Minutes before his performance during Brisk Bodega’s SXSW showcase (March 13), DJ Mustard detailed the influence Aphiliates-founder, DJ Drama had on his career.

“I used to want to be like DJ Drama a lot,” Mustard said in an exclusive conversation with HipHopDX. He continued:

“That’s who I looked up to: Drama. I still look up to Drama, but Drama was like God. All I wanted to do was be a mixtape deejay. Drama’s bigger than a mixtape DJ now, but when I was coming up that was the dude. [He’s] the best mixtape deejay. I don’t think no other mixtape deejay is messing with Drama. I used to [wonder] what was gonna be my Gangster Grillz. Drama didn’t play. If you got a Gangster Grillz mixtape, you were official. I might do a Gangster Grillz Ketchup mixtape.”

DJ Mustard also explained that Los Angeles, California’s once popular Jerk movement “just got played out,” and compared it to yoyos and Pokemon Cards.

“I’m 23 years old, so [for] all the 23 year-olds, remember when was in middle school and we was playing with yoyos, then we went to Pokemon cards,” he said. “It’s the same thing. It just got played out. Nobody wants to hear it anymore. I won’t even say my sound won’t get played out, but I’m never gonna stop what I’m doing. You’ve got to change with the times. Everything reinvents itself. Right now we’re going through what [Dr. Dre] and [Snoop Dogg] went through. Now you’ve got the flannels, all of that type of stuff. It’s all coming back around. Time just turns and comes back around.”

When asked whether he’s considered changing his signature production sound, the Los Angeles native explained that it’s important to evolve while maintaining individuality.

“At first when I used to do beats I’d be like, ‘God, everything sounds the same. I gotta switch it,’” Mustard said. “But it’s not about how you switch it. It’s about how you change it in your own way to keep it so that it’s still you. I don’t take it for granted. I feel like God got a plan. I think it’s way bigger than me, you, YG. I think it’s bigger than all of this. You’ve got to really work and not take it for granted and really focus on your music.”

DJ Mustard produced “Rack City” by Tyga, “I’m Different” by 2Chainz, and “Paranoid” by Ty Dolla $ign, among others. He also produced the majority of YG’s debut album, My Krazy Life, which is available for purchase today.

YG, Ty Dolla $ign, Migos, Que, Deniro Farrar also performed during Brisk Bodega’s SXSW showcase. 

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