EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DJ Scheme speaks about his vision behind his debut album “FAMILY”, switching directions from DJ/producer to artist, his friendships with XXXTentacion and Juice WRLD, and more.
DJ Scheme is way more than just that guy who was always around XXXTentacion and Juice WRLD. The 23-year-old Palm Beach native is one of the most integral characters from within Florida’s booming rap scene. Before being embraced by XXXTentacion and the Member’s Only collective, DJ Scheme, real name Gabe Guerra, was working hand-in-hand with wifisfuneral, developing him as an artist and going on the road with him as his DJ. Then, he started working with XXX, building a tremendous relationship with the late artist before forging a similar bond with Juice WRLD.
As you can imagine, DJ Scheme has had to barrel forward through lots of trauma. He was forced to say goodbye to two of his best friends — both of whom were on track to enjoy absolutely legendary careers. XXXTentacion and Juice WRLD will always be remembered as some of the greatest artists and songwriters of their generation and, while DJ Scheme doesn’t intend on matching their legacies necessarily, he is actively working to provide generational wealth to his family, which begins through his debut studio album FAMILY.
Image provided by the artist
It wasn’t the smoothest ride for DJ Scheme in the week prior to his album’s release. The producer-turned-artist curated a bombastic collection of songs that he put his heart and soul into, including features from Joey Bada$$, Ski Mask the Slump God, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Yachty, Lil Keed, and more. Unfortunately, one of the songs that he was most excited about, which contained a posthumous feature from his late friend Juice WRLD, was pushed back until a later date. While the fans will need to remain patient for that record to drop, FAMILY remains a star-studded explanation of the DJ Scheme’s entire being.
The 23-year-old is loyal, transparent, and passionate as hell. We had the pleasure of speaking with the artist during his album rollout, where he spoke about what he would like to accomplish with this album, as well as his friendships with Juice and XXX, the status of their much-teased collaborative song, and more.
Read the interview below, edited for clarity and length.
HotNewHipHop: What’s up, DJ Scheme! I’ve been a fan for years. I’m excited to finally get the chance to talk to you!
DJ Scheme: Thank you man. I really do appreciate that. It really means a lot.
For anybody who doesn’t know, who is DJ Scheme? How would you describe yourself?
How would I describe myself? So DJ Scheme is me. It’s just Gabe man. What you get from me is not like– I didn’t create a persona. I don’t know, I just do regular shit, man. I love sports. I love music; it’s my number one passion. I’m a producer and DJ. I’ve worked with tons of people specifically like some of my closest friends: Juice, X, and Ski. You know those are my brothers. Yeah, that’s DJ Scheme. DJ Scheme is the next greatest DJ of all time.
The debut album FAMILY is coming out this week. The tracklist is stacked. You’ve got features from Ty Dolla $ign, Ski, Joey Bada$$, Cordae… all of these huge names. Did you have a favorite person to work with on the album?
Let me just keep it real. Working with Juice and working with Ski, those, for sure, are my two favorites to always work with just cause it’s such a genuine connection with them and I genuinely love them and they trust me. I just started producing so you know I need that a lot from artists. Those two definitely trusted me the most with what we were creating, but if I was to be a little less cliché with my choices, I really liked working with Joey Bada$$ because I’m a Joey Bada$$ fan, like a die-hard Pro Era fan. I’m such a nerd about Pro Era. Odd Future and Pro Era: that’s DJ Scheme. And Raider Klan. That’s like the inspiration for Scheme, you know what I mean?
“Working with Juice and working with Ski, those, for sure, are my two favorites to always work with just cause it’s such a genuine connection with them and I genuinely love them and they trust me. I just started producing so you know I need that a lot from artists. Those two definitely trusted me the most with what we were creating, but if I was to be a little less cliché with my choices, I really liked working with Joey Bada$$ because I’m a Joey Bada$$ fan, like a die-hard Pro Era fan.”
He’s such a big inspiration to me. It hits close to home and that record specifically… he trusted me. We’ve never made music together and he allowed me to direct the song in a direction that made me really happy. It was amazing because that’s my inspiration. That’s literally fucking badass– me working with one of my heroes. My hero being like ‘Hey man, you’re actually really dope and I really love your work,’ I don’t know it just made me think, damn, I’ve actually come a really long way. That was the moment for that. That was super nostalgic and it felt really good.
