Right about now, there’s two things you should know about DJ GREEN LANTERN aka “The Evil Genius.” Number 1: He’s at the top of his game. His creatively innovative and intricately assembled mixtapes have established him as a leading hip-hop tastemaker and sound scientist, while his job manning the turntables for Eminem has given him worldwide mainstream recognition. Number 2: He’s about to do a whole lot more. The LOX-laced and DJ Green Lantern-produced street heater “2 Gunz Up” (from Sheek Louch’s upcoming D-Block LP) is a startling first shot of what to expect from the Evil Genius’ own upcoming album for Shady Records. And you’d better believe that the hype is real.
2003 was undoubtedly the Year of the Mixtape for hip-hop (thanks mostly to labelmate 50 Cent), and DJ Green Lantern has been right at the forefront of this revolution. His underground “for-promotional-use-only” joints like the two Invasion tapes (which showcased Eminem’s well-publicized verbal squabbles with Ja-Rule and Benzino) and The Best of In The Lab Volume 1 (a collection of his unique, original mixes featured on NYC radio station Hot 97) have outshined the majority of rap albums released this year. In a game based on exclusivity, Green has prevailed by placing priority on how things are put together over simply what he plays.
“My style is what’s exclusive, that’s how I look at it,” he explains. “You’re exclusively only gonna get the way the shit is put together over here. I’m putting the ?mix’ back in mixtape on a major level. I’m trying to step it up and fill a void and do shit that no one else could do. But really what it is more so is just me doing what I wanna do.”
When the Rochester, NY native first stepped into the hip-hop game back in 1990, what he wanted to do was produce tracks, but it was his exceptional DJing skills that paid the bills. He made a name for himself rocking parties through the first half of the ’90s, and by ’95 he dropped the first of many tapes. Pioneering the creative side of mixtapes with an unmatched production quality, DJ Green Lantern has won multiple Justo Mixtape Awards over the past five years. With the streets already embracing his uncommon creations, the industry soon followed ‹ Green’s skills have been tapped by the likes of Heineken, Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam, Loud, JCOR, Cornerstone Promotions, Ecko Clothing, Dr. Pepper Blok Shaker tour, Fridge Magazine, VIBE Magazine, Burton Snowboard, among others. DJ Green Lantern is also the mastermind behind “In The Lab,” a weekly radio show on Hot 97 every Sunday, while his “Evil Genius Mix Pick of the Week” is played daily Monday through Thursday.
Green connected with Slim Shady back in spring of ’02 when the Evil Genius became Em’s DJ and hit the road on the Anger Management tour along with Ludacris, Xzibit, the X-Ecutioners and Papa Roach. Looking to expand his empire, Marshall signed DJ Green Lantern to Shady, and the album scheduled for release in 2004 is currently being carefully formulated … in the lab, of course. Green offers a preview: “You can expect the same quality of performance and crazy shit you’ve heard on a Green Lantern tape ‹ with all the twists and turns. The difference is now I got a bigger canvas to work with and I get to use all the paint and paintbrushes I always wanted to use, ya dig?”
Getting back into the street-shaking production he set out to do 13 years ago, Green will be handling the bulk of the beatwork on his major full-length debut, while his devastating musical talents can also be heard on upcoming tracks from Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, Fat Joe, and the late great 2Pac.
“At the end of the day, the bottom line is that I have a passion for the way I put things together,” says DJ Green Lantern. “And it’s obvious or else it wouldn’t sound like that. You know this guy’s got a real love for what he does to do wild shit like that.”