Dance Clubs

DJ Shine Is Anything But An Old Head

After 30 years, the DJ is still excited about what’s next

DJ Shine has been around.

The record-spinner and producer has been in the game for so long that he can remember a time when rappers were merely hype men for DJs. He’s seen the city’s rap scene rise and fall and rise again from behind the decks and in the studio. In spite of all that, he’s not falling into the trap of the old head. Rather than reminisce about the way things used to be, Shine is always focused on what’s next.

“It’s like everything else out with the old technology in with the new, out with the old music in with the new,” he said in a recent interview with Very Local.

Still, we couldn’t help but ask a little bit about the old days. The DJ, producer and label head has worked in some capacity with a who’s who of New Orleans hip-hop, everyone from Hot Boy Ronald to Gotty Boy Chris and back again via Curren$y and Choppa.

“I was there at the inception of bounce music. I was alive at the inception of hip-hop music in general so I’ve pretty much seen the complete evolution from the ‘70s all the way up until now,” he explained, before jumping into what he views as the height of bounce music. “At one time, I could play just New Orleans music for four hours straight, now that’s literally impossible.”

While the walls around the city’s music scene keeping out the outside world aren’t as high as they used to be, Shine said that the impulse to only work within the confines of the culture is still there and it’s something that needs to be fought against. Far from a back-in-my-day preservationist, Shine seemed genuinely excited about the new school of younger rappers and DJs who are entering New Orleans’ scene.

We’re very cutural,” he said. “Our things we hold on to forever and sometimes that can be a hindrance because we don’t want to let the new or next thing in…We don’t want it to change, we pass on to our kids and let it become their thing. The rest of the world is moving on experiencing new things and we might miss it.”

After 30 years in the scene, Shine is still trying to put young musicians on. Through his recently revamped label Black House Entertainment, he’s looking to showcase the next generation of talent.

“There’s a new crop of kids coming up that are doing some real good stuff. As with all evolutions, you start out in chaos and once you figure out how to organize it it does what’s its supposed to do,” he said. “I enjoy giving these young kids the opportunity to do the things they are passionate about, release the music they’re passionate about. I’m most excited about getting a chance to work with the newer generation and giving them guidance and opportunities that some of the kids out of New Orleans might not have.”

That doesn’t mean that Shine is digging into Soundcloud rappers in his spare time, however. He still has old-school New Orleans tastes.

“I don’t necessarily always understand [the music kids are making],” he said, “but hey, that just means it’s not for me.”

Even with his DJ gigs, Shine is not hearing footsteps from the kids coming up after him. When he spoke about young DJs he seemed genuinely excited that technology has made the job so accessible to younger people.

“I think technology gives a lot of kids the ability to be in the scene who previously would not have been able to do so,” he said. “Prior to that you had to have a good bit of money to purchase the gear and to accumulate the music. I’ve seen a lot of these kids be able to feed their families of help their families and start on a new career path [who would not have been able to do so].”