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DJ Skee: Inside the DJ Booth

Skee.TV

DJ Skee was a high school student when he realized he’d have to create a lane for himself in hip-hop. He was no one’s rap star, but he loved the culture. It was a single elective course that started him in the right direction.

“I took a class on audio engineering and recording,” Skee tells The BoomBox. “It combined the love I had for music with the knowledge needed to know I could actually do stuff with it outside of being an artist.”

Once the class ended, Skee felt inspired enough to pool his resources, invest in his first set of turntables and practice incessantly. His new plan left no room for the four sports he was involved in and turntablism ousted baseball, soccer, basketball and football.

After grasping some new techniques on the tables, Skee grew confident enough to compile mixtapes for his classmates. Once the demand doubled, the L.A.-based DJ expanded to moving units beyond the schoolyard, placing his tapes in actual stores. Before he could get too comfortable with the mixtape grind, he diversified, hustling his way onto an overnight shift on a local radio station — all before getting his diploma.

More than a decade later, Skee has mastered the platforms he dabbled in as a fledgling DJ. He now heads a Saturday afternoon mix, Sunday afternoon countdown and a weekend evening slot on Sirius XM’s Hip Hop Nation channel. Skee also breaks tracks weekly on his HD2 New Music show for L.A.’s KIIS FM. In addition to radio, he still hosts mixtapes and he’s also gone digital with his own company Skee.TV, which specializes in production marketing and content distribution.

“My plan is to introduce Skee.TV as one arm of a bigger overall digital strategy,” he says proudly.

Skee is one of the most influential DJs in the industry, but he’s still floored by his day-to-day experiences.

“From working with some of the artists I grew up idolizing, like Snoop Dogg, Chris Cornell and so many others,” he adds excitedly, “to touring the world, to being on the biggest radio platforms in the world and creating some of the biggest mixtapes ever. I love it all.”

His exuberance hasn’t faded since his first tape, and it clearly shows in his work. Skee is particularly vested in West Coast hip-hop, and many argue that much of the rapper Game‘s impact is due in great part to him. Skee doesn’t slow down long enough to notice his personal impact, though. He’s just enjoying the pace of it all, although sometimes while working, he finds himself moving too fast for his own good.

“I don’t drink, never have,” he reveals. “So one day, when I was deejaying a huge club, I accidentally reached for my water in a rush when my set started. Well, the water turned out to be something else, and the screen started getting a little blurry.”

His slip made for a more interesting set than he’d had in a while, and if he was tipsy from the accidental alcohol consumption, his professionalism remained on point.

In fact, professionalism has always been a major part of Skee’s work ethic. The self-proclaimed sneakerhead and sports junkie says he had some pretty lofty aspirations as a kid, outside of wanting a professional sports career.

“I used to want to be president,” he says. “But I didn’t know if I wanted to deal with the stress.”

It’s a good thing he stuck to doing what he loved. As stressful as the music business can be, it seems like Skee has more fun with it than anything, and his options and accolades are steadily growing by the day.

Top Five Songs of the Moment
1. “I Need That,” Nipsey Hussle, feat. Dom Kennedy
2. “Every Little Thing,” Ryan Beatty
3. “Greyhound,” Swedish House Mafia
4. “Time of Your Life,” Kid Ink
5. “Princess of China,” Coldplay, feat. Rihanna

Top Five Songs to Rock a Party
1. “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing),” Michael Jackson
2. “Sexy and I Know It,” LMFAO
3. “PSA,” Jay-Z
4. “Otherside,” Red Hot Chilli Peppers
5. “One More Time,” Daft Punk

See Photos of a Mixtape Timeline

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Watch ‘Learn About the History of Rap’

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Learn About the History of Rap

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