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They Reminisce Over You Podcast

Episode 32: Hey Mr. DJ - A Conversation with DJ BenHaMeen of For All Nerds

DJ BenHaMeen is a podcaster, television writer, author and Wakanda's favorite DJ. He has many shows under the For All Nerds umbrella; For All Nerds Show, Castle Black (Game Of Thrones), Safe Negro Pod (Lovecraft Country) and Views From The 616 (MCU). Or you may know him from The Combat Jack Show. We discussed growing up in Houston, sharpening his DJ skills at Howard University, writing for TV and producing podcasts. I promise you that this is the only place that you'll hear a Hollywood Shuffle reference along side a Pimp C quote this week.


Christina: Welcome back to They Reminisce Over You. I'm Christina.

Miguel: And I'm Miguel. This week we're doing something a little bit different. Usually it's just the two of us. And this time we've invited a guest on with us. He's a DJ, he's a podcaster, TV writer, author. "You know him as Joe the Policeman from the 'What's Goin' Down?' episode of That's My Mama[1]." Give it up for DJ BenHaMeen.

Christina: [mimics air horns]

Miguel: How are you doing brother?

DJ BenHaMeen: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for having me. What's that? What's that from? Is that uh, Chappelle's Show?

Miguel: No Coming to America.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yes, okay. Thank you, thank you.

Miguel: When they introduced Randy Watson.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yes, there we go. Great reference right there.

Miguel: Had to do it, had to do it. So for our listeners out there, an you just give us a quick rundown of what you do, who you are, all the different podcasts that you're producing, all that good stuff.

DJ BenHaMeen: All that good stuff. Give you uh, this is your life and like a minute and a half. Um, DJ BenHaMeen, as you said, I'm also, I'm a DJ first and foremost. That's what pretty much I started with. I'm a Howard University graduate. Shout out to the real HU. I've also been a fan and student of film my whole life. That's what I graduated with from Howard University. And I do a lot of things.

Miguel: Yes.

DJ BenHaMeen: All right. Just start, like you said. I DJ, I'm the owner and founder of the For All Nerds[2] brand, network, LLC. All of the above. We are the voice the our urban geek. The podcast dedicated to geek and pop culture from the perspective of people of color. And we, we've been doing For All Nerds for years now. We have several subsidiary podcasts such as Views From the 616, which covers everything Marvel MCU related. The Castle Black Podcast, which should be returning this year because we cover everything games of–Game of Thrones related. Uh, the long, short lived Safe Negro Pod which covered Lovecraft Country.

Miguel: I loved that one.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah, that was one of my favorite things I've ever done in life, honestly. Like that podcast, even if you, you know, are just getting into Lovecraft Country, I recommend you go listen to the Safe Negro Pod.

Miguel: Yes indeed.

DJ BenHaMeen: That is like one of the most in-depth podcasts I've ever done. And it's also just so close to my heart, everything we talked about, the people we interviewed, it was really great.

Miguel: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: And I also, beyond that, I'm also a WGA TV writer. I worked on the show American Gods. Since then I've done a few other things that either haven't been produced or are about to be produced. We'll see what happens. I'm also, as of now, a signed comic book author. I will be putting out a graphic novel, or I'm not sure what format is going to be in yet. But I'm putting out something, hopefully by this year we'll be out. We're, you know, the contracts are signed and we're already working on that.

Miguel: Nice.

Christina: Wow.

DJ BenHaMeen: So yeah that's really, I'm really, really hyped for that. I can't really say much more other than that we're doing it. Uh, shout out to me and my brother and Mellow Marketer. We're working on that together. And that's all I can really say about that. Um...

Christina: Wow.

DJ BenHaMeen: I'm also self published children's book author of a book, The World is Yours, which is one of my other favorite things that I've done in life. And you can hit me up if you want a copy of that.

Miguel: Oh man you...

DJ BenHaMeen: I think that's about it.

Christina: That's about it huh? Do you sleep?

DJ BenHaMeen: I, like I said, I do film. I do photography. I love all that st—

Christina: Oh no.

Miguel: Oh.

Christina: Oh man, we're frozen now...

DJ BenHaMeen: —I always feel like I don't do enough, you know? And that's me, I'm like, I feel like I'm wild lazy, honestly. Like y'all, y'all have no idea how lazy I feel most days.

Miguel: This man just rattled off 15 jobs.

Christina: You rattled off so many jobs that the video screen just froze. The video is like, man, I'm tired.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah that's my internet. Cause I overwork it streaming and stuff and all that stuff. So, yeah. Um, yeah, I, I don't know. I just feel like I don't do enough, but you know.

Miguel: Yeah You first came to my attention on The Combat Jack Show[3].

DJ BenHaMeen: Yes sir. Always.

Miguel: And as you said—

DJ BenHaMeen: The hat's behind me right there. If this is actual, if we're doing the video, but if not, yeah.

Miguel: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: Always.

Miguel: And before we get to The Combat Jack Show, you were the official DJ there, but how did you get into deejaying?

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh man. That's a good question. Um, well I'm, I'm from Houston, Texas, right. So I grew up in Houston pretty much my whole life and. I was a very—the funniest thing about this. And I don't even know, I probably talked about this on Combat at some point, but I was a very rhythm, rhythmless child. I can't even say rhythm to this day. I could not snap. I could not snap on beat. I, I was, I was a very weird kid, you know? And so—

Christina: You were a one and three?

DJ BenHaMeen: Like I said I started—you say what?

Christina: You were a snapper on the one and three?

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh, I was all over. No, I have a legendary memory of like my sister, my older sister sitting with me and being like, "You don't hear the beat? You know, listen to the beat." And I'm like, "What beat?" You know, it's like, I'll never forget that as long as—looking back, I'm like, well, how, what, what was I hearing? You know? Cause I liked music, but I just don't know how I heard it, you know? And so I was into film and all that, you know, my whole life always been in telling stories, writing, you know, anything to do with film I've always been into. So deejaying, the funny, like the two things I'll say it is, cause uh, shout out to Dr. Dre, not Dr. Dre—the other Dr. Dre of Dr. Dre and Ed Lover. He once said if a DJ ever tells you that he got into it for anything other than girls, then he's lying. And so it's definitely girls and it was the, um, it was two videos for me. I used to watch Pump it Up![4]

Miguel: Yes.

DJ BenHaMeen: I used to sit up late at night and watch Pump It Up! because we had no cable in my crib.

Miguel: Right.

DJ BenHaMeen: So I would watch that shit on a school night. All night. And it was "The Choice is Yours" video when, uh, Mista Lawnge is cutting on[5], what they have, the laser disc? And it just looked so cool. And the "DWYCK" video when Premier is cutting on the boardwalk[6] and he's just talking, you know, Greg N-I, N-N-I, and it, you know, I just lost it. Like, it was just like, oh, shit you can talk with your hands, you know? And that, that was it. Any, he also had mad girls in the video, so it's like, you know, it was like, oh, there'll be girls when I DJ? And so...

Miguel: I could be out on the boardwalk?

DJ BenHaMeen: That never happened. I've never, ever been on the boardwalk deejaying surrounded by women in bikini's, ever. I've done some wild stuff with a DJ, but never that one. So that's still hasn't happened yet, but one day.

