Dope D.O.D. are keeping hip-hop far away from the grave yard with their own unique ferocious live stage shows across Europe. They deserve every bit of success they’ve achieved by themselves because they grind their asses of by staying true and original and will never change to appease towards the mainstream bullshit that pollutes the music world with their over-saturated one hit wonders. Dope D.O.D. just released a joint venture LP with the mighty New York hip-hop kings Onyx! The LP is “Shot Gunz In Hell” and it straight up grabs hip-hop by the throat and resuscitates new life into the rap game and destroys all the wanna be emcees in its path thanks to the lyrical genius found deep inside “Shot Gunz In Hell”! Here is a Vandala exclusive with Dope D.O.D.’s extremely talented DJ, Dr. Diggles!
By Chad Thomas Carsten
For someone who has never listened to Dope D.O.D. before, which action flick best describes the sound of Dope D.O.D.?
Dr. Diggles: Terminator 2 with a bit of Death Proof, think of a cyborg killing machine, plus a crazy homicidal stunt man and some hot girls. *Laughs*
Which comic book villain best fits your personality and why?
Dr. Diggles: Rhino from Spiderman! They say I’m the henchman, the enforcer and the backbone of this operation!
The origin of your stage name Dr. Diggles and what personal life moment inspired it?
Dr. Diggles: Well, about the name, it all started about ten to twelve years ago, I used to be a skateboard kid an listening to hip hop an rock, I was in love with the hip hop culture and every aspect of it.
I was making my first beats in this shitty program called Hip-hop Ejay and doing a little graffiti every now and then. And I created this crazy character called Mr. Diggles and I would draw him all of the time.
He was a sad sort of devil character, I don’t really know why but hey… life wasn’t always as good as it is now.
Later on in life when I started to do more beats and DJ-ing parties I needed a DJ name… I started as an old stool hip hop DJ and I named myself DJ Reminisce but thought the name was a bit corny so I switched to Mr. Diggles and then a fellow DJ and homie of mine said, “YO! Dr. Diggles sounds way nicer!”, and that name just stuck.
Can you remember the very first time a turntable caught your attention and when you knew the DJ life was your true calling?
Dr. Diggles: Well that must have been one of my dad’s, he always had records around the house and playing Johnny Cash and such, I started scratching on that and broke the needle almost instantly! *Laughs* After that he got me one from the thrift shop, that lasted a day or two.
I broke so many turntables and needles in my days hahahahaha still do for that matter, we do crazy live shows.
The first real turntable I bought was a cheap Numark direct drive turntable from my cousin: Dean High He was Dj-ing for a while was getting real good at it and sort of introduced me to real turntablism and Dj-ing.
How did growing up in the Netherlands shape who you are as a DJ today?
Dr. Diggles: Well I don’t know, I can’t compare it to a DJ growing up in New York or whatever, but for me, it was a lot of DJ-ing at my house and enjoying my friends with practicing my cuts and scratches.
In the Netherlands it was hard to dig for dope records because hip hop wasn’t that big here and I live in a small city (Ghosttown), for instance, I went digging in New York a couple of times and it was just one big gold mine, spend all my money over there.
Which turntablist’s did you look up to for inspiration and how did they motivate you to keep pursuing your dreams no matter what obstacles lay ahead?
Dr. Diggles: That’s definitely Mix Master Mike when I first heard him with the Beastie Boys on Hello Nasty it was my first real taste of Hip Hop and Turntablism. The funky and funny techniques he had and how he played with the tracks and with his crew made me like f*ck I wanna do that to! And for the last years I’ve been a real fan of the Gaslamp Killer, I love his style of music, live show and all-round persona, he’s a boss.
Three things that other DJ’s do that flat out annoys the shit out of you?
Dr. Diggles: Well I really hate it when DJ’s play pre-made mash-ups of tracks that are just too corny for words, but on the other hand how Z-trip does it live on stage its genius!
Also, I don’t think it’s very original if a DJ just plays all the hits of that moment, you got to educate the crowd a “Lil'” as well I believe, you have the control of what they vibe to, play some stuff they don’t know, you won’t get that instant reaction from the crowd but at the end of the night they go home with more music knowledge.
And be a real DJ, read the crowd, and adapt to the crowd, I hate it when a DJ got his whole set planned out and just stares at his turntables all night, get involved, show the people how to dance and shit. ENERGY!!!
Using only a specific Netherlands Food Dish, what’s a live Dope D.O.D. show like and why should a hip-hop fan attend?
Dr. Diggles: Hutspot! it’s the most Dutch food dish you can get, it’s potatoes, onions, and carrots all mashed up together in one pan, and it always comes with some sausage or meatballs.
Why? Because it’s a mashup of all sorts of vegetables, and so is our sound, Hip Hop is the main ingredient but there are influences of Dubstep, Drum & Bass, Trap and even Rock in there.
Why should the hip-hop world pay attention to the European hip-hop scene?
Dr. Diggles: Because most mainstream US Hip Hop acts are straight up wack… like the mumble rap movement I ain’t feeling that, I think because hip hop started in US and then came to Europe we are always a bit behind.
