Mixed Review: DeeJayBird-Beneath The Surface '97

Posted on August 25, 2011 by Kevin | 3 Comments

D/L "BENEATH THE SURFACE": Includes Full Mix (Split into A & B Side), All Original Artwork, Original Promo Playlist, & Tape Scans of each side!!

Many of you might better know J-Bird for his role as the General Manager of the Rhymesayers label, including his many tours with Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Rubberoom, etc... However, thru out the 80s and 90s he was also one of the top and most sought after DJs in the Lake County, IL area. He's also key, in that region, in helping raise the bar on what I mixtape could be and the influence eventually created ripple effects well beyond. This is that story...

Back in '97 DeeJayBird approached me about assisting in the recording of his first official studio/retail mixtape, "Beneath The Surface*." I had no idea what I was getting into...ha. What ensued was countless hours of meticulous planning, endless recording, concept innovations, fantastic mistakes, and a broken Tascam 688 8 Track Recorder, resulting in starting from scratch.

However, it was all worth it. In then end, DeeJayBird delivered a very well constructed and influential mixtape. Every since it was originally released I've had people ask me about it or reference it. It's amazing how far and wide that tape travelled. It's all a part of how this mixtape helped develop the mixtape game by Bird using his touring opportunities, marketing experience, industry connections and how it all started, with a creative mind. A bird brain? I think not...

In this exclusive DeeJayBird interview we discuss his favorite mixtape DJs, how the tape was put together, the distribution, the artwork, hidden messages, how he gave special props to the DJ, and how "Beneath The Surface" was the first in a planned trilogy of mixtapes...

Video Shot by Skye Rossi
Video Edited By Nicholas McGuiggan

-Editors Note: It was slightly covered in the interview, but I think Bird was being a bit modest. I don't know any mixtape that used dialog this effectively before "Beneath The Surface". Certainly mixtapes had used dialog from movies, children's records, etc... However, I have yet to find one that did it so well, including over-lapped dialog to have the different movies and records communicating with each other like portions of this tape and just a assortment of excellently placed pieces. Plus all sorts of other little special touches in the use of Drops, interludes, hidden meanings from the mixes to the artwork, etc... This is a thinking persons mixtape...

D/L "BENEATH THE SURFACE": Includes Full Mix (Split into A & B Side), All Original Artwork, Original Promo Playlist, & Tape Scans of each side!!
-Credits:

-Also Available by DeeJayBird at Fifth Element:
"Aerosolics" (2XCD All Graf Song Mixtape)
"B Boy Your Best" (Old School B-Boy & Electro Mix)
DeeJayBird & Nikoless-Scripts Of Lost Souls (2XCD Halloween Mix)

Mastermind, DJ, Producer: DeeJayBird
Tape Navigator/Engineer: Kevin Beacham
Executive Producer: Pistol Pete
Recorded At Birdcage Studios
Artwork By JEC-One

*Beneath The Surface: Although we both love Omid's compilation and The Genius album of the same name, this mixtape pre-dates them both by a year and two years respectively...

This is the beast we recorded it on (not the actual one):

CONNECT WITH BIRD ON TWITTER: @jbirdrse

Written By Kevin Beacham

Posted in RedefineHipHop


3 Responses

lordvegan
lordvegan

October 31, 2012

i know this is an old post but can someone please update these links?!

Pitch Kontrol Unfiltered 10/22/11 featuring Stonehigh and Deejay Bird | Pitch Kontrol Unfiltered
Pitch Kontrol Unfiltered 10/22/11 featuring Stonehigh and Deejay Bird | Pitch Kontrol Unfiltered

October 23, 2011

[…] next mix we featured, was side A of the classic Beneath the Surface by Deejay Bird. A classic example of techniques seldom used in mix tapes of today, Deejay Bird combines musical […]

Ron Miner
Ron Miner

August 26, 2011

I remember those days! I still have the tape as well. Introduced me to the Rhymesayer movement. Only thing missing on that tape was a Mudkids song LOL

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