In this conversation, House Shoes, a DJ and record label owner, discusses his journey in the music industry and the hip-hop scene in Detroit. He talks about setting goals and starting a podcast to reconnect with the culture. House Shoes shares his experiences growing up in Detroit and the influence of music in his life. He highlights the competitive nature of the hip-hop community and the importance of innocence in creativity. He also discusses the impact of Proof and the Detroit hip-hop community. The conversation concludes with House Shoes reflecting on the need to leave Detroit and start fresh in Los Angeles. In this part of the conversation, Shoes discusses feeling exhausted and overwhelmed in his career and the desire to help others. He talks about struggling to help himself and the challenges of putting others first. Shoes also shares his frustration with finding a manager and the difficulty of letting go. He discusses the lack of emotional and financial reward in his work and the search for originality in music. The impact of social media on judgment and the performative nature of grief are also explored. Shoes reflects on the challenges of stardom and mental health and the importance of empathy. He discusses the shift in community and social interaction and the sacrifices of staying true to oneself. The transition from Detroit to LA and the start of his record label are also discussed. Shoes shares his experiences with social anxiety and the importance of integrity and sacrifice. Finally, he talks about navigating the music scene in LA and the ownership and confidence of DJing. In this conversation, Shoes discusses the challenges of building a community around sobriety and finding like-minded individuals. He reflects on the nostalgia for the past and the belief that things were better in previous generations. Shoes shares his journey of starting Street Corner Music and the pride he feels for his accomplishments. He also talks about the financial realities of running a record label and the joy of holding a James Brown record with his name on it. Shoes discusses his transition to Twitch streaming and the challenges of making a living from it. He emphasizes the importance of kindness and transparency in building a supportive community. Finally, Shoes reflects on the decision to step back from beat battles and prioritize personal well-being.

Takeaways

  • Feeling exhausted and overwhelmed can lead to a desire to help others, often at the expense of oneself.
  • Putting others first can be rewarding but may result in a lack of emotional and financial reward.
  • The search for originality in music can be challenging in a world where many artists imitate popular trends.
  • Social media can be performative, and it's important to be mindful of the authenticity of online interactions.
  • The impact of changing entertainment and technology on childhood can lead to a loss of community and social interaction.
  • Staying true to oneself often requires sacrifice and can be challenging in a world that values conformity.
  • Transitioning to a new city can present both opportunities and challenges in the music industry.
  • Living with social anxiety can affect one's ability to navigate social situations, even in a career that involves public performance.
  • Integrity and sacrifice are important values to maintain in the pursuit of one's passion.
  • Navigating the music scene requires confidence, ownership, and a willingness to adapt to new environments. Building a community around sobriety can be challenging, but finding like-minded individuals is essential for support and growth.
  • Nostalgia for the past is common, and it's important to acknowledge that things were different in previous generations.
  • Running a record label involves both creative and grunt work, and it's important to find a balance between the two.
  • Twitch streaming can provide an escape and a sense of community, but it's important to prioritize personal well-being and not get caught up in the financial aspects.
  • Creating a supportive and kind community is crucial, and transparency is key in building trust and connection.

Chapters

00:00 Introduction

07:05 The Power of Beats in DJ Sets

16:26 The Challenges of Being a One-Man Show

37:24 The Impact of Grief and the Need for Empathy

45:04 The Impact of Adult-Oriented Content on Children

56:30 Creating a Record Label and Working on Projects of Pride

01:13:01 The Rise of Twitch Streaming and Its Challenges

Transcript

House shoes, thanks for coming on once a DJ. How are you doing today? It's amazing to have you on and Something I really like with this project is hearing from people from different places, especially when they've got

Shoes (03:24.074)

I'm good brother, appreciate you having me.

Adam (03:35.924)

The place has like a musical identity of its own. And I mean, Detroit is just huge, isn't it? You know, you've got Motown, you've got the techno, you've got some incredible pillars of hip hop. And you're the first guest we've got from Detroit. So I'm really looking forward to getting into where it all started for you really. So yeah, where did it all start really? Where did music come into your life? What was around you growing up? Was it a lot of Motown or?

Shoes (03:46.711)

Yes.

Adam (04:03.929)

like what was the sound of the city?

Shoes (04:06.282)

I mean records were always playing. I grew up just outside of Detroit in Southfield. My parents split up when I was young but everyone had records. My mother had her own records, my father had his own records, my stepfather had his own records. So it was a very wide range of music, you know, from opera to, you know, Steely Dan to John Coltrane to Miles Davis to Take Six.

Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, you know what I mean, Kat Stevens, just the widest range possible.

Adam (04:40.899)

Mmm.

I guess that sort of thing puts people in good stead for production doesn't it? Because you just hear sounds from everywhere and it's like... It kind of gets you set up for later when you're trying not to sound the same as other people and it's like, oh yeah I can... I wonder if anyone's sampled this Cat Stevens yet? You know, I can find this thing...

Shoes (05:01.406)

Right? Yeah, it's very important with, you know, me myself now being a father, you know, just you need to introduce your children to these frequencies and vibrations, you know what I mean? And not necessarily cram what you like down their throat, but just have it available to them. You know what I mean?

Adam (05:21.628)

Yeah, definitely. And it's having that range as well. My kids haven't really got into any of it yet. My eldest is a Taylor Swift fan at the moment, but that's just because a friend is. And I guess millions and millions of other people are. So fair enough.

Shoes (05:31.018)

Right.

Shoes (05:37.65)

Yeah, my son's favorites are Doom and Earl Sweatshirt. Yeah, so if I've...

Adam (05:44.597)

Nice. That makes for easier car journeys then.

Shoes (05:46.89)

Yeah, if I screw everything else up, at least I did that.

Adam (05:53.417)

So what was, when did DJing come around? If you were around records a lot, when were you introduced to that art form?

Shoes (06:00.99)

The first time I quote-unquote DJed a party was the last day of sixth grade. And I just had that unit that a lot of us had where it was like a dual cassette CD player with the turntable on top. You know what I mean? And just had some kids over the, over the crib and play the tape, then play a CD and then play a record, but I always loved new music. I wanted, you know.

Adam (06:15.114)

Mm.

Shoes (06:28.71)

I was aware of release schedules, you know, when I was in fifth grade, you would go to the record store and they would have a calendar and notes with all the dates of new releases. And I always wanted to get it first and play it for the homies.

Adam (06:42.028)

So Howell's fifth grade, is that about 10 or something?

Shoes (06:45.978)

Yeah, yeah, that's about, yeah, 10, 11 years old. For me, that would have been like 85, 86. You know what I mean?

Adam (06:56.552)

So would that have been, would you be look have been looking from like an eclectic point of view or was it? Because obviously that's kind of peak sort of like run DMC era, right? Yeah

Shoes (07:06.014)

Oh, it was all hip hop. It was Run DMC, Houdini, Fat Boys, Skinny Boys, Ice T. Yeah, absolutely. But for me wanting to be ahead of the curve on music, I really actually started DJing or buying like current hip hop records and finding the promos. Like my senior year in high school.

because I had a buddy who was a DJ and the first time I actually finally went over to his went inside his crib he just had records everywhere and that's where I learned about test presses and that's the first physical creation of a song because they would make test presses and they would be

available in different markets because they would want to test different songs in different regions, you know what I mean? So then I started figuring out how to build relationships with people in these record stores so I can get my hand on the stash, you know?

Adam (08:02.472)

Right. Okay. So what was there a big community at that point then? In Detroit.

Shoes (08:12.724)

Uhhh

I wouldn't say it was big, I would say it was strong. I got introduced fall of 93 when I went to college. I went to Eastern Michigan University and some of my homies would drive up to Ypsilanti and pick me up and then we would go to, you know, St. Andrew's Hall on a Friday or 1515 Broadway or Mecca, Stanley's Rhythm Kitchen, you know, some pivotal spaces in the history of the scene.

at that time.

Adam (08:47.132)

Yeah, because did you DJ Stanley's Rhythm Kitchen? Did I see some flyers for that?

Shoes (08:50.89)

I never DJ'd there. That was actually Maurice Malone DJ'd there, and the OG Mike Huckabee, rest in peace, he DJ'd there. But yeah, that was, I only actually made it there a few times, because it kind of shuttered, I want to say in like the spring of 94. Yeah.

Adam (09:14.568)

Was there much sort of linking between the kind of techno and the local hip hop? Because I know reading Dillie's book there's an illusion to a level of influence. But would that have been more widespread than just in terms of his production style? Was it like a general Detroit thing?

Shoes (09:24.011)

Uh...

Shoes (09:36.366)

Uh, it was, it was, uh, you know, kindred spirits. A lot of the parties would be two rooms or three rooms. You'd have a hip hop room. You'd have a, a dance room, like a techno house room, you know what I mean? And you would get these crowds back and forth, you know, and it was all top shelf music. So it was very, uh, kind of advanced population in these rooms, you know, even with like.

Adam (10:03.56)

Mmm.

Shoes (10:03.958)

When I did St. Andrews on Friday nights, it was called Three Floors of Fun, and the top floor was like the best house of techno from the best house of techno DJs. Main floor, same with hip hop, and the basement, the same with alternative. So it was a very informed clientele, you know what I mean?

Adam (10:21.608)

Was that a pretty good atmosphere then at parties like that?

Shoes (10:23.49)

Oh, it's unbelievable. It was fantastic. You know, people were just there for music. This is before she got corny. So they were there, you know, I'm grateful. I just had a thirst for new music. So people would just be like, man, what shoes got tonight? What's what's the new shit? What's he got ahead of time? You know, what's the shit that we have no idea about? You know what I mean?

Adam (10:30.02)

Mmm

Adam (10:40.381)

Yes.

Adam (10:47.572)

Yeah, the more I speak to people on this podcast, and just in life in general, the more amazing music and scenes I realise I've just totally missed out on, through maybe just not having an eye on them when they were around, or just times in life just not just being a bit more of a hermit. And you think, oh, if I'd have gone out, I could have, because it's not just the music, like you say, it's the communities in them as well, isn't it?

Shoes (11:03.329)

Right.

Shoes (11:07.617)

Right.

Shoes (11:14.847)

Yes, absolutely.

Adam (11:16.628)

Was the hip-hop community quite competitive or was it all kind of peace and love?

Shoes (11:23.634)

Uh, it was very, I mean, the artists were very competitive. Everyone was trying to get their shine, you know, and it was a very high bar. It was a lot of very talented crews and individuals. Um, it's hard to break through. It's hard to break through though. You know what I mean?