Christina: You got time.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah, I got time, you know, it can happen. So, um, yeah, that was, those were pretty much it. And it was DJ Premier. And then I found out that he was from Houston and, uh, went to Prairie View and worked at the record store, Sound Waves, that I went to. So I met him in there one time and bugged out, lost my mind. And so it was like, I was addicted to DJ Premier and then I just became addicted to hip hop. In a way, like, I just, I read every book, I listened to it, you know? I just, I absorbed it and now I can snap on beat, you know? I can do all kinds of things. It's hilarious. So yeah, that's how I became a DJ.

Miguel: Okay. Yeah. That's the first time I've heard about a DJ that had no rhythm but had to learn it.

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh none. Absolutely none. Absolutely. My coordination—that's the other funny thing, I was like, I could not play sports. My dad was very good at basketball. I was ass. I was terrible. And now I have like the illest coordination. Like I can catch things with, I'll drop a one hand catch with the other, you know? it's, it's out of control and, you know? Thank God for hip hop is what I always say.

Miguel: Just a late bloomer. That's all.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah a late bloomer for real in every way, shape, form.

Christina: Just had to have time to develop.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yep.

Miguel: So were you doing this in high school? Was this when you went to Howard?

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah, this started in high school and that was like the other origin story. It's like, I went to my high school dance and my man DJ Aggravated, that's my brother now. But he was setting up to DJ my high school dance and all of the girls from my high school were standing around him. And I was like, "fuck that!" You know? I was like, "nah, B, nah." So, you know, that was another one, but yeah, so I started doing all our dances and then I would—and then when I got to Howard. Howard really changed my life as DJ. And cause it was like, it was so many DJs. There was, I want to say, well, I can count them. My man Trauma, Rene, Supreme, Marcus...leaving some out. That's just in my dorm.

Miguel: Right.

DJ BenHaMeen: You know, freshman year, my, my best friend to this day, my brother Trauma is across the hall from me. So it was like step your game. DJ Supreme lived next door to our dorm. And Supreme was a world champion at the time.

Miguel: Oh man.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah. Young Guru was, you know, when I first dropped there, I saw the flyer with his name on it, you know? Young Guru Giant. I went to the party that night and met Guru, you know? It was like...

Christina: Wow.

DJ BenHaMeen: It was nothing but DJs and from all over the country and it was kids from all over the country. So you got to play music for everyone. And I'm from Houston. So I was used to being in the middle and playing from all. But I—you just learn, you know, that Howard—oh, DJ Analyze, how the fuck can I forget? Like that's my other brother. And like, he's downstairs from me in the dorm. You know, we lived together for years after that. Like...yeah Howard, I mean, it was the shit.

Miguel: Uh, you mentioned Pump It Up! I used watch that all the time too. Outside of Pump It Up! What else were you watching back in those days? I assume, well, you said you didn't have cable. Did you have a way to get to like Rap City and Yo! MTV Raps eventually?

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah, I, you know, I'd go to my boy's house after school and catch Rap City, Yo! MTV Raps, all that. You know, um, you know, pretty much everything, everyone. I mean, like I said, I was a super dork.

Miguel: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: I grew up like my earliest memories are all Star Wars related. You know, everything is Star Wars. And then it was like, you know, all the cartoons, all the anime, Robotech. I was like, I—that's another big memory was spending, I want to say it was like $90 for like three episodes.

Miguel: Wow.

Christina: What?

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah. On VHS. It was some crack shit. Like, you know, that's how we were back then. Cause it was like, yo, we gotta have this. And so we we'd like chip in.

Miguel: That's something I haven't thought about in 30 years is Robotech.

DJ BenHaMeen: What? I think about Robotech all the time, dog.

Miguel: Talk about unlocking a memory.

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh man. Robotech was devastating

Miguel: Coming home from school, 4 o'clock, turning it on. Oh man.

DJ BenHaMeen: See, we didn't—in Houston it wasn't on like that Robotech was like, it'd be the weirdest times you could catch it. Be like 10 o'clock on a school day. So you had to miss school to catch Robotech. You know, cause it wasn't, yeah, it was weird. So I'd only see it on those weird times. So that's what leads you to buy it for $90. So, yeah.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: That's a lot of money for back then too, huh?

DJ BenHaMeen: I mean, we would chip in, you know, the whole crew would get together and buy these stupid tapes so we could watch three episodes. Like, like fiends, you know?

Miguel: You got it Monday, Tuesday. I got it Wednesday, Thursday.

DJ BenHaMeen: It happened. It really went down and like that.

Christina: What did you think about that DJ battle scene in Juice?

DJ BenHaMeen: Um...

Christina: I've heard—mixed reviews.

DJ BenHaMeen: At the time. I mean, absolutely. It's some real DJs in there, I can't remember who was actually doing the cuts. I remember I learned that recently, somebody real was doing the cuts. So yeah, it was, I mean, that shit was super influential, but the, at least the problem for me was you can't see what they're doing. You can't—I'm sorry, I have turntables like right below me. So it's like, I'm like putting my hands on them, but you can't see their hand motion. And so for me it doesn't, it was, it was cool to hear, but I couldn't see what they were doing. And so I couldn't learn.

Christina: Right.

DJ BenHaMeen: Like my boy said, my boy Analyze. He said he had a tape from Arsenio Hall where I think DJ Scratch was on with EPMD, and they were, and he said, he broke that VHS. Cause he just rewound it to just learn what Scratch was doing. And I never, that's why Howard changed me. Cause I've never seen other DJs. I'd be doing parties and I'd be by myself. And it wasn't till I got to Howard where I'd be chilling with DJs. And there, I, I mean, I had to learn so much. I went to DJ school way more than I went to school. At least freshman year. Sorry I graduated, so you know, hey.

Miguel: As they say, steel sharpens steel. So you were in the in right place for it.

DJ BenHaMeen: Man it it was it was like, yo, it was so like, oh my God. It was like day one. You better get good, dog. Yeah. It was tough.

Miguel: Uh, so transitioning from just Howard to working as a DJ, how did you end up on The Combat Jack Show?

DJ BenHaMeen: Um, let's see. Long story short, I don't, I mean, it's pretty much public knowledge. know, I always trip, tongue trip when I start talking about it. I'd spent a year incarcerated in Dubai on a whole other, you know, I could do several podcasts about that. So we'll get to that later. But anyway, when I came back from that, I actually, I think I had, no, not think, I had the idea before that. And that's what really messed me up. I off a year before that, but when I came home, I started a blog called because I was really tight with the cats at Nah Right, and a few other blogs. You know, just from, I've been on Nah Right since, you know, early days of it. So I was tight with those dudes just through the internet. And because I'd send them music and stuff 'cause I knew people, you know, like I, I've been knowing a lot of people just through deejaying and through Howard. You know, people like Guru, you know, I know people. So it was like, I was, when I see the blog scene started popping, I was like, yo, these kids are just in their house. I'm actually in the streets, knowing these people so I was like, why don't I just do this?

