DJ / Producer
My name is AfroDJiak. I am a DJ and a producer. And now, a Creative Ambassador.
How would you describe Philly's hip-hop scene?
Philly’s hip-hop is very unique because the people in Philly are unique. The hip-hop here speaks to the story of the community here. If you know the struggles of everyday urban Philadelphians then you know that the music and inspiration the behind music is a little more aggressive. You can hear it in their lyrics and in a lot of their styles, like a Freeway, a Peedi Crakk, a Meek Mill. So you really gets what's happening with people, and yet there’s still a certain sense of pride that they have for their city that also comes across in their music.
Philadelphia artists can fit into any mix. The music is just there. It’s relevant. It’s good. So, I just try to literally put on for my city.
Where do you go to get records?
Sound of Market is really like one of the last record stores left in downtown Philadelphia. I used to shop for my records at Armand's, which is just around the corner. They actually closed down their record department like two or three years ago. Now they sell deejay and sound equipment, serato vinyl, cables, slipmats and headphones. But it still a good place to peek into from time to time.
Sound of Market is one of the last places you can come in Philly and just look through consignment records, and still find good printings of classic records. There are some great DJs that have come out of just working here.
I feel like every DJ has used this place [Sound of Market] as a stomping ground. There is also Milk Crate Cafe now, where you can go grab a cup of coffee and shop for vinyl records.
The beauty of actually coming to record stores is that you get to see the actual artwork in front of you. There nothing like feeling vinyl and looking at the actual record. Sitting at home, digging through your computer is not the same as this experience here. Nothing beats this. Trying to bargain someone down off a record. Trying to keep your poker face when you’re trying to bargain.
What's your favorite food spot in Philly?
El Vez is probably the most fun you can have in one restaurant. Its colorful, and it’s got a beautiful décor.
There is velvet everywhere. There is a big bicycle in the middle of the bar. There’s a photobooth there.
So, it is just like, you know, it’s home for me. There is an extensive tequila menu, which is always appealing for me. I’m a huge tequila drinker. I love margaritas, and they offer like ten different varieties of margaritas. You can get them frozen, and you can get them on the rocks. It’s just like everything you would want in a really great Mexican spot.
My favorite menu item is the Mexican corn. You know, it has this huge cheese concoction on top and all around it. Cheese drizzles on top again. So it’s incredible. The guacamole, the way they served their guacamole here is really unique.
So it’s a good time. It’s a good place for me, whether I’m working one night or just hanging out with friends, I kind of generally start my night out here, and then go out from there.
Any other favorite spots in Philly?
West Philly has a huge significance to me, because I feel like I got my chops here on this side of town. I’ve DJed in this park. I’ve done shopping and hanging out in this park.
One of my favorite new spots is around the corner from the Park and is called Milk & Honey. It’s sort of like a deli, meets a café, meets a little market, meets a good time. One of favorite things about this place is the selection of honey.
One of my favorite things about this place is the smoothie and shake menu. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, one of my favorite sitcoms of all time. They named their specialty smoothies and shakes after all the characters on the show. Genius.