You can’t be into the mixtape
game and not know the name DJ Smokey Bear. He has been making a lot of noise in the mixtape game
as of late with slew of releases including the “Hostile Takeover” mixtape with Poe Boy Music Group recording
artists Brisco & Billy Blue, Project Pat’s You Know Da Bizness Vol. 1, and soon the Free Agent
Ballgreezy. See what the resident DJ for 24hourhiphop.com and one of the
hardest-working DJ’s in the game has to say about his plans for the future,
going on tour with Billy Blue and his next mixtape.
24: What’s good Smokey
24: What have you been
up to lately?
on a lot of new stuff for 2010. I have a
lot of mixtapes on the way this year. I’m just on the Poe Boy grind (laughs).
24: Within these past 2
years you have climbed into one of the elites in the mixtape game. What’s been
your key to success?
motivation for my team, staying on a constant grind, staying relevant, having a
strong team around me and keeping updated on what’s new.
24: What made you want to
I grew up watching videos of
DJ Kraze and the DMC championships back in middle school and those inspired me
to really get into it.
24: How did you get the name
DJ Smokey Bear?
Everybody use to call me
“bear” back in the day when I use to have an afro and I use to smoke a lot so
the name just came about
24: What artists did
you grow up on?
Tupac, Biggie, Trick
Daddy, 2 Live Crew, Jadakiss, The Luniz, Lil’ Wayne, Master P, JT Money, Method
Man, Busta Rhymes, etc.
24: Who were the DJ’s that
were a major influence on you?
greats like DJ Drama, DJ Clue, the drama king DJ Kay Slay, Funk Flex, Uncle Al
(RIP), the list goes on.
24: When did you start making tapes and what was your first mixtape?
I started making mixtapes back
in 2004. I dropped Straight Hood vol. 1 and followed that up with Straight Hood vol. 2, which made it into
The Source magazine.
24: What do you want people
to think when they hear a DJ Smokey Bear mixtape?
want them to think the music is all exclusive, properly put together and
nothing but hit records. I mainly want the people to be pleased.
24: What’s your selection
process like when making a mixtape?
I basically put on what I
feel is hot. If I can’t vibe to it, then how can expect the public to vibe to
it? If it’s for artist, I basically try to get all exclusives. If it’s for
24hourhiphop, I just look for the hottest songs out around that time.
24: How do you decide who
to get down with on tapes?
I go for whoever the people like. Definitely all the Poe Boy artists and
whoever wants to work with me. Basically anybody that’s grinding at a certain
caliber, I’m willing to work with.
24: How’d you link up with
Ballgreezy for the “Free Agent”
I know him personally. I asked
him about doing a tape and he agreed so we went in and made it happen.
24: What does an artist
have to have to make you want to get down with them?
records, a following; whether it be local or nationwide and they can’t be too
cocky, especially a new artist. If they’re not on their grind, then no mixtape,
24: How should artists go
about submitting material to you?
can hit me up on email smokeybearmp3@gmail or contact me on twitter. Word of
advice: do NOT send me your entire catalog or will not listen it. Send me two
or three of your best songs and I’ll give you feedback.
24: How close do you get to
the labels when putting together a mixtape?
usually work directly with the artists or their DJ. I don’t go through record
labels to get exclusive music for a mixtape.
24: Is there a possibility
of you following in the footsteps of DJ Clue & DJ Kay Slay and doing an album?
I do have plans to do an album. Whether it be this year or the next, I
definitely have plans for that so be on the lookout for that in the near
24: When are you going to
put this plan in motion?
plan to start working on that mid-2010 and will start deciding on which artists
I will want for the album, beats, etc.
24: What mixtape got the
best response and why do you think it worked so well?
Project Pat’s You Know Da Bizness Vol. 1 because he is a legend in the game and it was
an honor to work with him. After that would be Iceberg’s and “Hostile Takeover” with Billy Blue &
24: What’s the number one thing
which needs to change in the mixtape game?
personally feel some DJ’s need to step their mixtape game up and put more time
into making their mixtapes instead of just dropping anything.
24: How has the internet helped your career?
internet has been a big outlet to allow my tapes to reach people all over the
world. Marketing skills to promote my tapes all over
24: How have your mixtapes
grown from when you started?
lot more artist exclusive mixtapes, collaborations with other big name DJ’s
like DJ Demp, Kronik, and DJ Krunchone.
24: Where do you see
mixtapes going in the future?
consistent, still an outlet for artists to promote themselves and get
themselves heard. It’ll continue down a steady pace.
24: I heard you were the
official DJ for Billy Blue, who recently signed to Poe Boy/KonLive/Mosley Music
Group/Interscope. How has that been like?
an honor. I respect him and he’s really humble dude. When he tours nationwide
and internationally, I will be his tour DJ along with DJ Ace. Shout out to DJ
24: The line between
mixtape DJ and A&R is so small, you’re also one of the official DJ’s for
Poe Boy Music Group, do you also help them with their artists?
give them judgment on music that’s recorded. I give them advice on the music,
help acquire features and beats, etc.
24: Can you give us some
names of who you think are the hottest up and coming artists to come from the
Billy Blue, Brisco, Mista Mac and I’m not just saying that because they are Poe
Boy artist but because I see their grind. Also Roscoe Dash, Young Cash, Webbz, and
24: What projects are you
working on right now?
The 24hourhipop monthly mixtapes,
Young Breed from Triple C’s, Billy Blue, Mista Mac, Brisco, and a new mixtape
series with DJ Kronik.
24: What’s your advice to
Be on your grind, stay
updated with new technology and music, network and being consistent. That’s the
keys to success.
24: How can your fans for keep in touch with you?