For a very long time, Hood Rich and Cool Running’s DJ SupaStar J.Kwik has been a key component “breaking records” in Hip Hop. He’s siphoned attention to tons of big records. Young Joc’s “It’s Going Down” to Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything” are just a few of the popular tracks that have been put on because of J. Kwik’s uncanny ability to sniff out a hit before it’s a hit by keeping his ears to the street. He is currently the only Hood Rich DJ in Florida (Thanks to DJ Scream) and comes touting the co-sign of the Cool Running’s General, Bigga Rankin.
Kwik can also be credited as the DJ that helped to make Gucci Mane popular. With the recognition of the OG, the Philly native was put on by becoming Gucci Mane’s official tour DJ during the Trap God’s “So Icy” days.
“It was like being on a roller coaster on acid,” DJ SupaStar J. Kwik says. “It was up and down and it was high risk at that time because he was still going through a lot of things. Especially in the streets. He had a problem with [Young] Jeezy and his people because it was still fresh. It was definitely high risk but it was never a dull moment. We did shows all over the country. We did an average of 12 to 16 shows a month. Our first show we did was Birthday Bash 12. We performed in front of 20,000 people. Killed it. It sealed the deal for me as far as being his DJ.”
While on tour with Gucci Mane from 2007 to 2008, Kwik says Gucci was one to never have a cell phone on him because he was that low-key and recalls having to withdraw from performing a sold-out show in Minneapolis because of threats.
“Being on the road with Gucci you never know when could be your last day,” the DJ says. “We went through the attempted robbery with some people out there in Minnesota and that was a serious, serious issue.
“We didn’t even do the show,” he continues. “It was sold out. Minneapolis. 1500 at $100 a ticket. Shit sold out. We couldn’t even do the show because certain people had tried to rob him while he was at soundcheck. They tried to push the door in on him and they got it on camera. Like I said, being on tour with him was like a rollercoaster on LSD because you never knew what was going to happen. It went 0 to 100. It’s certain things that I really can’t tell you about because I’m still out there and I have a couple of contacts out there of people that know people but there was a time when he had beef with another popular rapper that wasn’t Jeezy. It was just one thing after the next.”
Gucci Mane has been locked up since 2013 on weapons charges and could possibly be released sometime in late-2017. J. Kwik hasn’t spoken to his old comrade, however says he plans on writing him when the times right.
“One thing about him that he’ll tell you himself is that, I’m no groupie,” Kwik says. “I wasn’t there for his liquor, his weed, his dope…I was there to do the shows, do our mixtapes and make what we did better. He had to respect that. I’ve never asked him for anything.”
Kwik made sure that Gucci Mane understood that he was there to help elevate his career. The two never sat and talked until around thier 8th show when Kwik told the Atlantic signee that he acknowledges how people approaches him and he wasn’t around to add to it.
“What I told him was the realest shit I ever told him,” the Hoodrich DJ says. “‘At the end of the day, you’re a millionaire and a murderer so who the fuck is going to tell you anything?’ He just bust out laughing. As a millionaire and a murderer ain’t nobody gonna tell you shit. You’re going to do what you want to do when you want to do it. Once we kind of broke the ice like that, everything was cool.”
In getting to know Gucci, the Cool Runnings DJ also tells the tale of a rapper who worked hard and was dedicated to his craft. Gucci emphasized the importance of an artist promoting and investing in themselves. Despite the Trap-A-Thon rapper being obviously under the influence, his hustle was something to be envied.
“One thing that I got to respect about him is that he always promoted himself and invested in himself,” says the DJ to the stars. “More so than any other artist. I remember one time we was about to do some shows in Ohio and we was sitting downstairs. Basically waiting to leave. He was mad because somebody had called him wack. He had recorded 18 songs in one night. I was like, ‘Damn.’ He was hot! I had never, never, never seen anybody record 18 songs in a night. 18! So his work ethic was crazy. So when people think that Gucci just sit around – nah. That man is constantly recording.”
When it came down to making music, Gucci had an almost machine-esque way of doing so while handling his art the way he wanted to. It’s no wonder he can churn out mixtape after mixtape while being in jail. He was liberated to record whatever he wanted. Kwik recalls the makings of their first masterpiece together, No Pad No Pencil, which included street hit “Pillz” featuring Mac Bre-Z.
“I remember when I put our first mixtape No Pad No Pencil. I had sat downstairs and listened to the songs, I was just like, yo this is a monster. I said, ‘You made that?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘You know someone did that song right?’ and it was ‘Kick The Door.’ I said, you know somebody else got that beat too right? Pastor Troy. It’s called ‘Show Me The Money.’ He was like, ‘Huh?’ Because he was never into what everybody else was doing. He just did him. That’s what I respect about him. I love that he didn’t listen to other people music like that. He couldn’t tell you who made what because he was so focused on what he did. But he did ‘Kick The Door’ and he made a video for it. I was like, eh, it’s alright but then when I heard that ‘Vette Pass By’ I was like that’s it. I was like watch we’re going to play that tonight and watch the crowd. We did that ‘Vette Pass By,’ we had to perform that about five times. When we came back he went and did a video for the song that weekend. We came back and he went and bought some Ashanti’s for his ‘vette and shot the video that weekend. We didn’t even go to the house. He was always serious about his business and that I got to respect. I never met another artist that worked that hard. Even major artists I haven’t seen a work ethic like his.”
Kwik’s next order of business is piecing together his Universal Takeover mixtape which will feature the likes of Young Dolph, Fetty Wap, K. Camp and XXL Freshman Kid Kid. With his history of breaking artists and records, putting together this mixtape was a no brainer. With the music industry being disrupted by the evolution of the Internet, the MP3, Napster and iTunes, the importance of the DJ has become increasingly high when it comes to introducing music to the masses.
“Now there’s only four or five labels on each coast,” Supastar J.Kwik says. “A pimp isn’t going to give a hoe more. He’s going to do what? Pimp harder. That’s the bottom line with what’s really going on now. So the DJ used to be the hippest person on the street. Not only was he the A&R but he was the dude that was next on the close. He was next on the clothes. He was next on the glasses. He was next on the shoes. The movement. He is the keeper of the culture. So when you got a person like Scream or myself who really loves music for the sake of music it is of the utmost importance to be out here for these artists because a lot of times it’s just a money grab. A lot of indie artists get caught up in the money grab due to the fact that they are cheap or just don’t have the financing to really push a project and I liken it to trying to hit the lottery but only spending a dollar a day. It’s possible but highly unlikely that you’re going to win just by paying a dollar a day because they don’t understand that having $5,000-$10,000 to invest in music ain’t shit. When I break down some stories about what it took for a song like ‘Laffy Taffy’ to break or song like Future’s and Yung Chris’ ‘Racks On Racks’ to break, people get quiet and they eyes get big not realizing that there’s a lot of financing that goes into a hit record.
“That’s why the game is so fucked up and clogged up because there’s a lot of people in music that are there out of financial desperation and not for the music,” he continues.
Kwik touts that he was the first person in Florida to play “Racks On Racks” before it hit mainstream and even describes inviting Trinidad James down to his radio station before “All Gold Everything” became the summer song of 2013. By keeping his ears to the street, Kwik has successfully been able to scout out the next big hit.
The Universal Takeover mixtape project set for release this fall will not only include the tracks by some of this year’s most popular artists but with budding artists as well. It takes no rocket scientist to figure out that this might possibly be one of the most pivotal mixtapes that you will hear going into 2016. If you want to know what’s next, Universal Takeover will tell you.