You’re big on collaboration, obviously. Is there a quality that you look for in artists when you’re looking to work together?
If you want me to be honest, when I first started getting into it, I was like, ‘damn I’m not gonna be able to do anything if I don’t have connections with these really big artists like I gotta put together huge records.’ And then, I guess I started to trust myself a little bit more. I try to bring the best out of the artists. That’s my goal every time. I don’t care about the quality, I don’t care about what you do. I want you to come into the studio with me and the homies where we’re all working together and I want to pull something out of you. You know what I mean? That’s what I look for in artists: if you can trust me. I guess that’s the best answer to that question. If you trust me, we can make magic. If you don’t, you know you can still rap on one of my beats and make something cool but I’m here for intent. I like real intent behind the music. That’s my whole thing.
Just like how I wanna bring something out of you, I hope you bring the best out of me. Challenge me. That’s what I want.
The album cover is pretty iconic. All of the featured artists just surrounding you at a pool party– was that always the idea or were there any alternate ideas?
Yeah, this was the whole vibe for the album. I’ve really taken a liking to the whole cartoon vibe for artwork so I always post fan art that I really love. The kid that I’m working with, MSU– he’s actually from Europe, he ain’t even from America. He’s just some young kid and I really trusted him and I really liked his work and I was like– this was like three, four months ago– I was like, ‘yo we’re doing this idea. I want it to be like me and all the homies surrounded at a party.’ He came up with the designs for the characters. Those were all original. Honestly, it was so crazy cause I have been set on this artwork for, like, forever. I have so many different versions of this artwork… artists that were on it that we ended up taking off. Artists that were gonna be on it but ended up not finishing something or it just not fitting the album… it was really crowded at one point. I had way too many people on it and I was like, fuck. Obviously, it’s gonna be crowded with like 20-something artists, but I wanted it limited to that. These are the artists that fit the album the best and they’re the ones that, for me, were able to just bring what I was looking for, I guess. But the album cover, I was locked on that forever.
Image provided by the artist
You’re just now starting to break as an artist. Obviously, you’ve been known as a producer and as a DJ for years. How would you explain your sound to somebody who’s just discovering you?
How can I explain my sound? So this is actually a really, really good question. I was thinking about this the other day. I was talking with my boy, Nuri, who’s my main collaborator as far as production, he pretty much taught me everything. I’ve been a fan of Nuri since I was young, he produced a lot of shit for Robb Bank$. Shout out to Nuri. But I was having a conversation with him. And I’m like, ‘yo, you know, I feel like, I really don’t have a sound.’ If you want me to be honest right now, I’m still growing every day. I can’t tell you right now that this album is one cohesive flow of an idea– like this is multiple ideas, with the same general meaning. Every song has meaning. And it’s all oriented to what I was trying to do with these artists. But at the same time, it’s like, when I go into the studio, I don’t necessarily have anything that like, for me, stands out to where you’re going to get this every time. And you know what I feel like, I’m gonna play that card too, like an advantage. I try to think less of it as a worry because I used to be worried about it.
Everyone has a certain sound and then I’m just like, I’ll go into the same beat pack. I’m just not like that. With me, everything is a collaboration between me and my good friends. So whether it be Carlton on the guitar, or Dylan or any one of my other homies that I respect and love. That’s what you’re gonna get from me every time. You’re gonna be able to get anything from me. That’s my card. I’ve been like that my whole life. It’s like, I play multiple sports. Bro, I do so many different things, it’s actually really funny. Growing up, I had this whole thing where I was like, I get 70% good at something and then I go on to the next thing. That’s literally been me my whole life, except with this producing shit. This is my passion and my love. So I’m really happy to be where I’m at now. And I can say that, you know, I don’t have a sound and you’re never gonna get something specific from me. And some people can be like, that’s good. Some people can hate it, I love it.
That’s really cool. I respect that.
I don’t have a sound, I have no idea. It’s literally a blend. My whole career is based on my relationships with these amazing people that I’ve literally become friends with. Because, you know, that’s what happens when people are genuine and show love and stuff. So at the end of the day, it’s like, I think that my influence comes from everyone that I’ve been surrounded by as a DJ. That’s my life. I’ve worked with so many different types of artists now, and so many different producers to where I’m like, hey, whatever you want, we can do some trash shit. We can do a lot of shit. I have music on this album that literally has no drums, like, no drums at all– it’s kind of crazy. I’d say like, halfway through the album, I got into a new form of producing and looking at music. Shout out to Skrillex and Rex [Kudo], those are like my mentors. I love them very much. They look out for me a lot. And they’ve just taught me a lot. So I guess yeah, that’s just what I got going on right now.