Adam (11:37.152)

Who were the... Yeah, so who was really kind of making waves earliest on? Because I guess there's kind of Amp Fiddler, isn't there? And then you kind of got Eminem and everyone quite a lot later on. Like who was it sort of early 90s that was doing things?

Shoes (11:54.77)

Oh man, I mean, I kind of came up my real connection to the community was, you know, with St. Andrews and then with the hip hop shop on Saturday afternoon, all the battles and you had like the rabies, which was Swift and Beretta, Swifties and D12, Fuzz Scooter, who had a very strong influence on Eminem, FOD, Fingers of Death, which was a crew that LZY was in.

You had Five Ella, you had Last Ones Out, which was a crew that I was with. 31 Flavors, another crew that I was affiliated with. So many fucking geniuses, you know what I mean? And Cass just making his shit at the crib or at some $20 an hour studio with really no map or direction. They were just making heat.

Adam (12:39.648)

Mmm.

Shoes (12:53.182)

We weren't like, oh my God, we're changing the world. We're gonna get fucking deals. We were just, it's what we did in our spare time, you know? Somebody go to the store, get some beers, get a bottle of something, you know? Somebody would go to the weed spot, we roll up and go through records and, you know, four track shit, you know? We're making beats on samplers that are powered by nine volt batteries and just hitting loops, you know what I mean?

Adam (13:18.988)

Hmm

Adam (13:22.58)

Yeah, it's mad that it was such a fertile ground, because what you were describing, it just made me think of, say, like the Latin Quarter or the Good Life Cafe. You've got just these certain places and times where it might not be one sort of crew from the time that kind of blows up, but there's just all these people that come out of it and spread their influence everywhere.

Shoes (13:33.439)

Yes.

Shoes (13:43.682)

Right. Yeah, it was definitely lightning in a bottle. Like it was exciting. It was exciting to go to the hip hop shop. Like who's going to pop up today? You know, proof would do battles. He would take everybody's name and put him in a hat. And then you just pick two names and then like, oh, shit. You had homies from the same crews that had to battle each other. You know what I mean? Oh, it was it was incredible. Super, super fun times. Innocent, too. You know what I mean? I'm a I'm a very strong advocate of innocence.

Adam (13:48.789)

Hmm

Adam (14:03.36)

Mmm.

Adam (14:10.706)

Yeah.

Shoes (14:13.558)

Like I think that's where the greatest things come from, is with no, you know, you're not aiming to get anything out of it. You're just living and creating.

Adam (14:26.7)

Was it like?

Adam (14:30.46)

So I've not been around a lot of battling, but when I have been, there's been a thing of people just going straight to the foulest shit they can say about the other person or the other person's relatives. Was it a bit more nuanced or?

Shoes (14:44.274)

Man, there was some fucking comedians. The best battlers to me back in the day were cats that would have you dying laughing because they would just be making fun of you. It wasn't so overtly aggressive or kind of passively violent. It wasn't shit talk. It was just like, you know, let's clown this dude right now. I'm gonna clown you. You know what I mean? Oh, it was incredible. There was this dude, Swann.

Adam (14:55.264)

Hmm

Adam (15:03.528)

Yeah.

Shoes (15:12.286)

Swann was one of the best ever. Like he would have your sides splitting and it was all top of the head. No written, like you weren't allowed. If you read a written verse at the hip hop shop, you might get banned. It wasn't allowed. You had to come off the top of your head. That's what freestyles used to be. Like it's a kind of a vague conversation about it. Like, no, freestyle is just.

Adam (15:31.382)

Hmm

Yeah, yeah.

Shoes (15:37.91)

like a verse you had laying around. It's like, no, it fucking isn't. Freestyle is rhyming off the top of your head in real time.

Adam (15:45.052)

Yeah, and you know, some people are just incredible at it, aren't they? Yeah, I suppose that's the point, isn't it, where it's like, um... Not forgetting that in that battle you are trying to be the best entertainer rather than just nastier. Yeah.

Shoes (15:46.35)

Thanks for watching!

Shoes (16:01.27)

And just grabbing it out of the air, just grabbing words out of the air. Like first time Em came to the shop, like who is this kid? And then two lines in, you're like, oh shit, okay, okay. Or seeing Elzi there when he was like 14, 15 years old, just putting heads in a bag, you know what I mean?

Adam (16:26.213)

So when you first saw Eminem, was it like, this guy's gonna be huge? Like was there, yeah.

Shoes (16:31.738)

Oh, absolutely. I don't think any of us could ever have imagined that it would become what it's become. But it was definitely, you know, I've seen maybe four stars ever in my life where I saw them and I was like, I'm not sure of the scale, but this guy is going to do something very major. You know what I mean? Eminem at the hip hop shop, Danny Brown in the beginning of his era.

Adam (16:39.331)

Mmm.

Shoes (16:59.898)

Anderson Paak out here in LA, you know, 10 years ago. Like you just see him and you can tell like, I saw Anderson Paak, he opened up for a show that I had with Shafiq Hussain from Saira maybe like 15 years ago. And he was really, really dope. But you come across a lot of really, really dope people in your travels. And it didn't really register like that because I was rocking with Shafiq Hussain. That's the big homie, that's master teacher.

But then when I saw him maybe like three years later, he had a residency, a weekly residency for a month at this spot called The Lyric on La Brea. And.

Adam (17:29.988)

Mm.

Shoes (17:41.058)

The entire crowd was like high school kids and they knew every fucking word to every song that he did. The room was absolutely packed. And I told him that night, I was like, man, you're gonna get on a fucking plane in the next few months and you're gonna come back to something totally different. You know what I mean? And it's so great seeing those moments. You know, there's a lot of haters in the world. They're like, oh man, he's.

Adam (18:01.259)

Yeah.

Shoes (18:09.262)

They're mad that they're not getting their sign on. There's nothing better than seeing somebody achieve what they've been trying to achieve for their entire career.

Adam (18:16.424)

Yeah, totally. I went to school with the girl who played, do you know Doctor Who? Yeah, so I went to school with the girl who became Doctor Who and you just see this person on screen, it's just amazing isn't it? You're just like, oh my god. You know, and especially certain things like with the DJs that you've DJed with and stuff and you're just like, oh my god, they're on a world tour. Thereof there's a guy, DJ Angelo, who I erm...

Shoes (18:24.683)

Yeah. TV show, yep.

Shoes (18:30.528)

Mm-hmm. Absolutely.

Adam (18:44.472)

I used to cut with and stuff and you know we'd sit on his sofa drinking cups of tea watching scratch perverts and the allies and people like that and then like you know fast forward a few years he's worked his arse off and then he's like he's in that world you know they're his peers now not these people that were just sitting there going oh wouldn't it be crazy to meet them and it's you know

Shoes (18:52.59)

Alright.

Shoes (19:00.194)

Yeah.

Shoes (19:08.714)

Yeah, people, everybody wants to keep their secrets. And they, you know what I mean? Like they want to like, oh, I know about him, but you don't want to spread, you don't want to spread the gospel. You know what I mean? Like tell people about what you love. Like stop keeping it in your pocket. That's why, that's why I'm a secret. You know what I mean? Like I'm, this is a very niche space that I run my game in. You know what I mean? Like, and I'm cool with that. Cause I never was thirsty for.

Adam (19:18.39)

Mmm.

Adam (19:27.58)

Mmm.

Shoes (19:38.73)

I was just trying to play records and help the homies out. You know what I mean?

Adam (19:43.228)

Yeah, well that's something I wanted to get into with you as well because I mean a lot of what you've done is about bringing people up, getting their music out there, it's a lot about you putting out records by your peers and the people around you, isn't it, from what I've seen. Was that...

Shoes (19:59.998)

Absolutely. You know what I mean? I just, I just want to give a, I like giving kids their first record. Like if you already, I'm not really tripping, like even if you're incredible and you have a prior, a pre-existing catalog, it's like you're already doing it. When I started the label, it's like, I want to give kids their first record because it was literally street corner music was a response to, you know, a really dope young producer that nobody knows making really dope music. And then like

Adam (20:06.059)

Mmm.

Shoes (20:29.942)

being satisfied with a heart on SoundCloud. And some, you know, none of this shit is guaranteed. Like there's been regime changes in areas in the world where buttons have been pushed and platforms have disappeared. You know what I mean? So you, unless it's on a record, it's not guaranteed that it's gonna be here forever. And the permanence and the existence of a vinyl LP is basically

Adam (20:45.129)

Mmm.

Adam (20:52.724)

Yeah.

Shoes (20:58.594)

the only real goal of the label. There's no marketing and promotion budget. I mean, if I did like a PR campaign for a record, it costs more than the profit that we're making off of 500 records. So just put good music in good people's hands and hopefully, you know, the word will travel.

Adam (21:01.404)

Mm.

Adam (21:18.584)

So was it always the goal? Because you started doing it in the 90s, didn't you? Did you put out Diller's first record? Is that right?

Shoes (21:26.59)

Yeah, which is crazy because I never looked at it like that. You know, that was a homie. He was dope and all these labels were fronting on the remixes. And I was like, let's just bootleg them, bro. And then, you know, there was drama, post-mortem with Dilla and a lot of shit back home. And, you know, I was going through a lot with that. And one of the homies one day was like, man, shoes, forget about anything that anyone's ever

Adam (21:36.264)

Mmm.

Shoes (21:54.242)

tried to say about you negatively in regards to Dilla. You put out his first record. And I was like, what are you talking about? And he was like, bro, the JD unreleased record is the first record with JD as an artist. And that's it knocked the wind out of me. Like I had to sit down for a minute. You know what I mean? Like I wasn't doing it for that. I was doing it because it deserved to be on a record. You know what I mean?

Adam (21:59.976)

Mm.

Adam (22:14.485)

Yeah.

Adam (22:21.156)

Mm.

Adam (22:24.308)

That's amazing. So, did, like after you did that then, like did you, I'll edit this. So did you know a lot about how to put out a record when you put out that first one, or was it just like, fuck it, we're gonna get it pressed, we're gonna just take him around with his and sell him. Like did you have a bit more of a plan than that, or were you just kind of.

Shoes (22:45.042)

Well, I had been working in record stores and at that time I had been elevated to a buyer at Street Corner Music. So I knew how it worked. Every week I would get my faxes from all my distributors and I had relationships at various distributors. So I didn't know exactly how it would work, but I had a pretty good idea. And I knew the value of the music that I was sitting on and that it would sell immediately.