So I started to blog when I, you know, and then I started, uh, posting Combat stuff and we never met. But I've just always loved his writing cause that was back when he used to blog and write. So I just posted his joints. And then when he started, like the first few weeks of the show, he started doing it. And by then I'd moved to New York. By the time, cause I was in, um, Maryland when I was first doing, Please Don't Stare. Then I moved to New York just to move up here and get away from Maryland and get a new scene and everything.

So I was in Brooklyn. And we'd still never met in person. That was the funniest thing. And I just called him up one day and I was like, "Yo dog, what's good?" You know, I know you got the show. I, I told him this and, you know, rest in peace. I never even listened to the shit. Like, I'd post it and wouldn't even listen to the show. I didn't even know what a podcast exactly was. What live radio, none of that, you know, I didn't know any of that stuff. So I just was like, you know, I just needed a place to DJ cause I wasn't really deejaying anywhere up here. Also going back to Maryland to DJ. And so I was like, "Yo, let me get on," you know? And so he was like, "Yo, whatever, come up through the studio." And I came through and that was that.

And I tell people all the time, like it was hard sticking with it, but I knew the first day I walked in that it was like some next level, you know, it would change everything. And then my man from Houston, my best friend, Drew, who I've known since second grade. He called me up one day and he was like, "Yo, this is the greatest thing you've ever done, stick with it." And this was, you know, this was, we were probably still at PNC and he was like, "Yo, you don't understand. This is like grown folks hip hop." It's like, it's like, and he was just, we, I was in the middle of the gym and he, I had to stop my workout and talk to him for like 30 minutes. He just, and it, and that made me stick with it. And, you know, it's changed my life in so many ways that I can't even begin to describe.

But, yeah, we, none of us knew what it was. I just knew it was something special and we just, you know, you just kept doing it, but I'm so happy for that shit. That shit. I can't be thankful enough. Cause it was like, I just dreamed of doing something like that. You know, especially when I started deejaying, like knowing about Stretch & Bobbito. Knowing about like, in Houston we have Kids Jam. Knowing about uh, Sway & Tech, you know, and to be so we're in, like people say Combat Jack with DJ BenHaMeen. I mean, it's like "What?!?!" Like, that shit's crazy.

Christina: That was actually the first podcast I ever listened to was Combat Jack.

DJ BenHaMeen: Me too! Straight up.

Christina: Yeah. Well it's funny because I didn't know what the term "Combat Jack" meant. I just knew that was his name. And Miguel and I had got t-shirts and I'd be walking around wearing the t-shirt and stuff...

DJ BenHaMeen: Aw.

Christina: And then when I found out—

DJ BenHaMeen: Do you still have it?

Christina: I do!

DJ BenHaMeen: Yo, save that 'cause them shits is so limited. I don't have a t-shirt. I've got mugs, I've got the hat, but I don't even have a t-shirt.

Christina: No, mine is totally worn out. The letters are cracked, but I don't care.

DJ BenHaMeen: Doesn't matter.

Christina: I'm hanging on to it. But now I'm realizing when I was walking around wearing the shirt, for people who might not know who Combat Jack is, but they know what that term means. Like, why is this girl walking around with this phrase on her shirt?

Miguel: Right. Somebody walked up to me in the office one day and was like, do you know what this means? I'm like, yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: I don't remember. What does it mean? It's a sex term or something? I can't—

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: Uh, basically like when soldiers are in combat and shells are flying, they just rub one out real quick to try and calm themselves.

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh, a combat jack. Wow.

Christina: Yep.

DJ BenHaMeen: Wow. We probably needed that in the studio a few times, but... Boy, it got heated in there some nights. Yeah. No, I'm, like I said, I'm just so thankful for that shit. It's unbelievable to me.

Miguel: Yeah. And listening from the early days and seeing where you guys ended up was amazing to see.

DJ BenHaMeen: Thank you.

Miguel: Because I remember watching or listening and it's like, all right, we'll be on at 10 o'clock. 10 o'clock roll around, nobody's on yet. So—

DJ BenHaMeen: Dog, we'd be driving—Combat would scoop me up. We are, I mean, flying through Brooklyn get to that damn studio. Yo, you don't understand. I mean, 9:50 he's coming through, you know? We are flying.

Miguel: So to see it from that point and to where it ended up was just great. I think the first episode I listened to was the first time Ed Woods was on.

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh, when he walked out?

Miguel: Talking about Nick Cannon.

DJ BenHaMeen: Rest in peace to Ed. Yo, that's another legend, man.

Miguel: Cause I saw it on some blog cause they, him and Nick had just gotten into it. I don't remember which blog it was, but it was like, Ed Woods is going to be on Combat Jack Show tonight. I'm like, what is The Combat Jack Show? And I listened to it and I was hooked from that moment.

DJ BenHaMeen: So that's when he walked out right?

Miguel: Yeah. I'm like, this is the wildest shit I have ever heard and I loved every second of it.

DJ BenHaMeen: The thing is, especially then, I was deejaying, and I'm in-room deejaying. And so I'm getting ready for the break and my back is turned to them. So I'm hearing everything, but I don't realize, you know, it's like, I hear it starting to get a little tense.

Miguel: Right.

DJ BenHaMeen: And then it's just...they're like, "Yo, what? what?" And I turn around and Ed is gone. You know, it was just like, swoosh, you know, I'm out dog. There was no hesitation, nothing. He was out and ghost. 'Cause we had like, glass walls, you could see everybody in the hallway. He was already gone. Like, by the time I turned around, he was, uh, I think he was wearing all white that day too. It was hilarious. So he just like, looked like a ghost. Just out. Yeah that was a classic. Wow. Wow. Memories, man.

Miguel: So after doing that for a while, w-what led you to do the, uh, the Fan Bros?

Christina: I think he needs a moment.

DJ BenHaMeen: I think that was like one of my first episodes too. That's why it's like, I'm like, yo! 'Cause I was like, you know, Dallas, what the, you know, I was like, hey, and Combat was mad after. And it was just like, yo that's Ed Woods, you know, and I'm like, "Who the fuck is Ed Wood?" at the time, you know? I didn't know. And you know, oh man. Yeah, what a night.

Miguel: So, uh, how did you go from doing The Combat Jack Show to everybody starting to splinter off and do their own thing? And then you transitioning over into Fan Bros, which is now For All Nerds?

DJ BenHaMeen: Uh, cause Combat fired us. Pretty much, like, I doubt, I mean, at first it was, you know, like me, especially, it became when we switched I think, to SoundCloud, you know, and that's what really did us in, as far as the music breaks being a part of the show because, you know, SoundCloud wasn't having that. So, you know, so that's what done that off. But I think, you know, Fan Bros even started before that and what that was was that was once again, Combat. Combat was like...and it was just ill because I think it was like when he presented it, it was something that I, I don't know if I was thinking about, but I just knew needed it. And he was like, yo, we gotta do a show that combines hip hop, you know, comic books.

Miguel: Right.

DJ BenHaMeen: He's like, we all love this shit 'cause we talk about it on Combat.

Miguel: All the time.

DJ BenHaMeen: You know, me and him. We'll be talking about comics and the rest of the crew just zone out. So we were like, yo, we need something, you know, to focus on this. And we were doing all these splinter shows at the time. Like we started like the first week The Read did. Um, what was it? Sneaker Fiends Unite was, you know, doing their thing. You know, so everybody was just doing different things, you know, just to see, you know, what we could do.