What’s your relationship with Skrillex and Rex like?
Shout out to Juice [WRLD] because Juice– we were at the house one day, and he was like, ‘yo, man, you gotta meet my homie. Meet this guy.’ That was Rex. He’s like, produced everything. Post Malone, Kodak, all that shit. I didn’t know who he was at first. So he came through and I’m just talking with him. He’s actually a really, really nice guy. And then Juice like, introduced us. And fuckin’– I don’t know what it was. But like, Rex believes in me, I love him very much. Shout out to him for believing in me and my ear within music. He’s taught me so much. This is my year– it’s about to be two years producing, like a year and a half so far. So to say that I’m able to come this far, and what I’m doing right now is like a huge step in what it means to be a producer. And without them, I definitely would still be doing what I’m doing. But it was just a huge opening for my eyes. You know what I mean? It was just insane, bro. They open my ears. They open my ears and my eyes. It was something special. So those dudes look out for me a lot. And they’re my big brothers. I’ve called Skrillex 100 times and been like, ‘Yo, this version or this version?’ and he’ll be like, ‘well, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, this version.’ You know, I don’t think too hard about it. Don’t second guess yourself. Shout out to them, they really look out a lot. And I appreciate that.
That’s love. What do you hope to accomplish with this album as an artist?
This is something that I’ve been wanting to accomplish– being able to release music and being able to release a project. That’s been my goal. When I first came up with wifisfuneral, I was originally a rapper. I was an MC. He was an MC. We were rapping as a duo. And then I just stopped because I just didn’t like my voice. I just wasn’t comfortable with being an artist when I was younger, it was a weird point. And I feel like what I’m accomplishing now is showing me that I actually am an artist, and this is super special to me because I fucking wanted to give up on this album so many times. I was hopeless about it.
The way this album really started, it was called SchemeSeason. I called XXXTentacion and I’m like, ‘yo, bro, I really want you on this project.’ I have a couple of songs. They’re only from the Members Only homies, like Robb, two Ski songs, it was just low-key stuff back in the day. Like, two to three years ago. I called X and he was like, ‘hell yeah, let’s do it. You know, I’m ready. Let’s get this shit going.’ I sent him a beat. And he like– it was actually really funny. I sent him one of my first beats that I was working on, and he was like, ‘nah, that shit’s trash, go more in this direction.’ It was a learning experience and I was super excited. And then when he passed away, it really killed my confidence as an artist because a lot of that came from my friends. They believed in me at points when I wanted to give up. And that’s literally the basis of this whole album. So, yes, I guess what I really want to accomplish is I really want to get over all those hunches where I’ve wanted to quit, like when Juice passed away.
“I sent XXXTentacion a beat. And he like– it was actually really funny. I sent him one of my first beats that I was working on, and he was like, ‘nah, that shit’s trash, go more in this direction.’ It was a learning experience and I was super excited. And then when he passed away, it really killed my confidence as an artist because a lot of that came from my friends. They believed in me at points when I wanted to give up. And that’s literally the basis of this whole album.”
It was literally the same thing over again, you know what I mean? It was kind of crazy. It was hard. I felt like I was never gonna find an artist who was gonna trust me with their music, and stuff like that. Thank God for Ski. He trusted me. And then we built this beautiful relationship with Juice and everything was moving in a beautiful direction. We were living together, making music every single day. That, for me, was insane because I hadn’t been producing for a long time. When this album started, I produced nothing on it. I was just a DJ trying to take records and just do whatever I could and ask people to hop on records. Juice was the first artist who actually believed in me as a producer and was like, ‘no, you’re really hard. Play me the beats that you’ve been making.’ I was like, ‘what the fuck, okay, cool. Yeah, hell yeah, for sure.’ So you know there’s a lot of confidence built back up that I had lost when Jah passed away. And then, you know, Juice passed away and it was hard on me. I just, I don’t know. I was just tired of being sad and shit. And I mean, obviously, I’m still sad. It sucks every day. But I was just tired of that ruling my life, you know?
