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Friday, January 5, 2018

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Lamar Gardner "DJ Twenty20 The Legacy"

 Longevity ain't a gift. It requires skill, patience, integrity and quality in service. To stand the test of time one must endure the ups and downs, the good and the bad with the grey areas. To make it through 3 decades in any line of work and remain solid don't just fall out the sky ya dig. You gotta have IT. Right now we're dealing with a man that has IT when it comes to the 1's and 2's and crispy production.
Makin deals and following through on commitments. Some of you young'ns may wanna take notes if you want to have a credible legacy.

 Throughout the 80's, 90's and til this day Lamar Garner started and remained aggressive in his grind moving through the music industry accumulating credentials, making lasting business relationships and turnin up the scene when he's on the 1's and 2's. Lamar has quite a history. One we can all take some game from. Anyone that can last 30+ years in this game would most certainly have a wisdom worthy of noting.

  We had the chance to sit down with the OG. Chop up some game and gain some insight. Lets dive into this interview. 

ACMD: We got a seasoned Vet in the World of DJ's. Been on the 1's and 2's since most you cats was babies or before you was even thought of. Introduce yourself OG!

LG: What's Good ACMD, I Be Lamar Gardner P.K.A The Original King Blend-Master DJ 20/20

ACMD: You were raised in the South Bronx the heart of Hip Hop. What was the atmosphere like there to drive you to DJ?

LG: Back In The 70's, Before I Started DJing, The Atmosphere Was Free-For-All, Kinda Like The Movie "Do The Right Thing" By Spike Lee. My Area 141st Street And St Ann's Was Plagued With Drugs And Homelessness. The Area Was A Place Of Burnt Down Buildings And Lots. Us As Children Then Had To Find A Way To Make Those Non Resourceful Times Worth It, So We Played Games That Included Playing In The Abandoned Buildings And Debris Filled Lots, Manhunt, Hide And Seek, War And Forts, Clubhouse, Games Of That Nature. Then There Was Hip-hop And The Local DJ Crews That Came Out And Did The Block Jams. I Was A Nerd At The Time, Bell-Bottoms And Coke Bottle Glasses And Always Wanted To Do What Those Guys Were Doing Because Through All The BS That Was Going On, It Seemed The Jams Brought The Blocks Together.

I Was A Up-And-Coming Rapper Then "Mc Shakespeare" But Quickly Hooked Onto A DJ (DJ Putt Putt Friend Of Grandmaster Flash), Rhymed At Shows But Always Wanted To Spin Records Like He Did, The Rest Of My Life And Times Growing Up In The South Bronx, Become The DJ I Am Today Can Be Found In My Book "A Brick Out Of Place"

ACMD: You started in the mid 80's and have stood the test of time through the 90's, 2000's, up until now. What was your favorite era of music? The era that made your work just flow effortlessly..

LG: I Can Say It Was The Mid Eighties, Because I Watched Something That Was Supposed To Be A Fad/Trend Start To Grow. Hip-Hop Spoke To The Youth Conscientiously, It Was The Handbook For Living Life At That Time And I Want To Play A Part In The Teachings Of Surviving Today. I Was A Product Of Video Music Box, New York City Hot Trax, Soul Train And " I Want My MTV"
So Yes, Pop And Rock Play A Big Part In My Musical History

ACMD: With quite an extensive resume under your belt one would be wrong to question your validity. Talk about some of the labels you worked with and the impact you made for them as well as the impact they had on your career.

LG: My Validity Is Not Up For Question, I'm 100%, If I Say I Did It I've Done It. It Started With Working As A Gopher (Go-For) With Vincent & Felicia Davis At Vintertainment Records Around The Same Time The Pee Wee Dance Was Released, Going In The Studio Room To Go On Store Runs For Joe Ski Love, The B-Boys And Yes Even Keith Sweat Was Incredible To Me, At The Same Time On My Hang Around Hours Mr Craig B Would School Me On Making Music, Then There Was Sleeping Bag Where I Did Janitorial Duty For Mr Virgil Simms And Instead Of A Thick Payment I Asked For Time To Learn About Recording And Mixing Music, Because At ÷This Time I Was An Aspiring Rapper And DJ An Wanted A Deal, But Groups Like EPMD, K-Solo, Mr X And Mr Z, Joyce Simms, Had The Label Locked, Then There Was B-Boy Records Where I Became An Intern And Hood Record Promoter But I Got The Chance To Hang Around Mr Cyril Young, Jack Allen, Milton (The Original Black Caesar), KRS, JVC Force And D Nice And I Was Schooled Once Again About What It Takes To Be In The Light. Then The Various Club And Bar Jobs (Club Lido, The Cotton Club, The Lennox Lounge, Lucy's, Wild Billz And Finally "The Castle" Playing Under Study To Kidd Capri (Because After He Released The Apollo His Availability To Rock The Castle Changed).

