Jamaican Mixtape Culture Part Two

DJ Don Kingston

How did you get into music?

Yuh know seh a long time we inna di supp’im, yuh nuh, from record days.
Where you an artiste?
Not an artiste, disc jock. I used to play on the Cannon sound, play on Fire Links. So we deh pon wi own now.

Was it always under the moniker ‘Don Kingston’?
No, back inna di days it was a different name, yuh nuh. Dem time deh mi did a DJ Don, yuh nuh. Til wi change it now and become Don Kingston. Yuh have some bredda weh a tek up di ting and run wid it because di ting get hot. That was when we did name Don, so we jus change di ting and guh DJ Don Kingston. Mi own dah name deh copyright it and everything.

How long have you been doing mixtapes and dem ting deh?
We a do mixtape from 2009, yuh nuh. Just after we lef’ Fire Links sound and we just start do this, mek mixtape and dem ting deh.

So after Fire Links you just fell into this?
Yeah man after Fire Links mi jus fall into this and it a work yuh nuh. Help out hol’ heap a artiste and dem ting deh.

What do you think of the importance of the mixtape?
It important yuh nuh, because man can deh far out and as an artiste carry a song come gi we and we put it pon a mixtape. So people out deh can hear him and all dem ting deh and link we and him can all get a show and all dem supp’im deh. For instance Vybrant, is me a first man put him pon a mixtape and him end up guh Japan. So it work out and overall it very very important.

How many mixtapes have you put out thus far?
Mi caan tell yuh hol’ heap yuh nuh. Because inna dancehall alone, mi put out more than nearly 200 and that a dancehall mi nah talk about culture. Culture different because we guh by volume. So inna dancehall alone we put out more than 200 mixtape.
How has technology helped you?
Well, technology help mi yuh nuh. Because back inna di days we couldn’t mek wi ting and put it nuh weh. It would a haffi stay inna wi shop. We can put pon YouTube a now we nah sell nutten but we can put it pon YouTube and mek people view di ting so we can get work. So technology help us a lot so a man can email wi a song and we get it quick and fast.
Back in the past mixtape merchants used to make money by selling the mixtapes by themselves. How does a ‘Don Kingston’ mek money now that everything is so available to everybody else?
If mek money now inna mixtape it nuh really so easy, we nuh really depend pon di mixtape fi mek di money as we a seh. We just mek di mixtape and a man will hear it and then a so we get di work. Because we different from di man weh a sell CD pon di road fi hundred dolla yuh nuh. Our ting is that we mek it and a man might out pon di road a sell it and as a man buy it and hear who mek it and a suh we can get a work. Fi do even a bigger job, put out a personal mix for someone or supp’im like that. A suh we get our money.

How long have you been at this location?
Awoah, dah shop yah. We deh inna dah shop yah since 2010 yuh nuh. Mi and Dj Kenny usually work together until we deh pon we own. We a deal music from inna di 90’s, we might look young but we old…. (Everybody Laughs)…. Hol’ heap a tribulation we guh through wid it and all dem ting deh.

Which song could you say as you put it out there really ran the place?
Awaoh, Kartel man.

Any Kartel?
Kartel “House A Bun Dung”. Dah song deh a di baddest one fi hit. We used to put out song and a this week it hit and next week is a next one. A next song him do called ‘Mad Dog’ because is we a first people inna Jamaica fi put it out. The hol’ Jamaica a search fi it fi three weeks and caan find it, is me alone have it. Mad song that it tek di place.

Which star is the biggest one to have come to your shop?

I waan tell yuh seh yuh nuh call it every star. Before teacha drop inna di wuk house him deh yah wid wi same way. Everybody come at di likkle corner yah so because di music heavy. Alkaline before him buss, right yah so him deh wid him first song. Dem time deh him did black mi nuh know weh di brown a guh right now …. (Everybody Laughs) ….

How far you want to take this thing?
A far we a try tek it yuh nuh because we nuh start do nuh work yet. Just like a man who voice a song every day a suh we a mek a mixtape every other month or every other two week or supp’im. Not just fi me but fi di artistes as well. Because like how dem a depend pon me, me a depend pon dem fi good music, yuzimi a suh di ting set.

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