First two records I did sold out immediately, like literally immediately. Second record was Fat Cat, 12 Inch, Dedication of the Suckers. We did that in, it's like two years after. And Fat Beats, I was having a conversation with Fat Beats because we were self pressing, self manufacturing. And I was like, you guys need to take 10,000 of these records. Trust me. I see the numbers of records you guys sell every week. This is the best record.

Adam (23:20.201)

Mmm.

Adam (23:43.348)

Mm.

Shoes (23:44.386)

This is the best hip hop record in the world this week. And they were like, we can only take 6,000 copies. And I was like, Amir was my rep, DJ Amir at the time, from kind of Amir. And I was like, Amir, bro, 10,000. He was like, I'm only getting clearance for six. So we did six, and they sold out in 20 minutes. 6,000 records in 20 minutes. And the record probably capped out around like 13,000, 14,000 copies.

Adam (23:56.264)

Right. Hmm.

Adam (24:06.304)

Really? Wow.

Shoes (24:13.826)

pressed 10, we could have done double that, you know what I mean? Because repressing and different hands in the pot, you know? So it sold out in 20 minutes so it basically kind of never existed, you know what I mean? And then the repressed shit takes a few months and other records have moved into that space and it's like, told you motherfuckers 10,000 records!

Adam (24:18.398)

Yeah.

Adam (24:27.828)

Yeah.

Adam (24:36.896)

Yeah. Yeah, it must be hard to keep that momentum if you've got to have that time. Yeah. So, in that era then, when you were working in the shop, how much were you DJing?

Shoes (24:43.594)

But it's good problems, first world problems, definitely.

Shoes (24:54.766)

Oh, all the time. All the time. St. Andrew's Friday nights, I had a radio show with my homie Josh Lang called Beats and Breaks at Henry Ford Community College on Saturday afternoon and the hip hop shot would be after that and there would be a variance of other spaces, you know, throughout the week. Alvin's, me, JD and DJ Head was Em's producer at the time. We had a weekly called Stunts.

It was so, it was such, it was very blurry. Very blurry time, you know what I mean? I never really practiced. I practiced a lot before I started DJing publicly, but after I started DJing publicly, I never practiced. So I was DJing three nights a week. The gigs were the practice, you know what I mean? And I was never like a crazy technical DJ. I just wanna get sauced up and play heat. You know what I mean? I'm not beat juggling, you know what I'm saying? I'm not.

Adam (25:26.316)

Mmm.

Adam (25:38.528)

Yeah.

Adam (25:50.132)

Yeah, yeah.

Shoes (25:51.522)

blends are really important in Detroit. Like you gotta keep a long blend. Cuts were kinda secondary. So for me, it's always just been about timing. You know what I mean?

Adam (25:59.108)

Is that... Yeah, do you think that's something that's to do with the sort of techno scene and the DJs that came before? Yeah. Yeah, I thought there'd be some sort of links in there in the styles and stuff.

Shoes (26:06.686)

Absolutely. Yeah, definitely. Yep.

Shoes (26:15.662)

Right, yeah, the DJ community in Detroit has always been a great community, even across different genres of music for the most part. DJs all really usually had respect for each other, even if it was, you know, apples and oranges musically. DJs respected DJs in Detroit.

Adam (26:34.396)

Yeah, it must have been amazing being there through the 90s and just all these little things bubbling up. Like, who was the first person to kind of, where you, to kind of really break through and be that person who would say be recognised on the street?

Shoes (26:52.086)

Ah man, well I mean the hip hop shit, we were misfits bro. We were weirdos. They looked at us like we were crazy. Detroit's not a hip hop city. Detroit is a street rap city, like hood shit. You know what I mean? Like we were like, these motherfuckers clothes look crazy. What are they listening to? That music is weird as hell. It was like a micro community. You know what I mean? Like you could put the entire community in a room easily. Like the top shelf talent.

Adam (27:05.32)

Right, right, right.

Shoes (27:22.614)

Radio DJs, of course, you know, Mojo, Electrifying Mojo, The Wizard, Jeff Mills. Jeff Mills would have like six turntables doing mixes on the radio. Unbelievable, you know what I mean? Yeah. Billy T, DJ Billy T, he was on 105.9, he had a show called The DMZ on Saturday nights, like after midnight. I remember like...

Adam (27:34.224)

Mmm.

Shoes (27:50.018)

being at my dad's house on the weekend, he would be asleep and I'd get his headphones and just sit on the edge of the bed and I'm listening to like the fat boys get interviewed on the radio, you know what I mean? Put, have my little blank tape, recording interviews, recording radio shows, you know?

Adam (27:58.994)

Mmm.

Adam (28:07.316)

So like, would it have been, in terms of the rappers then, would it have been sort of Eminem and Royce in the sort of raucous era that kind of went to that next level?

Shoes (28:18.63)

Yeah, yeah, I'm trying to think who else.

Adam (28:22.188)

Because sometimes it's hard to, like for me, because of when I got into hip hop, I got into it a bit later. So it's sometimes a bit hard to understand, particularly being over here as well, how much particularly on the indie side of things, certain stuff just got a lot of love in the UK and say Germany and other bits of Europe compared to what it would have had.

over there so it's hard for me to gauge how big say like the rock that's got a raucous movement was.

Shoes (28:51.242)

Yeah, I mean, you're not hearing those records on the radio in Detroit, unless it's the weekend hip hop show that's on at like three o'clock in the morning. Or even Slum Village, you never heard them records, unless it was like traffic and weather and they're playing the instrumental to get this money or something, you know what I mean? It was frustrating because we were lauded

Adam (28:56.575)

Yeah.

Adam (29:02.931)

Mm.

Adam (29:12.541)

Mmm.

Shoes (29:20.318)

in other places across the world, but it was no love at all.

Adam (29:25.608)

Yeah, so there's a guy local to us who, he's always stayed in the city I'm in, which is say about 120 miles from London. And in the sort of late 90s sort of pomp of UK hip hop, he could get things over to sort of woo affiliates and people like that over in New York. They were interested, but people in the UK, because he wasn't in London, just didn't wanna know.

And it must be mad having that way, you're like... You know, we've got our audience and people love us, but it's no one here. It must be crazy.

Shoes (30:02.258)

And it's kind of like just that gradual progression in life of just learning how fucking basic most people are.

You know what I mean? Like the average person doesn't care. Like they're not creatively inclined. They just want to like be in the mix. Like they want to know what that regular ass song, the person in the next car with them is listening to because they feel like that's what they're supposed to be listening to. You know what I mean? I was never on that. And the people that are in tune with me have never been into that. We want to find what else is out there.

Adam (30:28.164)

Mmm

Adam (30:39.54)

Yeah. It's something I struggle with is if someone says to me, listen to this, it's really good, or watch this, it's really funny, or anything like that. If anyone kind of directly tries to experience that thing with you, yeah.

Shoes (30:56.758)

It's like you have an aversion to it, right? Right, like, oh, I don't want to, if I don't like it, what's he gonna say if I don't like it? But we have so much power in telling somebody we don't like something. That's what the power is, you gotta use your words. You know what I mean?

Adam (31:05.705)

Yeah, it stresses me right out.

Adam (31:11.176)

Yeah.

Yeah, maybe it's neurosis though, like I'll overthink it. I'll be like, I don't know if I like it because I'm not just naturally absorbing it. You know, it's really difficult that. Excuse me. Kind of coming down with something at the moment. Where should we go next?

Shoes (31:21.601)

Right.

Adam (31:42.28)

So how did DJing keep going for you then? Did you start to get gigs, as the rappers started going and traveling places, did you?

Shoes (31:49.878)

Oh, it just kept going, bro. Like once St. Andrews got locked in, and people knew that whenever they heard me, they're gonna hear new things and great things. You know what I mean? I was playing beats. When I bought records, the beats is what mattered to me. If there was some good raps on top of it, that's just a bonus. The beats are all that mattered. I was playing instrumentals in the club prime time, you know, damn near 30 years ago.

And just my passion, like, and in a, you know, black, Detroit is a black city, you know what I mean? And just the fact that I was welcomed and allowed to exist in that space and never really went through the, who is this white boy shit? You know what I mean? I'm super grateful for that. And people saw and understood my passion, you know, since I had all the new beats, proof would be.

Adam (32:41.516)

Mmm.

Shoes (32:50.722)

Truth would have me do all the DJ, the MC battles because I had the beats and sometimes people be ready to fight. I wanna rhyme on that beat. Yo, that beat is crazy. What does that beat? You know what I mean? Yeah.

Adam (33:02.92)

Yeah, proof was a big deal, right?

Shoes (33:06.446)

Proof was the biggest deal. Proof was Detroit. Proof was the mayor. Proof was the link between, you know, the club, the streets, the studio, the producers, the emcees. He cared, he had a responsibility, and he stuck to it, you know what I mean?

Adam (33:08.812)

Hmm

Adam (33:24.904)

Yeah, like a real sort of leader.

Shoes (33:27.53)

Yeah, we were at odds when he passed because he was moving to Arizona. And when Dilla died, I was like, man, I'm moving. I'm moving to Cali, bro. And, uh, and he was like, no, like, you can't leave. I'm leaving. You can't leave, bro. Cause if I leave and you leave, it's over with.

Adam (33:57.472)

Mmm.

Shoes (33:58.122)

Like he called me the red alert to his KRS-1. You know what I mean? Like we were invested in the city. It was a responsibility to do the right things in the right spaces, the right way.

Adam (34:03.008)

Wow.

Shoes (34:19.194)

Yeah, he was a true example and I'm every anybody that's ever known or had a relationship with him feels exactly the same way. He's he's the greatest asset that we ever had.

Adam (34:30.048)

Do you mind me asking about that feeling of having to get out of the city? What kind of brought that on?

Shoes (34:37.718)

death. Dylan Proof going in the ground. You know what I mean? Yeah. Shout out to the homie Wajid. He was actually living in New York at the time when he had, he was really trying to get me to get out of the city. He was like, Suze, you've got to leave. You've got to start doing your own shit. You've got to stop taking care of everybody else. You've got to put records out, do your own thing. And I went out to New York for the Donuts Release Party.

And Dylan died the next morning and I got on a plane, went to LA from New York with a backpack and got blackout drunk the night of the funeral and played the set of my life. And Wajid was there and we had lunch the next day and he was like, I know he was talking that New York shit, but bro, like you cooked last night. Like you planted an incredible seed last night. So.

I feel like you might want to look out this way. And then two months later, proof got killed. And two months after that, I was living in Los Angeles.

Shoes (35:45.59)

I was just exhausted, you know what I mean? I was just over it. Like, this is definitely a very low ceiling in Detroit. Not sticking to the norms and moving along those routes. You know what I mean? And I had been at the top of the food chain in what I do for years. And the funny thing is I was like, I gotta go and do my own shit. But I just moved out here and did the same shit. I just moved out here and took care of other people.

