"ms. grl-a-lot" converses with "requestdj"
GAL: What's this all about?
RDJ: Well basically it's about the music. Have you ever gotten so excited about something that you really, REALLY wanted to share it with all of your friends? That's how SDJ got started. There's an incredible amount of great music coming out now, yet a lot of people aren't hearing it for a number of reasons. So basically my "target" audience are people who are waiting for the next R.E.M. or Sting album to come out; not cuz these are bad artists per se, but just because they don't know what else is out there that they might enjoy.
GAL: So your on a mission to save the world from Sting?
RDJ: (laughing) Well not exactly, but I do think that there are plenty of reasons to listen to new music, and plenty of people who really don't have the time to get into anything new... so they end up listening to, well, Sting.
GAL: Sting has lost his edge?
RDJ: How edgy can a Disney score be? I mean I had The Police's album in high school, like 20 years ago, and it was cool... some of the coolest shit ever. Then something happens when an artist is no longer interested in making Pop music, and wants to do more "meaningful" work, after they become famous, etc, and they just get well, boring. "Beloved" is the word that signals the end of careers, in my mind. Elton John, Madonna, Prince or "whatever we call him now", Phil Collins, R.E.M., even U2... all of them in their own ways are incredible artists that made a HUGE impact on popular music, that, well, aren't anymore ... it's nothing aginst them, it's just that I am a fan of Pop, and these later efforts by these artists are more for their already existing fans, and tend to be less Pop.
GAL: I'm confused, you said you loved Prince earlier.
RDJ: HE'S A GENIUS!! Are you kidding? An icon! Wrote some of the best music ever, some over the best Pop songs ever, shit, he wrote Nothing Compares 2 U for Sinead O'Connor!... I played the "1999" album a gazillion times back in the day; but it doesn't mean I HAVE to like the stuff he's doing now; which I'm sure has its merits. Maybe the film "Spinal Tap" gets this right when the band is confounded by the lack of response to their "Jazz Oddessy"... just play the MUSIC already! Read this review of Madonna's new show: (holding up newspaper) the only "old" song she sings is "Holiday", which gets the BIGGEST response from the audience. It ain't rocket science.
GAL: OK, I think I get it. It's the "untouchable" status of mega-stars that bugs you. Right?
RDJ: When Phil Collins does what I (and this is only my opinion) consider to be a "standard issue"-type score for a Disney movie and is up for a Grammy for it, it makes you wonder. Or was it Sting?
GAL: You don't remember?
RDJ: Hell, same difference. I wish them much happiness on thier respective 17th century estates in the hills of Britian. I hear the guy who wrote "Lady in Red" has one too...
GAL: Hmm ... you seem a little irreverent.
RDJ: Popular music artists are here for the FANS, not vica versa. I guess that's the germ of my argument. Look at Radiohead's "Kid A" album. They came out like 15 years ago or so. They could rest on their laurels and deliver a so-so album and it would probably still sell. But this album is AMAZING, and it totally pushes the envelope. THAT's to me what the creative process is all about. Disney will always get the score written somehow, you can count on it. Meanwhile someone else will be making art; or at least something to dance to.
GAL: Well, now, what sort of music do you like?
RDJ: I like everything, really. Jazz, Hip-Hop, Punk, "Alternative"; whatever that is, and R&B tend to be my favorite categories. A lot of these labels dont even work anymore, but that's another conversation. What I have the most of in my record collection is Hip-Hop.
GAL: Rap music?
RDJ: Yeah, although "Hip Hop" covers a lot of music with the same kind of beats... Mary J. Blige is called the "Queen of Hip-Hop" (Queen of Soul was taken... yuk yuk) But, yeah, Rap.
GAL: No offense, but you seem very mellow, almost meditative. And rap seems so harsh, or at least angry. Why do you love it so much?
RDJ: That's a great question! And getting that compliment in there, that's good too, you're really good at this.
GAL: So, are you gonna answer it?
RDJ: Well. I'm gonna get all zen on your ass for asking now. There's a quote by Krishnamurti that says "Meditation is a state of mind which looks at everything with complete attention, totally, not just parts of it." Thats how I see Hip-Hop, it tells the truth about things in our society a lot of us would rather not look at. But our future depends on us developing the courage to get through ALL of this crap: racism, materialism, hatred of all kinds... basically rap screams "wake up" over and over. I guess until we do. The Budda is said to have responded to a man who thought he was a god by simply saying "I am awake." Oh yeah and the stuff ROCKS, too. Almost forgot about that.
GAL: That's DEEP, yo.
RDJ: Yeah, yeah. Someone's gotta think about this stuff, might as well be us.
GAL: Are you calling Madonna's fans COWARDS?
RDJ: Naww, nothing like that. There's just people who like music and people who dont really care that much about it. My dad says that there are certain types of music for "people who don't like music"; and I think that's basically true. And for everyone else, there's Sounds Du Jour!
GAL: Nice plug!
RDJ: I've become a good prostitute for the internet, no? Well if I made money doing this maybe...
GAL: You just do it for the "love"?
RDJ: Yeah, hopefully it'll stay that way, or I'll shut it down before then. I don't know.
GAL: Well there's a lot more we could talk about but I think we need to stop. Can you do your "punk" joke about the glass being half empty?
RDJ: Naww your ruining it.
GAL: Come on, it's like "deep" too... is the glass half empty or half full?
RDJ: Its too damn big for the job. Happy?
GAL: Well, maybe you need to HEAR it!
RDJ: Well there's always something to hear on Sounds du Jour! See how seamless that was!!!
GAL: Not!!! Any last messages?
RDJ: Yeah, F the Internet. Leave your house occasionally, its good for ya. That's what I'm doing now. Good for the ol' Chi. Put your toes in the grass.
RDJ: Ain't it? Hee hee.