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Show #58 | The Abstract Recording Studios
Guest: The Bakaboyz
Apr 3, 2017


Here are the job opportunities (or as we like to call them, Grind Opps) from this week's show.


04/03/17

GRIND OPP #1

Position:
Music Content Editor

Industry: Recording

Location: Long Island, NY

Description

Online Music App seeks recent college grads to help curate and edit massive library of songs.

GET THIS JOB

04/03/17

GRIND OPP #2

Position:
On Air Talent

Industry: Radio

Location: San Diego, CA

Description

Top Radio station seeks passionate on air personality.

GET THIS JOB

04/03/17

GRIND OPP #3

Position:
Production Assistant

Industry: Film

Location: Bristol, CT

Description

Top Sports Channel looking for a Production Assistant.

GET THIS JOB

04/03/17

GRIND OPP #4

Position:
Board Opoerator

Industry: Radio

Location: Toledo, OH

Description

Radio Station seeks board operator to provide programming and support to On-Air talent.

GET THIS JOB

04/03/17

GRIND OPP #5

Position:
Sound Engineer

Industry: Recording

Location: Austin, TX

Description

Mobile media app seeks creative sound engineer.

GET THIS JOB

04/03/17

GRIND OPP #6

Position:
Video Editor for MLB Team

Industry: Film

Location: Flushing, NY

Description

Major League Baseball team seeks experienced video editor for a variety of assignments.

GET THIS JOB

04/03/17

GRIND OPP #7

Position:
Audio / Sound Engineer for News Outlet

Industry: Recording

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Description

Top news outlet needs an experienced audio engineer to run audio during broadcasts.

GET THIS JOB

04/03/17

GRIND OPP #8

Position:
Camera Operator/Editor for Content Provider

Industry: Film

Location: Houston, TX

Description

Online content provider seeks a cameraperson to bring life to the site.

GET THIS JOB

04/03/17

GRIND OPP #9

Position:
Video Content Producer for Major Theme Park

Industry: Film

Location: Orlando, FL

Description

Ocean themed, theme park seeks content producer to help with productions behind the scenes.

GET THIS JOB

04/03/17

GRIND OPP #10

Position:
Assistant Culinary Manager

Industry: Culinary

Location: Kansas City, MO

Description

Kansas City restaurant looking for Assistant Culinary Manager to bring new exciting concepts to the kitchen.

GET THIS JOB

Transcript

DJ Iz: Welcome to “Connected.” I’m your host, DJ Iz. I’ve got my lovely cohost, Ms. Cloie.

Cloie: Hey.

DJ Iz: We’re coming to you live from Los Angeles, California. And today’s a great day, because today is “Monday’s takeover.” And I’ve got my brothers from another mother, the Baka Boyz. Say, “What’s up,” fellows.

Eric: We’re here, man.

Nick: Peace.

DJ Iz: They’re here. Now, they grind. So you know, late nights, early mornings and like…they grind, right?

Cloie: This is morning. This isn’t…it’s not even today yet, that’s how tight they are

DJ Iz: Right, it isn’t even today…so I’m really happy about today, because I have serious lineage with these fellas. I mean, they’ve known me and my brother since we were little Mexican and young’uns trying to get in the game and they’ve been able to do so much within their career: radio, making records to what they’re doing now with Dash Radio. So I’m happy to have you guys, bro. What’s up?

Nick: Thanks for having us, man.

Man: Thanks for having us, man, for sure.

Nick: For sure.

DJ Iz: So because you guys are creators, I want to get into this really briefly. We lost one of our heroes–iconic heroes–that invented MIDI, the drum machines like the 808, the TR-909. So man, much love, rest in peace to my man, Ikuru, who was the founder of roland. Could we get that piece, Howie? So yeah, we’re…there he is. Okay. So my man…and you know, to me this was special because, you know, I was…I grew up on those drum machines, you know what I’m saying?

Nick: Definitely, man.

DJ Iz: I grew up on those machines, man. So he passed away over the weekend and like I said, was the founder of Roland. So much respect to him and…

Nick: Rest in peace.

Cloie: Yeah.

DJ Iz: …rest in peace to him and his family.

Nick: The 808 is forever. It literally changed…and MIDI obviously changed the way we listen and create music forever. So…

DJ Iz: Yeah, absolutely.

Nick: …respect.

DJ Iz: Yeah. I mean…and that’s another thing, like, we…you don’t realize like, even in today’s culture, almost every song has an 808 boom in it.

Eric: If you don’t have an 808, you don’t have a song.

DJ Iz: You don’t have a song, right? Like, if you don’t have an 808, you’re like…you’re kind of old, like, “Well, that’s AC. Oh, you’re grown,” like, “That’s grown.”

Eric: You’ve got to have an 808. Yeah.

Cloie: “Yeah, yeah.”

Eric: Yeah. That’s like a woman without a purse or high heels.

DJ Iz: Yeah, right.

Cloie: Well…oh. Oh.

Eric: Exactly. Well, no, not high heels. I’m talking about your class. I’m just saying, a nice pair of heels, a nice pair of shoes.

Cloie: A nice pair of footwear?

Eric: Now, you’re going to say I had to back rewind.

Cloie: Yes, you did. Yes, you did. I have on a fabulous flat, thank you very much.

DJ Iz: So back to you guys. I mean, as I was mentioning prior to the show, we have a lot of viewers, man, who want to be in the field that…what I consider something you guys built. And you know, they’re always trying to understand the difference of what that actually entails. Is it…you know, “Because I’m a DJ, is that something I could dive into and go for,” or being the dude behind the mic who’s hosting?

And you know, just kind of helping my…our culture of “Connected” and our viewers understand just the lineage of you guys and what you guys have been able to do, coming from Bakersfield and coming to LA, doing Power for years, kind of reinventing the experience of…

Cloie: Trying to have them.

DJ Iz: …you know, radio, the mix shows, breaking records, what that even means today to break a record, you know what I’m saying? So we’re just happy to have you, man. We have an array of viewers, man, that just love to extract information from guys like you. So if you’ve got…you know, I kind of what you guys to just kind of talk about your journey and how you guys started, where you came from. First and foremost, you’re brothers…

Cloie: I mean, from…and from Bakersfield.

