His tracks are underground cult classics, breakers have been hitting the cardboard to his beats since the mid eighties, he’s been around the world a few times, and he still keeps it old school performing with his trusted 808 beat machine always by his side, and of course, always rocking on the vinyl. I finally had a chance to catch up with the West Coast Hip Hop DJ pioneer Egyptian Lover himself, and this is how it went down!

1200Dreams: You are a pioneer in the West coast Hip Hop/DJ scene as a member of Uncle Jam’s Army and as a solo artist. For many of us, you are a huge inspiration, and one of the reasons we are DJ’s/artists. Can you take us back to the beginning days of your musical career as a DJ and artist, and as a member of Uncle Jam’s Army?

Egyptian Lover: I started out making mix tapes for my High School friends and got so popular I became the DJ for my high school. I then started doing house parties and then hotel dances to compete against Uncle Jam’s Army, but that did not last long because they were so huge. “So if you can’t beat them… Join them.” So I joined them and became even more popular with my unique mixing style that no one had ever seen because I made it up from the style of my mix tapes. All the DJs in L.A. would come to see me mix and learn how to do the mix tricks I had created. It was a gift that I showed everyone. The crowds grew even larger and eventually we gave a party at the L.A. Sports Arena with 10.000 party people. I played the 808 for the first time at the party and the freaks went bizerk! That gave me even more inspiration to make a record. Those days were so magical; it was the living dream of a lifetime.

1200Dreams: Of course, with me being a DJ, one of the things I loved about your classic records was the scratching. I learned a lot from listening to your records! How was the DJ scene back then? How big of a part did good scratching ability play back then?

Egyptian Lover: Scratching was in its beginning form back in the 1980’s, so I put it on my first records, when all the other DJ’s started doing it I went with more of the classic Electro sound, more professional quality, more commercial. So my later stuff went without it. I did not start DJing again until the 2000’s when I started doing gigs in Europe. They love to see me mix!!! Now I’m mixing again all over and still the top guy in the biz!

1200Dreams: One of my favorite clips on YouTube is you and Chris “The Glove” kuttin up back in 1983. What were some of your favorite records/breaks to kutt up back then?

Egyptian Lover: Planet Rock and Electric Kingdom, I still play them today, but I also mixed much Prince stuff and all the old School Electro!

1200Dreams: You definitely helped define the early west coast Hip Hop sound. Your “On the Nile” LP was such a musical inspiration to so many. What were some of the artists that influenced you and your sound? Would I be correct to say it was the perfect mix of Prince and Kraftwerk?

Egyptian Lover: Prince and Kraftwerk!

1200Dreams: You are still traveling around the world performing and rockin’ the turntables these days. So tell us, how do you feel about the current state of the DJ scene, today’s DJ, and today’s Hip Hop music?

Egyptian Lover: I like some of the DJ’s, but some should stay in their rooms and just play music for their friends; bedroom DJ’s suck! You always have to look at the crowd and see if they are into you and your music, if not, change the record. And all this CD mixing, laptop mixing, Serato, Final Cut and so on and so on, is so wack to me. I still use vinyl and rock the crowd Old School Style!!! It gives the people a show to see all the records and labels.

1200Dreams: How did you feel when the electro sounds of the west coast gave way to the gangster/hardcore NWA sound? How did it affect you and your career?

Egyptian Lover: I still did my thang, it was always clubs still playing my style of music so I was always doing shows and concerts. I stayed true to my groove and I still remained working and selling albums.

1200Dreams:Your label “Egyptian Empire” had so many great artists. One of my most famous was Rodney O and Joe Cooley. How did you discover and eventually sign them?

Egyptian Lover: I met Rodney O at a dance when I was DJing with Uncle jam’s army and he gave me a record to play that was his group. We kept in touch and he eventually joined my band and then recorded his own music. I put it out on my label.

1200Dreams: What’s the best high for you: producing hits in the lab, or rockin’ the dance floor on the turntables?

Egyptian Lover: DJing for my Fans is the best feeling ever, but being in the studio with all that equipment and professional engineers is also a good feeling. Hearing that 808 in the studio is incredible!

1200Dreams: You have an extensive discography, so many classics. I know my favorites, but tell me, do you have a personal favorite among your releases?

Egyptian Lover:“Egypt Egypt,” “The Alezby Inn (Re-Mix),” “You’re So Fine,” “Keep it Hot (Long Version),” “Freaky DJ (Re-Mix).”

1200Dreams: And speaking of your releases, we hear you have something new in the works for us! Tell us a little something about it. What can we expect from Egyptian Lover when it is released?

Egyptian Lover: My new album is called “1984” and it will be all new music inspired by the early Egyptian Lover style. 808 Beats, Jupiter 8 synth, recorded in the Studio (not at home) mastered by a professional company and done the old school way for the best sound. Still in the works, it should be out early 2011.


1200Dreams: And to wrap this up, are there any words you would like to say to our readers, who also are your fans?

Egyptian Lover: Be yourself and do what you do, just because one person does not like your style there are many others who do. So just because I choose not to DJ on CD’s and Laptops that does not mean for you not to do it. Do what “you” can do, use what “you” can use, record on whatever you can record on, and get your music and/or your DJ style out there! It’s a big, big world, go mix it up with the party people. I’m Old School so I do it my way… you do it your way! Rock the Planet!!!!