most important part is the money. If they can’t afford me then I can’t do the work because sometimes they have good music but they need development, which costs money. Like French Montana, no one wanted to hear from him at first so it took time and money to build a fan base and develop him as an artist and look at him now! This is the part that new artists don’t understand, patience.
6. What advice can you give to young aspiring female DJ’s, or any female working her way in Hip Hop music?
Just make sure you network! Get to know who can help mentor you and who you can trust, because you don’t want to tell everyone all of your plans. And the most important is consistency! Make sure whatever you do regardless of the haters, you keep going of what you want.
7. Lastly, you’ve been releasing “Dope Mix” for sometime now, over 100 mixes. Tell us how that started for you.
I started Dope Mix to do exactly what I love to do, DJ and introduce new artists to the game. Of course it’s mixed with major artists but if you make dope mix as an indie it’s because your music is dope. I try to drop a mix every week so I can keep up with all the exclusives and have something for people to look forward to.
Check out Lazy K’s latest Dope Mix with the hottest new records. Download or Stream it here
By Tia Long (@ByTiaLong)