DJ Felli Fel Says TDE Is Running L.A. Hip-Hop

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  • dj-felli-fel
    Felli Fel is one of the biggest DJs the West Coast has ever seen, with his base at Power 106 in L.A. his strong point. As the go-to guy on the Los Angeles music scene in hip-hop, Felli Fel has built his name off of his contributions to the genre, and according to him, this is only the beginning. Many people know him for his keen music ear and position as a gate keeper for West Coast radio but his job is not always an easy one, sometimes having to serve up the brutal honesty that artists don't always want to hear.<br /><br />With L.A. hip-hop going through a particularly poppin' period, <em>XXL</em> caught up with the superstar DJ and got hip on all things Felli Fel, from his thoughts on the L.A. music scene to the new songs he soon plans to drop. —<a title="randa" href="https://twitter.com/randa_writes" target="_blank"><em>Miranda Johnson</em></a>
  • snoop-dogg
    <strong><em>XXL</em>: What are your thoughts on the current L.A. hip-hop scene?</strong><br /><strong>Felli Fel:</strong> L.A. is doing it right now. I mean we’ve been doing it for years but I think the rest of the country and even the world finally caught up to us. L.A. and California in general has always been a step ahead, and almost too far ahead, especially when it comes to music and fashion. Look at Kendrick and ScHoolboy Q, and YG, Ty Dolla $ign and DJ Mustard, the whole Pushaz Ink label. Even all these artists moving out here, Wiz Khalifa to name a few. L.A. is just hot right now. Everybody is just realizing how the sound of L.A. can cross over into their markets. It’s been a good thing for everybody, for the producers, for DJs. I travel the world thanks to the city of Los Angeles. And singers, too. There’s just so much going on out here with so many different artists, and it’s exciting. And Kid Ink is doing his thing right now, too. He’s killin’ it.<br /><br /><strong>Are there any up and coming rappers that you’re feeling right now?</strong><br />One in particular that I think has next up—and I don’t mean just next up in L.A., he’s gonna be the next J. Cole, Tyga, Big Sean all rolled into one—is DoZay. The dude is just incredible right now. He’s got the whole lyrical thing going on and he has a very original voice and he can get his singing on as well. So I guess you could even mix a little bit of Drake in there with him. He’s super dope.<br /><br /><strong>Aside from him, is there anyone you think is going to take over the L.A. hip-hop scene in the next few years?</strong><br />Well, L.A. is not the city where it just gets taken over by any one person. The way that this city is designed doesn’t allow for that. One of the reasons that you're seeing all this success, for lack of a better word, is that everybody has been working together. From Tyga to YG, DJ Mustard, Eric Bellinger, Kid Ink and the whole TDE family; everybody has come together. I think that’s the biggest strength that we’ve had out here in L.A. I don’t like to say, nor do I know, who would be taking over, but if I had to say someone it would be TDE is definitely running things out here. Then you have guys like Dr. Dre who orchestrated that whole thing. I would say TDE and even my dog DJ Mustard. If anyone has taken over and will continue to take over it’s those guys, 'cause they’re working with everybody. Nipsey is still doing his [thing], The Game is doing his thing and of course Snoop Dogg is just an icon. He’s one of the biggest rappers in the world and he’s still on the map and doing his thing. He’s got the “<a title="wiggle" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiP14ED28CA">Wiggle</a>” record with Jason Derulo. The fact that he can just come and do it again time after time and get on projects that remain relevant is a testament to who he is, how he reps L.A., and what L.A. is.<br /><br />And we stay young, which is another answer to how Snoop stays doing it. Snoop is amazing at keeping himself in the right places. He stays up on what’s going on. I’m a really big Snoop Dogg fan for multiple reasons. The biggest reason is because Snoop has just maintained the longevity and it’s a testament to who he is and what this city breeds. If 'Pac was around today, he would probably be the most relevant rapper alive. He comes from the whole California lifestyle—you can apply that to fashion, cars, always having the hottest newest trends. We’re up on the slang. Even the food, we’ve been eating good out here for years. Taking care of ourselves. We stay young in L.A., and the lifestyle over here has crossed over more now than ever.
