DJ The Evil One, with his wide palette of underground dancefloor hiphop, is a man in demand. His nights include East every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday, and Madame Butterfly every Thursday. And yet, he found the time to start Portland DJ School, a DJing class for high-school-age kids at Portland Parks Community Center. Ubiquitous AND altruistic, what?
In the past you've been kind of hardlined about spinning strictly underground tracks. What's your stance now?
I've opened up. Along the way I realized that the DJ has two roles: 1) to entertain and 2) to educate the crowd. If [the crowd] wanted to be educated all night, they could sit at home and read Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists, and if they wanted to be simply entertained, they could tune in to their favorite Top 40 station and listen to whatever the robot has to offer. I think where I'm at now, I can offer a middle ground that brings audiences together. Consider me a mediator, educating and entertaining at the same time.
You hear a lot of talk from clubs not wanting to do nights because of their fear of violence; what do you think is gonna change this?
I think it's going to take successful nights that leave the drama at home. Hiphop in itself isn't a violent art form or culture, but there is always the one person who ruins it for everybody. The key is to build successful nights based on word of mouth; that way everybody who shows up feels like they're a part of the night in one way or another. In the end, the club and bar owners are concerned with the bottom line, so if you can bring them a dollar without any drama, they're more than happy to give you a gig.
What was your motivation behind the DJ school and where can kids get info on it?
The motivation for the DJ school comes from wanting to preserve the culture. Music and DJ'ing is bigger than me or anybody else. It's become something so diverse and such a part of so many lives that I would be really selfish to take everything I've learned along the way and bottle it up. What I want to do is help make DJs that are 10 times better than me and have them pass it on to the next generation and so on. Another key aspect is to get the region's best DJs at certain aspects, whether it be juggling, scratching, mixing and so on and let them teach their specialty in the hope of making the next generation more balanced and even better. People who are interested in finding out more about the class can contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org . CHAZZ MADRIGAL