Hurricane Katrina was a total disaster and everything but for some of the people of New Orleans' projects, who are used to dodging bullets while slanging yay and shocking out to jittery 808 beats and O.T.T. synth-driven hip-hop, Katrina was nothing.
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Hurricane Katrina was a total disaster and everything but for some of the people of New Orleans’ projects, who are used to dodging bullets while slanging yay and shocking out to jittery 808 beats and O.T.T. synth-driven hip-hop, Katrina was nothing. In fact, the misfortune has helped the local bounce music scene spread to places it wouldn’t normally be heard. When the ghetto was dismantled and its occupants uprooted and shipped to places like Atlanta, Arkansas and beyond, they took the music with them. We met up with DJ Chicken, formerly of New Orleans’ run-down 9th Ward, now forced to go about his hustle in Dallas after losing his car, his house and all of his records.
Vice: What was New Orleans like before Katrina?
DJ Chicken: Man, before Katrina, we had block parties every day—you set up a speaker on the corner and hundreds came out. I DJed parties for people dying, someone going to jail, somebody getting out of jail, I DJed for hustlers so they could hustle on the corner. Not any more though. I seen a girl get hit [by a bullet] holding her baby. She layin’ on the ground dead. That was it for me as far as DJing block parties. The funny thing is, that block party was to get the crowd back to a club where somebody had got their head banged up with their brains all over the floor. I had to step over him with my shit to get outta that bitch.
How’s life in Dallas?
Hell, they ain’t got no block parties and shit goin’ in Dallas. If you hangin’ outside, the fuckin’ police comin’ for you. At first nobody wanna hear no bounce music and shit all day in Dallas, but now they gotta cater to the new people comin’ to the clubs and that’s mostly our people. New Orleans people are fuckin’ persistent—they gonna keep comin’ to you until you play their fucking song. As soon as you hear dat bounce beat, you feelin’ it.
So Chicken, what do you know about Russia?
Russia? Erm…weapons. The fuckin’ AK47, ya heard me? Niggas got all kinds of guns—they got 9mms, glocks, sawn-offs, whatever. I know niggas that got grenades, but the AK47 is the gun of choice here. You pull that out you ain’t gotta shoot it—just the fact that you got that bitch, nigga know you ain’t playin’. Ya know what I’m sayin’?
Kind of. Thanks.
DJ Chicken’s 504 Radio Vol. 3 is out now. Look out for his remix of Jammer’s “Murkle Man” as well as a live collaboration with various grime MCs at the Old Blue Last in May.