ARTIST INTERVIEW: With more than 20 years of experience, DJ Rude 1 understands more than anything the importance of staying true to oneself. He’s been deeply rooted in Chicago’s hip-hop scene as one-half of the Single Minded Pros, and despite being a major figure in the scene he still maintains a grounded focus: spreading the word on quality hip-hop music. Rude’s love for the culture started as early as grade school and has blossomed in a number of different ways, including the popular Goodness series, which has brought out a veritable who’s who of hip-hop DJs such as Babu, Maseo, People Under the Stairs, DJ Revolution, Alchemist, Edan, DJ Shortkut and Diamond D, to name a few. Rude’s momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing down despite him being the only member of SMP in Chicago, so Centerstage sat down with him to see how he’s been able to maintain his focus for so long and where he plans to go next.
Your connection with Chicago hip-hop runs deep. What was it that initially got you interested in the culture?
I was heavy into break-dancing when I was in grade school, but my interest in that began to wane and I wanted to learn more about the music we were dancing to. I started taping WBMX mixes around ’84-’85 and discovered Farley Jackmaster Funk and the Hot Mix 5. Farley always had the most interesting sets and he was the only one who would cut it up, so I followed him more than the others. I used to take my little tapes to local record stores and have them help me find the songs I liked most, and that’s when my record collecting began. A few years later my mom and I moved to the East Coast and I discovered Marley Marl, Red Alert and Chuck Chillout’s radio shows. Next thing you know I’m digging for Ultramagnetic MCs, JVC Force, BDP, etc. I like to say I’m lucky enough to have grown up on Farley and Marley.