COVID hit and I was like, ‘yo, I’m not gonna just sit around and do nothing.’ So I really got my shit together. And during COVID, me and Nuri talked, and I’m like, ‘yo let’s get in the lab and lock in and do what we’re supposed to be doing.’ Because if I was doing nothing, then everything was for nothing. You know what I mean? And that’s not my legacy. That’s not what I’m trying to leave. I’ve seen my best friends in the world be able to leave these amazing, beautiful legacies. It motivates me every day, you know, and it shows me– I knew these two guys. I know all my homies– Ski and everyone that’s a rapper now. I know these guys as regular people. To see a regular person be able to accomplish so much just goes to show that this shit is possible for anyone. And all it takes is to just keep moving forward. When life knocks you down, get back up, keep going. That’s what I learned being around them. So that’s what I want to accomplish. My accomplishment is releasing this album and giving the world the music that they fucking deserve.
Image provided by the artist
That’s really inspiring for me to hear. You’ve overcome a lot over the years. So to hear that you’ve got your confidence back– that’s beautiful for me to hear. Congratulations, man.
Thank you. I really appreciate that. Like I said, you know, this album is really just a thank you. This album is a thank you to the fans who have made this possible because I’ve been working on this project from the beginning and figuring it out. Like, oh wow, I can’t just drop this, I gotta get label clearances, I got to– this is like real life. I have a partnership with EMPIRE. I’m technically independent, you know, I am independent. I own my masters, so it’s like, realizing how much of a business this is too. And this is like– this is just my thank you. Because without the fans and my family, which is what I call my supporters, and my real-life family: my brother, my girl, everyone involved in my whole thing. This is like Ground Zero to where I’m at right now. I’ve never done nothing. I didn’t sign a deal early. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. This is ground-up work. You know what I mean? Everyone around me. Tariq has been my manager since I was 17-years-old. Since I was doing nothing– literally not doing shit. I’m 23 now. This is ground zero to what I’m doing now. I don’t know where I’m going exactly but I think it’s somewhere nice. It is somewhere nice for sure.
You’re gonna find out soon with the album release!
That’s my whole thing, bro. Let me tell you something, bro. I really don’t care about numbers. I don’t care about nothing. I just want people to understand that you can do this. Be a good person. Have genuine relationships. Work with people that believe in you as much as you believe in them. Make sure it’s always mutual. And you’re going to be able to do what you want to do and you’re going to be able to create something and put it out in the world. And for me, my biggest W is putting the shit out.
I’m a kid from the middle of nowhere, bro. Literally, no one has blown up from where I’m from. I’m from Palm Beach, Florida. The only other rapper I know now is $not. Shout out to $not. You know what I mean? It’s just straight up like– that’s why when I link up with him, I’m like, ‘yo, bro, we really from the middle of nowhere.’ Yeah, I lived in Miami and I was raised until I was 6 in there. But my whole upbringing was in Palm Beach. There’s nothing there. The most lit rapper at the time was Spro and he was killed shortly after he got his whole deal and everything. So it’s like, there’s literally nothing there. The fact that I was able to make some shit shake. And I’m where I’m at now– that’s just the beauty of it.
You’ve got a lot to be proud of. $not’s going crazy this year, too.
He’s the shit, man. I love $not. He’s on this album. He killed it. I love his verse. It was so awesome. Shout out to him because he was super easy to work with too. He’s a good dude.
You spoke a little bit about your partnership with EMPIRE. How are things going with them?
I’m very transparent with my deal and shit because I feel like, a lot of these artists don’t know what they’re signing, and nobody has any fucking idea what they’re doing right now. So I’m proud to say that I’m not on a standard 18% royalty for an album bullshit fucking deal. I signed for one album with the option of a second. Respectfully, because I love EMPIRE. And I think that everything they do is amazing and beautiful. And they’ve been rocking with me since before I was even releasing music. Ghazi [Shami] and Nima [Etminan] have been supporting me. They’ve pushed me to do what I’m doing now. So shout out to them. It’s an awesome thing.
