DJ Dossier: Pickster One

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As you'll read below, the 33-year-old mixmaster has a lifelong passion of hip-hop and has been sharing the love with Valley music fans, whether it was at nights like Kill Mill or the long-running Blunt Club night.

Name: Dusty Hickman

AKA: Pickster One.

Club night(s): Every Thursday at the Blunt Club in Tempe.

How did you get started as a DJ: I grew up in Northern California in the Monterey Bay area listening to hip-hop every week. I was that kid that sat in front of the television when I was five and recorded songs off the TV on my boombox because that was the only way that I could get 'em. I was in a breakdancing crew when I was seven, buying bootleg tapes. I've always been into Hip Hop and that culture. One of my friends got a set of turntables and that started the whole thing. The same month a radio station [KHDC] was going out of business and they invited us down there to buy records really cheap.

What's the story behind your DJ name? I tried to do graffiti and my nickname was Pickster. I sucked, but the name stuck.

What's your background with hip-hop? My first tape I ever bought was LL Cool J tape. Then it was Boogie Down Productions. I was into real hip-hop stuff. I had just started falling in love with East Coast underground hip-hop and then some West Coast stuff like Souls of Mischief and Pharcyde. We would go to Santa Cruz, San Jose and buy records. We would go over to my friends house and play them. Then we started doing dances at the high school, house parties. Three years later I'm getting turntables. I used to go to this place called Palookaville in Santa Cruz and watch Souls of Mischief and Pharcyde co-headline the shows before they blew up. Then three years later I'm buying turntables.

What did your parents think of all this? My mom would drop me off at those shows. I couldn't drive. I'd been listening to Hip Hop when that 2 Live Crew tape came out, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, and my dad was like, "Do you have this tape?" And I was like, "Yeah." And then he was like, "I want to listen to it." He sat there in the living-room, it was pretty funny, in his chair and listened to the tape with headphones and when he was done he handed it back to me and said, "I can't believe you own this shit." But he didn't take it from me and my parents were always supportive of what I wanted to do.

When did you come to Arizona? I moved to AZ in '96 and I had already been DJing on my friend's stuff. I didn't pick up turntables 'til I lived here. I moved out here with a group of friends, a couple of DJs and some rappers and we would go down on Mill Avenue. That's how I met a lot of people like Tricky T and all those kids. I would go down there and try to be this rapper guy.

What cities have you toured over the past few years? In the US, two years ago I did a tour with 2 Mex. We booked our own tour, all ourselves. We did 52 cities in the US in about 60 something days. All the major cities and everywhere in between. I've also hit a bunch of spots in France, plus four or five cities in Spain, Germany, Prague Czech Republic, and Greece.

What's been you're most memorable experience as a DJ? There's been some crazy stuff. When I toured with Drunken Immortals all over the US. Anything from driving down town San Diego in our trailer and the hitch comes off in this tunnel and cars are zipping by and we have to hop out and put our trailer on.

How much work do you put into mixes? There is a bunch of stages, the process of picking out the songs and recording it down is just a small chunk of it. It blows my mind all the DJs that don't put out mixes. Nowadays it is a lot easier with the whole computer thing. I have put out so many mix CDs over the years, like 20 or 30. I do graphics, computer graphics too, so I can present the whole CD, put its together, make the copies, do the graphics. It takes a lot of time.

What's the inspiration behind Move Something? We've done so many club nights and random DJ nights and DJing around town so many spots, the thing that happens with most nights is people will come out once a month or every couple of weeks, but after awhile it gets stale. People in this day and age with the media and TV, everyone is so ADD. So if you want to play it like that, then we will move our night every time we do it and try something different and keep the same face on it but like move it.

Does the fact that Move Something will change locations each time allows you more freedom? It allows us to do whatever we want. The freedom of it not being on a certain night, or if we want to do stuff like throw it in a really small club and pack it out so if you don't get here in time, you're not going to get in.

What's the music going to be like? More like Electro and dancey. Blunt Club is like a hip-hop thing and breakdancers, and underground stuff. It's not really dance. So Move Something is not gonna be like that at all.

Last album purchased: An old George Benson record, White Rabbit, from Eastside Records.

Track currently stuck in your head: The song that I have been really geeking out on lately is by this guy out of Frisco named Lazer Sword. He did this remix and it's called "Koopa [Boss Mode]." He took sounds from the whole castle level from Super Mario Bros. and just remixed it into this crazy, synthy, glitchy beat and I can't get it out of my head.

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