An X-ecutioners X-clusive
- Josemari Ugarte () - April 15, 2002 - 12:00am
With the brand new release of their first album under Loud Records, this mad- scratching E-musical quartet formerly known as the X-Men, turned the tables over the years by moving from being mere dance club DJs to the pioneers of a brave, new musical style—one that uses no instruments. Roc Raida, the original and most heavily crowned member of the X-ecutioners raps about a career built entirely from scratch.

Young Star Magazine: Is Roc Raida your real name?

Roc Raida:
No, that’s my DJ name. My real name is Anthony.

You guys used to be called the X-Men, what happened to that?

Well we had to change the name because that name is owned by Marvel Comics.

How did you guys get together?

Well, we started back in 1989-90 in New York. We started making names for ourselves individually as DJs during all those local DJ battles in the early ’90s. I started making friends in the DJ scene like Johnnie Cash, Steve D, and Sean C. Then I met Rob Swift, Mistah Sinista, and Total Eclipse. Around 1994, we started getting major awards. That’s when we first got recognized. Then we won the world title in ’95. After that, we put out our first album in ’98, X-pressions.

What was that like?

It was great! The album is almost all DJ stuff. There’s some rap in it but most of the music is DJ stuff. This was our first album with Apshodel records. The success of this album led to our deal with Loud Records where we cut our second album, Built From Scratch. It being our first album as turntablists, we were still trying to find our style and our method as a group. In Built From Scratch, we started mixing stuff with MOP, Big Pun, Kool G Rap, Linkin Park, and Everlast.

Was it more difficult to produce the second album?

Aw, no. It was way easier because we knew exactly how to go about it.

Are you coming to the Philippines?

Well, we plan to go on tour next month with a studio in our tour bus. We’re probably gonna be comin’ out to the Philippines later this year. We’re gonna be touring New Zealand, Australia, and Japan.

You guys call yourselves turntablists. What exactly is turn tabling?

You know, like the pianist plays the piano, we play turntables as if they were musical instruments in a band. Like in our group, I would be the drummer because I’m bestwith the drums. And I’m real good at lead scratching but we all take turns and do different stuff. But most of the time, I choose to do drumming. I think turn tabling is one of the directions that music is heading towards. The stuff we do withturn tabling can be done with rock and R&B. You could use any type of music.

There are rumors that Linkin Park disbanded to join the X-ecutioners. Is that true?

No, that’s not true. We like their album and we found out that they were fans of ours. We only recorded one track with them, "It’s Goin’ Down."

How do you deconstruct the blues with four turntables? And do you need drugs for that?

No, we don’t do drugs. It just came natural, you know, just like how any band would come up with a song. We used a lot of Meters (a funk group), a lot of Bob James, a lot of jazz and soul stuff. I was doing the drums, it was dope! It came out good, a good half-hour performance.

Why do you think the younger generation is so enthralled by turntabling nowadays?

It’s new and different. Pretty much any music you hear when you step into a club is played through the turntable. People come to see the different things we can do with music. It’s amazing, you know.

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