There are a host of reasons why DJ Rodney O was chosen as The Sheet’s “Man of the Year” a few years back. Aside from his fail-safe ability to focus on his turntables while being surrounded by Go-Go dancers, Rodney also has an uncanny ability to snag top quality music acts to come play Whiskey Creek in Mammoth.
Thanks to Rodney, Luckyiam (co-founder of the celebrated hip-hop group Living Legends) and DJ Nykon (of Grey Matters) are making the journey to Mammoth on Thursday, Feb. 11, for a FREE show at Whiskey Creek. To discuss hip-hop, tall-tees and a slew of other vital issues, I caught up with Lucky and Nykon via conference call last Monday. The following conversation has been edited for brevity, clarity and some language.
Sheet: What’s up, Mr. Nykon?
Nykon: What’s crackin’? Yo, I got Lucky on the other line. But before we switch over I gotta tell you … he needs to man-up and get an iPhone. He’s got this weak little piece of sh*t.
Lucky: (Click) Hello?
Sheet: Ha, what’s up Lucky?
Lucky: What’s happenin’?
Sheet: So where are you guys right now?
Lucky: I’m in Hollywood. Chillin’, pimpin. Nah, not really, but yeah …really.
Nykon: I’m chillin’ on the couch in Portland.
Sheet: Tell me about this show coming up. Is it part of a tour?
Lucky: Actually my friend, Lana, has a cabin up there, and I really just wanted to go up there and practice my snowboarding and sh*t, because you know I’m a pro-snowboarder. I’ve been there a few times but I’ve never had a chance to snowboard. I usually get stuck rappin’.
Sheet: So is this is really just an excuse to go snowboarding?
Lucky: Yeah, we were getting all this rain down in L.A. so I figured y’all must be getting a lot of snow. For once I want to do some rails on the mountain instead of in my hotel room. (Laughs) Just kiddin’.
Sheet: So you’ve been here before? Then you guys must know that Mammoth has more tall-tees per capita than any other city in California?
Lucky: What are tall-tees?
Nykon: You know, those big-ass shirts that the kids that weigh a buck-10 wear.
Lucky: Hah, hah! Yeah, I got nothing but love for wiggas!
Sheet: I didn’t know people were allowed to say that.
Lucky: Oh you can say wiggas, you just can’t say the “er” at the end.
Sheet: Yeah, you can never say the “er.” at the end. Even I know that.
Lucky: Nah, you can‘t say that. I love my wiggas! You let all those kids know they’re welcome to stay at my crib in South Central whenever they want. We’ll take their asses down to the swap meet and they’ll leave here lookin’ like little surfer dudes with short shirts. Ha, they’ll leave here like, [in a high pitched voice], “Those niggas are mean.”
Nykon: Hah, you know we should get some of those before we go up there.
Sheet: So, Lucky when can we expect another Living Legends album?
Lucky: When we all get it together I guess. You know, we’re a crew not a group. So, guys are always doing their own thing and they think they’re crackin’ for awhile. But we were all together a little bit ago in Denver and I think it reminded us that we’re at our best when we’re all together. As they say, the fist is stronger than 5 fingers, you know?
Sheet: That’s a “Kung-Fu: The Legend Continues” line isn’t it?
Lucky: It is! Yeah … or you could say we can run a train better than one man can bust. Think about that on your next date.
Sheet: Actually I’m trying not to think about it right now. But that’s pretty insightful. You truly are a wordsmith.
Sheet: I guess rappers can say whatever they want.
Lucky: Well, I mean that sh*t.
Sheet: How do you guys know DJ Rodney O? He’s helping you put this show together right?
Nykon: When I was living out there in 2006 I used to DJ with Rodney, Lamont and Matty-Mo. There used to be this Whiskey Creek manager named Jake, but he’s not there anymore. So, I hollered at Rodney about us coming up there.
Sheet: Wait, you lived here in 2006?
Nykon: Yeah I used to DJ at Lakanuki. I worked for the Mountain, too, for maybe a minute, just to get a ski-pass.
