Interview written by: Fredy Garcia (Steelo Magazine)
In this 2nd volume of Steelo we get to interview the man who is one of the founders of 5th Battalion Entertainment that once ran the underground hip hop scene in Los Angeles, Hollywood and all around southern California.
DJ Quad is also one of the founders of the hip hop group L.O.M also known as Lyrical Onslaught Music.
DJ Quad is a man of many hats and in this interview we will cover him as a solo CEO, Artist, Producer, Studio Engineer, Event Coordinator, Graphic Designer and more.
What’s up Quad how have you been? I been good man, just keeping busy, you know doing what I love to do “Music”.
When and how did your solo career begin? It all started when I got into the DJ scene back in high school, and after being a DJ for 6 years I then started to produce beats in 1992, And them I became an Emcee in 1998.
How did you transition from DJ to producer? After being a DJ for 6 years I then wanted to take it to the next level and challenge myself so I began to produce beats because I really felt that I had the talent to do so.
Was the transition difficult to do? At first I thought it would be. I thought it would be hard for me but it seemed to just come natural to me and it felt good. I had a lot of ideas for different beats in my head that I wanted to get out.
At first I didn’t have the know how but I had a great conversation with a long time family friend David Sanchez who is now passed away, he just so happened to be a musician for over 40 years at the time of our conversation and I shared with him my ideas and with his knowledge of music, being a music producer / musician he had the idea to one day bring over his equipment so we can bring all of my ideas to life.
At what point did you start making music / beats on your own or did he guide you all the time? No, once he showed me the structure of music production he then put it in my hands to see where I could take it. He’d leave his equipment with me for weeks at a time, because at that time I didn’t have my own equipment. So David played a very big role in my music career. I wish he was alive today so he can see how far I have come because of him. I’m very grateful for David and everything he did for me.
As you were learning was there ever a time that you wanted to give up? NEVER!!
Because at that point in time in my life, whenever I had set my mind to do something I gave it my all 110%. It didn’t matter what obstacles I was facing, I was determined to overcome them. And at that point in time I felt like the music was just in me, I sang in choir, I played drums, a lil bit of the guitar, piano, and violin.
So would you say that you are musically inclined? Yes I would say that, because music runs in my blood! It traces back to my grandfather on my fathers side of the family. He was a singer and musician in his younger days. He had shared the stage with the legend Louis Armstrong and the Nelsons, I remember a conversation I had with my dad and him stating how I reminded him so much of my grandfather. The why he said that was because the first time he had seen me performing live on stage in Hollywood that is when he had seen my drive and passion for music. He said I was exactly like Pop with is my grandfather. He said pop would be rally proud of me.
How did those words make you feel? It made me feel proud to be compared to him because the stories that I had heard about him and how talented he was and how he had ALL THE BITCHES Haha oh I mean ladies.
How long have you been doing music? All together from when I first started to DJ then producer and as an emcee, It has been a good 33 year and counting, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, I have a lot more music in me to share.
What have you produced over the years? As far as albums, I’ve produced songs on The Never Ending Battle which is a compilation album the 5th Battalion made in the memory of one of our fallen soldiers/brother, Steven “Cartoon” Rivera. He was a member of 5th Battalion Ent and O.T.W.
My first solo debut album was titled “BRINGING THE HEAT’ and then I produced other 5th Battalion albums from individual groups and artist like, N’Cognito’s self titled album “N’COGNITO”, Phantom Knight’s album titled “IS GOD ANGRY AT HIP HOP?” L.O.M’s “THE ONSLAUGHT COMETH” The Prophecy’s “BELLY OF THE BEAST” Krip-Hop Nation & 5th Battalion’s “BROKEN BODIES POLICE BRUTALITY PROFILING” and that’s just to name a few with many more on the list of about 24 albums and counting.
I have also worked on and did production on other albums such as THE OLIN PROJECT with Sal Rojas of BrownPride.com, NEW WORLD GAMES by Krazy Race, Krip Hop Nation’s Vol. 1, 2 and 3 and the Krip-Hop Nation 10th Anniversary album, FROM THE STREETS by Big Chubbs, HEAVY ARTILLERY a 5th Battalion Compilation, ALL EARS ON ME by Capster, And I also produced the theme song for THE HOMIES HIP HOP SHOW which was a cartoon show created from the little homies key chain characters, I know everybody remembers the little Homies.
Man you certainly have kept busy huh? Yeah (laughs) I think if I don’t keep myself busy then nothing is going to get done. Anybody who knows me knows that I love what I do and ima keep pushing out the hits in the studio, so everyone stay tuned for what I got coming out in the near future and beyond.
Besides the music, what else are you currently working on? Working on a clothing line with different designs, promotions, shows, more music always, and just heavy work in the studio doing engineering for other artist and their projects. I’m also doing photography and videography and video editing.
Really, how’d that come about? Because relying on other to create your vision doesn’t always come out the way you want it to. So I’ve taken it upon myself to perfect another craft.
What’s the future look like for you? Any projects or shows? As far as projects, I have my next solo album that will be released in the summer of July 2014 with my album titled DJ Quad – THRU THESE TAINTED EYES (The World As I See It) This album is very personal to me since I will be telling a lot about my life and stories that people out there can relate with. Along with other DJ Quad & 5th Battalion compilation titled “WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION” featuring various artist from all around the world. With all of the production done by myself DJ Quad.
Sorry for cutting you of but why Weapons of Mass Destruction? Because with my talent of production, the different styles of beats, combined with the lyrics of all the featured artist it would be like hitting you from every direction, Weather it’d be street, political, conscious, or lyrical, every song on the album is coming to cause damage as we drop those lyrical bombs with bomb as beats.
Now back to your future plans, lest’s continue with that. Slowly working on the L.O.M’s 2nd album. Working on fellow artist OG Mellow One’s debut solo album “LAST OF THE DYING EMCEES”, Collaborations with Hector Guerra from Pacha Mama Crew. And of course getting things started for a 3rd solo DJ Quad album THE TRILOGY (The Music Continues) and just a lot of things, from performing again, promoting new events, expanding the clothing line, and soon im looking to build up a new website for 5th Battalion Entertainment. Other than that im just loving life everyday , and thanking GOD for blessing me with the talent that I have to do the things I love to do, and for all the people who have cam into my life. I also those who have shown their support to me, my family and friends and all the people I’ve worked with throughout the years and thank you to the fans of my music, I really appreciate each and everyone of you.
Thank you so much for this opportunity to sit down and have a one on one with you Quad.
Anybody that you would like to give a shout-out to? YES! My mom, my sisters, cousins, nephews and nieces, Rodriguez and Morin family members, my boy big Fern, The L.O.M camp, to all my true supporters of my music throughout the years. And to the Steelo Camp for giving me this opportunity. And of course to GOD without him none of this would have happened..
To follow DJ Quad on his social media you can go to: