PHOTO: DJ Joe Cooley (L), General Jeff (Center), Rodney O (R w/Mic)
In the world of Hip Hop, as well as beyond, it is the people on the front lines whose names are more prominently placed in the history books. When we glance back at the very beginning we primarily only hear the names of DJs mentioned. Once the 80s creep in and Hip Hop is transformed into a more commercial viable product (the 12”) it’s the MC that starts to command the entire spotlight. At the turn of the next decade, the 90s saw a rise in some additional attention being placed on the producer, thanks to powerhouses such as Dr Dre, DJ Premier, and a few select others. However, from the start of it all, there were people working in the background; making moves, cultivating relationships, innovating technology, giving suggestions, and all sorts of grass roots work that allowed those icons to have the tools needed to reach those statuses. In LA, one such guy was General Jeff…DJ, Pop Locker, Human Beat Box, Community Organizer, producer, artist development and so on!
In this special two-part interview we discuss his deep career. In Part One, General Jeff talks about how the West Coast scene helped pioneer the Hip Hop movement. He speaks on his years of work on the front lines and behind the scenes with affiliation with Uncle Jamm’s Army, KDAY, Bobby Jimmy & The Critters, Rodney O & Joe Cooley, DJ Quik and more!! He also talks about his battle with Cancer and how he came back from that even stronger than ever! In Part Two, he speaks on helping Get Large Posse signed to Egyptian Empire Records, his thoughts on Breakin N Enterin, being versatile in Hip Hop, on his lack of cooking skills, and how to bridge the skills of the Hip Hop world to the Community Activist world. He even sneaks in some Pop Locking and Human Beat Box skills! General Jeff is still filled with youthful energy, has a great sense of humor and has a great sense of community. He is a true pioneer in this movement we call Hip Hop!
He eventually stepped away from working directly on Hip Hop and put his focus into serving and representing his community. For many years he has been a strong advocate and voice for the Skid Row community. His focus is on helping all people who are dealing with poverty, struggle, and homelessness. He is working on some powerful projects and he needs the support of the Hip Hop community to spread the word on these issues and get involved however they can!
This interview was conducted on the streets of Skid Row directly after another one of their successful events designed to help feed the community and give a outlet for some Skid Row artists to express themselves.
Peep this amazing story!!
Interview Conducted By Kevin Beacham
Video Shot & Edited By Adam Stanzak