DJ Scheme
The Florida DJ dishes on spinning for the 2019 XXL Freshman Class cyphers.
As told to Peter Berry
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Being the DJ for the 2019 XXL Freshman shoot was a dream. I didn’t really know what it took to DJ [the] Freshman [cyphers]. It never really crossed my mind. I worked really hard this year. When [the opportunity] came up, I was like, Oh shit, that’s dope. Hell yeah. We ’bout to do this shit. I was happy about it ’cause when I first got into music I was trying to be an artist. That’s my real passion. It felt like I was part of the list.

I met everybody on the list because we had to talk about the [cypher] beats. I [already] know most of the people, but it was dope to see those that I didn’t. I wanted to meet a couple of these artists: Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby—honestly, I really wanted to meet him. He was cool. I fuck with Rico [Nasty], she’s fire. I really liked YBN Cordae’s cypher. We got to play off each other’s energy and do a cool skit. DaBaby just didn’t stop rapping. He a real rapper, man. It’s pretty awesome to see that and there’s a lot of that on this list.

This might be one of the most balanced years of XXL Freshman. We got some real rap-rappers on here and the crossovers. There’s a lot more girls in this class. There’s a lot of girls going hard right now. As far as everybody else on the list—from Gunna to DaBaby—it just makes sense. It’s everybody that’s hot right now. It’s the perfect top 10—scratch that—the top 11. It was a really good energy; nobody had weird egos or none of that. We got the shit done and it worked out well. It’s good to link up with these artists ’cause that’s what it’s about. Gotta link up [and] get this work in. I had a lot of fun, honestly. [But] don’t get me wrong, everything’s hard work. It’s agonizing sometimes. I’ve been sleeping in between cyphers on the couch.

I represent for Florida. XXXTentacion was on the Freshman list two years ago. Ski [Mask The Slump God] was on it last year [with] Wifisfuneral. That’s my family. I remember before the [2017] list came out, X had a bunch of videos [of his freestyles] on his phone. I saw his cypher where he cuts the beat way before people said, “Ah, this gon’ change the game.” He was showing me the whole rundown. I was like, “Oh, you get haircuts, you get taken care of and you do a little cypher.” Ski Mask told me how it went down. So, I expected it to be like this.

Coming from that underground Florida scene, I feel like doing something [with] XXL helps your brand entirely. It makes people look at you seriously. Look at the track record of the DJs that have been a part of XXL. There’s some great people that [are] out here making this bread. They have empires. That’s why I really was excited to do this: To show people that I’m not just DJing for Ski [Mask The Slump God] or X[XXTentacion] when he was alive—my homies. I want to be known as DJ Scheme: the brand. I’ve been working hard. I wanna drop my album by the end of summer. There are definitely people on this list [that are] gonna be on that album. I’m not in it for the short run. I’m trying to be here for years. The next DJ Khaled [but] bigger. This is gonna allow me to do it.

See Photos of DJ Scheme at the 2019 XXL Freshman Cover Shoot

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