Miguel: Right.

DJ BenHaMeen: 'Cause we, you know, it was just the beginning of all this. Like this is so before this is still before everything, you know, like this was just us just trying out shit. And I just thought it was an ill idea.

And then, um, we met with, uh, Chico Leo and I mean, I'll say it. I, I sometimes will say, but we met with him and Joe Elledge. You know, and that was the first time I met either of them. And Combat was like yo, these are two dudes who'd be great for hosts. And Joe wasn't as interested at the time. And I fully understand. That's still my brother, you know, we brothers to this day. And Chico was just like, yeah, I'm down for it. And you know, Chico, you know, I've never met somebody, you know, he is just, he's a legend and a genius and just everything.

And so, you know, me and Chico and Combat started. And I always say people like we record like one episode. I think we did one record one with Sean Price, rest in peace as well. And that one was just like a demo. But I think even hearing the demo, I was like, this ain't working. I was like, ain't no way I'm listening to four dudes. That's just wack, dog. Like, you know, no shots to y'all podcasts with four dudes. But woo! That's a lot of dudes, dog. And so, um, I was like, nah. So I'll just put out the call on Twitter. And I knew Jamie Righetti from Twitter. We'd never met in person, but we knew each other, we followed each other already. And me and Tatiana followed each other. But I knew Jamie a little bit more 'cause we'd obviously conversed. Me and Tatiana hadn't really even conversed like that.

But they were both the first to respond. They came through the same episode. And that was it. You know, as soon as I heard both of them, I was like, yo, you know, we good. Like let's roll let's rock. And we were out and it's been like that ever since. And you know, now it's boiled down to pretty much me and Tatiana. Chico's about to come back, you know, sometime in the spring for some guest episodes.

Miguel: Okay.

DJ BenHaMeen: But Jamie will be around whenever. You know, that's, that's still, that's the four core, you know, the Fantastic Four, whatever you want to call it. And you know, it's like me and Tatiana have just been going since, and you know, it's been a beautiful thing.

Miguel: And how many shows have you splintered off into now? You said that the Views from 616...

DJ BenHaMeen: Six.

Miguel: Safe Negro.

DJ BenHaMeen: Safe Negro Pod. Uh, Castle Black. Um, we had, Outlaw Barz, which was our anime podcast for awhile. We had Slam Bros, which are wrestling podcasts. We've had, I know me and Tatiana have done another one, right? That's not all the ones that we did splintered off ourselves, right?

Miguel: Yeah that's a lot of work, man.

Christina: Mmhmm.

Miguel: I don't know how you do this.

DJ BenHaMeen: And I'm telling you that, it just doesn't feel like it's, one thing is, everything I do for the most part I love. You know, like I love deejaying. I love podcasting. I love writing. I love creating, I love telling stories in any medium. So like, I'll feel lazy because I'm like, dog, you know, you ain't doing shit. You know, like get up and spin some records. You know, it's like, yes and, you know, get up and talk, you know. Like, you know, cause I've had jobs and I've had life that's like insane where it's like, yo, I could be here and I'm here. So it doesn't feel like work.

Christina: Yeah. Do you feel like if you stop that maybe like the opportunities will stop? Cause I know I do that.

DJ BenHaMeen: Hell yeah.

Christina: Where it's just like—

DJ BenHaMeen: Hell yeah.

Miguel: That's this one.

Christina: I just got to keep going because one day it'll stop.

DJ BenHaMeen: And even though I don't think it's going to happen as much anymore. And it's wild cause people how they look at me. You know, like I grew up with this extreme fear of failure. One, most of my friends, like, or my peers, you know, growing up, they were like, okay, I'm going to go do this. I'm going to go do this. And I remember like, in my twenties, right after I got out of college and someone who were talking about IRAs and this and that, and I was like, what? You know, I know what it is, but I, you know, I don't know how it applies to me at all, you know? And at that—

Miguel: Especially at that age.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah. And at that point I'm just deejaying and stuff. So it's like, I had a real fear, always of like, yo, you know, like, what are you, you know, how are you going to put food on the table? You know, how you gonna provide and all that. So that's part of it too, even though people from outside, like yeah, you're wild successful. And I'm like, no, I'm not. If this is wild successful fam? Dog. But um—

Christina: You're speaking to my soul right now.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah but I'm happy and that's something else I've learned, you know? And that's something I really talked to people about a lot now, because having worked in Hollywood, like directly and being in that like, you know, and still in it, but I've adopted a different approach to it where I'm just like, you know, it's cool, but it ain't the end all be all. Nothing is the end all be all, but your own life and your own happiness.

Miguel: So after doing all of this, what brought you to do a children's book?

DJ BenHaMeen: Um. Once...everything in life, man, it's just for me, at least like, and that's something else, like why always I had these fears, I don't have goals. You know, like I feel bad saying, I feel so bad saying that, but I realized at the end of the day, that I never have, you know? Like there's certain things where I'd be like, yo, I want to do this and that. You know, like, I wanted to tour the world deejaying and I've done that, you know? I wanted to make one movie and I did a little short film in school and I was happy, you know? But I've never been like, yo, you know, I gotta be this and this by this point or this and this and that might've slowed me up in certain things, you know? And it might lead me where, you know, cause who knows but, whatever. Um, uh, sorry, I forgot the question.

Miguel: What led you to write the children's book?

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh, okay. Um, yeah, like I said, everything just happens. And that goes back to me being incarcerated. I, uh, true story when I was locked up, I was r—I mean, I wrote a lot. You know, and one thing I wrote was like, I have a nephew and two nieces and they were very young at the time and it wasn't a situation where I, you know, you don't, you never know what can happen in life. Right? So I wasn't sure if I would see them again. So I was like, let me write something where they'll, you know, have something that I feel about life, you know? So I wrote this poem for them basically.

And then I came home and everything, and I posted on Facebook and my brother, Marcus Alleyne, who is another one of those DJs. And just one of the most brilliant people I've ever met and talented. Like he just stupid, like he used to frustrate me so much, like how stupidly talented this kid is. Like we went to, you know, we were freshmen together and he was like, the best rapper, the best DJ, the best producer, the best painter, the best graffiti artist. You know, and he never practiced shit. And he was just so nice with it. And he still stupid nice. You know, so he read them home and he was like, "Yo, this is perfect. Let's make a children's book of it." And I was like, yeah, let's do it. And you know, he did the art. You know, we put it together, we did a little Kickstarter and we published it and boom. And that was it, you know, just, it was like one of those things. And I was like, yeah, this is why not.

Miguel: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: It was one of the things like, once again, like it was, that's the thing about me. I don't have goals, but I'll say things and then they'll happen. You know, like, and it might not happen when I think they're going to happen. But if something like, I was like, one day, I'm gonna put out a children's book. Know I probably said that at one point.

Miguel: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: And then boom, you know, and that's yeah. So that's, you know, I just say things and I just push for 'em, I guess.