[Crosstalk 00:04:52]

DJ Iz: …Bakersfield, which for me, is a huge connection, because that’s kind of like what me and my brother are, you know what I’m saying? We’re still together to this day. We’re two years apart and you guys are three. So yeah, man. Just, you know, kind of share what you guys have been able to do throughout the many years of your career.

Eric: I guess I’ll start and then, you can pick up wherever you want.

Nick: Sure.

Cloie: Because he’s older, so there’s that.

Eric: Yeah, I’m older. But basically, you know, the deejaying stuff came from our older brother, really, house parties. Our parents…

DJ Iz: [Inaudible 00:05:22] I had no idea.

Eric: Our parents didn’t want him out on the street. So he liked to party and they eventually said, “All right, we don’t want you out. Bring the parties here.” So they’d hire a DJ and all his friends would come and they’d party. So there would be a DJ mixing the records. Nick was 10, 11 years old when this was happening. So he’s sitting on the stairs, just sneaking down, trying to sneak into the party.

And eventually, Nick would sneak into the party downstairs and then, he’d start sipping on beer, getting [inaudible 00:05:51], dancing with girls, you know, that whole thing. And I think that’s what really caught Nick with the DJ bug, is…that’s one of the instances, but being around the music really kind of put us in that light. And then later after that, we had owned…Our parents opened a teen nightclub called Vidal’s in Bakersfield and so, we were there working on the weekends. You know, I’d be doing whatever I’m doing, Nick was working lights at the club, you know, 12 years old, whatever it was.

And there was another DJ that my brother had introduced to our father and he hired him, the DJ, to be the resident there. It was a teen club, so it was 18 and under, or whatever. And Nick would see all the limelight on the DJ, so on the weekends after Friday night, we’d have to go back and

. And this guy’s in there and messing with the DJ equipment, the DJ find out about it, gets pissed off, tells my dad, you know, “This is not a tool. You know, this is expensive equipment and you can’t mess with it.”

So he starts taking his power cord away from them every weekend. So every Friday, he’d wrap up his power cord. And this guy–not an electrician, by the way–would go get a…any random extension cord, cut it up, spike

, you know? Yeah, so he would do that every weekend while we’re cleaning, working. And he’s over there messing with the turntables, going through his records and all that stuff.

So the DJ finds out about that and again, he’s like…he sees these cut-up extension cords and he’s like, “Um, no. This ain’t…he can’t be messing with my stuff. This is…” [Audio skips 00:07:21] “How about if I just buy him equipment and fire you?” Twelve years old at a teen nightclub, he could barely see over the window to see people…

Cloie: Stop.

DJ Iz: You wanted that…so what was fueling that curiosity, man? What was…was that…?

Nick: You know, it’s

the inspiration, to be honest.

DJ Iz: Be honest about it.

Cloie: That’s not fair.

[Crosstalk 00:07:40]

Nick: [Audio skips 00:07:40] this DJ, he’s rocking a crowd of a thousand people, he’s got a drink in the hand and a smoke in the other and a girl on each side of him, dancing to the music. I’m like, “What the hell? I’ve never seen this before in my life, so how does that happen? Let me try to figure that out.” That’s all it took for me, like, “That’s what I want to do. Let me figure it out.” There, that was it. That was my inspiration.

Cloie: Is that not how most people figure it out?

DJ Iz: No.

Cloie: No? Oh. Oh.

DJ Iz: Definitely not.

Cloie: Well…

DJ Iz: That’s like the Tony…you see Tony Montana and you’re like, “Man, he’s got the power, he’s got the respect…”

Cloie: Right, but you get the…that on the low?

DJ Iz: “…I want to be here.” But that’s still…I mean, it’s like even at that age, bro…

Cloie: He doesn’t know.

DJ Iz: …do you have a serious, like…

Nick: Desire?

DJ Iz: Yeah.

Nick: Well, you know, my father used to pay…like, we’d have guests over at the house and I was the performer. I was always the performer in the family, so even from a young age, they were like, “Nick, come and dance. Come and dance.” And I was like, “You’ve got to pay me dollars.”

Cloie: That’s right. Not for free.

Nick: So when they started bringing out the dollars, then that gets me excited. And I’m there dancing [inaudible 00:08:42].

Eric: He was like a midget male stripper. [inaudible 00:08:48]

DJ Iz: There you go. There you go.

Cloie: With his clothes on?

Eric: Yeah.

Chloe: With his clothes on.

Nick: So yeah, I was a performer. And that was an opportunity for me. And then, I’d seen that I wanted to be around…that’s what I wanted to be. I didn’t know what it was going to take to get there, but it was possible because I see it, so let me try to figure that out.

DJ Iz: Right. So now, walk me through that next phase of you guys coming together and finding yourselves this…as radio dudes. I mean…

Cloie: Seriously.

DJ Iz: …getting on the mic, that…I mean, just that whole thing.

Cloie: Because like, ’92 was really where you hit it, right?

Nick: ’93 in Los Angeles. Yeah. We got to go back to Bakersfield. And we’d heard about a radio station from cassette tapes called KDAY…1580 KDAY. And it was a DJ–Sid Perry–brought these cassettes down and we would hear these cassettes. And they were playing music we never heard before and scratching and doing all kinds of crazy stuff and we’re like, “Wow, that’s pretty cool.” So eventually, we started hanging a lot more with Sid Perry and we drove to Los Angeles to listen to the radio, actually.

Eric: Yeah, because we couldn’t get it…you know, it was an AM station, but we quickly figured out after midnight, we could actually get it in Bakersfield because it’s AM. It’s not FM where it’s directional, it’s like, it goes over mountains, it goes over everything. So we ended up on our two-story house at 3:00 in the morning every Friday and Saturday night, to listen to what they were playing–staticky and everything–recording it, “Oh, he’s playing this,” “Oh, he’s playing this.”

Nick: “What is that song?”