And I don’t mean that in a bad way, in a good way!!
I see a lot of old school legends like Slick Rick and Redman still doing lots of big festivals over here in Europe and that makes me proud, the 15 minutes of fame lasts a lot longer here I think.
We still love the 90’s out here and you can hear that in the music as well.
Are you able to describe the adrenaline rush you felt at Dope D.O.D’s first sold out show and what exactly happened?
Dr. Diggles: Oh god that was amazing … best drug in the world! The first sold out show we did was when we dropped the Evil EP.
Me and skits organized the whole party and printed posters ourselves and went guerrilla marketing around the city, the poster was literally everywhere!
So when we sold out that night it was the best feeling ever! There were about 350 people that night.
We felt like we were on top of the world that night.
The next day we had to go on tour with Limp Bizkit and rock a crowd of over 10.000 people.
10.000 rock fans who didn’t want to see us at all. *Laughs* We got beer thrown at us and all that, but that only made us stronger and rock harder, Fred Durst sat down with us that night and gave us the best advice I ever had: “If they don’t like you and throw middle fingers at you and test you…. get in there faces, look’em right in the eye and rock harder!”-Fred Durst
Next shows we did exactly that and started winning the crowd! And the rest is history.
What was it like touring North America with Insane Clown Posse and do you think Dope D.O.D. will ever do a song with the Clowns in the near future?
Dr. Diggles: It was really dope, ICP and their whole crew welcomed us with open arms, and so did the Juggalo community in every state we rocked.
We became instant family, and while the tour was a lot of hard work, we had a shit load of fun every night!
And you might be on to something here as well; there might just be a track with ICP in the making. *Smiles*
What are your true thoughts on the FBI labeling Juggalos a gang and the Juggalo March being held in Washington D.C. this September against the FBI?
Dr. Diggles: My true thoughts? Ya stupid FBI f*ckers, Juggalo’s a gang? Yeah, a gang of really nice folks that just want to have a good time and spray Faygo!
What was it like rocking it on stage with the Czech Republic group Sodoma Gomora? Any plans to do an E.P. together?
Dr. Diggles: Very dope, we never met the guys in person when we did the track with ’em, so when we first met them it was at a burger spot in Prague, they are really cool dudes and we both rocked the show hard that night!
Dope D.O.D. and Onyx are pretty close friends now! How influential are Onyx and which Onyx track still gives you goosebumps on the back of your neck no matter how many times you listen?
Dr. Diggles: Oh hell yeah, we’ve been working together now for years and really are like brothers. But whenever we see them live we jump right in the mosh pit, whenever we bump it in the car we go wild! There would be no Dope D.O.D. without ONYX!
Speaking of Onyx, Dope D.O.D. and Onyx just released the joint venture LP “Shot Gunz in Hell”! How involved were you with the project and why this record shouldn’t be slept on by the hip-hop world?
Dr. Diggles: The album is straight fire and if you haven’t checked it out I advise you to definitely check it out asap it’s a dope mix of that raw old school vibe and that new traipse sorta sound.
I wasn’t very involved with making the tracks, but I was very involved with making the videos and the entire project.
What probably nobody knows is that I always do the entire production of our music videos, like fixing all the props and locations.
Which track from “Shot Gunz In Hell” do you looking forward to performing on stage every night?
Dr. Diggles: “Piro” definitely! I love the fact how all the emcees go back and forth on the track, it reminds me of some Beastie Boys type shit.
Do you have any Dr. Diggles solo projects in the works?
Dr. Diggles: Yes! I just finished building my own studio and together with Civil Unrest I started: Jungle Dynamite, we make Trap/EDM bangers to fire up the dance floor! Where working on our first EP right now and we just released some tracks on our Soundcloud.
We are also producing lots of beats for Dope D.O.D. and just did a track with Virus Syndicate.
Which Rock & Roll band would you like to work with in the near future?
Dr. Diggles: Well I still wanna make a track with Limp Bizkit! We’ve been talking about it ever since we became a family on tour but somehow it never happened. *Laughs* We did do a really dope track with John Otto on drums called, “The Crows”.
That was insane because I used to play drums as a kid and was and still is a big fan of John’s rhythm and technique. to have that style on our own track is epic to me.
How long will it be until Dope D.O.D. takes over North America?
Dr. Diggles: Right after this interview goes viral!
What do you want to accomplish in the next ten years as a DJ?
Dr. Diggles: Release a lot more Jungle Dynamite tracks, currently we are talking to some really dope labels out in the states so very excited about that and I’m working on two new Mixtapes, one to smoke to at daytime and one to drink to at night. Also, gonna start touring with Jungle Dynamite and start as an opening up act for Dope D.O.D. to get the party started the right way!
Let the people know we ain’t out here to talk and chill, we came to party!
For instance, we opening up for Dope D.O.D. in London UK on the 7th of December. Also, working a crazy trippy video for the track “ILL DISPOSED”!
I could go on for hours of what plans I have and crazy ideas that keep my mind occupied.