Miguel: Uh, so we're going to transition into "What did you like about the '90s?" Like I mentioned in the DM. Growing up in Houston, where were you getting your content? Since you said that you were watching Pump It Up!. You didn't have cable. What was the scene like in terms of like hip hop, radio and whatnot? 'Cause I know it was a struggle in the early '90s.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: To even find it.

Christina: Yes.

DJ BenHaMeen: I remember having a conversation with my mom once when I first started deejaying and I was like, I want to get on the radio because I want to see if it turns me wack. You know? Because like all the radio cats, they always play the same song that I didn't know about payola and how the whole system worked then. So I was like, they play the same nonsense all the time. And so, I didn't know. So yeah, it was basically that the same nonsense all the time and Houston at the time we had 97.9 The Box. That was like a station that what it was like, I think it was a country station. And then one day out of nowhere, they were just like, yo we're hip hop and R&B, and they just switched over and that became the joint. You know, they were popping, they throw parties, all that stuff. So that was like the main thing, but it was still very, um, wack, you know, for the most part.

Christina: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: But the great thing about Houston was, growing up there, was one like, and I'd love that I get to shout them out, I said it earlier, is Kids Jam. Kids Jam was this show on Rice radio, which was Rice University. And it was every Saturday from like nine to 12 in the morning. And it was run by students and younger people. So they would play, you know, the real shit.

Miguel: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: And they would go in. And then my other brother Will Strickland, who is like another legend in hip hop. If you Google him, you know, he's done wild stuff. He's like a professor at this university now. He did another show at Rice that was like late nights. I think, I want to say it was two. It was definitely a school night because I shouldn't have been there and I'd be at the studio all the time. And, um, it was like this late, you know, late night and he played all kinds of real shit. So that was where I did my real shit.

But the real benefit of being in Houston is you grew up with an appreciation for everything. You know, my boys love Rakim. We love NWA. And then we had so much stuff just coming from Houston, like UGK, Face, Odd Squad, all these groups. That to this day, a lot of people don't know about who have made like classic material.

Miguel: Right.

DJ BenHaMeen: So I just had that benefit. You know, I love Premier. You know, every record Premier did, I bought, you know, it was like, that was east coast. You know, when Illmatic came out, it was all over it. And then I was at the midnight thing for when Doggystyle came out, you know, it was just like that. You had the best of both worlds to me.

Miguel: Yeah. Uh, for me, I grew up in LA, so we had 1580 KDAY, which at the time, I didn't know was the only like 24 hour hip hop station. I thought it like that everywhere.

DJ BenHaMeen: Man, y'all, y'all was living.

Miguel: So I assumed that everybody was getting it like this.

Christina: Nope.

DJ BenHaMeen: Nope.

Miguel: And when they went off the air, and we had to switch over to the other stations where you get like two or three songs, every three or four hours, I'm like, we can't live like this.

Christina: He's spoiled.

DJ BenHaMeen: I couldn't imagine like, yeah, y'all were so spoiled.

Christina: No I grew up in well, Canada and in BC. So in a smallish, smallish at the time, town, about 45 minutes outside of Vancouver. So they definitely weren't really playing rap, hip hop, R&B and stuff in Canada in the '90s. So, uh, so our kind of like MTV, whatever is MuchMusic, but they would play... So there was one show that would come on for one hour on Saturdays. That would play, just a little bit of everything. Like R&B, rap and some house music. And then we had Rap City was a new show and it would come on, it started off, I think, like once a week for an hour. And then it was twice a week for 30 minutes and that's all I got. And I would listen to a radio station, um, coming out of Seattle. So I really had to like, dig.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah, that was us. Like I say, it was Kids Jam on every Saturday morning and it was a Will Strickland show. I can't remember the name of it when he would do that on a night and that was it. And then they would have the occasional mix hour, you know, and stuff.

Miguel: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: But like, I think Houston radio stood that benefit of being slightly better and also wild. Because when I tell people some of this, they would play. People are like, "Yo, what?" I was actually thinking about it earlier today cause it popped in my head like about six months ago. I had to download it. There's a song "Pimp Daddy." And it's by a Jamaican artist. It's like, it's all in a reggae riddim. He's basically rapping and singing and he's talking about "all want to be is your pimp daddy." And he talks about pimping, you know. And it was all on the radio. Or like the song, um, "Your Mama's On Crack Rock."[7] Like...

Miguel: I remember that one from The Box.

DJ BenHaMeen: That joint was number one. Or the one like—

Miguel: "Your mama's on crack rock!"

DJ BenHaMeen: And you being from, um, LA you'll know about like, um, Digital Underground, "Freaks of the Industry." Like, it had a resurgence. 'Cause the album had come out like two, three years before that, 'cause it was like, like the album came out in middle school and then I was like high school or whatever when that dropped. And it was like, this joint would play on the radio unedited for so long until they finally released, I think Houston and a few other places probably made them release the radio edit.[8]

Miguel: Right.

DJ BenHaMeen: I remember I was in the car with my mom and she was like "what the..." and I was...

Miguel: I don't think I ever heard a radio edit of that.

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh, it's hilarious. There's like all kinds of animals sounds over everything.

Christina: Oh man.

DJ BenHaMeen: You got to look it up. It's so bad. It ruins the song, but it's like, cause I mean, it was the number one song on top nine at nine. "Freaks of the Industry." Number one, song.

Miguel: Oh my God.

DJ BenHaMeen: Houston was outrageous. Like, outrageous.

Christina: Wow.

Miguel: Yeah I tell Christina all the time about this radio edit of a Too Short song where they edited "motherfucker" to "Mickey Ficky."

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh they did that on a Short song? Cause I know that from Do the Right Thing when they put that on TV.

Miguel: It was a bunch of "Mickey Ficky's" all over this song. I'm like, what are you doing?

Christina: It's terrible.

DJ BenHaMeen: I used to have a friend—no, go ahead.

Miguel: It got to the point where, uh, when Big Boy started his radio show, he started calling himself the Mickey Ficky man for a while.

DJ BenHaMeen: That's hilarious. I had a friend who would rap, uh, I think it was Too Short and Cube, "Ain't Nothin But a Word." And he would rap it with the beeps in it. And it was the funniest thing in the world. Like, oh man, that was so funny. Cause he he'd be like "beeeeeeeeep." Yeah. 'Cause it went on, on that one.

Christina: Oh, man. That's terrible.

Miguel: All right. So we're going to do a quick call and response game. Well, not call and response, but more of a quick response game. I'm going to give you two choices. And first thing comes off the top of your head.

DJ BenHaMeen: This is great cause I always do this to other people. And so now I get it done to me. This is amazing.

Miguel: And we not gonna do anything controversial, like Lil' Kim and Foxy because that's going to bring the crazies out.

Christina: Yeah we don't want them.

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh I love it. That's great. That's a good one. Yeah.

Miguel: I've been down that road. Don't want to do it again.

DJ BenHaMeen: Wow. I believe it. Yeah.

Miguel: All right. So the first one I got. Spike Lee or Robert Townsend?

DJ BenHaMeen: Wow.

Christina: Quick!

DJ BenHaMeen: For me personally, it's Robert Townsend. Because Hollywood Shuffle is in my top five of all time. It's just, but Do the Right Thing. And as a, as a director, Spike Lee, you know, I can't. Yeah. Cause Spike Lee's eye is sick. But Hollywood Shuffle was just, ooh.

