DJ Dossier

Al Page on Sonic Youth, Marvin Gaye, The Hidden House, and More

There are a slew of reasons we dig Al Page. Not only does the cat have one of the most fly Afros in all of P-Town, he's also one of the most laid-back and approachable DJs in this 'berg.

Every weekend, Page busts much ass on both the record decks and behind the scenes at the Hidden House, putting on back-to-back hip-hop affairs on Friday and Saturday nights, each of which are typically filled with a mix of hipsters, urbanites, cyphers, and b-boys

Then there's the fact he generally tells it like it is, which always results in some rather choice quotes. Just check out his answers given during our interview from earlier this week, where Page puts the PHX's dancefloor scenesters on blast and gives his opinions on the Valley's hip-hop community.

Name: Al Page

Nickname: Oopie (ooo-pee). Not a DJ nickname, it's a family thang and old skool homies call me that still.

Current schedule: The Hidden House, Friday and Saturday nights.

Preferred genres: Hip-hop, funk, soul, reggae, lately dubstep, and old trip-hop from the '90s.

How did you become a DJ? My boy Roach was DJ'n a gig, I was up there all drunk and heard the manager stressin' 'cause roach had to go out of town and he had no one to cover and I chimed in, "Hey, I can do it." So the next week all buzzed up again O was there and the manager called me out on the spot and I won him over and ended up being the Friday night DJ for two years.

What's been your best experience as a DJ? One time I got the whole crowd singing along. I cut the music and they kept singing and that's how the night ended.

And your worst? Scottsdale club owners/managers thinkin' they know what music to play.

What's your opinion of the Phoenix hip-hop scene? Well, it's real dope as far as shows. Big ups to Blunt Club and UM. And as far as DJs phoenix has the best in the world: Roach, Pickster, Tricky T, Soulman, Akshen, Robyn [a.k.a. KGB], I got a list a mile long of fools that do work. Producers: Lots of dope ones. DN3 and Foundation kill it and Slop too. As far as MCs: Sulai, Jawa, Brad B., Random. We need a dope hip-hop group but that's coming.

What would you change about the scene? Nothing. It's competitive and everyone gets along. It's awesome, I can call any DJ or promoter in the city with no beef

What's changed in the five years you've been DJing at the Hidden House? We went from using two CD players and my dad's vinyl to using Serato, it was raggedy mixing (all y'all can insert your comment here) and stopping a wack record 30 seconds into it and grabbin the mic and talkin shit about how wack the song is and droppin a banger and the whole place gettin down. We haven't changed what we do, but we don't get all the trendy scenester fucks up in there no more. That's dope because them fools only think they are cool. We get real people that like dope beats, period. Best compliment I get is people talking about what a good vibe the room has and everyone is chill and easy to party with.

How do you get a crowd going? Marvin Gaye.

Are you associated with any DJ crews? Not really, but all the PHX DJs are cool with each other. It's like on big DJ fam.

Where do you get your music? I raid other DJ's hard drives. Thanks M2, DN3, and Pickster.

Where do you shop locally for music? Stinkweeds

Last album purchased: Sinéad O'Connor's "I Am Stretched On Your Grave" 12-inch/ Hank Shocklee did the remix. Got it on eBay.

Last song you downloaded: Dubstep version of Ginuwine's "Pony." Google it, it's sick

Song currently stuck in your head: "100%" by Sonic Youth. Love that track. [Use] YouTube and check out the video. I think Spike Jonze did it and Jason Lee skates in it. So dope. I wish Sonic Youth and Prince Paul would make an album.

What other projects are you working on? I used to sing in a band. Been thinking about putting together a house band for the Hidden House.

Where can you be found when not DJing? Snowboarding, biking, or golfing

What do you usually drink when DJing? O'Doul's or iced tea. Gave up drinking. DUI's suck and plane tickets are funner to purchase than booze.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.