This Friday we are jammin’ to a special dancehall mix! Brought to us by LA based Jamaican DJ, The Real DJ Crooks. DJ Crooks is a real deal Kingston to LA story, hailing from the Havendale community in Kingston’s upper Mannings Hill area. After moving to Los Angeles three years ago from the Bronx, Crooks began to actively pursue his music career in the City of Angels. Crooks subsequently began a residency with Jamaican Gold, one of LA’s premiere dancehall/reggae entities. This residency took his notoriety to the next level. The gregarious DJ is a staple on LA’s party scene and has regularly produced his own music events. Most recently, the DJ took over one of Hollywood’s hotspots for a night of raving; bringing together a diverse crowd of dancehall music lovers at his dance party Bashment Hollywood.
In-between playing sought after sets in Hollywood, Crooks finds time to work as a music producer. He is currently working on a new dance project and is an executive producer on LA songstress -Banga Brownin’s upcoming debut “The Big Banga Theory.” But wait, the list gets longer as he recently produced “What Kinda Herbs” for reggae fusion artiste – Rseenal, featuring Makonnen & Iyah Gift and finally, Crooks is producing a number of tracks on Makonnen’s upcoming project “Rockerz Revolution.” Crooks is the typical Jamaican, with several projects keeping him on the grind.
KingstontoLA recently caught up with Crooks to find out how he got started on the scene. The DJ stated it all stems from a special love for his culture and his people. “I spin many genres but representing dancehall is my way of paying homage to my culture and country,” Crooks said, “there’s also a certain energy and flavor in dancehall that resonates with the masses, regardless of how familiar they are with the music.”
Dancehall fans agree, there is something about the music that keeps us wanting more. The vibrations, the sounds, the people; it all creates an element of fun, that once discovered, there’s no turning back. As Crooks puts it, there’s a certain kismet, a destiny sown into our island’s music. This music calls to you, and for Crooks, that’s what inspires: “I understand the music and more so it understands me. There’s a magical essence with music that speaks to people and through people. I’ve known artistes that have written songs predicting their own futures. It’s nothing short of real life magic.”
That brings us to Crooks’ “Long Live Dancehall” mixtape, which he releases monthly on his site ThisisDJCrooks. Episode 5 is our feature this week, which includes several tracks from Alkaline to Bruck Up to Kranium. Tun it up loud and get on bad! Dancehall to di ting!
Photos courtesy of @therealdjcrooks on Instagram