Miguel: That's one of my favorite movies of all time.

Christina: I actually just watched that recently because—

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh my God.

Christina: Miguel telling me about it and we had to watch it.

DJ BenHaMeen: I tell everyone, if you want to work in Hollywood, you have to watch that movie. Black, White, I don't care what color you are. You have to watch. And if you're Black, you have to watch it.

Miguel: "Black acting school!"

DJ BenHaMeen: "No not like that. Like this, 'You jive turkey, mother!' " Yeah, uh, I remember my sister used to walk around quoting it and I was like, "what is that?" And then I saw it and now, I mean, I insert that movie in this, you know, every line I can do it. "You know, he ain't got us out here." What's he go? Marching, like, um uh...

Miguel: Next one—

DJ BenHaMeen: "Niggas in Georgia." Yeah. "Niggas going to to a lynching in Georgia." Yeah. "Sweating, sweating."

Christina: Well every time we watch, whenever we watch a tv show where it's so obvious that they don't have Black writers, it's like Hollywood Shuffle.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah. Facts. Woof.

Miguel: Next one.

DJ BenHaMeen: That movie is so relevant.

Miguel: Dead Presidents or Set It Off?

DJ BenHaMeen: Wow. Set It Off. No question. Yeah that's easy.

Christina: Cleo?

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah, yeah, I mean that's easy. Yeah, come on. Dead Presidents is aight, but Set It Off.

Miguel: All right. Uh, Martin or The Jamie Foxx Show?

DJ BenHaMeen: Wow.

Christina: You should she show him your t-shirt.

Miguel: With my Whitty Huton t-shirt on.

DJ BenHaMeen: And in the long run, like I wasn't a big fan of Martin, honestly. And probably not that much of Jamie Foxx, but I appreciate them both now for what they are. Who's less problematic?

Christina: Hmmm. That's a tough one.

DJ BenHaMeen: I'm going to go with Martin because of Tisha because I loved Tisha since House Party, you know. So that's like, you know, probably since, uh, what's uh, little rock, Little Shop of Horrors, so yeah.

Christina: All right.

Miguel: I think I know the answer to this one. Dr. Dre or DJ Premier?

DJ BenHaMeen: No. Jesus.

Miguel: Okay so I don't know the answer.

DJ BenHaMeen: Nah, you don't. That's... Like recently, my boy Guru, you know, love that man. Like he was on this podcast and Dre calls him up on the phone and was like, "Yo, I fuck with your stuff." And I called Guru after that, like... You know, like I can't imagine. that's oh...I remember walking through the mall with The Chronic in my hands and shaking. I hadn't heard anything, but I just, I was like, oh my God, Dre. You know, like I just I'd heard "Nuthin' But a G Thang" over and over again. And that, and maybe Dre Day, and that was it. And I was no I don't think "Dre Day" was out then. So it was just "G Thang." And then it was like, what is this? So God, no. I mean, obviously I, whew, that's so tough. I still go with Dre though, you know.

Miguel: Okay.

DJ BenHaMeen: 'Cause Dre is just "motherfucker, I'm Dre."

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: There's no wrong answers.

DJ BenHaMeen: You know, that 2001. Everything.

Miguel: Exactly, there is no wrong answer.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah there's no—I mean the, both, you know, that one is that I, I'd have to say both. Because you know both changed my life. Yeah.

Miguel: All right. Next one. This is going to be a little funny. Flavor Flav or Spliff Star?

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh easy, Flavor Flav. Not even a question. I love Spliff though, that I, you know, I met him a couple of times in passing and stuff. Great dude. But you know, Flavor Flav. The both of them are incredible hype men but Flavor Flav made "I Can't Do Nuttin' For You, Man" plus "9-1-1 is a Joke." You know, he got bangers on his own. Like, you know, and he's also so talented that people don't know that like he plays every instrument.

Miguel: Yes.

DJ BenHaMeen: You know, he was like in the he's part of the production team of the Bomb Squad. He is just insanely talented and just a key part of Public Enemy.

Miguel: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: Busta Rhymes going to be Busta without Spliff that ain't even no question. But Public Enemy is not Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: We saw Public Enemy at Made in America, 2014 or so. And they were performing one song and Flav jumps on the drums. And he's playing the drums. Then he goes over and grabs the bass. Now he's on the bass. And then he goes over and grabs something else. And he's, I'm like, when did he learn that this?

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh. Since since he was a kid.

Miguel: I'm like, I'm used to seeing him jumping around. Swinging with the clock and shimmying and all this shit. And here he is just knocking it out with all these different instruments.

DJ BenHaMeen: I wish I know who wrote it or what, I'm going to see if I can find it on the net now. But back in the day, it was like, either, I want to say it was The Source. It was The Source or the Vibe, but somebody did this article on Flavor Flav and they compared him to like, um, Mr. Nancy [9], basically like to the trickster God.

Miguel: Right.

DJ BenHaMeen: Of African folk tales and everything, and how he relates in so many ways. And it was so ill, you know, and it was like, oh shit. And it's like how he plays against what Chuck is, you know? And then like, I was just watching this documentary the other day and I, I'd heard this before, but like B-Real talking about how when they made Cypress Hill, he pitched his voice up. So they could be the anti-Public Enemy. Because they already had Sen Dog do the deep. And so he became the main rapper with the high pitched voice.

Miguel: Okay. I never knew that.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah. But you it hear now. Cause he's like the high pitch and then B-Real [Sen Dog] comes in with the bass and that makes the difference. And it was just like Chuck D, you know, that bass. And then Flav comes in with the highs and it made yeah. Public Enemy. Like I, I could go, you know, I wish there was a podcast just talking about Public Enemy for like, you know, 10, 20 episodes.

Christina: Is this going be your next project now that you put it out there?

DJ BenHaMeen: I've got something I'm working on that it would be in that vein, but yeah, trust. Because I don't, I don't feel like, I don't feel hip hop gets the credit it deserves for the genius that it is.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: Like I just do not feel to this day that gets it.

Miguel: Alright, next one. Low End Theory or Midnight Marauders?

DJ BenHaMeen: Come on. Uh, it's been, I mean, that's, that's tough, but it's Midnight Marauders to me. And I've had this debate a few times with people and it's Midnight Marauders. It's just, you know, it's the progression, it's like Low End Theory was there. And then Midnight Marauders is like, if you read Wicked and Divine, it's like, that's imperial phase. You know, that's when they are at the height of their power, you know, everything is clicking. I mean from the album cover, you know the heads. It', the Bob Power mix is so perfect.

Miguel: I just found out yesterday that there were multiple album covers. I thought it was just one, but it's three.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yep. It's three. I think the, the row around them is what differentiates them, right? It's like red, black, and yellow or something like or green or something like that?