Sheet: Where did you work?
Nykon: I was a bellhop at the Mammoth Mountain Inn. But I got fired for leaving to go DJ down at Big Bear for a weekend thing. It was cool, though, because when I got back my boss was chill and he didn’t turn off my pass.
Sheet: Now, I’m wondering, you both have pretty good hip-hop names. How did you come up with ‘em? Because I DJ at the Dubliner and go by Thor The Falconeer and that took a lot of thought.
Lucky: What is that?! Is that like a guy who controls falcons … with a glove … and he can make his falcon attack people and sh*t?
Sheet: Yep. I was trying to think of the hardest name possible, basically so that it would scare away other DJs.
Lucky: Hah, damn that’s pretty hard. I go by Luckyiam cus’ I’m just lucky to be doing what I’m doing. I got good luck and bad luck, but I’m blessed to be able to do what I love.
Nykon: I stole my name from the movie “Hackers,” It fits, though, because Nikon is a tech company and my music is cutting edge … you know, from the future, I play futuristic sh*t.
Lucky: Hey, how much does it cost to snowboard up there?
Nykon: It used to be like $60, but I think it’s like 80 bucks now.
Sheet: Yeah, it’s $83.
Lucky: Damn! I need to ride for free. I’m NOT going to pay $83!
Sheet: I might have some “Friends and Family” vouchers you guys could have. Hey, Nykon, what’s your biggest pet peeve as a DJ? I think mine is probably nasty chicks requesting Lady Gaga.
Nykon: Man, that’s the number one thing period. The motherf*@&%$ that requests anything drives me nuts. When I’d DJ up in Mammoth I had to learn to mix the sh*t I like with the crap people wanted to hear, ‘til eventually they just wanted to hear good sh*t.
Nykon: You’d better have a tip jar.
Sheet: Oh, I do.
Nykon: People like to think you’re a stripper or some sh*t, and you’re not a jukebox, either. One time this dude comes into Lakanuki and paid the bouncers like $100 each just to make sure his crew was taken care of. Then he comes straight up to me and requested some lame-ass Nelly song. He puts $200 in my tip jar and I … er, stopped the record right there and put that sh*t on!
Sheet: That’s good advice. Lucky, I recently saw the Spike Jonze film, “What’s up, Fatlip?” about the group Pharcyde. One of the things that resonates in that film is that no matter how successful an underground artist can be, they’ll always live the lifestyle of constant traveling and partying, without ever being … well, rich. Does part of you ever tire of the amount of effort that is needed in order to be successful in your genre?
Lucky: No, not really. But I’ve seen the film. You know success is defined by different things. I know there are things I could do that would get me more material things. But I choose not to go that route. Need be, I could easily walk away from this. I’ve seen motherf*@%@^s go places that they probably shouldn’t have … maybe that they weren’t ready for. But, like I said, I could always do something else.
Sheet: Like a pro-snowboarder.
Lucky: Or a porn star.
Sheet: Hah, I have one last question for the both of you. Mammoth is considering legalizing marijuana dispensaries what‘s your take on that?
Nykon: Do it.
Lucky: Yeah, they should. Then fools will stop smoking meth.
Sheet: They’ll be way too lazy to make it.
Lucky: Yo, where we play’n at again? Whiskey Creek?
Lucky: I’m gonna have to bring me a big-ass bottle of Jameson for that gig.
To preview the show and get a free download of Luckyiam’s new project, “The Present,” you can download a copy at www.legendarymusic.net/thepresent.
Don’t forget, the FREE SHOW is Thursday, Feb. 11. Doors open at 8 p.m. with great drink specials all night. DJ Rodney-O will be spinning followed by special guests Three Casual Cats, then of course, Luckyiam and Nykon. Stick around for Nykon’s late night “dup step” set. It should be “crackin.”
Don’t miss The Morning Dump on TheSheetRadio.com Thursday, Feb. 11, hosted by Scottie Johns, for a live interview with Lucky and Nykon.