via Ozone. DJ Burn One is a good friend of mine who also happens to be a DJ/producer. He has released several classic mixtapes including Gucci Mane’s Chicken Talk, Pill’s Prescription 4180, and Yelawolf’s Trunk Muzik. I consider him to be a tastemaker because I’ve been discovering artists through his mixtapes and his blog for years. In addition to DJ’ing, Burn One is a dope producer. Check out the full article after the break.
DJ Burn One
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Website: Blvdst.com, Twitter.com/djburnone
DJ Affiliation: Coalition DJs
Artist Affiliations: Gucci Mane, Pill, Yelawolf
Mixtapes: Gucci Mane’s Chicken Talk, Pill’s Prescription 4180, Yelawolf’s Trunk Muzik
3 Songs In Current Rotation: Pill “In They Eyes,” Freddie Gibbs “Crushin’ Feelings,” Yelawolf “My Box Chevy Pt. 3”
He started out selling mixtapes in high school, and after playing his part in breaking artists like Gucci Mane, OJ Da Juiceman and Pill, this sought-after ATL mixtape DJ tells how he plans to make the transition into sought-after ATL producer:
I always listened to music. I grew up on No Limit and Cash Money. When I was 16, my friend got a program called Sony Acid, and we started finding instrumentals and matching them with acappellas. A lot of it was pretty terrible, so I’m glad I lost the tapes. But that’s how it started. Then me and my friend started selling CDs at school. People would come and ask me for the top 10 or 20 rap songs that were out, so I started putting them together. Then I got a job at a local mom & pop store called Super Sound and I started selling mix CDs out of there. I was selling like 100 a week in the 9th grade. I grew up on DJ Jelly tape’s and heavy mixing, [but] I heard [DJ] Drama with the exclusives, so I started to seek out artists to build relationships with. I met T.I. through Xtaci and I got him to host a tape. That’s really when everything started picking up a lot.
I first met Gucci Mane when they’d put out “Black Tee” as a response to “White Tee.” I met Zaytoven through Gucci. Gucci was recording at his house and they had just done “So Icey.” I met [Gucci Mane] from there, and he did some freestyles for me. I caught up with him about 2 or 3 years later after he got out of jail, and I talked him into doing a tape.
I worked with Young Dro. I did his first tape. I met him at Grand Hustle when he had just signed over there. I hung around for a month and gathered up a whole bunch of songs to do a tape. The week the tape came out, “Shoulder Lean” just got added to Hot 107.9, so it was the perfect time for them to come together. It proved that he could make a radio record but still could rap. So, that really helped solidify his fan base, as opposed to just being a guy with a song.
I just did a tape on Starlito, All Star from Cash Money. It’s really just the model of tape that I’m trying to do from now on. I’m dong all the production, or at least the majority. It’s 11 songs, so we kept it short. It’s just something that we own. It’s not freestyles, it’s real street albums. This tape we put it straight to iTunes. You don’t need a million dollars to put behind a project; we did this ourselves.
I’m trying to [keep this formula] with most of the stuff I’m doing. Sometimes people have their music already done, and they just want me to host it. That’s fine, but I just want to be more involved. After the [DJ] Drama [RIAA] bust, a lot of mixtape stores clammed up and stopped selling mixtapes. So, if we can get real albums into the stores or iTunes, and make real money, I think that’s the next phase of mixtapes and where they’re going. Or at least where I’m going.
I did Gucci’s first tape, OJ Da Juiceman’s, Dro’s. I did Pill’s last year and he signed with Asylum in January. I did Yelawolf’s tape back in January. I try to find people that I really am a fan of and that I know will translate to most other people. I think I have a pretty good ear for what people would like to hear.
I wasn’t really doing tapes last year. I did Pill and a couple others but I was really just sitting at home working on beats. I feel like all the work I was doing is starting to pick up some steam, finally getting love on blogs, different artists are starting to reach out to me to work. I think production is really my calling but I’d still like to stay on the road. I’m about to be touring with Yelawolf a lot. I enjoy being on the road but I like to be able to sit down and work on beats, work on albums and stuff to keep residual money. Show money’s cool, but it’s not going to come to you while you’re sitting at home.
I’m really trying to work on my project, the Burn One album. I want to produce the majority of it. I might have DJ Toomp do something on it. I look up to him, so I’d love to have him do some stuff on there. I just wanna capture all this new talent that’s coming out right now—Freddie Gibbs, Pill, Yelawolf—there’s a whole new crop that’s starting to rise, but no one has really captured that in an album yet. They’re all doing their own thing but I think I can do a good job [capturing them together], so that’s probably the next project that I’m working on.
As told to Randy Roper