Next Up, “The Man, The Myth, The Legend - aka Big Rich, aka Ricardo Grande, aka Lil Ricky, aka Your Father…” Rich Medina
Cornell’s hip hop collection documents the origins and growth of hip hop culture through the preservation of its original artifacts. The collection includes the largest institutionally assembled collection of early hip hop recordings on vinyl (7,000 recordings and growing), sound files of early battles and live performances, the photographic archive of Bronx photographer Joe Conzo, Jr., several hundred 1970s and 1980s hip hop party and event flyers, including the working archive of noted flyer artist Buddy Esquire, the archive of Breakbeat Lenny, books, magazines, textiles and more.
Building upon the Division’s substantial collections documenting 19th and 20th century American life, the hip hop archive is open to the public.”
There are few nightclub DJs that have accomplished as much on a global scale as Rich Medina. From his humble beginnings as a young b-boy-turned-DJ in Lakewood, NJ, to his current status manning the decks as one of the most popular DJs in Philadelphia NYC, Rich Medina has consistently taken multi-ethnic crowds on a sonic journey through hip-hop, house, Afrobeat, funk and soul, unearthing one musical gem after another, for almost 20 years.
In addition to his own events, Rich has performed in front of crowds of thousands, DJing shows with artists like Lauryn Hill, De La Soul, Erykah Badu, Seun Kuti, Tony Allen, Nathan Haines, Roy Ayers, Gil Scott-Heron, The Roots, Jill Scott, Antibalas, Zap Mama, and Femi Kuti, among many others. From NYC to LA to London to Tokyo, and everywhere in between, music lovers know not to miss a club night when Rich Medina is manning the decks.
I started playing records because my older sister’s husband was a local DJ around my way. My sister is 18 years older than me, and lucky for me she was pretty hip. Records were her iTunes, and I inherited all that.
Where are you from?
I’m from Lakewood New Jersey
Where did your name come from?
I got it from my mama.
How did your record collection start?
I started enjoying and collecting records and album art as a child. My family was into music and had a nice amount of records in the house. My older sister’s first husband was also a local DJ. I really don’t know any better. I was born into a family who purchased records regularly.
Do you remember the first record you bought?
The first record I bought with my own money was Kiss’s Alive Two LP. I was obsessed with the guitars, the makeup and the crazy outfits.
What was your first DJ gig and when? Were there any memorable moments that night good or bad?
My first real gig was a Lakewood Middle School dance. One thing i remember clearly is that the right turntable was completely fucked the entire party and we never got that together.
How long have you been djing?
I’ve been DJing since I was 11 years old.
What would you love to play that you’re not known for?
I can’t say there’s anything I feel that way about. I get to play records next to a wide range of selectors on a regular basis thank god.
When did you start producing?
What was your first project?
Watchin’ Me on Jill Scott’s debut LP “Who Is Jill Scott?” on Hidden Beach Records.
What is your favorite track you’ve done?
My favorite production of my own is my “Act Like You Know” Remix for Platinum Pied Pipers featuring J Dilla.
Who would you like to produce/work with that you haven’t already?
That’s a book’s worth of people…
Tell me about your infamous parties?
I’ve been blessed to have had a number of incredible party experiences over the years. Cosmo Baker and I had The Remedy at Fluid in Philly for 10 years. Li’l Ricky’s Rib Shack was at APT for 8 and a half years on Wednesday nights. Jump N Funk, my Fela Kuti tribute party was started in August of 2001 and is still going strong. Q Tip, Vashtie and I held Open at Santos Partyhaus for 3 years.
Tell me about your experience on Master of The Mix good and bad?
Master Of The Mix was dope for me because it made me far more critical of myself as an artist.
Who are some of your favorite DJs?
DJ Mike Nyce
So many more…
What would you say DJs now lack?
What do you like about current technology as a DJ and as a producer?
Disregarding technology is a mistake. Relying on technology isn’t the smartest idea at the same time. The option to emulate analog hardware on a computer screen changed the production world. Some producers just prefer the tools they’re familiar with. I believe it’s important to be aware of the new tools out there and utilize the ones that make your workflow more efficient. Driving is faster than walking too.
What do you dislike?
I dislike the fact that the onset of technology and DIY salesmanship in DJ/production tools makes most venues fail to build their DJ booths to be vinyl record and analog ready. It also places DJ booths in places where DJ booths shouldn’t be. For the DJ who desires to play vinyl most often have to pick them up off the floor because there are no record bins, or squeeze into and afterthought of a DJ set up to play. Digital signal has allowed people with no sonic building perspective to disregard certain fundamentals in building truly industrial strength booths.
Whats a couple of your new favorite artists/songs in the genre(s) your known for and especially genre(s) that you aren’t know for but really dig?
Rasheed Chappell -
Jungle By Night
Georgia Ann Muldrow
If you weren’t producing/DJing what would you be doing?
I really don’t know the answer to that right now. I’d probably be doing something that allowed me more face time with my kid though. I can definitely say that.
What is your hobby or interest when you’re not DJing that people don’t know about?
I’m a huge mixed martial arts fan
How do you deal with requests?
I listen and deal with people as they come at me for the most part. At other times I have no interest in talking to people while playing. There are a lot of variables to the idea of dealing with requests. Most importantly I guess I try to be polite, even if I gotta say no, or if the person is a little tipsy and taking loose.
How do you feel about the current EDM (Electronic Dance Music) takeover in nightlife?
At one point people asked the same thing about drum and bass, electro, so called neo soul, and on and on. Whatever the genre, it’s the records that remain viable 30 years later that make up the classics of the world.
Do you have any desire to be a big room DJ? Why or Why not?
Having played my share of big rooms over the years, i know that I am capable of holding down a big room. I just so happen to thrive in an entire world of club culture outside those rooms, and I also have absolutely no problem with that.
Weirdest moment djing?
Flow in New York City’s DJ booth was 20 feet up in the air and the only way up was a fucking fireman’s ladder. Trying to get flight cases up that ladder was a small nightmare, and then once I was in the booth…the ceiling was 6 feet tall…i’m 6 foot 6…so i sat on an amp case for the entire night, staring across ceiling of the club cause I couldn’t stand up in the damn booth…womp
Best moment djing?
Every party, as many times as possible.
Worst moment djing?
What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
I’m proud that I’ve been able to maintain a career path that people find credible.
Whats your favorite city/cities to play in?
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