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Grand Mixer DXT’s invention of the turntable as a musical instrument changed hip hop forever. His background as a jazz drummer gave him not just great rhythm, but inspired him to use the turntables to create pitch. These kinds of innovations brought DXT to the attention of Herbie Hancock, who used the DJ in his 1983 album Future Shock. The single from that album, “Rockit”, launched DXT to worldwide attention. He toured all over the world with the Rockit band, and continued innovating with the turntables. Since those days, DXT has continued being a influential DJ and artist. Most recently, DXT and a group of pioneering DJs were inducted into Hollywood’s Rock Hall of Fame.

We talk with DXT at Rap Genius’ office in Brooklyn. About 40 minutes into the conversation, DXT is joined by Infinity Emcees member Rahiem, who has worked with DXT for decades. We talked New York DJ history, what the turntable did to hop hop, Herbie Hancock and “Rockit”, and much more.

Annotated excerpts on

  1. Excerpt #1 “The First DJs”
  2. Excerpt #2 “Afrika Bambaataa and Cutting on Beat”
  3. Excerpt #3 “Super Clubs”
  4. Excerpt #4 “Ramone From Beat Street”

Show notes:

  1. “Rocket” live
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