With so many emerging artists in the worldwide footwork community, DJ T-Rell is one of Chicago’s own. As part of DJ Clent’s Beatdown House crew he has separated himself from the pack with a string of top quality releases. Our D160 correspondent Sideswipe takes a few moments to chat more about music with DJ T-Rell himself in this “get to know” interview.
Tell us a little about yourself...
My Name is DJ T-Rell. Born & raised In Chicago, moved to The South Side/Englewood in The Early 90's. Basketball WAS my dream but I chose djing over basketball.
How did you get into the Chicago footwork scene?
I started listening to Ghetto House in 1993 and the music KEPT evolving. In the early 2000's I started to attend ALL the events that involved Juke & Footwork. (Whether it was) dance-downs, after practice party's, I ain't give a fuck. I started building relationships and showing my face anywhere I could. Whatever flyer that was out in the streets, (wherever) the party was at, I was there.
How did you become part of the Beatdown House crew?
DJ TY, my brother Shorty and myself had got word that DJ Spinn was supposed to dj at Union one Friday, so that was the move. Friday came and we got there but Spinn didn’t show. DJ C-Bit was there - which was dope as shit - I had JUST heard the South Side Connection 2 mixtape so I was completely blown away!
C-Bit took me under his wing, which brought me closer to DJ Spinn. Then Majik Myke heard me dj and put a bug in DJ Clent's ear. Shortly after that Clent and me grew cool as A/C and he then introduced to me DJ Rashad in '02.
And I'll tell you, Clent IS NOT easy to please musically. He told me "No" A LOT!!! Hell, he still does! But that pushed me to really work hard on developing my sound. It took me YEARS to prove myself, and if it wasn’t for my brother Shorty Dowop (RIP) I wouldn’t have even met DJ Clent. Took me a while but I’m here..
Who would you most like to collab with and why?
RP BOO. I've been listening to RP since I was 10 and he always shocked the shit outta me with that style - HELL, HE STILL SHOCKS ME DEAD! I used to buy his cassette tapes off of 63rd & Halsted (circa ‘92) and I’m blessed to have him as a mentor now. A collab would definitely be LIT!
Who would you say is your biggest influence outside of footwork?
The Man upstairs keeps me grounded. I’m more focused than I've ever been.
Finally, what’s next for you?
More tracks, mos def. but nevertheless a consistent flow of music. More shows, prayerfully a tour - hey, God got me.
Written by: Sideswipe/Edited by: JamFransisco