Eric: Then, we’d take those cassettes and then go to LA and buy those records. We’d be like, “What is this? What is this? What is this? What is this?” So

Tony Gonzalez and Julio G. So we started hiring

the crowd that came to see them or not, we wanted to see them. So we hired them so we can watch them and learn and see what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. And then, we’d practice it when they’d…you know, when they’d leave, we’d practice it later, “Oh, did you see him do this? Did you see him do that?”

So we were absorbing everything from people that had greater skill than us to try to learn the best we could. And by…the best thing for us has always been watching and learning and absorbing. And that’s how we’ve kind of become what we’ve become, I think.

Cloie: We talk a lot here about the importance of being a sponge: don’t talk, shut up and listen and watch. And I feel like that is the perfect example of that.

DJ Iz: Yeah. And if you just look at where the culture is, even now, with that type of way of learning, which is…even YouTube, you know what I mean? These cats go to YouTube. And what I love mostly about this generation is, obviously, they’re self-entitled, right? And to them, talent is the one thing that they’ll bet the house on. And it’s all a part of…for guys like us who’ve been doing this so long, you start to realize, man, the talent is just an ounce of it. It’s the know-how…

Nick: Inspiration. Yeah.

DJ Iz: …yeah, inspiration. I mean, just understanding the game within its entirety, you know? Because everybody can roll out of bed nowadays and say they do this, “I’m a DJ. I do this, I do that.” There’s no…you don’t need any type of, you know, certification

Eric: Or no degrees.

DJ Iz: …no credentials, you know what I’m saying? So to understand the hunger and appetite that goes into becoming great at your craft, man, is so important. People always ask, “Well, is it this? Do I got to do this? Is it this one thing?” And it’s like no, man, it’s…

Nick: An array.

DJ Iz: …an array of things.

Cloie: Yes. And to the point of talent, I also want to say

.

DJ Iz: Not at a high level.

Cloie: No, not everybody has that artistic thing, you know what I mean, at a certain point. And that is also when coupled with…

DJ Iz: And even for me, man, I remember when I first heard you guys when you guys came to LA on Power. And it was like this show that was full of energy, right, from those records you guys were playing, just the whole experience of cutting and scratching. And then getting on the mic, man, and talking and feeling your energy, what’s that…what was that…how did you find that and how did you get…what was your process to becoming comfortable?

Nick: Well, forced. It was kind of a forced situation. Eric was very uncomfortable on the microphone. And once we got…

Eric: For years.

Nick: …once we got to the AM radio station in Bakersfield and we were trying to mirror what we were listening on KDAY…we were trying to have our own radio show. And we’ve never been on radio before, we just knew that that’s the next thing we wanted to do. So we eventually got onto the Bakersfield AM radio station Friday and Saturday nights from 7:00, to midnight. We had to go and buy the commercial…we had to sell commercial time.

Eric ditched school to go and sell the commercial time so we could do that. But he wasn’t trying to get on the microphone and I’m like, “Okay. Well, I guess I’ve got to rock the mic.” I didn’t care. I’m like…

Eric: He never cared.

DJ Iz: Balls and walk.

Nick: I didn’t…

Eric: He just…he’d go and just…he was like, “All right, you know what, dude? I’ll go do it. I don’t care.”

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. So he was on the turntables. So that was his main thing and he was incredible on the turntable. But that gave me an opportunity to just rock the microphone and you know, focus on that–I guess–if you will. So that was what it was, it was a forced situation. And not till…I don’t think…not till…San Francisco? I think–me, from my eyes, to watching my brother grow–San Francisco, he started to grow and then moving onto Miami, he really started to get comfortable.

So it took him a long time to get comfortable on the microphone. And then, me, I don’t care. I would jump on the turntables, jump on the microphone. You know me. I’m taking dollars to dance when I was just 10 years old.

[Crosstalk 00:14:09]

DJ Iz: That was hard, son. That was hard.

Nick: I didn’t mind. So I didn’t mind, but that was the partnership, you know what I mean? It’s like, I’ll pick up the slack here if you can’t do it and you’ve got to go and rock the turntables, then. If you want me on the mic, then you’d better get down on the turntables.

Cloie: It’s balance.

Nick: Yeah.

DJ Iz: And I think to, just becoming a household name, I mean, that was something you guys were able to carry coming from Bakersfield. And you know, going to all the places you guys went and then coming to LA and still holding onto that name, I mean, what was…Was it a Bakersfield thing that this kind of…You guys kind of took on as far as that name, the Baka Boyz?

Eric: The Baka Boyz came from a rapper we were working with at the time named MC ALT who wrote for kid Frost and []. He was riding a lot of rhymes, a really good writer. So he wrote a lot of songs for them and he’d come visit us in Bakersfield. And then, one time when we came to LA, we were staying at his house and they were drinking, playing cards and whatever. And we walked in and he was like, “Hey, guys. It’s the Baka Boyz.” And that was it, that was our name.

It was like…We looked at each other and it was like, “Okay, that’s the name.”

DJ is: Bing.

Eric: That was the name and it just stuck with us. And going back to the whole LA thing, as far as us having success on the air, you know, the funny thing is, when we first came on the air, they weren’t…Nobody was playing, really, hip-hop on an FM station, on a big channel. And when we got on the air, every single person that heard us thought we were black. Nobody was talking like we were, nobody was saying, “do,” nobody was saying, “fresh.”

No one was saying the stuff we were doing when we came up with the rollcall. And so, everybody that we were black till they’ve seen us and they were like, “What’s going on,” you know?

Cloie: They were confused.

DJ Iz: By the way, the rollcall was such a huge, massive thing and a part of the Baka Boyz’ brand. I mean, that was in someone’s song and it’s like…

Eric: It still is, man.

DJ Iz: …It still is, bro.

Eric: I mean, we see people randomly that are just going, “Oh, I used to listen to the rollcall,” “Oh, I love the San Francisco,” and so on, “oh, I love this,” “I love that.” We have not done that in over 20-something years, man and people still remember it. So I know we did something good, you know? They can’t take that away from us, no matter what or who out there hates. They can’t take that from us, no matter what. We definitely changed radio in LA and I think it’s because we didn’t have “normal” schooling, as far as radio broadcasting…

Nick: Broadcasting.

