Spin Doctor (The Doctor's Orders) interview

London's trully finest hiphop/funk/etc DJ Spin Doctor will fondle you with his music this Friday @ K44. Be there, or else.
As usual in such cases, we asked, he answered.

What's more enjoyable: searching for records or sneakers?
Well that is a tough one! I probably dig harder for records than I do kicks. I have some secret spots I go to way out of the city to look for old tunes but no real secret sneaker spots I hit. The excitement of coming across something either brand new and exciting or that you have been looking for for ages is the same no matter whether it is sneaks or records. One thing I will say is that it is important you have comfortable kicks on when you go diggin or you are not gonna last long.

How big are your music and your sneakers collection?
Some would say too big but they are not slowing down!

Do you have favorite brands and why? Are there any brands you don't buy at all?
I am essentially a Nike head although I do have a bunch of other brands in the collection too. In terms of brands I would never buy I guess British Knights, Travel Fox shit like that. There are also particular models that I would not be seen dead in like Reebok Classics

To me, Air Jordan 5 is the best sneaker ever. Do you have a favorite?
The Air Force 1. An all time classic and the shoe I have more of than any other by a mile!

Why are sneakers so addictive to hiphop music lovers, artists etc.?
That is something I have been asked a lot and to be honest I have no definate answers. Obviously there are certain styles that became popular with B-Boys because they were good to dance in but why it has become such an integral part of the culture as a whole I could not say except that it is probably more important in Hip-Hop than in any other sphere of entertainment that you look fresh and you are not gonna do that in a pair of brogues!

Almost everybody has guested in your shows, from Kool Herc to ?uestlove. Is there anybody that you really want to book and haven't come around to yet?
There are still a couple of spaces but more on the live tip that DJ wise. Some I have worked with already although not necessarily at one of my own shows and others are in the piepline. I have a show with Ali Shaheed Muhammad from Tribe coming up and I would love to work with Q-Tip. Other than that DJ Scratch & Jay Electronica are the ones that spring to mind.

I've had my share with rappers and their insane requests, even specific window drapes! What are the craziest things that have happened to you in this manner?
To be honest everyone I have dealt with has been pretty one a level. I did have someone come over from NYC who carried on like a fool but they were genuinely the most stupid person I ever met so am not sure they even realised they were doing it. I did once get sent Chaka Khan's rider though by a friend and that was incredible! It was like 15 pages long and covered everything from where she would sit on the plane to what flowers needed to be in which room and just insane things that you would not believe!

As everybody who grew up listening to hiphop in the golden era of the 80s and 90s, how do you feel about the state of hiphop and rap music today?
I think the culture of Hip-Hop as a whole is pretty healthy. I try not to think of Hip-Hop as just the musical side of it but of all the elements! Admittedly I do find it harder than ever to find new Hip-Hop that is really rocking my boat but is that because the music is not as good or because I do not have an ear for half the stuff coming out now? There is still a load of dope indie Hip-Hop though and Detroit with the likes of Black Milk and Guilty Simpson is straight killing it!

Aloe Blacc, Black Milk and labels like Stones Throw being so active and turning heads. In the same time, a lot of people are digging for vintage music. Why do you feel that this is happening?
Good music never goes out of date and really great music remains timeless so why shouldn't people still dig for old tunes? I love to try and mix the old with the new in my sets and show people how Hip-Hop has borrowed from all over the place! In terms of new music turning heads I think good music always will. Like I mentioned before Black Milk is killing it right now with an updated take on a classic Hip-Hop sound while the Aloe Blacc album is probably my favourite of last year.

After all the shows and the parties, how have you seen the hiphop/groove scene change in London in these years? What is the current state, according to your experience?
That is kinda hard to say because sometimes when you are so involved in something it is hard to keep a perspective. In London right now there are a few dope parties and a great deal of talent around too but there is also a really wack scene that is a hipster 90's revival thing where ever fucking flyer looks the same, uses a bunch of neon colours & the Yo MTV raps logo despite none of the people putting those events on ever watching it. I went to a couple of em to check out the competition and it was depressing. If Hip-Hop culture had got abused like that by wack DJs etc in the past then they would have been shut down but now they seem to get away with it? In truth if you want real Hip-Hop and party vibes in London you have to check me and The Doctor's Orders!

You know a lot of guys in the UK and the USA. Why do you think that only very few UK rappers have become popular, when all these USA artists are so huge?
haha that age old question! I think you have to look at it as a local scene. In the US there are hundreds of MCs etc that are popular and rock shows in their own state but do not ever crossover to a broader US market and the same is true with the UK scene. That said you have to give props to people like Dizzee Rascal that is killing it around the world right now. Will UK Hip-Hop ever be as big as US? No. But it is still doing it's thing and for that we have to be proud!

Have you been in Greece before? What are we to expect from your show in Athens next week?
Yeah I came on a holiday with an ex years ago to one of the Greek islands. It was a great trip but this time I am looking to hit the Ouzo and check the Acropolis and all that so find me a tour guide!

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