Sleep is highly overrated. At least that's what DJ Scorpio seems to think. “Who needs sleep?” he asks. “I'll sleep when I'm dead.” But considering the pace at which this high-octane 31-year-old has been moving since he's been on the scene, even the Grim Reaper would have to lace up a pair of running shoes to catch up with him.
Born Sebastian Jackson in Houston, Texas, the lanky, bespectacled DJ has been a mainstay in the clubs and on the streets of Atlanta for seven years. Since dropping anchor in “The A,” Scorpio has become sort of the energizer bunny of the South, enthusiastically going about the many tasks that have earned him monikers like “The Promotions Predator” (for his promotional work with various record labels, as well as two of the city's top radio stations, V-103 and Hot 107.9) and “Captain Crunk” (for his tireless marketing of Lil Jon's Crunk Energy Drink). Scorpio also manages the careers of a rapper named 4-Ize and radio personality DJ King Arthur, runs a magazine called MM Modeling and boasts a DVD collection, which profiles “intricate dealings in my day-to-day life” with guest appearances by some of the South's biggest and brightest rap icons. But Scorpio is probably best known for his mix CDs — 47 of them to date, each one featuring exclusive music from artists like Lil Jon, David Banner, Ying Yang Twins, Lil Scrappy and Bonecrusher. “My mix CDs are usually themed after movies or classic album covers,” he explains. “All the songs are blended together, and there are no gunshots — maybe some bomb blasts, but no gunshots.”
On the day that Remix managed to lasso the busy DJ and bring him to his favorite Atlanta record store, he was a man on a mission, taking his time as he savored the opportunity to thumb through the vinyl at Earwax and pick up a few gems to add to his collection.
As he held each album between his fingers, flipping it over to view the cover art and the song listings, Scorpio talked about the joy of visiting a record store and walking out with a piece of vinyl in his hands. “I love the Internet,” he said. “I love ordering stuff and having it mailed to me, but I'm kind of a music fanatic, and I really want to see my records. I like that feeling of having it in the back of the car, driving it home.”
Nonetheless, Scorpio admits that the digital era has made it easier for him to get music from lesser-known artists. “Independents want to get their music to the DJs,” he offers. “I no longer have to waste my gas driving to meet people at Exxon or Krispy Kreme. I just tell them to e-mail it to me.”
Scorpio says he is always on a quest for hard-to-find albums and keeps his ear to the street for the hottest indie releases. “Most of the time, the crowds don't want to hear independent stuff; they want to hear songs that they know, but at the end of the day, good music is good music.”
Looking out for indies is not just about finding the next hit, he says; it's also about helping artists who have been on the grind. “I'm always gonna root for the underdog,” he lends. “I love the Jay-Zs and all, but when it's time for me to spend my money, I wanna know that I'm helping to pay somebody's rent.” Some artists may be a little late on rent this month, though; this go 'round features more of the big-timers.
“Wall to Wall” (Zomba/Jive)
Chris Brown is on top of the world. One album, and every song is a hit. So why would “Wall to Wall” be any different? Known for being a Michael Jackson-like, Usher-type dancer, Chris Brown has the dancefloors packed with this one. While he has the teen and preteen population hypnotized right now, this record will appeal to the adults. If you like Usher's “Yeah!” you'll love “Wall to Wall.”
The Daily News (Soul Thought)
Donnie makes the music that makes you rethink government, family, friendship and society. With songs like “Impatient People,” “Over the Counter Culture” (with Phonte), “Suicide” and “Atlanta Child Murders,” this album does not disappoint. I had to listen to this album twice to make sure I caught everything. No club bangers here — this album is for people who want to make a positive change within themselves and their environment.
“Aunt Jackie” (Island Urban)
This “Aunt Jackie” song is picking up steam. It has an old-school, 1980s MC Lyte kinda feel to the beat, and it has a little dance to go along with it. It started in New York and is quickly moving into Atlanta. After a couple listens it's catchy, but if you ever see the video or [see] someone doing the “Aunt Jackie” dance in the club, you'll be hooked. Just like “Laffy Taffy,” you will see adults doing the “Aunt Jackie.” Look for it in a club near you — right after the Soulja Boy dies down.
Chasing My Dream (SRC/Motown/Universal)
Excellent album! I actually enjoyed it better then T.I.'s album. My favorite joints are “Run It,” “Deputy Dope Boy” and “Blowing Big.” Great production mostly by Tha Nox and Joe da CEO. [Grandaddy Souf] is actually saying something on this album, and he has a very distinctive voice. He's really been grinding for a long time, and I like to support guys like this.
Winner Takes All (CBS)
Always the Isley Brothers fan, I had to pick this one up. My faves are “I Wanna Be With You,” “Liquid Love,” “It's a Disco Night” and “Let's Fall in Love.” Actually, every song could be my favorite. Many of these new artists can take a tip from the Isley Brothers and make their albums shorter with better-quality songs. I can play this album from beginning to end without skipping anything.
We the Best (Terror Squad/Koch)
You would definitely guess he is from Florida [Khaled lives in Miami], with guest appearances by Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, T-Pain, Plies, Trina, etc. His next single, “I'm So Hood” (T-Pain, Trick Daddy, Rick Ross and Plies), should put up big numbers for him, but other standouts include “Brown Paper Bag” (Young Jeezy, Juelz Santana, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Lil Wayne and Dre), “Hit Them Up” (Bun B & Paul Wall) and “New York” (Jadakiss, Ja Rule, Fat Joe). This album is full of club bangers and mix-CD favorites.
Crunk Kings: The Movie (Skgrilla)
For a movie that just follows Lil Jon and his band of merry men around with a regular camera, this DVD wasn't half bad. If you can look past the bad sound quality (the footage is mostly from concerts and clubs), bad camera angles and poor picture quality, you'll really see the grind and payoff of Lil Jon and how he rose to the top. This is a must-see for any Lil Jon fan and any fan of Southern music.
So Much Better (Umbrella/Bungalo)
Carl may be feeling so much better these days, but his album isn't. The album isn't bad; he just doesn't have a real single or any standout cuts. Every song is just good and easy to listen to, but there are no great songs like Carl Thomas is known for. He should have bought some production from Diddy. But I enjoyed “Another You,” “Thought You Should Know” and “Can't Get Over.”