Eric: …101, you’ve got to open the mic like this, you’ve got to do that, you’ve got to do that. No, we kind of forged our own way and made her own style and our own past. And you know, with the chemistry that me and my brother have, is…I still don’t feel like anybody can outdo what we do together, nobody.

Cloie:

DJ Iz: No, I totally agree, man. Between all of us…And you know, you’ve been able to see so many come and go and you look back and you say, “Man, who captivated my era like that?” Nobody did. I still remember being in my teenage years, bro, when Trouble T-Roy came out [] in those kind of records. And you guys were just…I was like…Man, it was like a bi-coastal experience for me. That wasn’t just only listening to ice cube and the far side and all those. I was listening to everything, you know what I’m saying?

And then, you guys brought that experience in and then, it just felt like one big party on the radio. And then, after you guys were over, it’s like, “All right, man.” [], You know what I’m saying? So it’s like, that experience, I mean, I can honestly say the radio, to me…As a creator, as a lover of that experience, radio to me is dead in that aspect. There’s not too many cats that can get on there and offer you that experience, man. And you know…

Eric: They’ve been handcuffed, you know? Those corporations…They’ve been handcuffed. And now with these new gradients that they have, these personal people meters, what they…How they registered the listeners and stuff like that, their research or their numbers or their bean counters are telling them that people don’t want to hear talk. They want to hear music, they want to hear this and that.

But I think that the only thing that differentiates you as a radio station is what happens in between the [] you’re playing the same 20 [] records, you’re playing the same to any YG records, you’re playing the same–whoever–and the only thing that makes you different is what goes in between. But if you don’t have somebody in between that can captivate you with what they’re saying or what they’re doing, then that’s when talk doesn’t want to be heard.

DJ Iz: Yeah. And it’s like…

Eric: But if it’s entertaining, people will hear you.

DJ Iz: Yeah, it’s like…Yeah…

Cloie: It’s true.

DJ Iz: …Robots playing music. And the thing for me is like, when I do hear a cat on radio that gets my ear is when I can reference to what I experienced in the past, you know what I’m saying? Just the connectivity between just what they’re talking about, how much their entrenched in the culture, you know what I’m saying? All those things. And I don’t…I mean, maybe on two fingers maybe, you know what I’m saying, that I can say that I can turn on…

Eric: If that’s…

DJ Iz: And I don’t give a damn whether it’s Power or whatever it is. Like…

Cloie: That’s true.

DJ Iz: …Yo, shit is whack, you know what I’m saying? So like, when I got a chance to come onto Dash Radio, which you guys are doing now, and just sit and talk with you guys, it was hard to really…For me to stay [] with the interview, because I’m thinking like, “Damn, I’m here with the Baka Boyz.” And I remember just that experience and to see it happen in real time again was like…You know, I had to, like…You know what I’m saying? I had to snap out of it. And then…

Cloie:

DJ Iz: …Eric gets on the turntables and it’s just like…You know what I’m saying? And it’s because it’s something you don’t see anymore. And that energy, man, and that connectivity is almost gone, you know?

Cloie: It’s dead.

DJ Iz: So…

Cloie: Because of what you say, people think, “Oh, just push and play, push and play.” I’m going, “No.” When I listen to the radio, and the only listening for personality. You could play…You could yodel, for all I care, right? But I’m only listening to the in between.

DJ Iz: Yeah, it’s like…You know, back then, it’s like you had a great song, then you had great commentary and you had a great conversation

Cloie: Especially…Yes.

DJ Iz: And now, it’s like…And that’s why these cats got to play the same record within 20 minutes, because it’s like, you’re not offering anything in between that. You can’t, you don’t have it.

Cloie: []. I’m from DC. I may DC girl, so I grew up on WPGC 95. So you have the morning shows and you have all of that stuff. And that was…That’s what you listen for on your way in to school or what ever you were doing. It was like, that [].

Eric: It was part of your day?

Cloie: It’s part of your day. And we’ve talked about that here and just how important that was, laced in with these hot popular songs. But for somebody like me, you know, it was all about []. Speaking of []…

DJ Iz: And then…speaking of []…

Cloie:

DJ Iz: No, no, I’m…We’ll get to that. But you know, for me, it’s like, it’s an honor to have you guys. And what I want to keep in mind is, I’m not…Were not just talking to pioneers of radio. Were talking to cats that got into remixing, producing records, you know what I’m saying? Like, man, who could do that? Who has the lineage, who has the track record of doing that, you know what I’m saying?

Cloie: I have two people.

DJ Iz: And what was that for…You know, what was that like for you guys, like jumping into remixes and doing that…Getting into production?

Nick: Well, you have to understand that the time that we left the AM radio station from Bakersfield, from that summer…we had that summer in Bakersfield to ignite our radio careers and we did that. But after that summer was over, Baker was off the radio. So we were like…

Eric: In flip formats.

Nick: In flip formats. Okay, you call it flip formats.

Eric: That’s what it was.

Nick: I didn’t have a radio show anymore. That’s what I say.

Cloie: Sibling fight.

Eric: Flip formats, that’s what it was.

Nick: Regardless, we weren’t on the radio anymore. What were we going to do at that point? Try to get onto another radio station, right? In Bakersfield, no go. Boom, FM radio, no go. No, if you’re 16, you’re Mexican, no. They don’t even listen to us, won’t even give us a shot. So were like, “Okay, so what do we do now?” Well, our thought process was–and still is, for me personally–I see a wall or I see somebody blocking me from doing what I want to do, I will go around you, I will go underneath you, I will…

DJ Iz: Right, back to Mexico. Yeah.

Nick: So we started producing records. And we had a relationship with Tony G at that point in time and he was telling us, “You’ve got to buy a drum machine. You’ve got to buy this, it has to be a 1200 drum machine if you want to make hip-hop records.” So once again, me and Eric, we took the entire summer and saved and saved all this money, went to work with my dad and then we started producing records.

So producing records was only…We only started doing that so we can get back on the radio with our music. And we…

Eric: Yeah. We were like, “If they won’t let us on the air, they’ll have to play our music.” That’s what we thought.

DJ Iz: Wow.

Eric: So we were like, “Okay, if they don’t want us on the air, then we’ll just have to make music that they have to play.”

Cloie: So you said, “You closed this door, I’m going to knock down the wall, I am going to bust out your window?”

Eric: Yeah. Yeah.

Cloie: Right. Right.

Nick: So that was our process. That was why we started producing records and to the point where we got the Power 106. Well, we actually…Eventually in 1991, we did get to FM radio in Bakersfield. We were the music directors and we had a Saturday night mix show. We were dual music directors at that point.

And they wanted us to do a full-time gig at the radio station in Bakersfield, which was the biggest station in Vegas, that time. And were like, “Well, were producing records now.” Were going back and forth to LA, so we didn’t want to commit to doing a daily, because that would have locked us into Bakersfield for ever. We would have never got out of Bakersfield. But we said, “No, you know what? Were not going to take that job, that full-time opportunity.

Were going to continue to go to Los Angeles and work with ice cube, yo-yo, House of pain, the far side, producing [] and [].” So Power 106, once again, the right place, right time, right situation. And that one day…And we tell the story all the time, when our studio session got canceled and were like, “What are we going to do now?” Well, we made some phone calls to a lot of record reps that we have a Los Angeles.

Eric:

Nick: And we know all the record labels. We know them all. We’d just run up like kids with our drum machine, with our little boombox to plug into the drum machine and we…

Eric: Discs.

Nick: …Our discs. Yeah, of course. Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, discs to play beats for people.

Nick: And we would play beats for people right out the trunk, straight up, just connect right there.

DJ Iz: That’s why to me, yes, our show, we give jobs. But to me…

Cloie: This is

DJ Iz: …More special for our viewers.

Eric: This is the grind. This is the grind, this is…

DJ Iz: This is the grind. This is…

Eric: This is what we have to do…

DJ Iz: …Unconventional, you know, God…You got…What’s the next…? “Okay, no go there? Okay, well, were going here. Okay, no? Okay. Well…” So keep going, man.

Nate: Yeah. So the Power 106 thing happened when we didn’t have our studio session, it got canceled. So we had to do something else. We went to dinner with a friend of ours at Profile Records and he…

Eric:

Nick: …He introduced us to a couple of his friends, which was Power 106’s Morales in [] and then the new music director at The Beat, which was Errol Austin at the time. And so, here we are, just a couple of kids from Bakersfield. Were in radio, but we didn’t know who we were going to have dinner with, just two of the biggest people in Los Angeles radio, or just…They were connected.

So that one night just turned into our careers. We just had a great time and Morales seen something in us. And actually, Morales just told a story the other day that Power 106 is trying to do a hip-hop show. And he was like, “Wait a minute, I already do a Saturday night mix show, I don’t want to do another show. You’re taking away my weekends now.” So…

Eric: So our opportunity came in him not wanting to do a hip-hop show []. And we sent him a demo air check and you know, a couple weeks later, he said, “Rick wants to meet with you guys.” So he set down…On a Wednesday we drove up. And I remember the first thing I told Nick when we walked into the building like yesterday. I walked in and I said, “Look, if we get this, cool. And if we don’t, cool. We’ll just go back to doing what we do.”

We go up and meet with them and he listened. He said, “I listened to your air check. I don’t know what it is, there’s something there. I feel it, it’s in my got. I don’t know what it is. I can’t put a finger on it, but I like your style, I like what you guys do.” And he said, “Can you slow down, kind of talk a little fast,” kind of gives us little pointers and stuff. And he’s like, “We want you to do this show, this hip-hop show.”

DJ Iz: Now, here’s what’s crazy for me, because I understand how very much territorial radio is. You’ve got two big stations in LA…it’s like Raider fans, you know what I’m saying? Like, you don’t embrace another team []. And these cats had one of my favorite records in hip-hop, which was [], which was a record they did that’s been playing on all kinds of stations, but you’re at Power, you know what I’m saying?

To me, that’s like, that’s beyond killing two birds with one stone. That’s like…

Cloie: That’s like the whole block [].

DJ Iz: …That’s amazing. That’s game changing, bro, like…

Nick: Can I share a little something real fast about the history of pop records. The music director and the program director called us into their office one day. And the record rep was there from RCA records–the record was on RCA records–and he was like, “How come you guys didn’t tell me you guys produced this record?” And were like, “Well, we want the record to perform on its own, number one.”

And I wasn’t a huge fan of the record at first and even making the record wasn’t that something I wanted to do. It was [], to West Coast state, it was too Zapp & Roger-ish for me as…At that point in time in my life. But it turned out to be the only record that is notable by us. But yeah, he was like, “Why didn’t you guys tell us?” But we kind of don’t want to be like, tooting our own horn, “Hey, play our record. This is mine. This is mine. Play it. Play it. Yeah.” That’s not our style. Were not those guys, so you know, just humble, I guess.

DJ Iz: And you know what’s greasy know that I hear you say that, man? I never remember seeing you guys as much steam as that record you have and it’s now like an iconic Golden a record. I’ve never remembered seeing you guys doing the whole producer, like, “That’s my record,” you know, “That’s got a hit,” you know what I’m saying?

And even being at Power at that time and not favoring your record, as dope as it was, as much damage as that was doing, to hear you say that, it’s like I can attest to that, because I never remembered…I just continued seeing you guys doing this show, the Baka Boyz, doing all…And meanwhile…

Cloie: It’s like on the backend. Right.

DJ Iz: …You’re smashing, you know? You’re smashing on the radio waves across boards. And that’s just something that symbolizes just the authenticity of who you guys are and who you guys still are within the culture.

Cloie: I think that speaks to the focus of the…All right, the artistry. It’s not like, “Oh, I’ve arrived. We did this thing.” It’s like, “I actually kind of don’t like that. I…” You know, whatever, whatever. “This is what it is. It’s suiting the purpose, but I’m on to the next thing.” And I think sometimes what happens to artists when that E-word gets into play–which we’ll talk about–is that they think they’ve arrived and that’s kind of where it stops.