Then Came All City Records (Mc Sway) And Right Behind That Gee-Street Records. Island Records Also Came Into Play But These 3 Venture I Was Now An Artist. So What U See Is My Beginning Efforts That Got Me Where I Wanted To Be. Including Going To Monroe College Where I Earned My Associates Degree In Business Mgmt/ Business Administration And Then Earned My License And Certification From The Institute Of Audio Research For Music Engineering Later On.

ACMD: You were one of the first to work with Sway Calloway of Sway in The Morning in 1992. What was that deal like and how does it feel to see how far you both have come since then?

LG: Well, Shit Sway Took Off, I Would Love To Be Where He Is Now. The Deal We Had Was Decent. At That Time, He Was Already Working With Radio, KMEL In California. He Heard Our Song On A Mixtape Cassette, Kinda Like How Eminem Discovered 50 Cent, And Invited Us To Come Down For An Interview On KMEL With Him And King Tech. We Met Joe Quixx There And The Rest Was History, The Song "Unsolved Mysterme" Was Born. Sway Is A Good Dude, Always Been, I Remember Him Being An Artist and To Have Gotten The Chance To Work With Him In The Past And Watch How He Has Grown Is Incredible.

ACMD: A lot of us are familiar with Gee Street Records. Talk about the deal with them. Very interesting story.

LG: Well Gee-Street Records Was A Sub Hip-Hop Label Of The Mega Music Conglomerate Island Records. After "All City Records" (Sway Label), Minor Success With The Single "Unsolved Mysterme", It Somehow Got Into The Hands Of Jon Baker, He Was Working As President Of The UK Market For Gee-Street Records, He Had Success With His Groups Stereo Mc's And PM Dawn So Island Records Decided They Wanted Geetstreet To Capture Some New York Rap Talent, Since He Had What We Call "Great Ears" For Hits. We (Mysterme & DJ 20/20) Were Supposed To Be The Next Big Thing, Since Cypress Hill, Because Mysterme Was Of Spanish Descent, And From The South Bronx, There Were No Puerto Rican Hardcore Rappers Out At That Time. Somehow Jon Baker President Of Gee-Street Records  Got His Hands On The Record, Called Our Manager (Kevin Glenn- Uptown Bounce Ent) Up And We Were On As Artist On The Gee-Street Label. Gee-Street Brought The Rights Of The Music From Sway For Like $25.000 Plus Some Undisclosed Perks And A Remix Of Our Song. Jon Baker Questioned Why We Were Ever A Side B To What Sway Was Trying To Put Out (Bust Ur Rhymes) On His Pilot All City Single. The Deal Was Sweet, We We're Getting $2500.00 A Month A Piece, Plus Rents Paid, A $30,000 Advance, Trips, Hotels, Various Company Fashions To Model, 2 Videos Shot By Hype Williams, TV Appearances etc, The Works. The Deal Came To A Bitter End Because Of Irreconcilable Differences, My Partner Felt That, All The New Acts That Came In Afterwards Were Getting Treated Better Than We Were, Doug E Fresh, Lil Vicious, Gravediggaz, And Prince Paul, So He Started Sabotaging The Deal; Not Showing Up For Interviews, Damaging Hotel Rooms, Basically Rebelling Against The Label.

So We Were Moved To Island Records, But Being Moved Also Meant A Change In Mgmt And Our Manager Was A Longtime Friend Of Ours And Mysterme Didn't Like That. Even Though We Were Now On A Major Label, He Still Was Bitter About The Changes. Everybody Tjat Was Signed On After Albums Were Released And Ours Was Put On Hold, Then Island Decided To Release Our Album With Poor Promotion, Thats Why Until This Day People Still Ask Me For The Album And When They Hear It They Say "Damn" That Is Classic 90's Hip-Hop What Happened.

ACMD: Fast forward to now. I understand you have some artists you're working with now. Who are they and are they on your label?

LG: Sure, I Have My Artist:

1) DJ 20/20 (20 Sack Entertainment/Comatose Records) - All My Life
2) Tremendous (Grow Or Die Music/Entertainment), I Been Working With Him For 14 Years
3) East Coast: (Shady Villains Entertainment), I Have Been Working With Him For 12 Years
4) The Specialist: (Puffed Out Entertainment), He's My Life Partner, We've Been Doing This Together Forever
5) And Recently I Just Took On J-Fire And Cutty Cutright, J-Fire Got On Because The Guy That Manages Him Is Fence Lee And Fence And I Have Been Together Since The South Bronx As Youths. All Of Them Are Committed To My Label Comatose Recordingz, But I Didn't Want To Tie Them Down Exclusively Until Something Pops Off And I Can Afford To Do What They Need To Build Their Careers, But They Are Severely Committed, All I Gotta Say Is Sign

ACMD; You're a part of the Fleet DJ's conglomerate. How long have you been with the Fleet? How did that come about? And has it supplemented your career?