Adam (36:05.984)

but it sounds like...

Adam (36:15.545)

Oh yeah, because I was going to say it sounds like...

Shoes (36:17.646)

Cough cough.

Adam (36:20.684)

You're just one of those people. Like some people are just built that way, aren't they? They're almost like a mother hen, but I'm sure there's probably a better term for it. Yeah.

Shoes (36:29.01)

Yeah, then like the den leader, it's just easy. It's just easy for me. Like I'm not. I'm not particularly wired.

Shoes (36:41.614)

to help myself, you know what I mean? It doesn't, I don't know how to do that, but I can get everybody else's shit in order in the blink of an eye. Even, I mean, like the records on the label, Street Corner Music, like I made all those records. I don't take projects. You can't just send me your project. You gotta start sending folders. And I'm picking them beats and I'm sequencing the album and I'm coming up with the artwork. It's like, selfish.

Adam (36:43.957)

Hmm

Adam (36:51.433)

I guess if...

Adam (37:02.928)

Mm.

Shoes (37:10.546)

That's the way I'm selfish. Cause I have, you know, people call me golden ears. I know what the fuck I'm talking about with this music. So I'm grateful they trust me, you know what I mean?

Adam (37:19.092)

Yeah, because you've produced... Yeah, because you've... Is it more as an executive producer than in a sequencer? Because you've been a producer on quite a lot of albums, haven't you?

Shoes (37:31.274)

Well, yeah, my personal productions, yeah. I mean, I haven't made a beat in 15 years. I stopped making beats when I had kids because I was a very solitary producer and it just wasn't really space in my life for that anymore. You know what I mean? You know how it is. But then I started kind of just making albums with other people's music. And it like that. I can go through 100 beats in 10 minutes.

Adam (37:38.933)

Yeah.

Adam (37:46.018)

Yeah, oh yeah, yep.

Adam (37:55.716)

Mmm.

Shoes (38:03.347)

I would whittle it down to 20 and then it's like, okay, we got to get it down to 16. And then when I hear the beats, I'm like, I hear beginning, middle or end. This is something that would be at the beginning of an album. This is something that would be in the middle. This is something that would be at the end.

Adam (38:19.239)

Yeah, I'd love to do that. Do that sequencing.

Shoes (38:21.438)

Oh, it's, it's fun. It's fun. I mean, I'm pretty over it now at this stage, you know, I don't know what will further happen with street corner music, but I'm definitely putting that shit down for a while, if not permanently just built a great catalog 82 records in 10 years. But you know, once again,

Adam (38:37.122)

Mm.

Shoes (38:46.878)

other people being paramount to myself in this, there's not really been an emotional or financial reward in quite some time. You know what I mean? So I just, yeah, it's, I'm still trying to figure out how to make it fucking shoes time, man. You know what I mean? It's frustrating. I've never had a manager that could do a better job than the half-assed job I can do for myself.

Adam (38:58.641)

Yeah, yeah.

Adam (39:06.577)

Yeah, yeah.

Shoes (39:15.218)

So why would I give you 15%? You know what I mean?

Adam (39:19.976)

It's difficult and I think it's almost like you're giving away a bit of yourself. Like I work for myself and I really want to get other people involved more than I currently do. But it's, I mean, for one thing it's feeling like you've got the financial situation to do it. And for another thing it's letting yourself let go, I think is really hard.

Shoes (39:31.199)

Right.

Shoes (39:47.202)

sweat.

Adam (39:48.028)

It's like I think it was Tim Ferriss in the four hour work week, but it came out years ago. He was running some, I think like a vitamin company or something like that. And he decided to go off to learn Chinese shadow boxing or something like that. And some, some sort of like sort of long, like going away for months. And he just assumed that his company had just like run itself into the ground, but he came back and it was work. It was running more successfully than it would have been just with him doing his thing.

Shoes (40:01.646)

Hehehehehe

Shoes (40:15.63)

Right. Yeah. With me, it's always been a one man show. And it's exhausting at times, you know what I mean? And I did a post a few weeks ago. I hate saying that because I fucking hate social media, even though I'm on it like five hours a day. Dreams come true, but nightmares come true, too. And one of the greatest fears in my life would be waking up one day and not really wanting to do this shit anymore.

Adam (40:16.52)

and it's, yeah, sometimes it's.

Adam (40:21.726)

Mm.

Adam (40:31.464)

Yeah

Adam (40:38.411)

Yeah.

Shoes (40:46.442)

and I don't really feel like doing it anymore. And I'm not gonna force anything. Like DJing, I'm always gonna DJ. You know what I mean? With just the record shit, it seems like it's kinda.

Adam (40:53.277)

Yeah.

Shoes (40:56.75)

Kind of ran its course, you know? I mean, aside from the fact that I haven't heard somebody knew that I would want to put a record out on in like five fucking years. I have very explicit ears. Like it's hard to catch me. You know what I mean? I have a very high standard. I fucking came up next to the guy. Came up next to Jay. No, that's not a good beat, homie.

Adam (41:14.555)

Yeah.

Adam (41:21.789)

Mmm.

Adam (41:25.932)

Do you get a sin?

Shoes (41:27.192)

I get homies playing me beats and they're like, man, I got some shit for you to hear. And then they come over and press play on like 20 beats and I'm just sitting here like this the whole time.

Adam (41:38.172)

Yeah, I could probably tell you any beat I've made over the past 15 years I could probably tell you'd probably tell me as quickly as I'd tell you which producer I'm just trying to copy. There's nothing original in any of it pretty much.

Shoes (41:39.818)

and

Shoes (41:54.554)

Yeah, and I'm big on singularities too. So if I immediately hear influence or I can immediately reverse engineer your beat and tell you it's 40% this guy, 40% this guy, and none of you, I got to hear something different. I got to hear something that's made me feel some kind of way that I haven't felt before. And that just doesn't happen anymore.

Adam (42:06.812)

Yeah.

Adam (42:15.67)

Mmm.

Shoes (42:19.274)

Because as soon as somebody comes out that's dope and they start getting some looks everybody else starts sounding like trying to sound like them And everyone's got fucking drum packs now and they're fucking with the same tools like That shit was an insult back in the day for us if somebody offered you some drums That was like low-key like they were shitting on you like man. You need some drums, bro Drums are the most important part. You had to have your own drums. Like I know this is

Adam (42:26.261)

Yeah.

Adam (42:41.627)

Mmm.

Adam (42:46.901)

that's

Shoes (42:47.606)

We're living in the future now and technology and the ease of access to all this shit. But if you can't chop up a drum break, you're not a fucking hip hop producer. Like that's just the skillset, the A1, you gotta be able to take that hi-hat, that kick and that snare, separate them and reprogram them. And if you can't do that, sorry homie.

Adam (43:01.728)

This was the...

Adam (43:14.74)

So there is one person that probably counters that which is Kanye because Kanye Like people think yeah, but he admits it doesn't Ian like he got Tim Timberlake Timberland to help him and I think he's even like sample Dillard's drum straight off record as well But yes, it's

Shoes (43:20.438)

Oh, his drums are trash.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Shoes (43:28.202)

Yup. Mm-hmm.

Shoes (43:33.898)

Yeah, God bless Kanye, man. I hope he gets to a good place, man. People are so quick to throw people under the bus, but it's like, can you look in the mirror at the same time? Like, are you any more perfect than he is? You know what I mean?

Adam (43:48.232)

You know, everyone goes through things at different times, don't they? I mean, I wouldn't even know what his latest faux pas or cancelable action is. I can't kind of keep up.

Shoes (43:57.07)

Yeah, why are we so invested in other people's lives? Like, get your shit together. You so quick to go on here and judge other people's shit. Like, how about you judge it? The only way we're gonna get better is if we really start judging ourselves. There's nothing to gain by judging a fucking stranger that's in the limelight all day. You know what I mean? It's just...

Adam (44:04.392)

Well...

Adam (44:16.864)

Well, this is something we've created though, isn't it? Through social media. It's everywhere, yeah. You know, we've got the cancel culture, but we've also got the constantly feeling the need to represent our life in a certain way.

Shoes (44:19.974)

Yeah, hive mind. It's gross.

Shoes (44:33.394)

Oh, it's so performative. Like it's so performative, like social media is so performative, it's not your life, it's how you want people to see you. You know what I mean?

Adam (44:36.253)

You know, in...

Adam (44:44.336)

Yeah. And I think that if you fully know that that's what you're doing and why you're doing it, I don't think it's, like there's things where I will put them on social media for a reason. And I'm like.

Yeah, this isn't indicative of my real life really, but it's there to serve this quite mechanical purpose. But I think if people are doing it blindly and don't kind of realize that you're just kind of setting yourself up for a fall, like, how long...

Shoes (45:14.774)

I mean, even like performative grief is like so gross. Like, oh, like come on, bro. Why are you sad that Ahmad Jamal died yesterday? It's sad that he died, but he lived to be 93 years old and he toured until he was 92 years old. Stop fucking sobbing and crying. Like have a celebratory post. Like, and who cares about your fucking tears? Like.

Adam (45:35.08)

Yeah.

Shoes (45:43.972)

You know what I mean?

Adam (45:45.36)

Well, it can be really dangerous, I think, with real grief as well. Because people can, if people are going through something, and I'm by no means saying this as everyone, you can...

Shoes (45:57.394)

Oh, absolutely. But it's, yeah, I mean, you can usually tell the, I mean, you know, my father died last year. I don't talk about it on social media. That's the difference. You know what I mean? Like if some shit is really real, we tend to cap it and keep it in. You know what I mean? And in this fucking circus world we live in, people just wanna.

Adam (46:09.525)

Hmm

Adam (46:21.108)

Yeah.

Shoes (46:26.754)

Oh God, like, oh, like you never met the motherfucker. What are you, how are you heartbroken? You never met this person. The only person I ever cried about that I never met was Prodigy. I cried like a fucking baby the day that Prodigy died. It's the first time I ever cried about a musician ever. And I cried all day. The Infamous is my best friend. You know what I mean? Musically, my object to Infamous is

Adam (46:34.688)

Hmm

Adam (46:41.47)

Yeah.

Adam (46:52.552)

Yeah, but...

Shoes (46:56.47)

The one, if I got rid of all my records, that's the one record that I would keep. That shit sounds exactly like it sounded at the tap audit 29 years ago.

Adam (47:01.376)

Bruh

Adam (47:09.545)

That's an album where you can talk about drums as well.

