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New Jersey’s own DJ Nappy is an artist of many colors. Putting work in behind the decks since 1999, he focused on Drum & Bass and House, although he has been a lifelong Hip-Hop fan. Honing his techniques on the Technics, he started to branch out and focus his trained ear on Hip-Hop – tearing through both mainstream and underground sounds, which found him spinning private events in Los Angeles, the DC Metro area and throughout the Tri-State. These efforts landed him on Princeton University’s radio station, WPRB, where he spent almost 4 years providing the best in Hip-Hop to terrestrial listeners from New Jersey to Delaware, as well as a dedicated Internet following, with in-studio guests including former Roc-A-Fella member Peedi Crakk, Shawn Lov, Indy 500, Geechi Grand & Calico of L.O.D. (Keith Murray’s prodigies) and many more. Alongside this venture, he’s intered at Def Jam in New York City, which saw him work on their Def Jam Vendetta tour. All of this work helped push his talents into developing new artists, who he would in turn pair up with a stable of up-and-coming producers throughout the Tri-State.

It was some time in 2005 where Nappy started to hone in on production and sound engineering, and in attending school for both, starting using those talents in new projects he would dream up – The Green Album, a stunning remix of Jay-Z’s Black Album with producer and associate Definate was one example. Nappy and Definate, alongside producers Beat Bully and Big Jerm (who went on to work with Wiz Khalifah), created Wired.Weird, a remix and production outfit that concocted a number of well-received remixes of artists, as well as some production for a number of talented MCs within the area. During this time, Nappy also discovered the UK sound known as dubstep, and started dabbling with Southern Rap acappellas over the rhythms, jokingly calling the sound “THUGSTEP”. After posting some of these refixes on, notoriety and infamy soon followed in the accolades. While gaining support from some of the scene’s leaders (including Mala from Digital Mystikz), as well as being sent loads of exclusive material from producers within the dubstep scene to refix at will, there was a major resistance by moderators on the forum (and on a handful of blogs) that were openly upset with the THUGSTEP movement for a number of reasons, and tried to eradicate the sound from their forum, hoping it would die out…

With early support from blogs, specifically, DJ Nappy’s refixes (which totaled in the hundreds by mid 2007) started out as a snowball rolling down a hill, which eventually grew into an avalanche, with producers the world over were requesting the refixes for club and radio play – from the UK to Australia, across the United States and in other parts of the world, the Rap/Dubstep hybrid was catching on, to the point where in 2009, popular rappers like Snoop Dogg, Eve, Xzibit, Nicki Minaj, MURS and many more started experimenting with the dubstep sound. Add that to the number of producers, remixes, DJs and club nights that have sparked within the US, capitalizing on this burgeoning sound, and all signs point to Nappy truly pioneering a sound, one that has found another DMZ member, Coki, dropping the seminal “Act A Fool” refix of Nappy’s on the UK’s Kiss FM radio station in early 2010. DJ Nappy’s future is bright, with his recent aligning with DJs Cable and Hipnotikk to form the HOODLUM collective, a unit who’s aim is to push the progression of the THUGSTEP sound to the limit, then break that limit and reestablish a new one. Nappy’s also cultivating talent, and plans on working more on his own producing and rapping (!) talents, expanding his skillset and also giving him infinite possibilities in what is surely world domination via the aural senses.

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