Jaguar Skills downloads his hip hop knowledge ~ interview

Posted on 14 April 2011
By Andy Johnson
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Yo! Peep this, we caught up with Jaguar Skills for an exclusive interview in his digital underground lair.

The mysterious DJ cuts faster than a mountain lion on crack and switches his style up between confessing to donning a Shaolin monk robe and offering to produce Phil Collins’ comeback track.

DJ stands for Dangerous Jag – the man in the ninja ski mask told us how he lived life large in the 90s by making his own Hip Hop fanzine.

Interviewing legends like Biggie Smalls, Tupac, KRS One, smoking it up with Cypress Hill in Amsterdam and learning to the craft beats with DJ Premier. Here are the breaks…

HooooOOOO! How do you warm up for a show?

“I’ve mastered the art of Kuji-Kiri. Ninja finger-weaving.
I do some ninja finger-weaving before a gig.”

Any ninja traditions or superstitions you follow?

“Don’t take the mask off at a gig. Even if you’re about to faint.”

Yes y’all – what are your Top 5 90’s Hip-Hop Albums?

Both of these albums are amazing. People talk about how A Tribe Called Quest brought the ‘jazz’ sound to Hip-Hop. They didn’t really. IF you really knew the deal, ATCQ brought ‘hard drum sounds to Hip-Hop’. Their drums were the best in the game.

This is the De La Soul album for the real De La Soul heads. Their forgotten third album. Super-cool!

Even though people were bugging out to Dr Dre’s “The Chronic” album, I personally preferred Doggy Style.

I really LOVED this album. I don’t think anyone was really bumping GETO BOYS in the UK. This album was a guilty pleasure of mine….just for the cover alone.
You need to see the cover of this album. Bushwill Bill, their main emcee, had just shot himself in the eye, after a failed suicide attempted. So in the hospital, the rest of the band thought this was a great photo opportunity, and posed next to Bushwick in Hip-Hop stances, for the cover of his album. It’s basically, two pimp looking dudes, with Bushwick in the middle without an left eye. Bushwick was also a midget. Which made the whole scene that little bit funkier.

A super-lyrical, hardcore, real Hip-Hop album. In fact, I loved all the first wave of Wu-Tang albums. They really influenced me.”

Damn good answers. We’re launching a 90s season on Purple Revolver and have identified ’93 as a pivotal year in the throwback nostalgia now beginning to hit the UK upside the head. What’s your defining moment of ’93?

“At the beginning of 93, I started a hip-hop fanzine. Posing as a ‘music journalist’, I managed to get an interview with a Biggie Smalls. So, in 93, I went to NY and met Biggie in Bedstuy Brooklyn.

“Pretty cool stuff, eh? In 94, I interviewed Tupac too. But that was on the phone. So though out all of the 90’s, I was interviewing and hanging out with all my favourite Rappers, DJ’s and Hip-Hop producers. Hung out with Eminem before he was famous too. Smoked a joint with Cypress Hill in Amsterdam, and DJ Premier taught me how to make Hip-Hop beats, at the world famous D&D studios.

“Meeting KRS-One was amazing. So was chilling with Chuck D. I met De La Soul, Jungle Brother and Tribe Called Quest. I met Nas before he released his debut album, in fact, MC Serch, from 3rd Bass, gave me a demo tape of “Illmatic” way before anyone. I remember Tim Westwood getting a little pissed off when I said that I had that album. Man, the 90’s, for me, was AMAZING!!!”

Any other early 90s memories or fashion horrors you’d like to point out or confess to?

“I once wore a full-on Shaolin Monk robe to a Beastie Boy’s gig. Basically a dress. I looked like a dick. Erm, I was also really into the Madchester look at the beginning of the 90’s. I had some massive flared jeans and some ‘kicker’ boots. Didn’t look as dickish as the Kung-Fu Dress tho.”

Purple Revolver are also into predicting the future, what’s your vision of the future?

“I believe that children are the future….”

Do you think Phil Collins gets a bad rap for his music?

“I read an interview with Phil a few months ago, and it basically boiled down to the fact that he feels that everyone hates him, and that he’s a bit of a joke, and that he never intends to make any music again. Come on Phil! Snap out of it!

“I guess in the 80’s, you could get a succession of number one hits, as a middle aged, balding, white-man. Now, you have to be under 18, look like a walking steriod, and sing like a robot. It’s a shame. Where are the real men at? Bring it back Phil, and grab Michael McDonald while ya at it. I’ll even produce the track…”

Win a dope black Jaguar Skills tee shirt in our competition here…