Shoes (47:12.346)

Oh my god. It's perfect. That's my perfect hip hop record.

Adam (47:17.008)

Yeah. I was going to go somewhere then, where was I going to go?

Shoes (47:24.846)

Thanks for watching!

Adam (47:24.972)

Yeah, the only person I've done, the only celebrity I've cried at the death of was Michael. But it's always music that sets me off because I was just listening to... It was like the 3T tune or something, it wasn't any like legendary Michael. But I don't know, sometimes it just gets you and you just start to think about what was this person's existence.

Shoes (47:32.415)

Michael Jackson.

Shoes (47:43.114)

Right? Right.

Shoes (47:53.194)

Yeah, yeah, what a fucking painful life. Those are the ones that are happy too, just people that were, you know, they had so many demons and they just, you know, we look at these people in the space of stardom and all that shit, but it's like, we're all fucking people. We all go to sleep every night and wake up every day and just the shit that some of these people have gone through is, I mean, like I said, even Kanye, you know, people want to shit on Kanye. Kanye's mother died and he went crazy.

Adam (48:10.06)

I think, yeah.

Adam (48:21.97)

Yeah.

Shoes (48:22.03)

His mother was his best friend and she died and he went crazy. He has mental health issues. Where's your fucking empathy? He says wild shit because he's not in a good space. And some of the wild shit that he says, you know, arguably a little closer to fact than it is fiction. You know what I mean? But we live in this world. We live in this fucking crazy world where it's like, you can't say that, you're done.

Adam (48:33.344)

Hmm

Adam (48:43.722)

Yeah.

Shoes (48:50.102)

but you give all this other crazy shit that he said a pass, but this is what you have a problem with. You know what I mean?

Adam (48:56.532)

Hmm Yeah, it's a funny one. I think as well on that point about people with demons I think what you seem to have had more in the last say Ten years is it's more of the young kids more the sort of 20 year old up-and-coming rappers that For one reason and another end up dying early

Shoes (49:18.526)

Yeah, yeah, I mean.

Adam (49:22.278)

You get it in the drill scene and stuff like that, don't you? These kids that are just in the streets so heavily and stuff.

Shoes (49:30.727)

Yeah, the world changed when they took cartoons off Saturday morning. You know what I mean? Like.

Adam (49:35.692)

I'm sorry.

Shoes (49:42.626)

being a child, we were children, you know what I mean? Like we were, being a child was an active experience. And it seems like ever since that happened, it's just been a gradual progression to kids not being kids at a younger and younger age. Like all the entertainment got more and more grown. You know what I mean? Like I don't want my kids watching some shit with real people on it. I was like, put a cartoon on, watch cartoons.

Adam (49:50.995)

Yeah.

Adam (50:03.296)

Hmm

Shoes (50:11.158)

Like Fuck Saved by the Bell and all that other, like when they started doing that, I was like, oh, this is not gonna be good. You know what I mean?

Adam (50:18.94)

I'm a fan of Save By The Bell but I've got my issues so maybe they're linked, who knows?

Shoes (50:24.948)

It was just so different than watching a cartoon though. Like cartoon was like kid shit and like Saved by the Bell was like, okay, I'm not a kid anymore or I'm growing up, you know what I mean?

Adam (50:36.412)

It's pushing certain adult behaviours and situations, I think, isn't it? And I think nowadays with it, without trying to sound too old...

Shoes (50:41.303)

Right.

Adam (50:50.26)

With YouTube and the algorithms and the fact that it's all about kind of pushing and keeping that engagement so it's always going to want to edge a little bit more extreme it's really hard to lock down and your kids will just, if they're just on it, they can just gradually be kind of subjected to slightly more and more sort of adult things I think and

Shoes (51:09.514)

Right.

Adam (51:11.912)

you know, our nine year old will huff and puff like a teenager, or like what I expect a teenager to do. And I would guess that it wasn't quite the same level when I was a nine year old, and that it's just like, it's a lot of learned behavior, things like that, but yeah.

Shoes (51:27.884)

Right.

Shoes (51:32.738)

I mean, we, you know, we had the news and we had newspapers. And we went over our friend's house to play after school. We rode our bike for three miles. You know what I mean? And we just had to be home by night. And now it's just.

Adam (51:37.335)

Mm.

Adam (51:43.389)

Yeah.

Shoes (51:47.85)

Man, like kids are just available to so much and they're ingesting so much information. You know what I mean? Like it's, kids come home and just play video games with their friends remotely. Like there's no real life shit going on. You know what I mean? Like the shit that we would get into just in the afternoon casually out in the world doing kid shit. You know what I mean? That doesn't exist anymore.

Adam (51:55.805)

Mm.

Adam (52:11.132)

Me and my friends took the kids swimming the other week. I know we're kinda going off on one a bit here. But me and my friends took the kids swimming a few months ago and his son was 10 or 11 at the time and his friend came. And then my friend was taking him home and we went for coffee and stuff and he's like, oh do you wanna come round to our house to play? And he's like, no, I'll just go home and play him on Xbox instead. And yeah, that just kinda summed it up.

Shoes (52:37.706)

Or if we wanted to play video games with our friends, we had to go over their house and play video games with them while we're sitting right next to each other. You know what I mean?

Adam (52:43.573)

Yeah.

Yeah, so I guess with something like this, it must be something, maybe I'm being presumptuous, but with your tendency around caring and leading in a community and things like that, I guess these sorts of things must be even more obvious to you because that physical community isn't the thing that it used to be, is it? And I guess if you were around that sort of thing so much...

Shoes (53:10.81)

Oh, yo, I mean, even just post COVID, COVID whipped my ass and COVID whipped a lot of our asses and COVID whipped a lot of communities asses. You know, like I realized during COVID that I've had extreme social anxiety for my entire career. I only really drink when I DJ. I'm not, you know, if there's some homies here that I had seen in a minute, you know, we'll have some, we'll have some drinks.

Adam (53:14.901)

Oh, massively.

Adam (53:32.701)

Right.

Shoes (53:39.862)

But when I DJ, I need to get sauced. I need to get out of my head. I need to get completely loose because I got hired at St. Andrew's Hall when I was 19 years old to DJ in front of 500 people every night. 500 adults, you know what I mean? Like, oh man, shout to my homie, Lito. Lito was the head of security. One of the, this cat DJ Cheese, who was one of the DJs on the main floor, on the hip hop floor. He got in a.

Adam (53:45.084)

Right.

Adam (53:56.096)

How did you get that gig?

Adam (54:08.816)

Is that DMC DJ cheese?

Shoes (54:11.338)

No, this is not a cat. But he got in a fight with the alternative DJ and punched the alternative DJ in his face in the basement. They got in a fight and he got fired. And I had been coming to the club every Friday night for maybe at this point, maybe, you know, four months. And I would just have a little stack of records. I'd be like, can I get like the last 10 minutes, 15 minutes and who the fuck wants to give up the end of the night? And they were letting me.

rock my little shit and I was doing little weirdo shit, you know, like Marvin Gaye acapellas over like Black Moon instrumentals, you know what I mean? Sexual healing over fucking Bucktown. It was, and they were fucking with it. And yeah, Lido pulled me into office, he's like, you want a job? It was April, that was April of 1994, 30 fucking years ago. Like two weeks after I got hired at Street Corner Music.

It was like a perfect storm, bro. Like it just all, you know what I mean? I got hired at the record store that I eventually would end up naming my record label at and hired at the venue that would become my office for the better part of a decade. You know what I mean? Within two weeks of each other.

Adam (55:27.637)

Mmm.

That's pretty impressive. 500 is not a small crowd for an early gig. You know.

Shoes (55:35.626)

Right. No, that was, I mean, I was, I was allowed to have the platform in the city. There was no bigger stage than St. Andrews on a Friday night. You know what I mean?

Adam (55:43.393)

Yeah.

Adam (55:48.14)

Amazing. So, we've kind of touched on bits around your timeline. So how did your time remain in Detroit? Did you just kind of stay steady through that time or was there kind of, yeah?

Shoes (56:02.834)

Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Well, so I DJed at St. Andrew, at St. Andrew's hall, uh, off and on for.

Nine, maybe 10 years. And then I just got fed up because the most money I ever made at St. Andrews on a Friday night was $200. When I first got hired there, I was making $80 on a Friday night. 500 people in the room. And this club is making probably $100,000, at least if not more every Friday night. You know what I mean? There was issues over the year where, you know, I'd get drunk and rip checks up and...

Adam (56:23.625)

Yeah.

Shoes (56:42.294)

tell motherfuckers to kiss my ass, then go back and work there a month later. But it got to the point where I was like, man, fuck this, I'm tired of making money for other people. Like I need to make money for myself. And I started this spot called the Buddha Lounge. It was a little tiki bar on Eight Mile. And we did Shoes House, that's where Shoes House came from. We did Shoes House, which I feel like was on.

Tuesdays and then Saturdays when we do parties sometimes. Mondays I started doing like a soul night. We call it soul night, but S-O-L-E, like house shoes. So soul like the bottom of your shoe. It would just be all like samples and vibes and breaks and shit.

Adam (57:29.321)

Right.

Shoes (57:31.15)

But it was great. And I mean, let people tell you from our scene that the Buddha was the pinnacle. The Buddha was the most pure, unbelievable shit. I mean, the legal cap in that bar was probably 80 people, and we'd have like maybe 250 people in there. And it was every fucking kind of person you could ever fucking think of, black, white, Asian, Jewish, any type, Arab, any type of person. All just.

in the vibe, you know what I mean? It was unbelievable. Oh yeah, we were going crazy. Yeah, and then from there, see the fucking, the owner tried to renegotiate. There was nobody going to that bar before I did nights. And he tried to like tap in on the money I was making. And nope, moved it to Northern Lights, which is where it went until I left.

Um, but yeah, just you talk about community, like everybody knows your name, like cheers, you know what I'm saying? It was like family reunion, two nights a week almost unbelievable. I got homies who met their wives at shoes house, like multiple, you know what I mean? It's crazy. Super blessed, man.

Adam (58:39.785)

Yeah, yeah.

Adam (58:53.224)

Mmm.

Shoes (58:57.294)

but just sticking to the script. And being a leader of the community also means that you have to make hard decisions sometimes. Like, we're not gonna be disrespected. We're not gonna be taken advantage of. You know what I mean? And if you try to watch this, poof.

Adam (59:17.673)

Yeah.

So when did you start the label in LA or Detroit?

Shoes (59:26.894)

LA, yeah. Maybe.

Adam (59:30.297)

Right. So would that have been quite soon after you moved? So you moved and it was like, right, I've got to kind of do things for me or?

