From Diddy’s B-Day to Alexander Wang’s Wacky Event Location, DJ Ruckus Tells Us Tales of Parties’ Past
For all the party voyeurism social media has enabled in the past five years, we can’t help but reminisce with DJ Ruckus about a simpler time when the misdeeds and misbehavior of celebrities wasn’t so easily captured. Before DJing for the likes of Jay-Z, Diddy, Steven Spielberg, and his residency at the Hakkasan in Las Vegas, Ruckus came up through the Miami club scene at the tender age of 14. In the interview below he recounts being star struck by Michael Jordan and Tony Hawk at the same damn time, and even reflects on an infamous fashion week party thrown at a gas station by Alexander Wang.
When you were first coming up did you ever get star struck?
Man, one night Michael Jordan and Tony Hawk were in the club at the same time. I was struck over both, but slightly more so by Tony Hawk, he can fly higher than jumpman. Nowadays, not so much because all the stars that go to the club are younger than me. Bieber, The Weeknd, Travis Scott, and Gigi Hadid, so it would be weird to get struck by them. They all seem cool though!
Was there a musical moment so to speak when you decided you needed to be a DJ?
I’ve always been a product of music and hip-hop was one of the main genres I love—break dancing, graffiti, etc. I participated in all of them to an extent and deejaying was next in line for me as the abundance of turntables showed up in my life from seeing them at parties or on TV. The sound of scratching has always registered with me.
These days people seem to see being a DJ as a viable career path towards internet fame and even endorsement contacts (Vashtie is a great example of this, for instance) was it always this way?
I actually find it the opposite way, people find celebrity in someway on TV, or social media or modeling etc and deejaying is a way to monetize your following because companies want to throw a party and get a host and deejay at the same time. If you have a talent, the deejay craft is a great way to monetize your brand. Most producers do it because it’s fun and faster than the publishing checks! What a time for deejays. It’s incredible and I pray it doesn’t change. The real are the real and the others are just visiting. There’s no harm, no foul, and everyone is allowed to try whatever they like.
Tell us about the wildest night you’ve ever had as a DJ…
I plead the 5th! I’m an engaged man, those days are over…zip locked down, command alt delete! [Ed. Note: He’s talking about his Victoria’s Secret model fiancée, the beautiful Shanina Shaik, by the way] As for crowds, I would say Diddy’s Birthday in Morocco when I was 17 years old, DJ Chuckie’s Blackout with Rev Run in Amsterdam, Neon Carnival at Coachella last year and definitely Alexander Wang’s fashion week after party at the gas station on the corner of 14th and 10th in New Yew York City about 7 years ago were some of the wildest… Man, what a party. I love private events, there is something so special about them.
An example of an unexpected mix up pairing that worked really well for you was…
One time I mixed Bob Marley’s ‘Johnny Was a Good Man’ and Kanye West‘s ‘Mercy’ or ‘Boots Were Made for Walkin’ by Nancy Sinatra and DJ Unk ft. T Pain’s ‘Walk It Out,’ both totally worked out. There are some classic mashes that I made that worked time after time such as Gary Glitter’s ‘Rock and Roll Part 2’ and Killer Mike, Big Boi & The Purple Ribbon All-Stars’ ‘Kryptonite‘ together, they used to play during the Atlanta Hawks Games.
What was your favorite record of 2015, and what you can’t wait to listen to that has yet to be released?
‘Omen’ by Disclosure is definitely one of my favorite records released in 2015 and it barely made the cut! It was released in the fourth quarter. Kanye and Drake both have new stuff coming soon, going to be nasty as usual. I’m really excited to hear all that R&B has to offer this year, we’ve got some banana prospects: Bryson Tiller, Kehlani, Miguel, etc. It’s a great time for the sound.