From entertaining troops overseas during WWII, to moving a crowd in 1950s Jamaica, to controlling the dance floor of clubs and house parties for decades, DJ’s have played a quiet, yet integral societal role for generations. They are often the background of a party, but certain turn-tablists become more than that. They become the main attraction. Rhymesayers’ DJ Abilities fits that bill.
Since his early days of an empty apartment with his tables on the floor, DJ Abilities has proven himself as a masterful mixer, a powerful producer, and a helluva scratcher. DJ Abilities has collaborated with dozens of artists, but is best known as half of Eyedea & Abilities. Along with Eyedea’s extraordinary rapping technique and heady content, the duo cemented themselves as one of the most artistically interesting outfits in the country. After his creative partner passed on in 2010, Abilities refocused his efforts on mixes, releasing “NOW! That’s What I Call F— Off”just last month. His trademarked blend of old and new genre-bending stuff is there, stitched up with some killer table work.
DJ Abilities is an unassuming, everyday kind of dude at first glance. Nothing about him screams “hip hop.” He isn’t flashy, and he doesn’t say much on stage, but when you see him take a sip of his bottle of beer, rub his hands together as if he is about to devour a tasty meal, and that mischievous grin comes over his face as he bobs his head, you know the set is about to get real good.
See what abilites he has on April 14 at Boonies Bar with ChatterboxXx, Scaletippers and more TBA. The show is 18+.
Best gig ever:
I'd say a show at The Varsity (Dinkytown, Minneapolis) a couple of years back. It was with the group Themselves. Jel and I had a very fun freestyle set, Mike and my set felt great, and I saw my girlfriend there for the first time.
First record ever bought:
First vinyl record was “Fat Cats, Bigga Fish” by The Coup.
Thoughts on Soundset:
Soundset is always fun. I enjoy playing when given the opportunity.
Best thing to happen since tragic loss of Eyedea:
Meeting my girlfriend.
Favorite 90s album:
Filet mignon and a salad
Rapper you would like to work with that you haven’t yet:
I think Aesop Rock and I would make some fresh stuff. Also, Andre 3000.That would be crazy.
Where you see yourself in 20 years:
I see myself as a full time producer. Touring is a young man’s game.