Shoes (59:35.331)

No, I've been gone 18 years in July. The label started like 12 years ago.

Adam (59:44.668)

Was it easy setting up in LA?

Shoes (59:47.726)

Oh man, I mean, easy is relative. You know, success is relative. When I was living in Detroit, me and the homie had a three bedroom house, full basement, backyard, and we were splitting $800 a month, $400 a piece. Moved to LA, moved in with the homie, two bedroom apartment facing a brick wall, $16.50 a month.

Adam (59:50.806)

Hmm

Shoes (01:00:17.046)

You know what I mean? Like LA is ridiculous. LA is ridiculous. What you have to spend, you don't get it back here.

Adam (01:00:19.567)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:00:27.999)

Yeah, but I mean, you know.

When you stick to the script, man, like riding it out, it's a fucking sacrifice. It's so much sacrifice to just keep being a real motherfucker, you know what I mean? Like it's exhausting, but I don't know how to be anything aside from what I am. And you asked about like the transition from here to LA, from Detroit to LA, it's like, I'll keep it a buck, man. I've never really lived. I've just survived.

Adam (01:00:39.936)

Did you?

Adam (01:00:49.32)

Yeah, so.

Shoes (01:01:00.886)

You know what I mean? Like I live in a one bedroom apartment. I'm down there 50 years old, keeping it real. Cause I've never been able to figure out how to do anything else. But what's right? And when you do what's right, it's not that advantageous all the time. I mean, spiritually it is. And integrity wise it is. I can go to sleep every night looking at my, I can look at myself in the mirror before I go to sleep. And I can look at myself in the mirror when I wake up every morning.

Adam (01:01:01.195)

Right.

Adam (01:01:12.524)

Mmm.

Shoes (01:01:30.418)

and know that I never shitted on anybody, I never did anybody wrong, I never played ball. You know what I mean? That's more important. But I still need to get my kids some fucking bedrooms. You know what I mean? So that's what I'm navigating these days, you know?

Adam (01:01:43.525)

Yeah, yeah.

Adam (01:01:49.204)

Yeah, because you've just covered, because it was the big thing that you said to me on the phone when we talked the other week was that integrity can mean sacrifice. So I appreciate you kind of going in on that. So when you went to LA, was it easy enough to pick up gigs? Had you got a good sort of, because you've been travelling around, right?

Shoes (01:01:56.938)

Oh.

Absolutely.

Shoes (01:02:05.454)

Oh yeah, yeah. Because I never traveled outside of Detroit when I lived there. I never cared. I did one gig outside of Detroit. I played in Cleveland, like, maybe a month before I moved to LA. One gig ever. Because it's like, we do our, why would I, it's that hard-headed Detroit shit. Like, why would I go DJ somewhere else? You know what I mean?

Adam (01:02:14.809)

Alright.

Adam (01:02:25.272)

Mm.

Adam (01:02:33.494)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Shoes (01:02:33.962)

Like we do this shit here. We got, you know, two, three nights a week.

Adam (01:02:38.596)

You're not the first guest to say that. I had someone else that was local to me that was like, when our city was in its pomp, like it had some of the best club in the country, so why would you bother trying to get into London? And you know, you could get all your needs met in that one city, so why make it harder for yourself?

Shoes (01:02:53.77)

Right. But I moved that.

Then I moved to LA and I went to, I've been to 47 countries.

Adam (01:03:02.476)

Wow.

Shoes (01:03:03.794)

So, you know, that's why I had to leave. You know what I'm saying? That's one of the main things I wouldn't, you know, if I would have been in, there's a lot of honor in just living on one block your whole life and like repping for your fucking block and shit, but it's very short-sighted, it's very small, but there's a lot of honor in it. I understand, and I usually have a lot of respect for the people that live that way, but the world is way too fucking small, man. You know what I mean?

Adam (01:03:16.145)

Yeah.

Adam (01:03:19.704)

Mmm.

Adam (01:03:31.837)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:03:32.734)

Like you might want to rep another block one day, but you're not even allowing yourself to.

Shoes (01:03:40.394)

Yeah, but yeah, Ella, it was off to the races as soon as I got here. The shoes house started up within the first month I was here. I went to do over the day after I moved here and met anybody in the scene that I didn't already know. You know what I mean?

Adam (01:03:55.708)

Yeah, I mean there's loads of good parties in LA, isn't there, as well? Sort of regular ones and stuff.

Shoes (01:04:01.938)

At the time, there definitely was. You know, I don't even go out anymore. I don't even like going out to shit that I want to go to anymore. You know what I mean? It's like, oh, man, it's 9 o'clock.

Adam (01:04:03.904)

Yeah.

Adam (01:04:10.257)

Ha ha.

Adam (01:04:15.608)

Yeah, I'm the same. If I could stay up later I'd be more into going to do things. But yeah, nine-and-a-half past nine I'm done.

Shoes (01:04:22.83)

But also post-COVID, it's really wild because it's such a change in the landscape socially because a lot of people just stop going out and them kids below us, like the kids' kids, like it's just such a young kind of foreign crowd to me.

Adam (01:04:35.361)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:04:47.658)

And like I said, social anxiety, yo. Like, I'm not comfortable. You would think I'd be real comfortable being in a room after doing this shit for 30 years. But I like being in a room with my friends. I'm not good with strangers. I'm from Detroit. We don't, you know what I mean? Like, if I'm DJing and it's my night, it's totally different because you have like ownership in your head.

Adam (01:04:56.894)

Yeah.

Adam (01:05:00.75)

Mm.

Adam (01:05:07.046)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:05:15.606)

Like you own the landscape. So you walk, you know, I walk a room differently when I'm DJing than I do if I'm a guest. You know what I mean? Yeah.

Adam (01:05:24.2)

Yeah. Hmm.

Yeah, it's something where I kind of realised, and I guess maybe it was, it's probably been over the last couple of years it's kind of occurred to me that a lot of my friendships, I don't have a lot of friendships that are based around a musical love for music. It's more around just like drinking and having a laugh, which isn't a bad, it's not a bad thing. But.

Shoes (01:05:55.044)

Right.

Adam (01:05:57.728)

There's other ways to get your needs met than just at the end of a bottle. So it's like trying to navigate that and it's like how do you now kind of try and build a community that's around that, particularly when you're sort of in your 40s and older and stuff. It's like how do you get that community where everyone's in it together for the same sort of goal? Super difficult.

Shoes (01:06:01.505)

Right.

Shoes (01:06:20.81)

Yeah, I don't know if it's gonna happen again. You know, and I don't wanna be the old heads. It's like, it used to be better. But I'll tell you, the older I fucking get, it used to be better. And it's not, it's not, it's not, it's not like something to take offense to. It's just, we're not shitting on the kids when we say that. Motherfucker, it used to be better. Like, I believe my mom, I believe my parents when they said that now.

Adam (01:06:28.744)

Hehehe

Adam (01:06:32.448)

Well, that's been half of our conversation.

Adam (01:06:40.729)

Yeah.

Adam (01:06:44.192)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:06:49.258)

Like it just used to be better. And I bet you their parents were right too. It just used to be better. You know what I mean? Everything is so passive. There's so much fucking entitlement these days, which is the average consumer. Like, motherfucker, you spent $9 a month. You know how much money we fucking spent? Like we had to spend money. We had to get jobs.

Adam (01:06:49.852)

Mmm.

Adam (01:06:54.035)

Yeah.

Hmm.

Adam (01:07:08.561)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:07:16.43)

That's the reason I wanted to get a job so I could buy tapes. You know what I mean? These kids don't have like, you don't have to there's no investment in anything anymore. You don't have to invest money to create music. And you don't have to invest money to purchase music. So what the fuck do you think is going to happen to music? Under those terms, you know what I mean?

Adam (01:07:37.16)

Yeah, well, you know, we were fortunate, I think, in that kind of having to graft to be able to get the money for the music. That journey helped you to appreciate what you had and you fostered more intimacy with it. You listened to it more. And it just wasn't disposable. Yeah, like to your point, yeah, it was special. Um.

Shoes (01:08:00.438)

I mean, even digitally, like when, you know, like Soulseek and Torrance and all that shit, at least it was an effort. Like you had to find the links, you had to have that vibration and that frequency in you and be willing to go further to introduce yourself to things that you wanna be familiar with. And you had to go in these spaces and get viruses on your fucking computer. There was something, you know, Jesus.

Adam (01:08:09.141)

Yeah.

Adam (01:08:20.085)

Yeah, that was...

Adam (01:08:24.128)

Ha ha.

Yeah, there was certainly, like I got a lot from blogs in the mid to late 2000s, particularly when I was trying to get into more interesting kind of jazz funk and stuff like that, more harder to find sort of stuff. I learned so much from the blogs. They were amazing. So in LA then, what was it that made you want to set up the label then?

Shoes (01:08:41.206)

Right. Yup.

Shoes (01:08:54.73)

Uh, so... It's right around the birth of my daughter.

Shoes (01:09:04.174)

and the mother of my children was gonna go back to school for a minute. So I was like daddy daycare. And had to do something to keep me sharp. You know what I mean? So that's when I started the gift series, which was the first 10 releases on the label. This is prior to the label though. I just wanted to do a series of B tapes from the kids that I fuck with and homies that.

Adam (01:09:11.881)

Yeah.

Adam (01:09:19.393)

Hmm.

Adam (01:09:27.403)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:09:33.229)

could use a little boost in visibility and a boost in confidence. You know what I mean?

So I handcrafted these beat tapes and...

called the gift because there will be free downloads on the holidays. Let me close this door.

Adam (01:09:52.286)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:10:09.722)

Yeah, and shopped at a homie Joe Dent, who was a fucking king of a man. He used to run the show at Fat Beats. He literally did like the work of 10 men. And, you know, for me, I worked at the at the brick and mortar in L.A. And of course, throughout all the record stores I've been working at my entire career, had a very good relationship with distribution and all that.

He talked me into it. He was like, shoes, let's just press them up. Like, we'll make it easy for you. I didn't sign up for that shit. They signed me up. He talked me into it. You know what I mean? I'm just one guy. I can't.

Adam (01:10:52.47)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:10:58.186)

I'm the creative. I'm not a grunt. You know what I mean? The creative shit is attractive to me, the grunt shit isn't. He was like, just get us artwork and masters and we'll start getting this shit out. That's how it started.

Shoes (01:11:17.306)

And, you know, 11 years later, 82 records.

Adam (01:11:22.316)

That's a lot of output.

