Earlier this month, Brooklyn, New York-based deejay/producer J. Period was named Music Supervisor for the Nets. At Barclays Center home-games, NBA fans can hear J. providing his informed brand of Hip Hop, Pop and other genres, with a signature edge. Speaking with HipHopDX this month, the Los Angeles, California native reacted to the significance of getting the role. "In everything I’ve done in music, I’ve always tried to break new ground and take things in new directions, so to get to shape the musical identity of Brooklyn’s first basketball team is definitely an honor." J., who has produced authorized mixtapes for Nas, Lauryn Hill and one of BK's legends, Big Daddy Kane, continued, "I think about the long line of Hip Hop history that came before me. Brooklyn is the birthplace of so much Hip Hop I love, and it began influencing me long before I ever arrived here. That’s the reason I gravitated here when I arrived in New York. Walking these streets, knowing that history, loving this music, makes me proud to rep for the borough, and I definitely take that responsibility seriously in my new position."
Photograph by Mike Schreiber
J. Period Playing To The Barclays Center Crowd
The longtime Zion I affiliate who frequently performs with Black Thought was also asked if he will cover a scope of Hip Hop similar to his tapes. "This gig is all about balance. Brooklyn in particular is such a cross-section of people—diversity in every form: style, ethnicity, culture, generations—so the music has to reflect that." He continued, "The playlist I’m creating incorporates everything from Lady Gaga and Daft Punk to [Notorious B.I.G., Fabolous, and Jay-Z]. But I’m also taking all those familiar elements and flipping them with new elements, to create new remixes and re-edits. I might flip a remix of Phil Collins' 'In The Air Tonight,' or take The Meters' 'Hand-Clapping Song' and produce new drums for it."
For J. Period, he feels greater meaning to being a record selector than just keeping the heads moving. "I have this philosophy on Hip Hop that it’s like a hybrid mutant genre made up of stolen pieces of all the other genres, so it becomes the perfect vehicle to bring all those styles together. At its core, though, the experience in the arena is about having fun, so I approach it like a deejay: reading the crowd, and trying to energize the party. And to me the best deejays combine familiar and unfamiliar elements; you entertain, but you also teach a little." J. cited one of Hip Hop's founders as an inspiration to how he views his job, no matter the venue. "There’s a great story about Afrika Bambaata, that whenever he played a new break he would keep running the break back and looping it until people caught on to how dope it was. That’s being a visionary, seeing the truth before other people catch onto it. It’s not 'underground' versus 'mainstream,' it’s 'I see the dopeness in it before other people know about it, so let me share that.' That’s what I aspire to do when I rock a party, or create a remix for Barclays."
If Jay-Z Request Songs For Brooklyn Nets Games
The big question on many music fans' minds is if one of the Nets' owners, former artist-turned-mogul Jay-Z had any input on J. Period's playlist. "I have not gotten any direct feedback, but I do like to think he’s monitoring things and enjoying," said J. "I heard a rumor that a member of his team requested Foxy Brown's 'Oh Yeah,' and [Ol' Dirty Bastard's] 'Brooklyn Zoo,' but those were already on my playlist, so we had that covered. I have definitely caught Beyonce courtside bopping her head to the beat of my mixes a few times though, so that’s cool. But even without direct input, I definitely am conscious of his role and incorporating his music and voice into what I create."
J. Period also uses Jay-Z's extensive catalog to help brand the music and voices fans hear during the game. "Jay’s voice plays a prominent role in the vocal cues and game intros I produced, but not because I was instructed to do so...it just makes sense, and enhances the vibe. People associate Barclays with Jay, and for Hip Hop heads, going to a game is like going to Jigga’s 'house'—you might even see him there. Ever the Hip Hop fan, J. Period quoted Cam'ron's "Welcome To New York City" lyrics (where the rapper then admitted to being a New York Knicks fan) and added, "Although he’s no longer 'next to Spike, if you pan left to right....', Jigga is a big part of the experience over there, so logically and thematically, the music should reflect that."