NiteTalk: Kool DJ Red Alert on Love Hate and Uncle Luke

You have ears; good ones too. So you’ve heard Kool DJ Red Alert more times than you care to count. You also know your hip hop history. So nobody needs to tell you he’s one of the originals. If you caught Red Alert when he rocked Love Hate last Memorial Day, you’ll be back there to hear him do it Saturday. If you missed that last blast, here’s your chance to make up for it. The smart set will swing through for the Sunday Q&A too; if only just to ask Red about naming Luke.

It’s been a long crazy trip since you KISSed off with Tom Tom Club, hasn’t it? Yes, it has! There’ve been a lotta transitions since we began at KISS FM 29 years ago; now we’re undergoing another.

How’d you begin at KISS FM anyway? The story breaks down like this: KISS FM was looking to bring in hip hop. The first DJ they approached was Afrika Islam, but after a couple of missed appointments they turned to my cousin, Jazzy Jay. He rocked it for a month or two, then passed it along to me. The rest is hip hop history.

Where are you radio-ing now? WBLS calls me in for mixes here and there, and for a minute I did a Ustream show called Kool DJ Red Alert Global Radio which I’m probably gonna bring back soon.

How ‘bout live – any residencies? I’m all over the place, man. I was in Japan last summer, I just did the A3C Fest here in Atlanta, where I’ve been living for the past seven years, I’m coming back to Miami this weekend to do Love Hate ...

Love Hate is a kinda residency for you, isn’t it? Yeah, I haven’t been there since Memorial Day, but I play there as much as I can. That spot’s the last of the real breed. You know, certain things just don’t die, and stay true to form; Love Hate is that kinda place.

How vital do you think (Love Hate host/co-owner) DJ Self Born is to Miami’s hip hop scene? Self Born’s a great person – and a great DJ. He’s knowledgeable too; about hip hop then and now, about people, about vibe. Self Born is just an all around great guy.

What’s your take on Miami hip hop anyway? I’m cool with Trick Daddy; I’m cool with Luke ... in fact I’m the one who first called him “Uncle.” Where I’m from it’s a form of respect for someone who’s been around and is still in the game, making things happen.

Okay if I call you Uncle Red then? Not at all, my brother. Not at all.

Kool DJ Red Alert rocks Love Hate Saturday, Oct. 20; his meet and greet Q&A is Sunday, Oct. 21. For more information log on here.

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