LG: I've Been With Fleet Since October 6, 2016. I Heard About Fleet Through A DJ Friend Of Mine. I Was Doing A Club Gig And He Came Up To Me And Asked "What DJ Coalition U Run With?" I Said Coalition, I Don't Do Charities, But I Would Like Too. He Said Nah, Coalition, Group, Crew, I Said Oh, Nobody, I'm For Self, He Said These Guys Are The Best In The DJ Game, I Said Oh I Like The Best, So I Looked Them Up I Signed On And Here I am FLEET FOREVER, My Loyalty Is Deep.

ACMD: DJ, Producer, Artist and you're also an author. Tell about your books, where we can find them and what this experience has done for you.

LG: Yes, I'm. Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None. During My Musical Sabbatical, Wanted To Take Time Off From My Craft. I Ended Up Writing Three Books. A Brick Out Of Place, Who Is DJ 20/20? And Foster. A Brick Out Of Place Is About Me, Growing Up As A Latch Key Kid With Dreams Of Getting Out Into The World, To Becoming The Man I Am Today, A Tell-All Autobiography. I Wrote This Book To Explain My Life To People, My Sexcapades, My Mom, My Family And Friends Etc, Just In Case I Do Become Famous People Can't Get The Story Wrong. I Put The Truth Out There About Everybody And Everything, With No Retraction Intended Ever. If That's What I Wrote, That's What Happened. Who's DJ 20/20? Is More Of A Follow Up Pictorial To "A Brick Out Of Place". If You Read A Brick Out Of Place, U Can Use Who's DJ 20/20? As Reference Manual (Or Documented Proof) Of What I Referenced In "A Brick Out Of Place" A Very Interesting Read.
Now "Foster" Is About My Wife. Being A Child Growing Up To A Drug And Alcohol Addicted Mom, Being Molested, Moving From Group Home To Group Home, Abandonment Etc.

ACMD: You have a lot poppin in Radio right now. Tell us about what you're building in radio.

LG: I'm Trying Build A New Network, A Free Network, Where DJs Can Play What They Want To Play According To Their Mood And Not Be Stuck Playing What They Have To Play, Top 40, Top 20. A Network that's More Than Radio Station, A Network Of Everything Creative, A Network Where Everybody Helps Everybody Get On, Get Paid, Get Noticed, A Network That Really Gives Back And Doesn't Measure What Creativity Is Or Must Be, No Judging. A Safe Place For Creators, Because Everybody Is Creative On Some Level At Some Point, They Just Need A Shot

I'm All Genres Can't Just Do One, I Started On Fleet Gospel (DJ Danny T), Quickly Went To Musik Nation Radio (DJ Doe Nation), Then Mixtape Heat ((DJ Gates), Fleet RnB (DJ OS), Fleet EDM Radio (DJ Arch), Latino Mundial Radio (DJ GoJaBean). To Having Direct Dealings With Nia Boom, Dj Skinny, Aaron And The Bossman Himself Klassik Ceo

I'm Also Rocking With Capital A And DJ Gneous On WWEN Radio 92.4 And Now I Have My Own 24hr Radio Network On Tunein And Shoutcast, "Word On Da Streetz Radio Unplugged" And Use Youtube, Fleet TV And My Website As A Television Network "Word On Da Streetz Radio And Television. My Mothership Company Is Called “20 Sack Entertainment, ASCAP” - Word On Da Streetz Enterprise's L.L.C. I Have Been A Music Publisher With ASCAP For 10 Years Now And My Record Company “Comatose Recordingz” Has Been In Circulation For 15 Years. The Only Artist I Have Successfully Released On It Was Myself So Far, But I Have Hopes To Release A Lot Of New Artist On It Between Now And 2020. I Will Continue To Sacrifice Myself As Of Now To Get It Clicking With The Help Of All These New People And Platforms In My Life Now.

I Thank All These People For Giving Me A Shot And Building My Confidence Back Up As A DJ And Businessman.

ACMD: We'd like to thank you for sitting down with us. We appreciate your contribution to Hip Hop and look forward to your future endeavors. Please take the floor. Take this time to shout our your fam, team and let em know what magazine you rockin with!

LG: You're Very Welcomed, It Has Been A Pleasure And I Wish You Much Success In Your Endeavors ALSO, Thanks For Having Me, It Is Greatly Appreciated.

Shouts Out: GOD, My Wife Jacqueline Aviles-Gardner & Kids (Laniah, Donte', Tyrese, Jon, Mykayla, Mariah And Marjae), My Family, Mi Extended Familia, Fleet DJs, WWEN Radio, My Artist (The Specialist, Tremendous, East Coast, Fence Lee, J Fire and Cutty Cutright)


Follow the big homie!
Instagram: @TheOriginalDJ2020_fleet_dj
Twitter: @dj2020
My Radio Station:

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