You know, when you meet someone like Ghazi and Nima and everyone at the EMPIRE team who believes in you enough to tell you, ‘yo, we’re here to have the building work for you. And we want you to be in a favorable position always to where you own always’– I own way more than your average artist of my music. And I’m also very smart because of my manager Tariq. He taught me to license your music to these labels, not be dumb, and don’t give away your rights to your fucking masters forever. So you know what I mean? It’s just all about being smart. And I feel like we attacked this deal in a very smart way. I don’t want to talk numbers because I’m not about to throw up how much I got or whatever the fuck, but it was an amazing deal. And shout out to EMPIRE for being so lenient with everything that I was able to put into the contract to make me feel comfortable. Because that’s what it should be about. It should be about the artists feeling comfortable and the artists getting what they want. Because, at the end of the day, this is my music that I put my life, my soul, my heart into. So for me to go and say, ‘yeah, I fucking signed a deal. Got a couple fucking hundred thousand, got a million dollars, whatever. And fuckin I don’t own shit.’ Well, you’re gonna just live in debt forever to a label, you know what I mean? I pride myself a lot on the independent stuff. I could talk forever about it. Shout out to EMPIRE.
I wanted to ask you about how you initially met Juice WRLD.
Juice had always been reaching out to everybody because he was a fan of the stuff we were doing when we were first coming up. I remember him when he was hitting up the homies. It got to the point when I was around the Alamo Records team a lot because wifisfuneral had signed there. A couple of the A&Rs there were like, ‘yo, there’s this kid Juice WRLD, we just found out about him.’ He literally had 80,000 plays. That was the most he had on SoundCloud. It was fucking crazy. I fucking fell in love with his music. I was like, wow, this kid is so fucking good. And I told all my homies, I’m like, ‘yo, Juice. This kid is actually so fucking good.’ And then through mutual people, he started to integrate himself around people that we had known coming up. He was such a nice kid who just came up to you and told you whatever was on his mind. Even if it’s some really crazy shit, he’ll just tell you what’s on his mind if it’s bothering him. And he did that. It was at SXSW at the Lyrical Lemonade event. That was the official first time where it was a formal introduction. And it was on stage– I kind of walked up. It was just funny. I said some really funny stuff to him that I don’t even want to say, because of the situation going on at hand. And he was just like– he looked at me all funny. And it was a funny situation because he knew that I was right in what I was saying. And fucking– it was just a crazy situation. It was just really funny. And then from there, it was mutual friends and stuff. We had all known each other.
“[Juice WRLD] was one of the homies, like, instantly. It’s crazy. He was literally like my twin man. We grew up on some of the same shit. Man, me and Juice hung out really hard for like a year and a half, two years. But I felt like I knew him. Man, I feel like I knew him my whole entire life. And yeah, he just trusted me and made me a better producer and just showed me a lot about life and about love. I’ve never met anyone who just loves like that.”
Around the time when Jah passed away, a little bit after that, while me and Ski were working, we all started to get close, just through music and being around all the same people. And then it just kind of grew from there. I don’t know, he was one of the homies, like, instantly. It’s crazy. He was literally like my twin man. We grew up on some of the same shit. Man, me and Juice hung out really hard for like a year and a half, two years. But I felt like I knew him. Man, I feel like I knew him my whole entire life. And yeah, he just trusted me and made me a better producer and just showed me a lot about life and about love. I’ve never met anyone who just loves like that. And it’s actually crazy to have experienced something like that. Because it’s like, it just doesn’t even– I can’t explain it, it’s just something crazy. I’m blessed to have known someone like that. I don’t even care about the music, I don’t care about shit. Man, that was my brother, man. It just hurts to the core. Because you can’t do nothing about it. But it also made me a better man, a better person. And I thank him a lot for that. So, shout out to Juice man, that guy was something else for sure.
I was speaking to The Kid LAROI last week and we were talking about how Juice is one of the greatest songwriters of this generation. And he really didn’t even write songs… he just freestyled.
Yeah. It was scary. It was really scary. It was scary seeing how good he was. Man, you should have seen me and Ski when he first started coming around. He started freestyling the shit with us. Me and Ski would just be there like, how– I would talk to him and I’m like, ‘yo, like, how does it work in your head?’ And he’s just like, ‘it just makes sense like that. That’s just, I just process life like that.’ I was like, yeah, you damn sure do. Motherfucker was Dr. Seuss in real life, like he spoke in rhymes. It was really insane to be able to experience that. Listen, this is the truth about it. This is like the bittersweet part, as much as it was beautiful to have experienced it. It also does suck so much, because it’s like, I’m definitely not looking for that in any artists that I work with. And any person that wants to work with me, don’t try to be like him. Don’t ever try to do anything like that stuff, right? But what I’m saying is, it fucked up my expectations for music, and it did for a long time, because I’m like, damn, with Juice it was like, I played a beat that I necessarily didn’t like, or I was uncomfortable with. And he was like, ‘oh my god, this is so hard.’ He’d make a fucking insane record out of something I felt was trash, you know.
