Funkmaster Flex / Funk Master Flex
If you have to select only one DJ who has been a major force in bringing hip-hop music to the masses and who continues to develop trend setting techniques, the obvious choice is Funkmaster Flex. So who better to bring you some deep dish beats to start off '97. Following the gold success of his '95 release, Flex delivers Funkmaster Flex The Mix Tape Vol. II - 60 Minutes Of Funk (Loud/RCA). And, yes, the sequel is even better than the original! with appearances by a range of today's hip-hop royalty, The Mix Tape will no doubt rock your body. Such artists as jay-z, Foxy Brown, Nas and Xzibit deliver nothing but the best, and just to keep things flowin' Flex adds intersperse comical skits featuring model Veronica Webb and Producer Jermaine Dupri. Flex likens The Mix Tape to his New York radio show (WQHT/Hot 97), and listeners certainly will not be disappointed because when it comes to radio, Flex is clearly the ruler. Furthermore, Flex's bookings to spin live at various night spots or exclusive music/film industry events easily creates a coveted invitation. His bookings lend an automatic increased status to an event, and he has been sent as far as Europe and Japan to spin at album release parties for American based hip-hop artists. To Flex's credit are such events as Bad Boy CEO Sean Puffy Combs' Birthday Gala at Roseland and rap mogul Russell Simmons' Pay Per View Phat Jam, which was the largest grossing rap music pay per view event to date. One might speculate that Flex's skills are literally in his blood since his father was also a DJ who played at house parties and dancehall clubs on the island of Jamaica. Born and raised in the Bronx, NY; Flex grew up soaking in the essence of hip-hop from it's early beginnings, I remember seeing early jocks like Red Alert play as well as Chuck Chillout. says Flex. Flex goes on to cite these DJ's as major influences, and by the age of 16 he brought his first set of turntables with his savings and began honing his skills. After paying his dues by carrying records for such DJ's as Chuck. Flex received his first break on the airwaves of New York's KISS-FM. I remember one day when Chuck couldn't come, so the program director called me. I played for five minutes, and he called back and said that I could stay. I wound up playing for three hours. Later Chuck moved on to tenure at WBLS in New York as an on-air-personality, where he hired Flex as a DJ who rocked the airwaves for a year and a half. Such exposure lead to booking for prestigious industry parties, bookings at some of the largest night spot in New York and a position as fill-in jock on KISS-FM for renowned DJ Red Alert. Soon Hot 97's program director came down to a leading hip-hop venue to watch me play. He told me-and a lot of big name people to make a tape. But I was hired because they felt my tape was the best, explains flex. The station gave me the ball and told me to just run with it. As reflected in the station's appeal, Flex was the force of the directional soundscape for Hot 97, and his skills on the turntable are truly engaging. It's one part timing, two parts fluid dexterity with a dash of an intuitive use of the rhythmic beats provided by hip-hop artists (and occasional reggae or house tracks). With Flex's affable personality peeks during shout-outs to artists and neighborhoods, he is savvy enough to maintain a well-planned balance between the music and the conversation. This sensitivity to his listeners stems primarily from constant audience research. I listen for strong hooks and strong verses, I listen for strong hooks and strong verses, I feel that the audience needs to hear the best of what's out there, says Flex.
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