DJ EFN wears many hats, or rather, hoods. The Florida representer is widely recognized as the Miami Mixtape King for hosting legendary tapes, uniting local DJs into the Hood DJs, creating a record pool, putting together a massive street team that worked with YMCMB and Bad Boy, managing a record label (Mayday, Wrekonize, Hazardis Soundz), and even overseeing a documentary on the Hip-Hop scene in Cuba (Coming Home). He’s back at it with another album, Another Time, that recently dropped on his own label. It features all original music from a list of legends as well as legends in the making: Inspector Deck, Guilty Simpson, M.O.P., Bun B, Black Milk, Jon Connor, N.O.R.E., Fashawn, Troy Ave, Juvenile, Talib Kweli, Redman, Denzel Curry, Royce Da 5’9″, Your Old Droog (among others on the mic), and production from DJ Premier and Buckwild.
Today we’re premiering a special remix of one of the tracks, “Selfish,” by K-Def. The track will be available exclusively on a limited edition 45 RPM vinyl. We’ll keep you posted on that release date. We had the opportunity to ask DJ EFN about the track as well as the rest of the project. Read our conversation below.
You can order your physical copy of Another Time HERE. You can purchase a digital copy on iTunes. And be on the look out for the second and third installments of his Coming Home docu-series, which will explore Hip-Hop in Peru and Haiti, respectively. The first one on Cuba is currently airing on Revolt.
How does it feel to be Mixtape King of Miami?
In all honesty I never gave myself that name. It was a title given to me by mostly artist and industry folks in the 90’s because I was the only consistent mixtape DJ out of Miami. After a while I just decided to own the name but right now I don’t feel there is or can be a mixtape king in Miami or any many places for that case because the mixtape culture I came up in doesn’t exist anymore. So in a sense I am left holding the title which I proudly do and with no shame whatsoever.
You’ve tried your hand at multiple things in the Hip-Hop world from producing, managing, running a clothing store, DJing, promoting, running a label, and producing films. Is your long resume a result of your drive to be self-made or your interest in wanting to try as many things as possible? What has been your favorite and least favorite job you’ve held in Hip-Hop?
I think most people have the desire to be self made as well as try different things out in their lives. I just did whatever came natural to me and made sense but always doing it with the advancement of Miami Hip Hop culture and promoting Hip Hop culture in the best way I possibly could. I enjoyed an aspect of all the things I did and do but my least favorite thing in general is dealing with the “industry” and the politics and the total disregard and disrespect for the art-form that the music industry can tend to display.
Is there anything left that you’d still like to get involved in that you haven’t?
As of this moment there isn’t anything that stands out that I am not already doing that I want to do but within what I am already doing I would love to do more and bigger things. When I say bigger I mean just reach as many people as possible with the stuff I am doing.
What still excites you and gets you going everyday?
People discovering and enjoying the projects I am involved in. Ultimately we are working with art which is expression and the feedback from that expression is ultimately our gratification.
How do you see the Florida Hip-Hop scene growing in the next 5 years?
I can only speak on South Florida and we have gone through a lot of changes over the past two decades I have been involved in the scene. It is hard to say where it can go in 5 years but I think there is a lot of talents on several fronts for South Florida Hip Hop culture. We have well established artists and we have a lot of exciting new talent bubbling as well as a thriving graffiti and b-boy scene. If Miami artists can start to do a better job of bridging the gap among ourselves we have an extremely bright future ahead of ourselves.
Regarding this new album, why did you decide now to go the all original production route?
I just felt it was the next progression for a DJ, especially a mixtape DJs such as myself. Plus what fan of music wouldn’t want to assemble some of his favorite artists and put together a project like this? I wanted to put something together that embodied my musical morals and tastes without it being someone else’s music.
How did you pick which emcees to be on the same track?
I had been wanting to do this album for a long time but just never got around to doing it therefor I had envisioned most of these tracks in my mind already. Once I decided I was going to do it I already had an idea of who I wanted or the type of artist I wanted so it wasn’t hard to pick the artist. The formula was mostly – pioneers and legends, young and new buzzing artists, and up and comers I wanted to showcase.
What’s the story behind “Selfish”? Were you accused of being selfish in the music industry?
My friends and I are drinkers so when I heard the beat and the hook I wanted to make a fun song about drinkers. I naturally wanted to get King Tee since he is known for that subject matter and gave
us the Alcoholiks crew. There is nothing deep about “Selfish” other than it’s just a fun track about being selfish with your alcohol but Kurupt got a different vibe and went into another subject matter. Talking about drinking, look out for me and N.O.R.E.’s crew “Drink Champs.” We might be doing a “Drink Champs” project soon.
What’s next for you?
I will continue to push this project as long as I can and seek out people that could appreciate the project. My company Crazy Hood Film Academy has a film series on Revolt TV called Coming Home where we explore Hip Hop in other countries and I will continue to develop and manage artists so look out for ¡Mayday! who are signed to Tech N9ne’s Strange Music label and others I work with. Stay tuned to everything I am trying to do on my site.
Bryan Hahn is still waiting for Liknuts (Alkaholiks & Beanuts) but Drinking Champs sounds promising as well. He’s on Twitter (@notupstate).