Multi-faceted MC/Artist, Khadafi Dub dropped his latest release, ‘The Glitch’ Mixtape yesterday on datpiff.com, which has skyrocketed to steal the #1 Spot on datpiff.com with over 5 thousand downloads. With numerous successful projects as MC Konfidential; including tracks and videos featured on 106 & Park, MTV Jams and VH1, Khadafi Dub’s infectiously inspiring lyrics and style have quickly converted him as one of the forefront pioneers of merging hip-hop and electronic music. As one of the highest demanded MCs in the EDM world, performing internationally with the likes of Nero, Flux Pavilion, Zeds Dead, Doctor P, Feed Me, and Mt. Eden to name a few, including being named the Best Dubstep MC/Host of 2012 at the Dubstep Music Awards (North America). he blends his passions for both hip-hop and EDM with ‘The Glitch’ mixtape project.
KK: Wow who am I. I’m Khalief Khadafi; a rebellious, lady-loving, vegan who does EDM, has wild hair and believes in manifesting thoughts and visions through will-power and positive thinking. I come from a place called Khadafi Island on Mars. I don’t know if you can print that though. They might get mad I’m revealing my identity.
TD: Who are were your first musical influences when you were younger and what kind of music were you into growing up?
KK: I have footage of me singing Prince when I was like 3 years old. The whole Purple Rain album, haha. As I got older and got into hip hop, I was a huge fan of Nas, Canibus, Wu Tang, Mobb Deep, The Lox and many more. Reggae had a big influence on me as well. My Step Dad was Jamaican and we would have family from Jamaica come over all the time so the Reggae sound had a strong influence on me as well.
TD: What career would you pursue if nothing musical were an option?
KK: Entrepenuer. I would be running some sort of business. Never had a real job before. But I did own two Auto Tag stores when I was 20 or 21. And I ran the family real estate business for a while.
TD: So, you’ve got some roots in the hip-hop world as an MC when you were Konfidential and saw a good amount of success in those days, especially in Philly and New York. Why did you branch away from the hip-hop scene?
KK: Didn’t like the scene. Got burnt by a few people who disappeared on us in the middle of business deals. The industry wasn’t a good fit for me at that time in my life. Also I wasn’t that comfortable with the popularity I had in my hometown. My face was on the back of the SEPTA buses (that’s public transportation here in Philly) so I would always get recognized even if I was just chillin’. Never a moment to myself, however I have matured and become more comfortable with myself and I can handle it all now. I think it was just what the universe had in store. If I would have continued on that path, I would not be where I’m at today, and I love where I’m at today.
TD: When or why did you decide to make the jump onto the electronic scene?
KK: Well I was told about Dubstep from one of my elders, Timi Tanzania and I just fell in love with the possibilities and the music. It was different, it was a challenge and that makes for a great combination in my world. I came in this industry not knowing a soul, not one person. It was good as well because I have a hard time really opening up with my inner thoughts and goals sometimes. The fact that no one knew about it meant I had no help and no outside influences. I was able to actually do what I wanted and it worked out.
TD: Although your musical style is definitely not limited to dubstep sounds, since you have dub in your name, do you agree with what many EDM fans have been saying lately like ‘dubstep is dead’ or ‘no one wants to hear hyped-up, aggressive dubstep wobbles anymore’, that the genre is ‘stale’?
KK: Haha Dub in my name is actually funny and kind of a mistake how it came about. I went by Khalief Khadafi which is my birth name. And a few fans told me they can’t find my stuff online because they don’t know how to spell my name or pronounce it. At that time, I might have only had my first mixtape out for 2 months, and my friend page on facebook was at like 5K and people kept telling me I needed a fan page. At this point, I still was on my own, so I decided to make a fan page and didn’t want to do it as Khalief Khadafi because I felt no one would know how to spell my name. So I put Khadafi Dub up not realizing at the time I was actually creating a brand at that moment. I wasn’t big on fan pages and didn’t realize the signifigance.
As far as Dubstep being stale or dead I don’t agree. Its growing. It’s on a new commercial everyday. Skrillex is one of the hottest most buzzing musicians in the world. I think the dead stuff comes from the purists, the people who have been around long and been on to dubstep since 2006 and before that even. I think people do like hearing a variation of music at shows and that’s happening now. You hear a lot of trap, moombahtrap, moombahton, and electro-house in sets now. So I think the days of 1 hour of all grimey loud dubstep as some may call it, is kind of dying, but not the genre or the sound. It’s just being mixed in with the other EDM sounds, in my opinion.
TD: As a host/MC, you’ve been on stage with at some wild events with some big names (like Mt. Eden, Adventure Club, Nero, Flux Pavilion…), which has been your favorite event to date (if you have to choose one or two)?
KK: That’s tuff. The Dubstep Music Awards in UK performing with Flux & Doc P was huge in the sense I felt like I was achieving a goal. The goal was to get in Dubstep and travel the world with this new worldly sound. Also performing as EDC NY and doint it at a headlining slot was huge. I mean I was performing where the NY Giants play football, inside the stadium. That was humbling and motivating for me.
TD: Your mixtape ‘The Glitch’ released yesterday. Can you tell us about your project and what your vision was for it during creation?
KK: I basically was treating it like an audition. Like, ‘Hey, don’t judge me by the Alien song and the Water song on youtube, I can do more than that’. I’m a true artist who is not afraid to explore sounds, styles and ideas; no one knew that. So, I went in looking to showcase my range and my versatility. That’s what I would want from an artist and people are receiving it well. We made it to #1 on the Datpiff charts. For those who don’t know, that’s a mixtape site mainly for hip-hop and the reality of it is, my project is a merger, a blend of EDM and Hip-Hop. It’s something I’m trying, and I’m finding my sound and my style, and I love it.
TD: Some people consider you one of the forefront men in connecting hip-hop and EDM, how do you plan to continue to do this after the release of ‘The Glitch’?
KK: More projects. Music putting out music and with shows. The thing is, with me being an MC and doing DJ sets, I actually can do many different style shows. I can be on a hip-hop lineup and I can do an EDM show. I’m really the Glitch hahaha. But seriously I just plan on working, recording, releasing, touring.
TD: Between your crazy schedule of of hosting, recording, MCing, mixing, etc., what do you like to do on your down time? How do you disconnect from everything?
KK: I don’t disconnect honestly. My down time is spent on brainstorming. Well hold up I’m lying, during the NBA season, I’m watching SportsCenter and games like crazy.
TD: Favorite track right now?
KK: Anything from TNGHT Im feeling them right now.
TD: Where do you see your sound progressing to in the future? Do you have a planned direction/path that you are following right now or just wherever inspiration takes you?
KK: It’s a little bit of both. Like I said I’m not great at sharing my inner ideas and goals until I have worked them out some, manifested some of it. But I have some things in the works. Some new projects in the works.
TD: What can we expect next from Khadafi Dub as the festival season of summer 2012 draws to a close?
KK: Trillectro is going to be a big one for me. It’s the first one ever and its “EDM meets Hip-Hop’ and I’ll be hosting along side the legend Doug E. Fresh. That’s a big deal for me. I may also be doing some guest appearances at a few festivals but it’s not confirmed so I can speak on it yet.
TD: Anything we didn’t mention that you’d like to say now or any shout outs?
KK: Follow me on twitter, I’m bad on Facebook. They charge you to say hi now.