I don’t…Had you all thought that, “This was it, this was everything,” at that moment? Had you had that mentality around it, you know what I mean?

Nick: Yeah. You know, that would have stunted us…

Cloie: Exactly.

Nick: …Perhaps. But also, being at Power 106, it did stunt our…

Eric: Production.

Nick: …[] Divide the production still, at that point, because our whole thing just pivoted. Like okay, we were on the verge of becoming what we were, producing -wise. And then, we get to this Power 106 thing and it kind of took our entire life over, so we just had to pivot and just focus on that. So…

DJ Iz: I always said, man, you can’t serve two masters in this game. It’s very, very hard to do.

Eric: It’s very tough.

DJ Iz: It’s very tough. But you know, look at what you guys are doing…When I look at what you guys are doing, even with–radio, to me, it’s like okay, here we go again. And even for me as a creator, bro, it gives me that sense of like…

Nick: Reset.

DJ Iz: …Reset, you know what I’m saying? Reset, because evolving…You know, everybody talks about, “Well, you’ve got to evolve to stay relevant,” but there is a certain way you have to evolve and still find inspiration within evolving. And you’ve got to hit that Reset button, you know? I look at you guys…And I know you guys went to Miami, right, and became the dudes out there and it’s like everywhere you guys have gone, you guys have conquered.

And I look at you guys having a number one show on Dash Radio now and it doesn’t surprise me. It doesn’t, man, because you guys are still doing what you do, what you love and there is still that sense of authenticity to it. It’s not just about the…Yeah.

Nick: The hip-hop taught us that, man. From the very, very beginning, it’s like, you can’t fake this. You can’t…

DJ Iz: You can’t fake the [].

Nick: …Fake who you are.

Eric: And like I tell people, it’s like, there’s people…A lot of people with talent out there, but you’ve got to have that certain little extra thing. You either have it or you don’t. You can’t learn it, it can’t be taught to you. You have to have it and we have it when it comes to radio. This is what we do. I feel like this is our purpose and this is what we do. And put us against anybody–I don’t give a shit who it is–we can…

Nick: We’ve already beat Howard Stern, we’ve already beat Kevin []…

Eric: Yeah, I don’t care.

Nick: …We’ve already beat everybody in the city.

Eric: They don’t want us…

DJ Iz: Well, you guys…

Eric: They don’t want us back on the air in LA, because it’ll change all again, believe me…

DJ Iz: Yeah, but that’s the thing, though. It’s like, when you’re the author of the blueprint…

Eric: That’s who we are.

DJ Iz: …It doesn’t matter what changes. If you need a new…

Cloie: That’s true.

DJ Iz: …You need a new column to support this thing, you throw a new column…That’s what you do. We evolve and we stay inventive and we keep the core fundamentals of what it is we do intact and you grow. You get to grow.

Eric: But you always evolve, though.

DJ Iz: You always evolve, yeah.

Eric: You always evolve.

DJ Iz: And you can evolve and become wack. I’ve seen it happen all the time, people evolving and they become wack. You have to have the…An understanding of everything within its entirety: the culture of who you speak to, what the market’s appetite is, how that changes. And very few can do it, man. And here we are, X amount of years later, still evolving, still pioneering that experience.

Cloie: [] which goes back to all the other stuff that we were just saying. You were like, “No, no, no, no. This is what we do. This is what we do,” as opposed to being like…What is that…? There’s a saying. Oh, I’m going to mess it up. The wind…the reed and the willow, the one that won’t bend, that whole…

Nick: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

Cloie: …Saying, “The one that won’t bend breaks.”

Nick: Yeah, absolutely.

Cloie: You know what I mean?

Nick: A palm tree in the wind. If you’re in the middle of a storm, you want to be a palm tree. You don’t want to be that rigid…You want to be able to bend with that wind when it comes down, so you can…When the wind is over…

Cloie: You’re still standing.

Nick: You’re getting right back up.

DJ Iz: And the wind does come.

Eric: Yeah.

Nick: Yes, it does.

Cloie: Oh, doesn’t it?

DJ Iz: And not even…

Nick: Oh, yeah.

DJ Iz: …And just within our industry and how we saw the music game changing in 2002, we had to start thinking of other vehicles, you know, which then led us to sitting down with [] and the CEO at [] and talking about developing a new experience. And had we not seen that curve which, I see a lot of guys who are all about the song placement, “Let me get this beat,” and when that game changes, it’s like, “Dude, that’s an old game. That’s an old game. What’s the new vehicle? How are you going to position your music to get it into people’s hands that still care about buying music?” And that was the thing.

So those are the things as a creator, as an innovator, that I’m always looking for that next curve, because if you can’t see it, you know…

Cloie: It’s not seeing you.

DJ Iz: …It’s going to get you and you’re going to be that tree that doesn’t bend and it’s going to…

Nick: Yeah. It’s going to pass right by you []

DJ Iz: …It’s going to pass right by you. And you know, within our game even as DJs, if you take your finger off the pulse for a second, you’re off, bro. You’re playing to the wrong crowd, you know what I mean? [] And that’s just how it goes, man. So even for me, like…And I know were going to have a lot of Q&A, but I want my viewers to really hear that story, man, because it’s not just one thing.

Even though you might [] evolve and…When those walls come up, you either got to jump them, build a bridge around them…

Cloie: Bust them down.

DJ Iz: …Go home…And you know, people don’t get to hear that story often. And guys that…[] Is one of the biggest markets. So you hear the story of guys who came here and conquered it and are back in it. It’s like…

Cloie: And heard, “No.”

DJ Iz: And heard, “No,” especially being Mexican. Bro, I mean, the stories we can all share with just not being the right color, not being…

Cloie: Hello. Well…

DJ Iz: …It don’t…Hip-hop doesn’t look like that. Hip-hop doesn’t look like…What do you guys…What do you…?

