It’s not an unknown fact that people move to New York city to try and “make it.” From all over the world, folks flock to the Big Apple to pursue their dreams, whether it’s in entertainment or elsewhere. McKenzie Eddy of BluRoc Records, took that risk, and aligning with one of Hip Hop’s most influential minds, she’s helped inspire a renaissance.
Eddy went from being the assistant to Dame Dash to being one of the heads of the newly formed BluRoc label which is under the DD172 umbrella. She is a different peer to Dame than ’90s cohorts Jay-Z and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, but McKenzie’s fresh spin on a troubled industry has led Dash to some of his greatest accolades in five years. Part executive, part artist, completely relevant, DXnext meets the secret weapon of BluRoc.
Meeting Dame Dash: “I came to New York to be the assistant for the singer Alice Smith. Dame [Dash] was helping her at the time. Initially, [the DD172 building] was a car company and we were on the other side of the building in one of Dame’s offices. So I started working for him and he had a girl training me to do that. Then that girl ended up quitting and I ended up becoming his assistant.”
The Birth of DD172: “We ended up moving out of this building for a little while and I started working with Raquel Horn, who also happens to be my best friend from South Carolina. We were both Dame’s assistants and were working on the top floor of a building on Lake Street. We were working with Jim Jones at the time, and started introducing Dame to the underground music scene that was happening in Brooklyn. MGMT wasn’t really famous yet and we put them with Jim Jones [on the “Electric Feel (Remix)” ]. We also introduced Dame to the Black Keys which resulted in the project BlakRoc. So me, Dame and Raquel ended up doing all of these musical projects, just the three of us. It ended with us working with Coodie and Chike, starting Creative Control, and moving back into the building on Duane Street. I have helped with the structure of the whole building but now I have people running the different divisions here. Coodie and Chike run Creative Control, Vanessa runs the art gallery from day to day, and Raquel actually runs the [American Nu] magazine, and I run the label BluRoc.”
Indie Dame Dash? – “His tastes have always been broad. He gets pigeon-holed a lot. He has a really good ear, better than anybody I have ever met. Broadening? I think I more introduced him to more things. I mean, he runs this shit, he’s smart like that.”
The Renaissance: “Raquel, Dame and I were fans of the Black Keys. One day Dame says, ‘Why don’t you just call them and see if you can get them to do something with Jim Jones.’ I’m like, ‘I can’t just call the Black Keys.’ So eventually I did and they called me back, I talked to their manager and they agreed to work with Jim, get studio time and lay down some tracks. When we got there that day, we were all very nervous because we were big fans of them. When we got the Black Keys in the studio, Jim was touring in Europe so we had the Black Keys waiting, and Jim Jones was in Greece. We were like, “Oh, shit!” but we ended up getting Mos Def in the studio that day to lay down a track. Jim came the next day and they recorded the record “Aint Nothing like You (Hoochie Coo).” So after that record was done they were like, ‘Let’s just keep getting people like the RZA.’ The Black Keys grew up listening to the RZA so they were pretty excited when he decided to do it. Eventually it just ended up turning into BlakRoc.
BlakRoc’s Limited Impact: “Dame said we haven’t really put it out yet. I think we are going to end up re-releasing it.”
Def Jam’s Distribution Arm: “[Def Jam Records] did a distribution deal with us. They helped us as much as they can. But in the end BluRoc has its own taste and its own brand. They played their part well, but we definitely take credit for a lot that goes on with [Curren$y’s Pilot Talk] and that will go on with the Ski Beatz [24 Hour Karate School] project. I think after the release of Curren$y’s record, we have proved to the industry that you don’t need radio and you don’t need all that other bullshit that was in the past.”
From The Desk To The Booth: “I am on a record that will be on Pilot Talk 2 with Curren$y. I am working on a solo album which will hopefully come out early next year. John Forte has actually produced two records for me on my album. The bassist for the Disco Biscuits (Marc Brownstein), produced two records on it, I also have Sa-Ra [Creative Partners] and of course Ski Beatz produced a few.”
The Future Is Now: “Everyday there is something. Yesterday at a pool party, we had DMC mixing with one of our Indie bands backing him, stuff like that happens every week here. It is hard to know what is going to be next. Everything is really organic here, there is no shortage of anything, it’s very real.”
Fusing Cultures: “It’s important for like-minded people to mix. I think that is what we are doing here more than anything. It’s more than genre-mixing, it’s more commonality-mixing.”