Shoes (01:11:24.274)

Yeah, I missed a shot. I wanted to do 100. The original goal was 100 records in 10 years. Came up a little short.

Adam (01:11:32.98)

Yeah, but what would the cost have been to get another two records a year in?

Shoes (01:11:38.674)

Yeah, and it, you know, only a couple things really didn't happen. And like I said, I don't force it. So it is what it was supposed to be. You know what I mean? The 82 records is a hundred records. That's how I look at it.

Adam (01:11:48.626)

Yeah.

Adam (01:11:53.708)

So, sorry I'm eating. You're very rude of me.

Shoes (01:11:57.034)

No, all good. Haha, you hungry man? You gotta eat.

Adam (01:12:01.644)

So, you know, you've done a lot of projects in different capacities over the years. Are there any particular ones that you're proud of beyond others? Like any kind of standouts?

Shoes (01:12:18.981)

Uhhh...

I mean, my album, probably the only album I'll ever have, the Let It Go album, which is just slightly predates the label. Probably, so I met up with a homie when I was still working at Record Surplus out here, probably, God, what, five years ago, the homie Andre Torres, he used to be the editor at...

Adam (01:12:26.805)

Hmm

Shoes (01:12:48.978)

Wax Poetics magazine and at the time he was head of catalog at Universal, which is kind of a crazy title. Just head of catalog. And we were talking about the label and I brought up Stro and I was like, man, it'd be really dope to do like an official James Brown remix, have Stro do like an official James Brown remix. And he was like, yeah, that'd be crazy.

Adam (01:12:51.07)

Mmm.

Adam (01:12:59.936)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:13:20.271)

Uh, I'll go talk to them and see if I can get stems over ASAP. Right. So three days later, the story breaks about the universal studios fire. Remember when that story came out? The mass of like the most devastating shit ever in life. Oh, there's a lot. If you Google like long reads, like Google, like universal studios, fire, long read.

Adam (01:13:34.444)

I think so, yeah.

Shoes (01:13:47.522)

They had lied to everybody forever about this shit. Entire catalogs of music were just ash. Ash, like the entire impulse catalog.

every physical master, Ashes, just as one example, and they had been lions.

all these artists and rights holders for years. So that immediately put the brakes on the James Brown shit. And maybe about a year later, we ran into each other. He might've called me, I think he called me. And he was like, shoes, Friday's my last day at Universal. But I got the James Brown shit greenlit.

I was like, where? Dope. Budget wasn't really shit. And record labels are fucking idiots. Like you wouldn't understand how like, it almost, sometimes it got to seem like self-sabotage, like at every step along the journey. But, you know, I brought Stro into that situation, so I fucking went hard.

Adam (01:14:37.506)

Nice.

Shoes (01:15:04.53)

on it. He didn't have to lift the finger I made sure because the budget already wasn't shit. So I'm not going to make you're not going to be dealing with any funny shit. I'm going to deal with all of it. And he just got to talk to idiots like they're fucking idiots. You know what I mean? Like they act they accidentally leaked like the single a month early. And they sent me an email and basically said we're just going to act like we didn't. And we're going to announce the record in a month.

And I immediately responded like, no, you're going to announce the album tomorrow. Because he's just, he's just, he's just going to field all these strobe. What's up people, all the homies started hitting them up. Like, no, do the fucking announcement tomorrow. And if you want to do any PR for it, I hope you have a budget for that.

Adam (01:15:41.321)

Mmm.

Shoes (01:15:59.594)

because you have PR campaigns for every album you ever put out. So if you want to do any interviews with Strow, you have to pay them for him. It's a remix album. He's not making a penny off of it in perpetuity. All you get is the fee. You know what I mean? There's no publishing on remixes.

Adam (01:16:06.366)

Yeah.

Adam (01:16:10.91)

Mmm... yeah.

Adam (01:16:16.436)

How excited was he though to get that?

Shoes (01:16:19.13)

Oh, he was super excited. And the end of the story is when the record finally came, and I opened it up and I saw Executive produced by House Shoes for Street Corner Music on an official estate sanctioned fucking James Brown record. Like that was just like with the homie saying, you put out JD's first record. That wasn't the fucking intent.

Adam (01:16:36.822)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:16:43.682)

But when you hold it in your fucking hands, like I started crying when I got that record. I was like, this is fucking crazy. Like, got my name on a James Brown record. Just from wanting to do something dope. You know what I mean? Yeah.

Adam (01:16:52.926)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:17:00.098)

Grateful, man. Peaks and valleys. You gotta be grateful for the peaks. You gotta be grateful for the valleys too. Because without the valleys, there's no peaks. You know what I mean?

Adam (01:17:01.737)

Yeah.

Adam (01:17:08.413)

But that's, again, that really kind of goes back to your point about that melting pot in Detroit, you know, the people that are just doing things for the love, you know, because there's like this Black Milk, like I said there's Danny, there's Eminem, there's Royce, there's Proof, there's Diller, there's Slum Village, there's just so many people that came out of it.

Adam (01:17:33.064)

Yeah, it's a beautiful thing. I appreciate you sharing it all with us, to be honest. It's been really nice to hear about it. So what's, how are things for you now then? Is it generally the sort of day-to-day, is it made up of the just kind of going out and DJing and twitching? Is it called twitching? Yeah.

Shoes (01:17:37.719)

So.

Shoes (01:17:52.822)

Yeah, I mean, more so Twitch. More so Twitch. I mean, if I can make in my living room what I could make in a club, why go to the club? You know what I mean?

Adam (01:18:02.772)

Yeah.

So did you start that in lockdown then?

Shoes (01:18:07.622)

Yes, May of 2020. Yeah, it was just self care. It was like, I got to play some fucking records. I'm gonna go nuts. And I'm just gonna let you guys watch. It wasn't about anything, you know. And I would do eight hours twice a week. Mondays and Wednesdays. I do eight hours. Yeah. And the longest, the longest stream I did, I think was 15 hours.

Adam (01:18:13.621)

Yeah.

Adam (01:18:21.493)

Yeah.

Adam (01:18:28.032)

Really?

Adam (01:18:31.936)

Did you all?

Adam (01:18:36.876)

That's a lot of stamina.

Shoes (01:18:38.954)

I mean, I played eight-hour sets in real life. The funny thing with me is people are like...

How can you play eight hours? And I'm like, how can't you? I got fucking 200,000 fucking songs on my computer and 10,000 records in the room. And 90 minutes in, I'm just getting comfortable. Regardless of the fact 30 years in, like, you know what I mean? I still need my warmup. I need to drink my whiskeys. Need to find my lane. But it's great. I'm super grateful for it. I definitely got caught up.

Adam (01:18:49.461)

Yeah.

Adam (01:19:02.249)

Yeah, Rich.

Shoes (01:19:15.378)

obey your thirst. I got caught up for a minute because you know you see you start watching other people see what they're doing and you see what they're making and I cracked five figures a couple months on Twitch. You know what I mean? Five figures. But for like I was doing it every fucking day. You know what I mean? I was doing like 150 hours a month. And that you know.

Adam (01:19:31.424)

So is that...

Adam (01:19:36.918)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:19:42.166)

10 grand is cool, but not for 150 hours. I used to get on a plane that someone else paid for, stay in a really nice hotel room, eat some really good food, and play records for two hours and make anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000.

Adam (01:19:47.51)

Yeah.

Adam (01:20:02.729)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:20:04.426)

But that shit is dried up too. Like post-COVID, it ain't the playground that it used to be because a lot of spaces are lucky that even still exists. So they're trying to make up for, you know, you can't really roll the dice like you used to. I don't think. I mean, I wouldn't. I'm not in the space to roll dice. And I'm just tired of trying to cultivate it. I'm not about to try to cultivate a diet. I'm 50 years old. You know what I mean? Where's the fucking money? What?

Adam (01:20:17.078)

Hmm.

Adam (01:20:23.401)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Adam (01:20:30.845)

Yeah, did-

Shoes (01:20:33.982)

How much you got? Nah, bro, I'll be at the crib. Let me know though. You know what I mean? Like, give me a fee. Give me a fucking fee and I'll be there. But other than that, I'm in the house.

Adam (01:20:44.745)

Yeah, yeah.

So did you start with the intention of making money or was it just purely just to do you?

Shoes (01:20:53.546)

No, not at all. It was just a sanity maintenance. Sanity maintenance. And two years in, it started paying the rent. It started paying the rent, like, one for one. And then three years in, it was paying two, three months a month.

Adam (01:20:58.364)

Yeah, yeah.

Adam (01:21:15.168)

So yeah, so was it really, really slow and then all of a sudden it kind of kicked in or was it gradual?

Shoes (01:21:22.438)

No, I mean the first...

First day I streamed I had like, you know, 36 people.

Which, you know, I mean, I've seen people that stream every week and they have six people, but I got like 14,000 followers. But like, you know, once again, when you math ruins everything.

Adam (01:21:38.399)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:21:47.614)

Math, fucking I've never been a fan of math. But math, when you crunch the numbers, all the joy leaves the room. All the joy leaves the room. Just like I said, like, you know, 10 grand, but yeah. But that's like an hourly wage when you break it down with the hours. You know what I mean? And, you know, I have maybe 110 people in my room on average while I'm streaming. We catch raids, it can go up to like 300 people, but I have...

Adam (01:21:57.118)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:22:15.842)

14,000 followers. Why is there only 100 fucking people in the room? When everyone gets a notification, but like, see what I'm saying? The more deeper in the math we get, the life just gets fucking sucked out of it.

Adam (01:22:23.189)

Yeah.

Adam (01:22:31.869)

Yeah, yeah, totally.

Shoes (01:22:33.858)

So I just fell back to my normal routine. I do Mondays and Wednesdays, pop-ups here and there. I'll probably pop up today when I feel like it, playing some shit, you know what I mean?

Adam (01:22:42.996)

So is revenue based on, is everyone subscribing to Switch and you're getting a slice based on your viewing figures and engagement or is it that people donate to you? I've not really used it.

Shoes (01:22:45.998)

Thanks for watching!

Shoes (01:22:52.674)

Uh, it's, it's a combination. Uh, it's subscriber based and I fall into this space called, uh, prime, prime partner deluxe and shit. So it's a 70 30 split. Um, then they can like, they can tip you also. They have bits.

Adam (01:23:09.599)

Right.

Adam (01:23:15.795)

Mmm.

Shoes (01:23:16.618)

as you know, but the money comes in gift subscriptions. That's how, you know what I mean? And I've had a couple of people drop like a hundred packs, like a hundred gift subs at once. It's like, fuck bro. Once again, it's like 400 bucks. But seeing that shit and that shit charges the room up, you know what I mean? And you like, this motherfucker just spent $600 on my fucking channel. That's really dope.