Nick: Still to this day…

DJ Iz: Still to this day?

Nick: Still to this day, there are people that’ll look away from us because we are not black.

Eric: I want to tell a funny story about Miami. Miami, we were on the air with Eric, 103.5, the beat, a highly successful morning show. We did crazy numbers out there, we were top-five within the first…

Nick: Three months.

Eric: …Six…Three months or whatever. Anyway, there was…A couple years down the line, they ended up giving a big deal to [] in New York City and they were on Hot 97. They had a big morning show out there. So [] as a whole took it upon themselves, they were like, “Okay, we give these guys a ton of money, we have to put them on more stations to make it more sensible financially.” So they started getting rid of the local morning shows.

They got rid of us in Miami, they got rid of a bunch of other shows on the East Coast: Philly, you know, all the way down the East Coast, Washington. They put them on other stations. That backfired, failed, they got fired…Ended up getting fired. After we left, they put Star bk well on

[] they put a big one on…They put Steve Harvey on and they put another guy, Prince []–from the fat boys who was in Miami–on the air.

Every single one of them failed, after us. Nobody surpassed our…At the time, the lowest numbers we had. And there was a gentleman there…A friend of ours who still worked there–we still have friends that work there–they would tell them in staff meetings like, “Hey, Eric and Nick are still in Miami. Put them back on. What you’re doing is not working. Just put them back on, it was working with them.” And the gentleman said, “They’re not hip-hop.” That’s what he said.. And that played into the whole okay, basically, were not black. That’s what it is.

And so, that’s what happened to us out there, even though I know if we would have went back…No matter where we go, we always make our footprint: Miami, San Francisco, Bakersfield…

DJ Iz: Tried-and-true. Tried-and-true.

Eric: …Nationally syndicated, our shows, whatever…what were doing on dash right now. You can’t…

Nick: If you don’t believe in us, I’m not going to give my soul and my spirit and my projection of what I do to somebody–a corporation and just somebody in a high position–that doesn’t really believe in us. I refuse at this point in time.

Eric: Yeah. It’s just frustrating, the number of blockades we get. You wouldn’t believe. I mean, that’s just one story, that’s just one instance of somebody saying, “Hey, they’re not hip-hop,” when we created the hip-hop format in Los Angeles. How can you tell us that…

DJ Iz: Right, how…? Yeah.

Eric: …When what we have built is still standing? You can’t say that.

DJ Iz: And even…And that’s the thing to, because…I overly identify with that, because, you know, you get statements like that from people that haven’t done their own work and that don’t even know the culture themselves, which always just sets me for it, because it’s like…You know, I’ll never forget, one day, I had to really take a look at my and my brother’s catalog. So when I came across it, I said, “Well, that’s interesting, because I’ve made music for all your most favorite artists that aren’t Mexican, right?”

Nick: Right? Right.

DJ Iz: “That aren’t Mexican. I can name from Earth wind & fire, you know, to…Everybody else, on down. So what can you tell me? What…” You know?

Cloie: “What can you tell me?”

DJ Iz: You start to realize that these people don’t even have any credentials themselves, haven’t built anything, haven’t authored anything that’s been game-changing, you know?

Cloie:

DJ Iz: And that’s why for me, it’s no important for you guys to voice those things, because people need to know that look like us what you’re up against. You know, you got…Is no longer just about being great or anything, it’s like that next…”Okay, that’s a wall. Got to go…Okay.” And they keep coming. It’s like, no matter what I’ve been able to do in music, I’ve still got to put that bridge together.

Eric: Yeah []

DJ Iz: …I’ve still got to get off my ladder and climbed that wall.

Cloie:

Eric: Absolutely.

DJ Iz: But that just goes to show you how much you have to continue to love it. You’ve got to love it. You’ve got to love it that much and it’s and never-ending fight, you know? You think because you got success and you’ve been able to do incredible things that those challenges start to go away. But unfortunately…

Cloie: You’re preaching to the choir.

DJ Iz: …They don’t, right?

Cloie: You’re preaching to the choir. Combine, we’ve got what, half a century or more in the game. I’m an actor. It’s different, but it’s the same, you know what I’m saying? So I…This is helpful on all of the levels, not just music or…What you say, you have to love it. You have to more than love it. You have to breathe it, you have to bleed it. And no, you can’t serve two masters.

DJ Iz: Yeah. And it’s like, you know, I look at…And like I said, it doesn’t surprise me now that you guys are killing it on Dash Radio.

Cloie: Of course.

DJ Iz: It’s what you guys do. It’s like…It’s those things where okay, “What else are you going to say? What else am I not?” It’s just…You just have…

Nick: At some point, it’s got to melt away and you’ve just got to let them shine, man.

DJ Iz: Yeah, you’ve got to let them shine.

Nick: Just let them shine.

DJ Iz: You’ve got to let them shine, man. At the end of the day, you have to…Well, what are you going to do, you know what I’m saying? Like…

Cloie: Just let them shine.

DJ Iz: You know, it’s like, “Okay…”

Cloie: Just make your own []…

DJ Iz: “…You going to let me get on now? Oh, okay. Yeah, cool,” you know? But man, I thank you guys for sharing that. And I know that’s going to start up a whole bunch of questions…

Cloie: A whole bunch…

DJ Iz:

Cloie: Q&A’s probably already

Nick: Were ready. Were ready, man.

DJ Iz: So you know, obviously, “Connected” is very much about providing opportunities to guys who are…Or just people in general…Who are looking to do what we do at a high level. And one of our biggest things is people understanding the fundamentals of what that is: your presentation and who are you? Do you know you, do you know what you’re great at, do you know what you’re not great at? By the way, can you…?

Cloie: And have you working to fix and connect them together.

DJ Iz: Yeah. Can you put a resume together, can you put a cover letter together? So were going to get to our jobs. And you know, before we get to our jobs, we kind of like to tell our viewers, “Hey, man, whatever it is for you–pen pad, pencil–take down these details,” because you know, we put out incredible jobs, bro, like jobs I’d be like, “Yo, Eric, yo, Nick. You might want to look at this one.”