  • TDE
    <strong>Aside from TDE, who do you think are the main L.A. labels out here killin’ it?</strong><br />You got the Pushaz Ink label. You got Kid Ink’s Alumni, which my boy Ill Will is really getting into some more things with different artists. I know it isn’t necessarily L.A., but Wiz and the Taylor Gang with Ty Dolla $ign and Chevy Woods. They’re like family, and sometimes I forget Wiz is not from here. Somebody once said—and his name is Rakim—“It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.” Even guys like Chris Brown that have made L.A. their home for so long. You tend to forget that they’re not originally from the West Coast. But you know what? That really doesn’t matter, because these guys have embraced the culture and the whole scene out here.<br /><br />Not everybody can do that. It's very very difficult to not be from L.A. and to come, fit in and people accept you. You get a lot of people coming from other places, whether it's Atlanta, Miami, New York, and a lot of people end up going back home. It takes a certain type of person, with Chris and Wiz. These guys have really made a niche for themselves in the music industry in L.A. That says a lot. And look at what Snoop did with Wiz, and they became team almost. Then Chris Brown collaborates with all the West Coast artists, with Tyga and whatnot. I almost consider those guys L.A. artists at this moment because L.A. has influenced them so much. A lot of the music that has come from them comes from being out here in the club. Being at Play House and Supper Club. Doing shows downtown for the Latin crowd. Hollywood clubs. 1Oak and Warwick, you got all these clubs. These guys live in this city and they go to these clubs and they listen to the radio out here, they've been influenced. It's just a great thing all around for the city of L.A.
  • felli-fel-artwork
    <strong>What would you say your role is for the city?</strong><br />I would say my role is to listen to music and pick records that are relevant to our lifestyle here in L.A. going forward. What the consumer, what we like to call the P1 listener at Power 106. I think that's my strong point and kind of my role. A lot of these artists come to me for advice on which record they should go with and what single should be their next single. I accept it wholeheartedly and I have taken the time to sit with these guys to listen to their music and give them advice, sometimes, that might not be what they want to hear. I think that's what makes the artist better.<br /><br />I've always tried to be honest. I've had the role of having to be the bearer of bad news, but in recent years it's been a lot easier because we have so many great artists out here. It's flattering to be put on a pedestal, but at times it's a job, and I embrace it. It comes with the territory. I've been able to bring a lot of things together and make the radio staton better that I work for. I think and I hope that people view me as the person that they can rely on and help their career. Help build them. You know you're always gonna have those people that are gonna have a not so pleasant taste in their mouth because they didn't get the response that they hoped they would get out of a situation, but that's fine. You can't win all the battles. Any DJ will tell you in any city that you can't please everybody and you've got to be honest with yourself and be honest with others, but keep an open mind.<br /><br />I think the biggest thing is, I'm traveling around the world, in the clubs from Asia to Canada to Australia, wherever they may be. Around the States DJing. I took up when I was a kid DJing house parties, my job was to play the hot shit at the parties. That translated over to radio—my job is to play the hot shit in the radio and in the club.<strong>Do you have any other ventures that you're working on outside of radio?</strong><br />I've been getting into the TV stuff a little bit more. I have recently also gotten into the app game. I have two apps that I'm working on right now with some friends. One of them is music-related and the other one is more based on emojis. We're working on that kind of stuff. I'm in the land of opportunity out here with a lot of things. For years the music has been my priority, but it got to the point where I started venturing out.<br /><br />I'm also in the process of working on new music with Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Ma$e and Snow Tha Product. Juicy J, I just did a record on Juicy J's new album. I just did a record with Problem and Rick Ross. I just shot the video to my new song with Pitbull, Cee Lo, and Juicy J called "<a title="fun" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/rap-music/new-music/2014/04/dj-felli-fel-featuring-cee-lo-pitbull-juicy-j-fun/" target="_blank">Have Some Fun</a>."<br /><br /><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146975315&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" height="450" width="100%" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe>

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