May 3, 2010


When jOHNNYDANGEROUs broke into the scene, he was a young buck all but admonished by his DJ elders for daring to step into the DJ booth at such a young age. Spend five minutes with him now, and you wonder how anyone could have ever underestimated him?

I was lucky enough to meet the Foremost Poet jOHNNYDANGEROUs, recently and it wasn’t long before I realized I was not in for a simple conversation with a quasi-celebrity talking about his latest projects or ego-boosting conversations full of name-dropping. I quickly found myself philosophizing and knee-deep in conversation that delved into the esoteric meaning of things; how hardships such as poverty can in fact nurture creativity, how the creative uses (hacks) of existing technology inspire the tools of tomorrow. And I had just wanted to talk about “that” song.

jOHNNYDANGEROUs, was born John Holiday in Newark, New Jersey, which despite its love for the relatively young genre, was a city known more for its high crime rate than its burgeoning House scene. It was in that city that one John Holiday became jOHNNYDANGEROUs; a name that was meant not to suggest he was packing a high caliber weapon, but instead a high caliber mental state.

JD began his musical journey at an early age playing Trumpet, Trombone, Sousaphone, and let’s not forget that most important instrument of all for the DJ, the turntable. He was also good with the verbiage, a street poet laureate in the making. It was when he combined this triad of skill, instrumentalist, writing, and DJing, that he found his calling. By his late teens, JD was slowly making a name for himself spinning at now famous relics of Newark dance music history such as Club America and Zanzibar. Then came, the song.

“Problem 13 – Beat That Bitch with A Bat” is the one Johnny Dangerous song people remember most. It’s a title that might’ve given the impression he was just another crass lyricist with a limited shelf life, but nothing could have been, and as it turns out, is, farther from the truth.

The real meaning behind the otherwise crass title is not as simple as the title might suggest. The song is not invoking violence against women in anyway. As is characteristic and evident upon meeting JD in person, the brother is simply a deep thinker. “The song was originally called Problem 13,” says JD. “We were in the 1st gulf war. A lot of people were mad with America. I thought I would tell a tale that was more of a self-reflecting, I think I can or I know I can type of song.” Turns out “Problem 13 – Beat That Bitch with A Bat” is actually a positive song. In the case of this song, “bitch” signifies tribulation, obstacles, America herself. Who knew?

Aside from the real meaning of the song not being understood by the masses (and who can blame us) the single nevertheless marked the beginning of what was to become JD’s trademark – fat beats, great production, and a deep recognizable voice that spoke, not sang, deep lyrics over those deep beats. JD surely was not the first to kick the spoken word style over a House beat, but for the last decade, he has most certainly helped establish it and has been one of the most prolific at it. Tracks such as “Moonraker”, “Reasons to Be Dismal”, and most recently “New York City” with Louie Vega as producer, all but solidify his place as the premier spoken word voice of the genre.

His latest project Houseaholix is only going to drive this point home. Houseaholix gives us a glimpse into the mind of one of House music’s foremost intellectuals. Full of four to the floor bangers, you’ll get your fill of deep House beats and JD’s impeccable production skills, but count on getting some classic verse thrown your way as well. From the first track, the Gospel inspired “Journey” featuring Darryl D’Bonneau on vocals to the title track “Houseaholix”, and the uplifting “Truly Amazing” with Susu on vocals, it’s easy to see that JD is no longer the young buck in the DJ booth, but a veteran of the game.

Only a veteran could have brought together all the names he did for this album. In addition to the above mentioned there is Stephanie Cooke, Duce Martinez, Lil Dave, Charvoni, Rainy Payne, Sonyae Elise, and more. And that’s not to mention what he has in the works for 2010. Expect collaborations with Dennis Ferrer, Crystal Waters, Henri Kohn, Quentin Harris, and a few other surprises. Now, that’s beating that bitch with a bat. By “bitch” I mean career, of course. Never mind, I’ll leave the philosophizing to the Foremost Poet.

Buy Houseaholix at:





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