He definitely was one of the greatest songwriters of our generation. And one of the most beautiful voices of our generation. I’m a strong believer in like– I love lyrics. I think lyrics are so important in music, but there’s nothing like the vibe and nothing like the melody and the sounds of voices and stuff. And I think that he had the best of both worlds. He had the voice. And not just only the voice, he had the content, he had the lyrics. He was the most complete artist I’ve ever seen in my life. A lot of people like to compare him and X as if they came from the same generation and stuff. And those are two completely different worlds. Like, that’s two completely different worlds. And they’re both masters with the way they did that. So it was an honor to have been able to see both of them. Both of those things. Random people will ask me and they’ll be like, ‘how does it feel knowing both of them?’ And I’m like, ‘well, they’re just two really good kids.’ I really love them and they’re my homies. I’m a huge fan. I’m a huge, huge fan of the music. It might be biased. But I think that’s some of the greatest music made ever like it’s fucking crazy.
“[Juice WRLD] definitely was one of the greatest songwriters of our generation. And one of the most beautiful voices of our generation. I’m a strong believer in like– I love lyrics. I think lyrics are so important in music, but there’s nothing like the vibe and nothing like the melody and the sounds of voices and stuff. And I think that he had the best of both worlds. He had the voice. And not just only the voice, he had the content, he had the lyrics. He was the most complete artist I’ve ever seen in my life.”
With X, one of my favorite albums of all time is ?. I find– it’s such a perfect album. I see you got the 17 plaque hanging up there too. That’s an incredible album as well.
I love that album. That’s one of my favorite albums. It’s crazy cause I learned so much from that ? album. When I’m looking for a complete project, I go to ? and I’m like, this is how you make music. This is how you do it, this is how you put an album together in a way– no one can say anything about you. It’s like I’m giving you everything. I’m giving you every genre and everything I feel, everything I can touch and create. I’m giving it to you in a project and it’s a perfect blend. That’s what music is really about. It’s about blending it, not keeping one relative thing. That for me– I think I’ll probably never give the world an album like that. Unless it’s like a Halloween album. You know or something super specific. But when I’m giving you my albums, I don’t ever feel sad for six months straight, I don’t ever feel happy for six months straight. I have shitty weeks and terrible days, and I have really good ones. One day you’re going to get a happy song and the next day you’ll get some fucking emo, fucking screamo– whatever, I don’t know.
I feel like I wouldn’t do myself justice if I were to make music in any other way. That’s what I mean by my influences. ? was a big staple project for me as far as when I was learning from behind the scenes– cause that’s really what I did for all of my years around my homies. I was just learning. I’m just like, fuck, okay, treat people with respect. Love your fans like family cause they are. I think that’s it for me. You know? For real. I love my fans, I love making music.
Image provided by the artist
Just because we’re on the topic of Juice and X, you had teased the other month that they had a song coming out together.
I would love to talk about this actually. There are two sides. I get teased a lot by fans like, ‘oh you’re capping”. I’m not gonna show the screenshots or anything like that because that’s fucking weird. But yo, I think John [Cunnigham] contacted me or I contacted John. He hit me up– backstory really quick. I was chilling with Juice and he’s like, ‘yo listen to this’. It was a remix of “Whoa” on Skins and it sounded– it was awesome. A really beautiful song. I forgot about it because he played me a million songs a day and it’s like wow, super dope. So I just didn’t think anything of it and it was during that period where X’s music– the two [posthumous] projects had come out already. He was like, ‘yeah we did this a while ago, I just haven’t played it for anyone and yeah listen to it, you’re the only person I want to hear it.’ So I fucking listened to it; it was dope.
A couple of months ago, before COVID, John was like ‘yo, what ever happened to that record, the remix?’ And I’m like ‘yo, that’s a good question, that’s a really good question, let me find out.’ I hit up Lil Bibby and I was like, I spoke to John and John says everyone on Jah’s– X’s side loves the idea of it coming out– of just anything in general coming out, whether it be that or something else, you know? Both sides agreed and were down. Everyone was like, hell yeah. I put John and Bibby in a group chat and I’m like, ‘yo, what’s up, I’m in LA.’ He was like, ‘I’m gonna look for the song straight up. Let’s keep talking, let’s move forward.’
