Since 1984, DJ Cash Money has been pioneering, designing and defining the art of turntablism. He is a cultural icon in the dj world and one of the most prolific DJs in hip-hop history. Known in the industry as a dj, turntablist and producer, he is best known for his pioneering scratch techniques, lightning speed and fierce musicality on the turntables. Artistic creations such as the “transformer scratch” and the DJ Cash Money Turntable Style Position are just a few of his inventions. Many techniques and styles created by DJ Cash Money have single-handedly revolutionized the technology for djs and the manufacturing of the turntables. He is the first dj inducted into Technics DJ Hall of Fame. Although Philadelphia’s indelible stamp on hip-hops’ historical legacies tend to be downplayed to New York’s contributions, DJ Cash Money’s accomplishments are undisputed as the champion on the turntables as the only dj to win all three dj championships for the New Music Seminar and the DMC DJ Championships. DJ Cash Money’s music journey began in the streets of Philadelphia as a dancer traveling from block party to block party in search of the spotlight. Even though he was there to dance, he was intrigued by the turntables. Known as Jerome Hewlett in the beginning, he took the name Cash Money from his nickname on the basketball court. He was known to have the “money” shot and named himself “DJ Cash Money”. He continued to build his skill as a breakdancer by joining the dance group “Sonic Wave” and at the same time he was building his skill on the turntables by making mix tapes for the group’s choreography. He became a major player on the mix tape and dj scene in his high school and in his Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood. He continued to dance, perform and excel on the turntables, but it was not until he heard a cassette tape of DJ Grandmaster Flash from New York City that changed his life forever. The sounds of the manipulations of the turntables to make music is what made him decide that this would be his career. He would be the musician and the turntables would become his instrument. During his quest for knowledge of the turntables, he found Grand Wizard Rasheen who taught him the craft of turntablism.
We been big fans of your for a very long time and remember listening to your mix tapes as a teenager in nothing but respect for your technique, tell us about your first mix tape that comes to mind that you truly loved and for what reasons? Is there anywhere we can check out some of your earliest work?
I have released many mixtapes but the one that has always had a special place in my heart was called “Old School Need Ta Learn O” Plot 1..The reason why this mixtape means so much to me is because these were the songs that were playing when i started into Hip Hop…You can check my mixes out bellow
If you had to name 5 tunes that inspired the music you play today and where you are at what were they?
Well i play a lot of high energy music at my shows so when i’m in my car or home i listen to a lot of classic 70’s R&B/Love Songs….It balances me out….Songs like Isley Brothers – For The Love Of You, Bobby Caldwell – What You Won’t Do For Love, Earth Wind & Fire – That’s The Way Of The World, Heatwave – Star Of The Story,Luther Vandross – So Amazing…..
while growing with the hip hop scene is its early years who did you draw influences from? Who were the DJS that you looked up to?
Grand Master Flash & Grandwizard Theodore were the dj’s were the first guys i heard to make me want to become a dj…
Whats your set up like nowadays your playing on vs what you started of on? How do you see technology changing over the next 10 years?
Hows the parties and scene at home for you right now? Things are growing? Steady or booming?
With Straight Out of Compton doing much larger sales at the box office its more than fair to say hip hop is on the rise! Every kids gonna be rocking around with F*%k the Police booming out of their speakers for quite sometime and for us we love that! It brings a smile to our face knowing that a whole new generation is going to experience a movement we grew up with! How does it make you feel that tunes like Express Yourself and the new Dr Dre album will know be touched by a whole new audience with hip hop’s latest rise to a more broader listening audience?
You must have an amazing collection of old school posters, shoes, records and all sorts of rap music’s culture in your man cave at home. Tell us about some of your most prized possesions and how they come about to be in your possesion?
We noticed you even have your own Puma states model. Such a iconic shoe and something thats not gone out of fashion now for 30 + years! How did the collaboration come about? How did Puma get in touch ? The whole design process, how did you both work on the project so both yourself and Puma were happy with the final product?
The Puma deal happened by on of the VP’s of Puma in the UK is a huge fan of me..She heard i was performing in her town and brought her whole staff to my gig….The next day i was getting a call to have a meeting with them..The rest is history….How many dj’s can say they have a sneaker made of them?? I really didn’t have any input in the design except for if i liked them or not…The first image they showed me i didn’t like..They had my green colored eyes on the back of the shoe and i thought was kind of freaky….The next design was spot on..I loved it and that’s the one that was released..
Finally and thank you so much for you time! We have nothing but respect for your journey and proud now share another part of it with you at your show at Jenja . Whats next for DJ Cash Money on the touring side things and in the studio?
I will be getting back into production..My goal is to do an album with a bunch of my celebrity artist & upcoming artist with tracks that i produced…I want to continue to keep touring..Djing in these clubs is my first love…I love to make people feel good through music…Thank you for supporting me…See you soon…”Keep It Green”!!!