After seeing Birmingham DJ’s/Bboys Jam Fu (R) and KhanFu (L) spinning at several Breakin’ events around the country and always getting hyped by the banging 90′s hiphop, funk and breaks they play, I decided our readers deserve a chance to learn more about these 2 up and coming dj’s and die hard hiphop heads. Here’s what went down:
Please introduce yourselves:
J-FU: Yo whatsup! My name is Jahmai but people know me as Jam Fu and for those that don’t know, the FU means For Unity!
K-FU: My name is Adil but many people know me as KhanFu aka KhanFucious. I am a DJ and Dancer from the UK and currently studying in Manchester where I am based.
Tell us how you both met and when you both started dj’ing:
K-FU: I met Jam back in high school. We both pretty much started dancing together and going to classes to learn Breakin’. I Started DJing because of Jam though – he was already playing with Tino (fellow DJ) doing their own Hip Hop night. One day I asked him if he could drop a certain tune for me at the next night he plays at. He told me if I bought it on vinyl, he would. Ever since then I bought my first record, I never stopped -this was after the summer of 2010.
J-FU: I met Khan Fu back in school, he was breaking before me and I has asked him and a few others if i could get down with them and learn. I started djing around late 2008.
You both break as well as dj, do you still get chance to get down much?
K-FU: The chance is always there. You’ll always see me at jams buggin out when I hear a dope tune! But over the past year, as DJing was going on the up and up, my interest in training declined. When I’m hired at events to play, I usually end up staying in that ‘DJ’ mentality throughout the whole event, so end up breakin’ less but still jamming! Glad to say that I’m getting back into training now though. I’ve also decided to enter competitions too after a 2 year gap.
J-FU: I still get down just as much as i used to before i started spinning, to be honest I can’t say I train as much though as djing has just taken over. So rather than training im now either digging for hours or practising on the turntables. I still cypher and throwdown whether its in the clubs or on the concrete! Give me a circle and some beats and I’m in there before the needle drops!
When digging for records what do you tend to look out for?
J-FU: When I’m out digging I tend to go by a few guidelines, I check the year the record was produced, anything between early to late 70′s is deffo going to get a listen. Also I check the instruments listed on the sleeve, just looking for the obvious percussion instruments. Other than that i really listen to anything and everything i haven’t seen before, dont judge a book by its cover. Every record has a break its just wether its good or not!
K-FU: I just ask myself this question: ‘Will I enjoy dancing to this?’’ It doesn’t necessarily have to be a break on a record – could be anything or anyone from rock, funk, jazz and so forth. And if it’s got a dope break on it, then score! At the same time you also have records where the break is the only good part so then it’s about asking myself the same question again, but then also thinking a bit technically regarding the length, tempo and structure of the break. But it really boils down to whether or not I can imagine dancers getting down to the song if I drop it at an event.
And what’s your favourite record? (Or is that a secret?)
J-FU:Oh man, I love too many joints to just have one favourite! It would have to be between ‘Its Just Begun’ by Jimmy Castor Bunch, ‘Apache’ by Incredible Bongo Band, ‘Hustle’ & ‘Give It Up Turn It Loose’ by James Brown as for Hip Hop either ‘Protect Ya Neck’ by Wu Tang or ‘Fakin The Funk’ by Main Source.
K-FU: So many to choose from! But it has to be ‘Galaxy’ by War. That 7inch never leaves my record box and it’s a guaranteed hit! Whether to liven up the cyphers or kick off a party!
Do either of you dabble in beatmaking at all?
J-FU: I have tried making beats and still do it from time to time, I’m still learning with it. I use an MPC 2000 and only vinyl records. I’ve tried using programs but i just don’t enjoy the process. Nothing feels better than hearing the crackle from vinyl as you sample it.
K-FU: I’ve started to learn how to use certain software’s for making music and made a couple tracks here and there as practice, but not taking it seriously until I buy an MPK or something with pads on it. It’s definitely a project for the future when I have more time.
I know you are both big into your golden era 90′s hiphop, who are your favourite artists from this time?
K-FU: Wu Tang for sure! Protect Ya Neck is my favourite song by them. But there are so, so many to choose from: Gang Starr, ATCQ, KRS, Biggie, Onyx, LOTUG, Fu Schnickens, Slum Village and so forth – mainly artists from the US (although I’m definitely a fan of UK Hip Hop too).
J-FU: My favourite artists from the 90′s would have to be: Wu Tang, Lords of The Underground, Main Source, Nas, KRS 1, Gangstarr, King Just, To many to mention….
What has so far been your most memorable moment as both a bboy and a DJ?
K-FU: As a Bboy – I can’t pin down one moment, but what I remember most are the cyphers and exchanges in a place called ‘Yardbird’ in Birmingham. We used to go there every weekend without fail, to dance to live DJs and Funk bands. At the time I was underage too, so that made it more exciting for me as a kid.
And as a DJ – nothing that pops out per say, but a memorable moment was warming up at the Lowkey gig in Manchester. I started as the crowd began to walk into the venue and a few records later, I looked up at the crowd again, there were about 500-600 people there just staring at me and nodding their heads to the music. It was more of a surprise really.
J-FU: To be honest my moment is yet to come, the journey has only just begun! I know for sure one moment will be spinning at the TBB Anniversary in the Bronx NY in October, it will be my first time dj’ing overseas and what better place other than the birthplace of Hip Hop!
Are you currently planning/ working on any new mixes or anything our readers should look out for?
J-FU: At the moment i’m putting together a mix for the UK BBoy Championships 2012, its going to be straight classics and Bboy favourites. Im going to enjoy doing that one. I’m going to be putting out a Hip Hop mix with Khan Fu and a breaks mix with DJ K Break from Saudi Arabia. Also got some other stuff coming up, but wont be out for a while. In the meantime peep my latest mix titled “Can You Dig It!?
K-FU: I very recently released my first breaks mix online for free. That’s worth checking out. As for the future, I plan on releasing free mixes every 2-3 months online and building up to release a CD around new year’s time. I’m currently working on an ‘all Birmingham Hip Hop’ mixtape – showcasing different talents from the city. Jam & I are also planning to release joint Hip Hop mixes this year aimed at dancers and Hip Hop enthusiasts alike – along with some joint breaks mixes for the future.
And lastly, any shoutouts?
K-FU: Shoutouts to my fellow DJ crewmates Down By Law! And to all the DJs that helped me out in the beginning, whether it was having them teach me or just giving me advice and even just by watching them spin – it all helped shaped the DJ I am now. Special shoutout to those that are digging out there in the crates for the next ill joint! Lastly to all the dancers and people from Birmingham, always refreshing to go back and vibe there! Peace, KhanFu
J-FU: I want to give a big shout out too to these people who have inspired and motivated me to keep doing my thing! DJ Dek One, DJ Skamrok, DJ Johnny Dett, Bboy Mouse, Bgirl Smash, DJ Skeme Richards, Aidan Leacy, DJ Timber, Aby, Solo138, MDK and lastly Soul Mavericks! Peace and i’m out!
Interview by Joe Downes @joeydeezgi