Adam (01:23:21.514)

Yeah.

Adam (01:23:33.716)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:23:45.654)

But yeah, it's become, not become, from the beginning it was very escapist. It's just kind of fight or flight. Like let me fucking run away from everything and just try to find my zone, try to find my fucking happy place, you know what I mean? And gradually introduce that to like-minded people, you know what I mean? But it's a really dope space. There's no dumb shit, there's no trolls. I've only blocked maybe

Adam (01:24:01.708)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:24:14.926)

10 people in four years. Very kind community, you know, I try to talk about like how important kindness is and you just try to be a better person every day and do something nice for a stranger with no fucking intention of getting anything from it. You know what I mean? World is fucking broken, man. And there's two kinds of people. You either care more than yourself about everybody or you care more than everybody.

Adam (01:24:17.418)

Right.

Adam (01:24:26.67)

Hmm

Adam (01:24:38.46)

And...

Shoes (01:24:44.766)

You care more about everybody than yourself. You know what I mean?

Adam (01:24:48.785)

Yeah.

Adam (01:24:55.94)

forgetting what I'm about to say.

Shoes (01:24:57.95)

Hahaha.

Adam (01:25:02.28)

Yeah, and you do the... are you still doing the beat battles then? The SCM flip battles?

Shoes (01:25:09.414)

No, I mean, like that, bro, I'm about to, all that shit's about to go into storage. And it's a bummer, because we didn't get to finish a few things, but like I said, my heart is just not in it. So maybe that shit will reawaken one day.

Adam (01:25:13.993)

Yeah.

Adam (01:25:26.004)

Mmm.

Shoes (01:25:27.394)

But for now, I'm just, you know, it doesn't make me feel good. Like, you know what I mean? I did that only reason I did it was to feel to feel good and do good things. And not only does it not make me feel good when I think about it, it just makes me feel bad now. You know what I mean?

Adam (01:25:33.821)

us.

Adam (01:25:45.032)

Yeah, and I think it's really important to have that...

Adam (01:25:57.364)

that recognition of it and not be pulled by being duty bound with something like that because you've got this community but you've got to look after you as well. If running that's just going to run you down.

Shoes (01:25:58.858)

Yeah, I'm not gonna fuck it up.

Shoes (01:26:04.556)

Right.

Shoes (01:26:09.75)

Right. It's very similar to, it's very similar, man. It's very, very similar to Fat Beats, right? So when I was working at Fat Beats, it's a fucking ghost town on Melrose. Like, you know, nobody ever went to Fat Beats. Like they would do like $80 days. Like being over for 12 hours and do like, you know, 150 bucks.

Weekdays on average was like $300 or less. Weekends a little bit more. And then you announce that the fucking store's closing and people come and buy every fucking record off the wall and the bin. And like, you know, I, I produced that last day at Fat Beats. Like I got the whole lineup together because the homie that was managing quit when the shit hit the fan.

Adam (01:26:51.414)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:27:05.618)

And I was like, this is fucking fat beats in LA. Like, it's history. It has to, it's not going to just go out quietly. We're going to get every motherfucker that gets it. It was a crazy lineup. But I got up on the mic and I was like, good job, guys. You bought every record. I've been telling you motherfuckers to just come here once a month. Come here once every couple of weeks and spend like 50 bucks for the last two years.

Adam (01:27:26.005)

Hahaha

Adam (01:27:29.596)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:27:33.086)

And now you crying and sad and it's all your fucking fault. You know what I mean? I ain't broke even on the last three records I put out. I'm sitting on thousands of fucking records. And it's all heat. If you fuck with me, it's heat. Like you know the tip, you know the frequency, you know the vibration. And yeah, I'm tired. I'm putting that shit in the fucking closet. And people are gonna be like, oh no, no. And it's like, hey man, too late.

Adam (01:27:55.572)

Yeah, well...

Shoes (01:28:00.958)

You can't even order these motherfuckers. I'm not running back and forth to a fucking storage unit to send you some records that have been out for fucking five years and you knew about them. You know what I mean?

Adam (01:28:10.196)

Yeah, well I mean it sounds like you've got things in perspective and you're making the right moves for you. So I think I'll think of a better outro but yeah I've... I think it's been...

Shoes (01:28:27.618)

Yeah, just let's not end it so dark. It's real though, man, you know, a lot of a lot, you know, it's party culture, people always want to make, you know, some nights you feel like shit and you have to fucking play a party like

Adam (01:28:47.102)

Mm.

Shoes (01:28:49.174)

That's a strange pivot that happened. I never got into this shit to do a dance party. And in the hierarchy of DJs, it's like you ain't winning without a dance party. I used to get mad at St. Andrews fucking 25 years ago when all of a sudden the homies wanna play like Prince and Michael Jackson for the last hour. I'm like, bro, this is the hip hop spot. This is some hip hop shit. What the fuck are you doing?

Adam (01:28:55.858)

Yeah.

Adam (01:29:10.742)

Yeah.

Adam (01:29:14.433)

Hmm.

Shoes (01:29:17.698)

They play Prince and Michael Jackson at every fucking club at one o'clock in the morning. But they wanna get their ego stroked. They wanna feel like they run the party. You know what I mean? And I'm fucking bashing heads in with Digable Planet B-sides at fucking one o'clock in the morning prime time, 84 beats per minute. And people are going crazy. You know what I mean?

Adam (01:29:18.031)

Yeah.

Adam (01:29:22.838)

Yeah.

Adam (01:29:29.068)

Hmm.

Adam (01:29:34.681)

Ha ha.

Adam (01:29:41.488)

If you can make that work, they're more power to you.

Shoes (01:29:44.322)

I had people hungry for the new shit and I didn't play I played great fucking records and It's crazy to get a reaction from a room when they've never heard the record before Rooms will go up all the time off something that's very familiar But to be able to send a room up with something they never heard before is completely different

Adam (01:29:57.033)

Yeah.

Adam (01:30:06.608)

Yeah, I mean, it's rare I DJ a dance floor now, but before, part of me kind of winding up to DJing in the first place was, any time I'm going anywhere with a dance floor, I'm just playing the same songs. Because I probably, I think, had enough of trying to play new things in the wrong spaces. Or maybe I was just playing the wrong new things. Like I never quite nailed...

nail that because I think for some people, I don't know if you've found it but if you get certain people that have got a name of a level, like just people will just dance to what that person's playing whether it's good or not and that can be really disheartening as a DJ.

Shoes (01:30:52.162)

Right. Oh, absolutely. But it's very, you know, there's never more value in anything than transparency. Seeing that and knowing that, okay, we got a room to see.

Adam (01:31:00.957)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:31:08.31)

When I left St. Andrews and I started doing Shoes House, it was me for five hours every week. Like it became, you know, I don't like doing one, you can't do shit in an hour. Like I DJed from nine to two and it was a journey. You know, we start with fucking samples and breaks and jazz and soul and then we play beats. Then we go into like some Detroit shit and hip hop, current hip hop records.

Adam (01:31:15.445)

Yeah.

Adam (01:31:23.619)

Mm.

Shoes (01:31:37.326)

classic hip hop, old school funk and R&B, TV theme songs, slow jams, drive safe.

Adam (01:31:47.26)

Nice. What would the killer...

Shoes (01:31:48.726)

I mean, having a fucking room, like I have people singing DuckTales, bro. You know what I mean? Like at fucking 159, like wasted, doing the drops and everyone's like, woo hoo.

Adam (01:31:54.511)

Ha ha!

Adam (01:32:03.084)

That's amazing. Because it's not too much different to Hall of Notes, you make my dreams come true. If you listen to the two, they've got, yeah, they've got a very similar vibe. But yeah, did you find that you could do that a lot more from having been there a certain amount of time or did you always just from the start of playing there go, well, you mentioned that earlier, to be fair, didn't you, about some of the blends that you were doing and stuff that were a bit out there?

Shoes (01:32:04.407)

Ha ha.

Shoes (01:32:09.673)

Right, right.

Right.

Shoes (01:32:31.254)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, it was playground, man. It was playground, like build the vibe and just it's a very gradual progression and then all of a sudden, you know, 12.30 and we're fucking going nuts. And then at the same time, be able to bring it down at the very end. You know what I mean? Cause...

Adam (01:32:43.409)

Yeah, amazing.

Adam (01:32:49.419)

Mmm.

Shoes (01:32:53.194)

You gotta bring the energy down, like especially in Detroit, there'd be a lot of fights at the end of the night, because everyone would be so, you know, not in my spaces. I only had one incident ever, and that was when the homie, Hex, shot the Hex murder. He put somebody's face through a window in the front of the club or something, but it was love in the rooms when I was doing it. You know what I mean? It was community. It was fucking friendship. It was fellowship. It was fucking amazing, man.

Adam (01:32:53.398)

Well...

Adam (01:32:58.554)

Right.

Adam (01:33:14.439)

Yeah.

Shoes (01:33:20.334)

But still, we got to bring it down at the end. Like, you know what I mean? I try to get my fuckers pregnant at the end of the night playing the slow jams. Ha ha ha.

Adam (01:33:20.692)

Yeah.

Adam (01:33:24.053)

Hehehe

Adam (01:33:30.548)

Right, on that point then, if we just start to wrap it up, because I think it's been a really fun conversation that, and really nice to hear more about the city, about the notable people, about all the communities that you've been part of as well. So just before we do come to a close, do you want to shout out your Twitch stream, Twitch channels, socials, all that sort of thing?

Shoes (01:33:38.446)

What up?

Shoes (01:33:52.678)

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Twitch.com slash shoes house notifications on. I'm not too crazy with ads, but you should still pay for it. It's like 18 cents a day. How shoes on Instagram, I deleted Twitter. Finally, I haven't had a face I've haven't had a Facebook for probably about 14 years.

Yeah, you don't need to exist in all these spaces, especially, you know, knowing how poisonous they can be. We don't need them, they need us.

Adam (01:34:29.184)

year.

Shoes (01:34:30.878)

So yeah, you ain't got to play ball. That's the best thing I could ever tell you in any way, shape or form or fashion in life. You know, you can do exactly what you want to do. You don't have to live by anybody else's expectations or rules or any.

Adam (01:34:47.596)

Amazing. Cool. All right then, man, well, thanks very much for that. It's been an absolute pleasure to speak to you.

Shoes (01:34:54.675)

No doubt Adam, I appreciate you brother.

Adam (01:34:56.876)

Thanks a lot, take care.