Miguel: Red, black and green. And I just found that out. Because I bought it a couple times and I guess I got lucky and got the red one each time. So I had no idea.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yep. Yeah, no that, oh yeah, Midnight Marauders so...I remember when, like, when my boy brought it over and I'm just like, oh my God, this is the stupidest shit I've ever heard. And then, um, you know when it gets to the end, right before "Lyrics To Go," and I was like, "it's over?!?" You know, I was so hurt. And he just sitting there like, "no, just wait," you know? And then like, um, "God Lives Through" is like, that's in my top 10 too, you know? "God Lives Through" is like, it might be my top three hip hop songs ever made. That, on that Tribe documentary when Busta was talking about, and he's just like, "yo, this is my favorite shit." I was just like, yo Bus, dog. Cause I, I've said it before, like the gates of heaven open up, I'd want "God Lives Through" to start playing.

Miguel: See, Now that you mentioned that, I think I want the horns from "Steve Biko."

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh yeah. [mimics horns]

Miguel: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: That's great too. I mean, either way, it's like hell yeah!

Miguel: I'm here now. All right. And the last one, and this is going to be tough. Geto Boys or UGK?

Christina: Oh...

DJ BenHaMeen: Goddamn.

Christina: How you gonna do this to him?

DJ BenHaMeen: I mean, yeah. Uh man, I was just, uh, it was this Pimp C lyric. It was like running through my head earlier today, but like the other day I was going through Face and Geto Boys, you know stuff like that. Bumping it. Oh...

The funny thing is my favorite group out of Houston isn't either of them, it's Odd Squad, you know? Odd Squad has one album Fadanuf Fa Erybody!! That is like...Face said is the best thing Rap-A-Lot ever put out. And that's my favorite Houston album. But, I gotta go Geto Boys because Face, you know? It's just like that man's, you know, his stuff. That's another one who changed my life. But so did Pimp C, you know, in different ways, like...

Um, an unforgettable memory is like, I'm sitting in my boy's crib and my other dude who, I ain't know that well at the time, he walks in and he's like, "I got a pocket full of..." And I was like, what is he talking about? And he just kept saying that line. And I was like, what are you talking about? And he was like "You ain't heard that?" You know, popped in the tape. And that's like the first one they had when it was like, it's even before they got signed to Jive.

Miguel: Right.

DJ BenHaMeen: And he played me "Pocket Full Of Stones." And I was just like, you know, you know, it was like a moment.

Miguel: Yeah.

DJ BenHaMeen: It was just like, what the fuck is that? And then, yeah. So that's another one where it's like, I gotta say both, you know, I can't. Yeah. Cause Bun B, Pimp, I mean, even Willie D, Bushwick. Like that's just, you know, that's my life right there. That's Houston.

Miguel: Yeah. I've got family in Arkansas. So when I would go down there in the summer and visit them, that's when I was getting to hear like Geto Boys and Willie D albums and UGK, and I'm like "what is this?"

DJ BenHaMeen: Man.

Miguel: Because obviously they weren't playing it on the radio in LA. But I can get it down there. Like you said, "I got a pocket full of stones."

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh my God, Pimp C is such a sick producer. Like oh God, he was so sick with it. And Face too. Face is such a, you know, he's another one of those dudes, plays everything. Plays, Face, every instrument, I've seen him do it, you know? Like, and it's just, uh, and that's the other one who people are now just getting hip to is Mike Dean.

Miguel: Right. He been around.

DJ BenHaMeen: And Mike Dean has been doing it, he's all over the Odd Squad album. Like I've been a Mike Dean fiend since then, you know, since the '90s, like he is so silly and people are now like, "oh, he's on Kanye," and I'm like y'all don't know Mike.

Miguel: Right. Mike been doing this for 20 years before he even met Kanye.

DJ BenHaMeen: He did the whole Untouchable album with Face. Like, it's insane. That dude is so sick.

Miguel: Yeah. I still remember all those names from those, like Geto Boys and Scarface albums. Mike Dean, N.O. Joe, all those cats.

DJ BenHaMeen: N.O. Joe, oh! N.O. Joe is another one, man. Dang, you bringing back memories. N.O. Joe, man, that dude is so sick. Like it's so many cats out of Houston and like southern producers who I feel like did not get the credit and like, especially Pimp, all the samples he bring to the table and stuff like, yeah. Crazy.

Miguel: Who do you think is your favorite out of Texas?

DJ BenHaMeen: Ooh that's another tough one...

It's between Face, D.O.C, Devin and my new boy, Tobe Nwigwe, who is like, you know, one of my favorite rappers of all time. And I just started listening to him a few years ago. Tobe is just one of the greatest things to me to ever happen to hip hop. So.

Miguel: Yeah Bomani Jones put me up on that. 'Cause he used to post about him all the time.

DJ BenHaMeen: Shout out to Bomani. I saw him at Tobe show. Uh, I saw him at the Tobe show. We chilling, you know, everything, enjoying the show. And I was like, yo, my boy's his DJ. You want to go meet him? So we all went downstairs. I met, that was my first time meeting Tobe. And you know, like he met him and I was like, nah, you gotta meet Bomani. You know this is like this is the man. You need to know him, Tobe. So yeah, that was, that was a great night. That was like the last show I saw before the pandemic. It was fantastic.

Miguel: Oh, man. remember the last show we went to before the pandemic.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah Right.

Christina: I don't remember. It's been awhile.

DJ BenHaMeen: It was like that and Run... no, I saw, I saw a Raphael Saadiq too, which was awesome. Yeah, it was awesome.

Christina: I think it might have been...we saw Prince.

Miguel: Nah, it was after Prince because he had passed. I think it might've been Jay Z was the last one we saw. Either Jay Z or Common.

Christina: Mm.

Miguel: One of them.

Christina: I don't remember. Those were...a long time ago.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah, those were great days.

Miguel: It was like 40 years ago or whatever Rose said on Titanic.

DJ BenHaMeen: "It's been 82 years."

Miguel: Something like that. Oh man. So this has been fun.

DJ BenHaMeen: Thank you, this has been great. Yeah.

Miguel: This is our first interview.

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh wow.

Miguel: It's usually just the two of us.

Christina: Yep.

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh y'all are y'all really good at it.

Miguel: So thank you for coming on. I saw the tweet and was like, you know what? Let's jump on this.

Christina: Yep. I was like, we gotta, we gotta DM him.

DJ BenHaMeen: It's so funny, man...

Christina: Did you DM him yet? Did you respond? I saw a notification.

DJ BenHaMeen: Cause I-I've been happy to do it. You know, I just like, I like getting out, I like doing other shows and I like hearing other voices and stuff. So it's been, I've been great doing all the podcasts and I, you know. If anyone listening out there as a podcast hit me up as well, I'm down to, you know, jump on it.

Miguel: Done deal. We'll definitely pass the message on.

Christina: You want to do, uh... there was one other thing.

Miguel: Oh yeah.

Christina: We got one, one more question.

Miguel: Okay, I lied there, there is one more question.

DJ BenHaMeen: Let's do it.

Miguel: What's a song that you hate, but everybody else loves? And I'm gonna give you an example.

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh man.

Miguel: "Written All Over All Over Your Face"

DJ BenHaMeen: I got millions.

Miguel: By The Rude Boys. Can not stand that song.

DJ BenHaMeen: Ooh that's one of my joints.

Miguel: I cannot stand that song.

Christina: He hates it.

DJ BenHaMeen: I feel you though, it's so syrupy. It's one of them ones. "it's written all..." you know, my mom would hate it. Because she hated nasal singers. Hated them. "But that smile..." oh man. "Can you sing this for me?" The whole intro is so great.

