Rocks Off 100: DJ Big Reeks, The Chief Waxaholic
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who: At first glance, Rican McGusty is an imposing, even intimidating character. However, spend any time speaking with him or observing him at work, and you will encounter one of the nicest, most soft-spoken, and all around good dudes in H-Town's DJ scene.
Known as BIg Reeks, this aficionado of all things vinyl rocks the party with a true concern for "the vibe", that intangible factor that packs dance floors and leaves party people with an unrivaled satisfaction.
Reeks was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, son of Guyanese and Portuguese parents, as one of four brothers. His West Indian roots drew him into reggae and soca music, the latter being a Caribbean style originating in Trinidad and Tobago. We'll let him continue his story from there:
"I have been into music since my mom and dad played Isaac Hayes and Bob Marley records in our living room in the early 80s. I can remember when Thriller came out and I loved the music, but I was scared to death of the video.
"I have to credit my older brother with putting hip-hop into my life at an early age. I remember him owning the debut Beastie Boys album when I was five year old. I loved the cover of the wrecked plane. I kept a little red boom box to run and record radio jams. It must have taken me at least a hundred attempts to get "Children's Story" from the very beginning. When I was thirteen, he went off to college and left me two crucial albums: Biggie's "Ready to Die", and Tupac's "2pacalyse Now".
"I have always been drawn to East Coast Hip Hop, but Biggie solidified my preference after a few listens of that album. The first two records I bought with my own money were "The Score" by The Fugees, and "ATLiens" by OutKast. DJing became apparent to me when I frequented clubs with my good friend DJ RedSoda. We could not understand why the DJ wouldn't play the songs we wanted to hear (how ironic). After a while, we bought equipment and our careers were born.
"After years of playing free parties, getting booed, and having the worst equipment know to mankind, the struggle finally paid off."
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Reeks' weekly lineup includes a jazzy/R&B steak night at Fedora Lounge on Mondays, Waxaholics Thursdays at Double Cross Lounge, KISS Saturdays at The Living Room, and Chocolate Sunday Funday at Fox Hollow. Also, the third Saturday of every month with The Southern Gents at Fox Hollow, as well as many one off events with them. He says that the randomness of his events really makes him laugh, butt that he's the kind of guy that if you inquire about his services because you have heard him play, he will try his hardest to make it happen.
The party continues on the next page.
Reason to Stay in Houston:
"Although I wasn't born here, my whole DJing career was born here. For me DJing is not just about playing parties and moving the crowd, it's more about becoming/creating a scene and a lifestyle. The city is wide open to musical taste; opportunity is vast...so much is here to be explored."
"DJing while going to college was tough, but the pursuit of happiness is infinite."
Music Scene Pet Peeve:
"I actually don't have any. To each his own. Each individual artist should do what they feel is good for them. It may not be good for the next person, but it is up to you to figure out your own path and go at it 100%. Live and learn."
5 records I can't live without:
"I will give you my top 5 albums at the moment, this list actually changes weekly."
Mase, Harlem World (Mase just had an undeniably nasty flow.)
Kid Cudi, A Kid Named Cudi (You'll read about this later, but this mixtape is still in rotation.)
Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head (My brother put me on to them and I never looked back.)
Notorious BIG, Ready To Die (Self explanatory... the best to ever do it!)
Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak (Without this album, I don't think Drake would have had a chance.)
But when I am not working, my muse is classical music. The more the better.
Best Show Ever:
"Hands down the Kid Cudi at The House of Blues here in Houston. I think he was here with Asher Roth and Lupe Fiasco. Just a great overall show, but Cudi stole it with his lights and effects. Just him on stage ripping it. And all he had out was his mixtape. When Day and Night came on though, the place erupted. Dope show."
"Besides working on a few other weekly events, the entire Waxaholics team (which includes Dj Good Grief, Christian Pope, Ozzie Esco and myself) is working on The Waxaholics as a whole. You can be on the look out for our mixtape and also a few other special events that we have in the works. Every Thursday is amazing to me and I feel that it can only get better."
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