Fast forward to when I had put that tweet out. I literally did that whole group chat and everything and I tweeted out “Bad Vibes Forever x 999.” A lot of that is what you’re gonna get from me because I’m a huge fucking fan. I’ll do better and I’ll try to– I tweeted that I am trying to be better about things and not jump the gun. Yeah, it was a real thing and we talked about it and I’m sure that it’s something that’s gonna be revisited. But I know that right now, it’s a transitional period. Legends Never Die is still doing really great. The fans need to understand that when you hear about something, I’m not telling you it’s dropping next week. Like I said, I tweeted before that I’m gonna be better about trying to be more accurate with timing and not just tweet something when I hear about it, without the confirmation. I’m just trying to keep the people updated. I hate it because I just feel bad and really– shit, I can be the bad guy, I don’t mind, but just know I’m fighting for you ’cause I want this record out just as bad as you do. I know they’re two touchy subjects and, for me, I like to step away from those situations as much as possible. It’s really tough for fans to see an artist’s music released after they pass away. At the end of the day, his family is living off of it. These are two people who are two African-American males. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to say that they changed their generational wealth. Juice and Jah passed away. Yeah, it’s a sad thing. Their last name and their bloodline and everything that they stand for is the basis of what their family is about. It’s insane to think about, and a lot of people don’t see that, but they changed their whole generational wealth. And it’s gonna be like that forever now. That for me is beautiful, I hope my family gets money from me forever cause that’s what I’m doing it for. I’m not doing it for some fucking dude up in a label. I’m not doing this for everyone else; it’s for me and my family.
“It’s a beautiful thing to be able to say that they changed their generational wealth. Juice and Jah passed away. Yeah, it’s a sad thing. Their last name and their bloodline and everything that they stand for is the basis of what their family is about. It’s insane to think about, and a lot of people don’t see that, but they changed their whole generational wealth. And it’s gonna be like that forever now. That for me is beautiful, I hope my family gets money from me forever cause that’s what I’m doing it for. I’m not doing it for some fucking dude up in a label. I’m not doing this for everyone else; it’s for me and my family.”
So for right now, you would say the song is on hold?
Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to come out anytime soon.
You’re closing 2020 in a major way. What do you have planned for 2021 and beyond?
The plan for 2021… So the actual plan is for Ski to finish his EP and release it for you guys in December. There’s a group project, a Slytherin project with me, Ski, Danny [Towers], and the rest of our homies. Ski’s album; I’m going to get to work on that. We’ve been working on it but we’re going to continue to work on it. Danny’s project, we’re working on that. Besides those things– those have been really consistent things that we’ve been working on. I just want to be a producer and be taken more seriously. I got a record with Lil Mosey on his album coming out. Me and JID have been working on some stuff for his album. Yeah, I’m just trying to land these placements. I want to be taken seriously as a producer. It would be cool to make some music for some movies. That would be nice. Next year is just about that. Next year is about me being a producer. And obviously album two. Album two starts the second this one is out. Album two is working all the time. Who knows when you guys are going to get it, but realistically, my goal was to at least put out another project. As far as DJ Scheme, I wanna drop something before the summer. Maybe I’ll keep it a thing and keep dropping albums at the end of the year. I want to be consistent with that. I want to give people projects every year. And that’s it, that’s 2021. 2021 is producer year with plaques on plaques.
Plaques on top of plaques on top of plaques. You’re manifesting it right now.
For sure, we definitely are. Shout out to Danny, Ski, and Yachty for my first Gold record. My first plaque as an artist. Shout out to Juice, we’re almost double-platinum with Legends Never Die. Gold, almost Platinum on “Conversations.” More plaques on the way. Shoutout to my homies it’s not possible without them.
Any closing words for the readers?
Just enjoy this album. Know that this album definitely describes me and what I’ve been going through, but not everything that DJ Scheme is. This is like a piece of me, more than just everything that DJ Scheme is. More specifically, for the fans, I love you guys and none of this is possible without you guys. Shoutout to my Mom; I love my mom. Yeah. HotNewHipHop, DJ Scheme, ya dig!
I appreciate you for taking the time, man.
Thank you, man. I appreciate you guys.