Eric: Yeah.

Cloie:

Nick: “You’ve got to take this opportunity.”

DJ Iz: Right. But you know, I’ll…Yeah, I like our viewers to actually take down some of these details because some of the jobs, bro, like, “Look, four-year degree…Yeah, whatever. We just want to know, can we mold you? Are you moldable?”

Nick: Yeah, are you coachable?

DJ Iz: Are you coachable, you know, can you listen without being…?

Cloie: Are you a sponge?

DJ Iz: Yeah. So were going to get into our grind opp. So first grind opp of the day, “Music content editor.” This is in Long Island, New York. “Online [] seeking a college grad…”

Cloie: Recent.

DJ Iz: “…To help curate and edit massive library of songs. Works with head of music content to organize and manage music clips from our license library of albums and music. Edit clips using ProTools. Only serious music lovers need to apply.” HMM. What you guys think about that grind off?

Nick: That sounds pretty easy, actually, super easy.

Eric: Except for ProTools. ProTools is not easy to edit on.

Nick: Well, ProTools is…

Eric: That’s not easy to edit on. You don’t need to use ProTools. I mean, you can just…There’s other programs you can use [] way faster. ProTools, you have to render in real time.

DJ Iz: You see that? You see this? So obviously, that…Obviously, he looked and was like, “UH…” Just like that.

Eric: That’s double to triple the time, when you can do 10 songs in, you know, 30 minutes and on ProTools, you can do five.

DJ Iz: Right, and…which is cool, because honestly, bro, I tell our viewers…Because people asked that question, you know, “Do I need to…Is it ProTools I need?” And I’m like, “You know, honestly, you need to know an array…

Nick:

DJ Iz:

Eric: []. Whatever makes your job quicker…

DJ Iz: Quicker and faster, yeah.

Eric…Faster and you get the same thing down. Don’t work harder, work smarter, PERIOD.

DJ Iz: Right. Right, yeah. And also to, I think being a music lover’s key because…

Cloie: Well, they say that. Yeah, I mean…

Nick: Yeah, absolutely. You should definitely love music because then, it’s not really a job. It’s like, “Wow, what’s this song,” or, “Who’s this artist?” You know, that’s more discovery for you, as well.

DJ Iz: Yeah, absolutely. And two, because people like to claim, “Oh, yeah, I love music.” But when you start to ask them about music, you find out…

Cloie: “No, yeah, I don’t know that.” [].

DJ Iz: …The only love one particular type.

Eric: Yeah, yeah.

Nick: Yeah, right.

DJ Iz: I always say being a student of music, you know you’re…Whether you like it or not, you know…

Nick: What it takes to do it.

Cloie: Yes.

DJ Iz: Yeah, you know that…

Nick: Yeah, this is not easy. This is…

DJ Iz: Yeah, yeah. So before we move on to grind two…

Cloie: We do have…Well, we do have our student success newsletters that we…We want to celebrate grads of “Connected” and of the recording collection and all that sort of stuff. And so, we highlight them and the newsletter comes out later. And this week, where highlighting Stephen Haverich from LA.

Nick: On the camera.

Cloie: Right? Look at him, he’s so cute.

Eric: Hello, Stephen.

Nick: What up, dog?

Cloie: He was actually working on set on “Connected” and he heard about a paid internship with Roland. He heard it was opening up…

Nick: That’s so cool.

Cloie: …And he jumped on it. And he gave in his resume and he’s now working for him.

DJ Iz: Shout out to Roland [].

Cloie: Hello. Hello, hello, hello. And shout out to Stephen.

DJ Iz: So yeah. I think it’s always important to highlight the guys who are jumping in with both feet and who are growing, you know, and…

Nick: Taking an opportunity and growing.

DJ Iz: And growing, yeah.

Cloie: And they’re going to have a…So for more on Stephen, you can check out our newsletter which will be coming out. You could pop in that graphic…Or not the graphic. What’s that little thing called, the little []?

DJ Iz: The link, the…

Cloie: The link. Thank you.

Nick: Damn, on-demand. On-demand.

Eric:

DJ Iz: So were going to move into grind up number two. Grind up number two of the day is in the field of…

Nick: Radio.

DJ Iz: …On-air talent. What do you know? Okay, here we go. This is in San Diego, California. “Talk radio station seeks passionate on-air personality.” Now, I know when we say “top radio,” I already know who were talking about []. “Perform live broadcast that are entertaining and compelling.” That’s hard to do. “Ensure that promotions and contests are executed properly. Operate the control board.” Not easy. “Make personal appearances at station events and remote broadcast. Post to station’s social media.” Now, I’m going to let you guys just have at it with these details.

Cloie: And I do love your commentary as you’re reading it []

DJ Iz: [] “Oh, yeah, I got that,” “Oh, yeah, I got…”

Eric: So you’ll start with the first one and I’ll go to the next one and so on.

Nick: All right. “Top radio station seeks passionate on-air personality.” Definitely, if you’re not passionate about music or what you’re doing or excited about it, don’t apply. Just don’t apply a. I mean, you really…You’ve got to go above and beyond. I’ll put it to all those who don’t understand my job. It’s like my job is never over. It can happen at any point in time. I could pick up a phone call, I could go to a club afterwards to meet with a promoter or a DJ that is in town from Tokyo.

You have to do what you have to do and only passion is going to take me out there. I might be broke but I’m like, “Damn, could somebody give me a ride? I need to go and see this person.”

Cloie:

Nick: Passion…Yeah, exactly. You’ve got to get there and whatever it takes, you’ve got to make that happen.

Eric: All right, the second one, “Perform live broadcast that are entertaining and compelling.” So live broadcast, meaning you’re out in a crowd, in an audience. And you don’t want to just talk, do your radio breaks and be like, “All right, that’s it,” and you just sit there in the corner. You have to talk to the people, you have to meet with the people, you have to say what’s…Give way contests, giveaway tickets, be entertaining for them to stick around and hang out with you. So you have to be interactive with your audience []…

Nick: Connect with them on a personal level.

Eric: Yeah. That’s the most [45:17]

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