Christina: And then Gerald Levert comes in and he hates it.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah "No I can't sing that maybe, he could sing it." That's...the whole intro is so great. Like it's so silly. Yeah.

Christina: Mine is, um, Mary J's, uh, "Real Love" remix. The remix.

DJ BenHaMeen: What?!

Christina: Whenever I'm in the club I'm like—

Miguel: We disagree on this one.

Christina: I'm like why? I love the original version.

DJ BenHaMeen: The one with the water dance?

Miguel: I love it.

Christina: I love the original version.

DJ BenHaMeen: I feel you.

Christina: And it's not that I hated the remix, but I started to hate it because whenever I was at the clubs, they would never play the original version.

DJ BenHaMeen: Never. Never.

Christina: And then I grew to hate it because I wanted to hear the album version.

DJ BenHaMeen: I remember the original version, I was walking on the street, listening to the radio and it came on and I was like, wow, look at that. Like, somebody put, you know, hip hop drums on R&B song. I was like, how cool is that? And then it was like [puking sound.] You know, like, but that first time it was like, wow. I mean "Come and Talk to Me" had done it. And a few others, but that was like, when I was like, you know, cause it's the Milk Dee drums. It was like, wow. Like yeah, no that, I feel you. Um, okay. I mean, I got a list. And you're going to be mad at this one, L.A. I hate, even in all these songs, I understand because I'm a DJ. I understand why people love them, but I hate them. Um, "this is how—" I hate it, hate "This Is How We Do It" with a pure passion.

Miguel: Hey, I'm there with you.

Christina: I hate that song.

DJ BenHaMeen: Wow, you're the first person from L.A. People from L.A. get so mad at me about that one. I hate it.

Miguel: I understand why we like it. But I'm not one of them.

DJ BenHaMeen: The drums are incredible. You know, his voice, you know, it's a party jam. I get it, you know. Cause it's like, I'll play it and it sets it off.

Miguel: I like Montell, but that one just does nothing for me.

DJ BenHaMeen: "Get It On Tonight" is my joint. Like that's, aw, that joints incredible.

Miguel: "She's a chicken."

DJ BenHaMeen: "Chicken..." Yeah. That's uh, that's one of the best ones ever.

Christina: Oh my God. If I don't know if you remember in the video, cause we actually ended up doing an episode about Montell Jordan. But for the, "Get It On Tonight" video, after he spent the whole video with his lady, he's at home in the kitchen. His girl comes home and she's like, so what have you been up to? And he's like, "nuttin'." And then he's just [mimicking song], while he's getting his little snacks from the kitchen.

DJ BenHaMeen: I'm going to watch that now.

Christina: Oh, you have to.

DJ BenHaMeen: My, my boy, like when I play it in a club one of the, uh, hosts in DC on the mic, he'd be like something, something "piece of chicken." You know, like, yeah. So that and the other one is, um, that, I mean, there's a lot of people hate it, but I hate this. It came on recently, uh, I don't even like saying it cause it makes me think of it. And then it stuck in my head. "I Like Your Smile" by Shanice.

Christina: He hates that song too.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: "I really do."

DJ BenHaMeen: And it was like on the radio... like just thinking of it, I can, it brings me back to places when I was in Houston when I was like, oh yeah, you know this fucking song. Yeah.

Miguel: She used to call in to 92.3, like once a day. Like her and DJ Quik would call and talk to Theo.

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh.

Miguel: Every single day.

DJ BenHaMeen: Wow.

Miguel: And I would get—

DJ BenHaMeen: DJ Quik, I would have been so hype. Yeah Quik another one—

Miguel: Him and Theo were like this.

DJ BenHaMeen: Quik is God, yo. That's another one. Like who people don't get, like as far as production, as far as the engineering. Like Guru talks about him all the time. And like I fully agree. His mix is like that like I said, that's what so great about Houston. "Born and Raised in Compton" was all over our radio. You know, like, oh God I love, I love Quik, dog.

Miguel: Same.

DJ BenHaMeen: That's one that person I've never met. And I'm like, when I meet him... Yeah, I don't know. You know, and Guru knows him, like they tight and it, but you know, like shit, that's dope, you know?

Miguel: Yeah I saw the video about a week ago where they're talking about Quik coming into the studio and touching knobs they had never seen before.

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah, Guru put me up on that. Cause I, when the Quik and Kurupt album came out, he was like, yo, go listen to this.

Miguel: Right.

DJ BenHaMeen: Like listen to it, you know. Listen to what Quik did on the beats. And that's one of my, that, I'm so sick. Like, yeah. Quik is so...

Miguel: Yeah I'm a huge Quik fan.

DJ BenHaMeen: Bruh. Yeah. That's what I'm saying. That's uh, that was that Houston thing, you know, like what do you call it? "Jus Lyke Compton," "Born and Raised in Compton," "Tonite." All of those were just, you know, that's staples to this day in Houston. Like, you know, all of them joints.

Miguel: Oh man. So—

DJ BenHaMeen: Yeah.

Miguel: Again, it's been fun.

Christina: Yes.

DJ BenHaMeen: No, thank you. This has been great.

Miguel: We've had you for an hour now, you don't want to keep you too much longer.

DJ BenHaMeen: No problem.

Miguel: Anything else you wanna, you wanna plug while you here?

DJ BenHaMeen: Oh yeah, definitely.

Miguel: Anything you want to say?

DJ BenHaMeen: Um, I just want to shout out, you know, everybody. Thank you for listening. Thank you for having me on the show. This has been awesome. I can't believe this y'all first interview. Y'all really, you know, well-polished and a lot of good questions. So, um, and like I said, you know, everybody out there, you can follow me @DJBenhameen on pretty much everything. That's DJ B E N H A M E E N, and also follow @forallnerds on pretty much everything. Especially on Twitter, Instagram. If you want to find the podcast, we're on any major podcast platforms, Spotify, iTunes, et cetera, besides Tidal to this day. Still no love.

Christina: Aww.

DJ BenHaMeen: Thanks Jay. Um, and we're also on YouTube and most importantly, you can follow us on where you can find us broadcasting live. We do our live show. Moon Knight's coming up soon. So Views from the 616, is about to start cracking. I've seen the first four episodes. It is what it is. I can't get, I get it. I can't, I can't say anything yet, but you know, people who were excited, you have a good reason to be excited. It's definitely Marvel. You know they did their thing as always, so. Um, I think that's it. Yeah. Follow us, you know, shout out to my partner, Tatiana King, everybody else, the FanFam out there and yeah, that's pretty much it.

Miguel: All right. So we're going to wrap this up here. Thank you for checking us out again. We do this every two weeks. Check us out at You can get transcripts, links to videos that we talked about in these episodes, I'm sure we're gonna add a bunch of stuff to the transcript for this one, that we referenced.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: A playlist on Spotify that we have links to that as well. Make sure you go check it out. Follow us on the 'gram and the bird @troypodcast And we'll be talking to you guys again in two weeks.

Christina: All right.

Miguel: Deuces, silly gooses.

Christina: Bye.

Miguel: Bye.