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Audio File Friday 'DJ QBert'


Greetings Audiophiles! Hope you're all fully recovered from your Pride festivities. I'm not.

Glittery hangovers aside, this last week seemed to be all about Capcom and we here at were far from excluded.

From Street Fighter X Tekken to the Resident Evil Mercenaries controversy to Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike: Online Edition to the highly anticipated release of Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition.

I was fortunate enough to attend the SSF4AE Launch Event in downtown San Francisco this past Tuesday. I hung out with a few awesome readers, got my butt repeatedly kicked in SSF4, witnessed an awesome dance fight in the middle of the club, and got to see both Street Fighter III: Third Strike: Online Edition and Street Fighter X Tekken in action.

But the real highlight? Getting to see this week's Audio File Friday featured artist perform live: The Legendary DJ QBert.

This man really needs no introduction but I'll give it a try.

A Bay Area native DJ QBert, aka Richard Quitevis, was born and raised in San Francisco. Inspired by the early days of 1980s hip-hop, street performers, and local graffiti artists he began playing with turntables and records. His first DJ battle was in high school against fellow future DJ legend Mix Master Mike. Though his first battle was a loss overtime he worked his way to the top of the DJ world, and is today considered one of the pioneers and leaders of the hip-hop turntable genre.

DJ Qbert.jpg

Now we're talking about straight up hip-hop at its purest. Beats, scratches, B-boys; the original street culture that emerged in the 1980s and has since found its way into most forms of popular entertainment. DJ QBert has been there for the whole ride. From battling other DJs, to recording albums, to forming what is considered the first turntable band, to crafting original animated features and films, to literally inventing new turntable intstruments, to scoring and producing music for various media outlets the man has literally done it all. You can't even begin a conversation about turntables without running into DJ QBert's name.

In 2010 he was named America's Best DJ, though he had more than earned that title years prior.

And the best part? He's a gamer.

As mentioned he most recently performed a set at the Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition launch event in San Francisco, but this is far from his first connection to gaming. He's been teaming up with Capcom for some time now, being one of their on-call musicians for game scoring and promotional mixtapes.

Here's an original track they asked him to craft for the Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 re-release announcement. Note the clever throwback to that game's infamous character select music towards the end.

And here's a track he did for the Super Street Fighter II: Turbo HD Remix Underground Remix Mixtape.

And here's his sick 'Reinforcements' track off of the Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 mixtape.

He also regularly performs at Capcom's live launch events. But despite his love for Capcom fighting games he hasn't just done work for the house that Megaman built. He's done music for, and even appeared as himself in, both DJ Hero 2 and Tony Hawk's Underground.

But one can't fully appreciate this man's sheer talent without taking a good hard look at what exactly it is he's doing. The man is unrivaled in the world of turntable hip-hop, and has managed to bring validity to the still fairly young genre. Most people wouldn't look at a turntable and see a musical instrument, but that's exactly what DJ QBert sees. He's been called the Jimmy Hendrix of turntables and just watching his hands for a few seconds its not hard to see why.

I haven't seen fingers work that hard since...well...ahem.

Anyone out there who has ever questioned the notion of DJs being musicians, well I point you directly to DJ QBert. He does more than just pull samples, play beats, and let the records spin; he takes each scratch and each fade and uses them to make the records sing in an all new way with all new sounds.

I could go on for days actual days, not slang for days about the impact this man has had on this genre. Hell, he is the damn genre. We've barely even touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the brilliant work this man has done. From his studio albums to his short films to his producer credits to his work with pre-world domination Apple.

If you like what you hear and aren't already a fan where the hell have you been? be sure to check out his official youtube channel, follow him on twitter, and hit up his official website.

And be sure to stay on the lookout for his future performances. He's got one on July 16th in San Francisco, July 22nd in Hamilton, Ontario, August 12th in Chicago, and September 10th in Pittsburgh.

Last but far from least, if you're curious about trying your hand at this genre but the only thing you're scratching is your head well you're in luck. DJ QBert, as a way to celebrate his quarter of a century in the industry has created the QBert Skratch University. Members receive access to exclusive beats, store discounts, live chats, social networking with other scratchers, virtual visits to QBert's Octagon studio, and video lessons that will help you work your way to becoming a master DJ.

Everybody's got to start somewhere right? Might as well start with the help of the best. And in this case that's not even an opinion. He is the best. He's even been knighted by GrandMixer DXT. I don't think I've emphasized how he's the best there is enough....

While you guys go enroll in the QBert Skratch University I'll get back to recovering from Pride, and I'll catch all of you next week with more sick beats.


And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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