Black, Fresh and 20something:<br />
Justin "DJ Omega" Gaines

DJ Omega

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and you know what people like. You know exactly how to break a party down, and what kind of music will cause what type of reaction. Artists go in the studio, write and perform.

Hip-hop is more about the rapper now. A rapper will come out with a mixtape without a DJ! I’m like, “What’s a mixtape without a DJ?!” People don’t really understand the history and the culture and all that.

EBONY: Why do you think that hip-hop has become so detached from the DJ?

DJ OMEGA: It’s not detached from the DJ. I mean, that’s one of the four elements of hip-hop, so I don’t feel like it’ll ever separate. DJ Kool Herc first created hip-hop. Pretty much the basis was that DJs would take funk records and find the best part of the record, and they would call that the “break.” Then with the whole party setting came the “mic controller,” or MC, who spoke for the DJ. So it really all started with the DJ.

EBONY: You’re back to work with Wale, and you were the anchor in getting Jerry Seinfeld to collaborate on his upcoming September album, About Nothing. How did you make this happen?

DJ Omega: Let me tell you how it went down. I’m in the airport, on my way to L.A. because I had a gig out there. Wale hit me up like, “I’m thinking about doing another [mix]tape, do you want to do it?” I was like, “Yeah, let’s do it! But we can’t do the same stuff as More About Nothing, it would be corny. We need to do something hotter than that.’ I said, “If we’re going to do something on the More About Nothing theme, we need to get Larry David or Jerry Seinfeld, preferably Jerry Seinfeld.”

I was online and saw that Jerry Seinfeld was going to be performing the next day in L.A. So I decided to go down there and see what I can do. I did a little wheelin’ and dealin’ backstage, got in touch with his manager, and he told me to call him. I pitched them the idea, and they were with it, like “OK, cool, we’re down.”

After, like, nine months, we finally get a day with Jerry. We were right up here in New York. We’re in the studio, and the session was only supposed to be for an hour, but he ended up staying for like three hours. Just telling us stories about the past, what he was doing now, stuff like that. The session was crazy. Jerry came through, did what we needed him to do for the job, and we got good praise out of it. Complex said Wale’s album is the most anticipated album of 2013.

EBONY: It’s amazing how much you’re driven to get anything you want done. What are you ultimate goals in life and for your career?

DJ Omega: The best thing about deejaying is that we don’t peak until we’re 35. I want to move into my agency and management work. Chill out and have a family. But honestly, I feel that you can be a genius at any age. Why do we have this time limit of 15-24 to do your best work? I’ll never stop my craft. But my “real man” goals are to have a wife and kids, build franchises and be a philanthropist.