By Ari Attack, Editor
A swisher in each ear, with turntables on deck, dons Joe Fife as he’s known in the hip-hop community – DJ 2 Blunts.
The 22-year-old Indy native raps, DJs, produces and has a clear vision for his art.
When Joe and I interviewed, it was a brisk winter night. Clouds of smoke filled the room, as we got into the mystery of DJ 2 Blunts – and where it all started.
“I started writing poetry in third grade, so writing was my main thing,” he said. “I couldn’t even really rap. So I just wrote lyrics all the time. Then with confidence and staccato in my voice, I was able to rap what I was writing.”
As a rapper, he had a crew that rapped and made beats that he could spit to. Eventually, when his friends phased out, Joe had to make a decision – to be his own producer.
“My first group started to do different things, but I really felt the music,” he said.
After paying for studio time, Joe decided to take his future in his own hands. At age 10, Joe had his own studio and was able to perfect his craft of making music sound good. To really sound good.
“It’s hard to come across how to record and how to sound good. I paid for studio time a long time ago,” he said. “You could be a studio fraud and get away with making crappy music. But you can’t perform live.”
By this time, Joe went from writing to rapping, then to producing – all in a matter of years. After acquiring these skills, he decided to add one more key element to the list – the art of turntablism. Otherwise known as DJ’ing, Joe Fife started from scratch (lol), by starting at the basics.
He said read a book named ‘Terrell,” about a kid who loved to DJ and had a bad relationship with his dad, who was also a DJ. Joe related almost identically to the story, and drew inspiration.
“That warmed up the inner DJ in me,” he said.
In grade 10, Joe worked with local DJ school, Deckademics, who helped him refine his skills.
“I got good at mixing super fast, but I was terrible at scratching,” he said. “I thought I was good.”
After becoming more involved with Deckademics, and volunteering to help kids learn how to produce music, Joe was able to take his talent to the next level.
He collaborated with his close friends Tre, Ricky, Jordan and Stuffy – to form a larger collective called L.A.M.E. Crew -which is (as Joe calls it), “one big collaboration of artistry.”
“I used to make videos and put my own music to it. I didn’t release it, I just kept it and shared with everyone involved. I knew it was all gonna come at some point,” he said. “Trey and Ricky were into music and like sponges around me. They saw the vision, and now they can do what I do.”
Joe showed his friends his skills, so they’ll be able to produce their own music.
“They’re more musical than me, like on the educational side of it. They can actually play guitar, drums and piano,” he said. “I just can’t. I tried, but turntables are my instrument.”
Adorned the name, “DJ 2 Blunts,” by his partner in music and friend – Jordan, because at Ball State parties, Joe was always prepped to get lifted. Soon after the name spread like wildfire.
When it comes to mixing, 2 Blunts takes to spinning wax over using a computer program- but it helps to use both.
“I prefer turntables over everything. Sometimes I use Serato or a laptop program. Before shows, I don’t really practice – I just freestyle,” he said. “I DJ based on feeling, just the way everyone else is feeling. I’m sure any person would agree – you know the right song at the right time.”
That’s all it is. Mixing and scratching are all aesthetics, he said.
What’s ahead for DJ 2 Blunts?
“I want to be as much of a business man as an artist. I want ot make income from my business to support my music. I wanna travel, a lot. But I wanna make sure everything is cool here (Indy) first,” he said.