April 19, 2020

DeeJay Bird "Beneath The Surface" (Mixtape, 1998)

Originally taken from Fifth Element/Rhymesayers' blog, here's a nice bit of background info on the mixtape, which sets up the video interview below that J-Bird did about his "Beneath The Surface" mixtape back in 1998. "Many of you might better know J-Bird for his role as the General Manager of the Rhymesayers label, including his many tours with Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Rubberoom, etc. However, throughout the 80s and 90s, he was also one of the top and most sought after DJs in the Lake County, IL area. He's also key, in that region, in helping raise the bar on what a mixtape could be and the influence eventually created ripple effects well beyond.... Back in '97 DeeJayBird approached me about assisting in the recording of his first official studio/retail mixtape, "Beneath The Surface." What ensued was countless hours of meticulous planning, endless recording, concept innovations, fantastic mistakes, and a broken Tascam 688 8 Track Recorder, resulting in starting from scratch. In the end, DeeJayBird delivered a very well constructed and influential mixtape. In this exclusive DeeJayBird interview we discuss his favorite mixtape DJs, how the tape was put together, the distribution, the artwork, hidden messages, how he gave special props to the DJ, and how "Beneath The Surface" was the first in a planned trilogy of mixtapes..." - Kevin Beacham.

Below is the video interview with J Bird, and just to give you an idea of what's on this mixtape, you'll hear records from Organized Konfusion, Kool DJ EQ, I.G. Off & Hazardous, Rakim, Non-Equation, Latyrx, Scienz Of Life, Stony Island, Peanut Butter Wolf, Defari, Tha Alkaholiks, The Beatnuts, No I.D. & Dug Infinite, Easter Conference, Atmosphere, Slug, Lord Sear, Prince Paul, Gang Starr, Rubberoom, All Natural, Molemen, E.C. Illa, Jurassic 5, MF Doom, Cage, Siah, Killah Priest, Sir Menelik, Godfather Don, Company Flow, Kool Keith, Common, O.C., Ill Advised, 7L & Esoteric, Hiero and so much more! Much thanks to J Bird and Kevin Beacham for all they contribute to the culture. Enjoy the content.