5 Questions with Rags #63 - Qdup

The funky groovemeister Qdup has been startlingly important in my development as a fan of electronic music. The first time I ventured out on my own, without the anchor of a knowledgable friend, at an electronic festival was some years ago at Shambhala, where I stumbled upon his set at the dusty, ol' AMP. His super bouncy and accessible breaksy-funk treats delighted me instantly and I gave way to the overwhelming desire to dance without my friends for the first time. I clutched that Qdup sticker I got that day like a kid with a carnival prize, ran back to camp and told everyone of this rad DJ I just saw, like I'd just discovered something no one ever knew about. (That sticker remains on my friends' camper-van and Qdup, if you're reading this, really needs to be replaced. It's taken quite a beating in six years.) Then, a couple of years later, Qdup got behind the decks in Fractal Forest with Steve of the mighty Fort Knox Five to lay down one of the most powerful sets of funk music I've seen to this day. Dancing with all the friends, as the face of the funk-legend Jon H. adorned the screens around the Forest, I was moved in a way that I never expected from electronic music. It was a turning point in my life as a music fan, as I realized that even amongst the bounce and fun and colours, deep-rooted emotional impact was possible. Qdup is still out in these streets doing the Big Work, keeping the funk vibrant and alive wherever he goes. His latest single “Sonic Drop” featuring San Fransisco MC Awoke, is an old-school breaks/hip-hop delight that's been on repeat since I got my grubby mitts on it. When I got him on the phone from his new homebase in LA for our little chat, he assured me that he's been staying close to home, hard at work building up his funky arsenal with new tracks and sounds, regathering strength for another summer of laying it down hard. But luckily for me, the good homie set aside some of his valuable time to get down with the 5 Questions!

1. Do you remember the first album that you bought with your own money?

Run-DMC – Raising Hell, I saved up my allowance and got it on tape. My parents were really supportive of me wanting to buy and listen to music.

I'd ask if you still like Run-DMC but everyone still likes Run-DMC, right?

Classic.

2. What's your best memory of an elementary or high school teacher?

Mr. K, my high-school shop teacher. He really had a way of communicating with kids of all kinds, like he was on their level. I know was shop class and it wasn't “intellectual” or anything, but it didn't matter. It wasn't what we were learning but the way he communicated with us that really left an impact on me.

3. What's your favourite household chore?

Picking the music to listen to while I do the chores. <laughs> I know that's not really a chore but as a producer I'm constantly searching for new music and listening to new masters of my own tracks and stuff. Even in the car, I'm listening to stuff for work. So a lot of the time when I'm doing chores is the only time I really get to listen to music for pleasure. I get to just put on music to really enjoy.

4. If you could spend the day with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?

I'd get my brother Jon H, and we'd go have a night at Shambhala.

5. When's the last time you did something for the first time?

I went to Six Flags for the first time for my birthday. It had been years since I'd be on a roller coaster. After 5 or 6 coasters I thought maybe I had a filling loose or something from all the Gs.

6. Your Guest Question comes from the homie Handsome Tiger, who's currently lighting up Vancouver something fierce... If there's one place in the world you could play a show, where would it be?

Probably somewhere remote, small and tropical that I've never heard of or ever seen. Maybe Brazil or Thailand or something far away like that.

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And while you've probably listened to “Sonic Drop” while you read this (And if you didn't, you blew it. Scroll up and sort it out.) you should probably put this mix on before you continue your day and listen to a master at work for a proper amount of time. It's real good.