DJ Butter is a legend, especially in his home city of Detroit. For the last two decades he’s emrged not only as one of the cities finest DJ’s, but as a pioneer of Hip Hop multimedia and master turntablist, and a support to MCs and artists from his city, releasing albums and mixtapes and founding his own record label, Crazy Noise Productions. How many other people have worked with the likes of E-40, Guilty Simpson, D12 (Eminem’s Super group), Jim Jones & Dipset, Junior Reed, as well as Detroit legends Esham and Street Lordz? Or, as Butter did in 2012, collaborating with Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, mother of the late great J Dilla, as A&R for the “Rebirth Of Detroit” album, which featured over 30 of the city’s finest rappers.
His latest project sees DJ Butter team up with DJ Dez for a new album, A piece of the action, which features a who’s who of Detroit rap royalty. From it, Butter and Dez have released a new video for “Legends in the Game”, featuring Bronx rapper Hell Rell and Detroit rapper Wesley Valentine. The video was shot in Doug E. Fresh’s Harlem home and features a cameo from infamous drug kingpin AZ Faison (whose life was portrayed in the 2002 movie Paid In Full) as well as Doug’s son Drop Top Slim.
Check out the video below, and then read on for an interview with the man himself.
I am Barry “DJ Butter” Yett, CEO of Crazy Noise Productions. Born and raised in Detroit.
I make music that I can ride to – that has some substance.
The records that got me into hip-hop were.. Grandmaster Flash, “The Message” and Kurtis Blow, “Christmas Rappin’”.
The best hip-hop record of all time is Eric B & Rakim, Paid In Full. We put that tape in my homeboy Illy-Ill’s casket. R.I.P. Patrick.
I started making music When I saw GrandMaster Dee come from behind the turntables and rhyme with Whodini. It was amazing. Thats when I really wanted to sharpen both skills.
The things that influence my rhymes are Detroit. The pain and the pleasures. Traveling!
I wanted to sound like Jam Master Jay, because he was everything.
My first public appearance was Meeting DJ Lenn Swann at a house party that I was deejaying in his hood in the 7 Mile Area, was my first time deejaying back to back like that. Doing shows with Illy-Ill and my crew Sudden Strength. We appeared on A TV show called The Plugger in Highland Park, Michigan often.
Since then I dropped my first major project in 1999 entitled Kill The DJ. We had distribution with Southwest Wholesale, it featured all the who’s who in Detroit. Then I dropped Shit Happens, my second original album, on my label, Crazy Noise Productions. D12 decided to put my theme song on their album Devil’s Night, which was a complicated situation for me, so I continued to released projects by Wesley Valentine and YBP under my label. Afterwards, I did a few projects with Royce Da 5’9 and his then label, M.I.C. Records. I did mixtapes on Junior Reid, did tapes with DJ King David, Boogie Bandero, Short Dawg, Stand Up Entertainment and a few other labels and artists. Losing so many people in my life influence me to work harder. Every since my best friend Illy-Ill got killed at 15 years old, I’ve been full speed ahead, before I could even drive a car. Nothing’s promised. God is definitely by my side.
I work by Digging through my crates of records help me be creative to write and all that. Watching old ‘70s films help me as well.
My new record is A Piece Of The Action with me and DJ Dez, released on my label, Crazy Noise Productions
Lyrically, it’s about..Unity and bossin’ up… going for yours!
On the record I’ve worked with A lot of my friends in Detroit’s rap culture, Kool G. Rap, Kurupt, Boldy James, Kokane and the legendary BO$$, the first female gangster rapper on Def Jam Records.
The messages in my rhymes are To not promote all poison, and drop some jewels in the tracks as well.
In the future I want to Build tours with sponsorship for my rap buddies to grow with, and help spread our wings here.
I’d love to work with Boldy James, Scarface and maybe a cat like Mac Miller.