Mr. Hyder on The Blunt Club, Z-Trip, Phoenix's Old School DJ Scene, and One Crazy Car Crash
The recent 10th anniversary party for The Blunt Club saw plenty of old favorites making a return to the long-running hip-hop night. That includes former host Emerg McVay (who's been busy shooting music videos these days) and onetime resident John Hyder.
That's Mister Hyder to you, bub.
While the 30something hip-hop selecta left both the Blunt and Arizona behind in 2007 and moved to L.A. he has more than a few memories of his time working the local club circuit alongside the likes of Z-Trip (natch) since way back in the early 1990s. Basically, Hyder's DJ days stretch back so far, you could easily say he's from the school that burned down before they built the old school.
We spoke with Hyder in honor of his return to Phoenix, albeit just for the Blunt Club festivities, for this week's edition of DJ Dossier.
Name: John Hyder
Mr. Hyder hunts for records
AKA: Mr. Hyder
Preferred genres: I play what I like to call "soul music." Just anything that has a soulful vibe I'm down to spin. It could be hip-hop, funk, soul, Afrobeat, reggae, Latin, house music, or like electronic stuff.
How did you get started in the DJ game?
I actually started when I was 10 years old, just because I was into breakdancing kinda in the early '80s. Went to my first middle school dance around then and saw the DJs doing their thing and figured I wanted to get into it. So I bought records, got a couple turntables, my uncle helped me put it together, and I started doing every gig I could - from the youth center to high school dances and birthday parties. Took a break after high school and was in the Air Force.
When did you break into the Valley scene?
When I came to Phoenix in 1991, I linked up with Z-Trip, Phunk Junkeez, and those cats. Then I started doing gigs at Zazoo in Scottsdale, became the record buyer at Circles, and then played everywhere like the Brickhouse and Electric Ballroom, all the hip-hop shows there. I stuck around until 2007 for like 15-16 years.
So you were a big part of the old school hip-hop/DJ scene?
Oh yeah, big time. There was like Z-Trip, there was me, there was Roach Clip...people like that. Robby Rob was around back in those days, he was like my partner growing up in southern Arizona. Element's was around for quite awhile. I remember when Fashen wanted to learn how to DJ and he'd come to my house and I'd show him things. My boys had a group called Color Blind out of Phoenix that was produced by Kirk Reznik of the Phunk Junkees. I remember Know Question [featuring Pokafase] and a lot of those cats in the mid '90s.