Back in September of 2015, DJs Craze and Four Color Zack brought us into their world via 2¢, a mixtape that took on the nonsense in the DJ scene head on. The turntablists crafted routines that were technically dope, but also spoke more to the issues within the DJ community, something that no one else is even trying to do. Lucky for us, they're back for part two.
This time around, Craze and FCZ took aim at more than just the weak DJ scene, speaking out on everything from the Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations to Big Brother's invasive tactics. We couldn't just drop a SoundCloud link and call it a day on this one, so we briefly caught up with Craze and Zack before their upcoming Australian tour to get some insight on this action-packed mix.
We're about six months removed from the release of the first 2¢ mix. What was the response about that set like? Did anyone you guys called out feel some type of way, try to go ham in the DMs or anything?
Craze: The response was awesome! Everybody had mad love to give because there aren't that many mixes (if any nowadays) with this kinda wordplay and commentary. Nobody came at us for anything we said and I personally believe that would be a dumb move. I'm a battle dude; this is what I do. I don't even think they cared to listen. They're not about the culture enough to give the mix a listen.
Four Color Zack: I saw a few pretty intense conversations about the topics on the interwebs but that's the point, to get people discussing issues and voicing opinions. And of course flexing and cracking dumbass jokes.
Now this is being billed as Part II of the 2¢ mix; how soon after finishing the first mix did you guys think “hell, we've got some more ideas, let's crank out this second part?”
Four Color Zack: We had enough stuff in the chamber during the first mix to move on the second one. Always building. Always.
Craze: It was that much fun making the first one and this is what we love to do so it was a no brainer.
The commentary on the current music scene in this one is ill; what made you guys have enough of the current dances of today (the dab, the milly rock, etc.) to put together that “the dance that you're doing is dumb” bit?
Craze: Hahahhaaaa, there was no shortage of dumb dances for that skit. As soon as I heard that remix from Troyboi, I knew what it was gonna become and I hit up Zack. What's crazy is Zack already was thinking the same thing. That's what makes these mixes ill, me and Zack are constantly thinking of creative ways of mixing music we hear.
Four Color Zack: : Rap loves telling you how to dance. Give us another six months and we could probably swap it all for whatever new ones there are. I'm trying to make up my own rap dance to get this Nickelodeon & Disney Channel money.
How long have you guys been wanting to do something like the “No More DJs In LA” bit? I mean we're talking about a track that's not even a month old—does the idea hit you pretty soon after hearing it?
Four Color Zack: The demo got put together the day it came out, but the concept is long standing. We got love for all talented LA DJ homies, and I'm sure they can agree it's a comically saturated market. Hopefully they sing along.
Craze: Most of these mixes kinda just wrote themselves. I think both of us are pretty much ALWAYS looking for new tunes to give us new ideas so every time I hear a new song I'm already thinking of ways I can flip. That's the turntablist in us.
The routines in here get deep; you have everything from the Travis Scott “Antidote” / Goodie Mob “Cell Therapy” bit that takes the mix into more of a “Big Brother is watching you” realm. Do you guys think people are sleeping on how deeply the government is creeping into our daily lives, or was this just one of those “this would be dope, let's try it” things?
Craze: After we made part one we thought of ways to top the first one and ways of making our show different from all the other DJ's shows out there and one of the things we agreed on is that we should be more social and more than just entertainers. Especially with these mixes because I feel like people really pay attention and it gives us a chance to sneak in messages in there. The “Antidote” / “Cell Therapy” mix kinda wrote itself as well. It just started off with me wanting to do something with “Antidote” and then the wordplay with “windows” turned into the Big Brother thing watching you. I definitely think people are sleeping on a lot of social issues. We live in scary times where people rather get lit than lurnt. If we can help spread some knowledge thru these mixes, why not? ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Four Color Zack: I'm sure big brother could have been bumping this mix in real time as we were recording it if they felt like it.
OK, the most important piece of this mix is the one about Bill Cosby. Do you guys believe that he's guilty?
Four Color Zack: Unlike Kanye, I don't know if he is or isn't guilty, and we were careful about how we worded that skit so it could be accurate either way. Technically it's not saying anything he hasn't admitted to be true.
Craze: Me personally, I don't think he's guilty of all them charges. There's definitely a smearing campaign going on against him, but he did do some of them ¯_(ツ)_/¯ …. The skit is hilarious, though!
I know you guys are pretty removed from Cosby's world, but is there any kind of fear of putting “Bill Cosby fucking your bitch” into a mix?
Craze: Hell no. Our hearts don't pump Kool Aid. We don't fear speaking on anything. Actually, the only fear I felt was when I made a skit called “Cop Killa.” It was pretty extreme and everybody agreed that if we put it out we'd be on some terrorist list and all that so that skit will never see the light of day.
Four Color Zack: : I doubt Billy C gonna invite us over for pudding cups or anything.
Now, I know Skillz wanted to quit doing his annual “Rap Up” tracks, but they were the perfect recaps of the wild and weird shit that'd go down during a calendar year. Are there plans to keep the 2¢ mixes going on, with these kinds of commentaries popping off on a more regular basis? Maybe yearly?
Craze: I wanna keep making these every year if we can. It ain't like we won't have things to talk about, and the creativity I see in our mixes is unmatched at the moment, so I wanna keep inspiring.
Four Color Zack: No doubt. As time permits you can always expect us to be building the next one behind the scenes.
Last time we spoke, you guys were talking about hitting the road as some kind of touring act, and word is you two will be hitting Australia soon. What can the folks down under expect from a 2¢ show? Will any of these routines be getting done live? Will it be more of a collaborative back-to-back live set?
Craze: Aw man, I'm so excited to take this show on the road, and of course you can expect some of these mixes performed live. Our vision for a 2¢ live show is some next level shit, not only rocking crowds; [we'll be] throwing in some comedy and social commentary just how the mixes are, but live and with more energy and visuals to accompany the narrative. We've made careers rocking clubs, festivals and competitions–it's time for that next level DJ show and who better to do it than us!
Four Color Zack: Yup, we hope to elevate the live performance landscape the same way we are pushing to elevate the mixtape game. Two totally different thing with different executions, but expect the same level of quality and forward thinking.
Any words for people who might get butthurt over what's in this new mix?
Four Color Zack: I'm just happy when people are inspired by the creativity but I'm sure Craze has some words for feeling-catchers. Yo Craze hit em…
Craze: It's best to ignore us and let it be…YOU DONT WANT IT WITH US! That IS a warning! ¯_(ツ)_/¯