The legendary Memphis, TN artist DJ Spanish Fly is a musical veteran and pioneer, well known throughout the Memphis area, and the Mid-South as one of the founding fathers of hip-hop music and culture in the region. Now, more than 20 years deep in the rap game... It's Fly time.
DJ Spanish Fly started out Dee-Jaying and rapping on the block in his South Memphis neighborhood of Clementine, off Elvis Presley Blvd with a group called the True Blue Cru including Chicago-based rapper "Mighty Rappin Fishbone".
Their extreme dedication in these early days of hip hop can be supremely illustrated by the fact that the group went as far as selling their blood to the Memphis blood bank just to get money for refreshments for the fans who attended their shows. Through performing local gig's in their hood for free, the group was also rehearsing to compete in a big-time RAP / DJ competition at a top memphis nightclub back in the day called (CLUB NO NAME) owned by part Beale Street owner, Bud Chittom.
However, it was at this key point that Mighty Rappin Fishbone was incarcerated, leading to the group falling out and parting company. This left DJ Spanish Fly to represent at the competition alone.
Winter 1983... First it was the rap competition - Fly won it. Then came the DJ competition - Fly won it.
His talents caught Chittom's attention, who back then also ran the popular 'Club No Name' in East Memphis. He was so impressed by the performance that he went on to hire Fly to DJ and that's when he started hitting the airwaves for the first time.
In early 1984, radio station 'Magic 101.1 FM' would broadcast his sets live from the club for the Budweiser-sponsored 'Club No Name Hotmix' where Fly would uniquely blend, scratch, and break all the new songs of the day : Run-DMC, Cold Crush Brothers, The Show Boys (Trigga-Man), Dana Dane, Ghetto Boys, World Class Wrekin' Cru, Ice T, NWA, Rodney-O and Joe Cooley and countless other groups who were then unknown artists.
Fly continued to produce his own tracks but as the scene was in it's untapped infancy, he ignored traditional music industry methods and set his own rules for format and distribution, disregarding copyright of his beats or lyrics.
"DJ Spanish Fly and another guy by the name of Sonny D were like the Memphis pioneers of rap music. I looked at them as mentors. They did their own music and put their mix tapes out. Especially Spanish Fly, he used to rap on his own tapes and put his own songs out in the clubs. He made his own stuff hot. We followed in the footsteps of those guys."- Juicy J (Three Six Mafia).
By the mid 80s, Fly's reputation was growing nationally. Local fans would leave town on vacation taking these now classic mix-tapes with them. Out-of-towners would hear them and then buy or dub them from their owners. This bootlegging-virus spread DJ Spanish Fly's music all the way from Memphis to, Atlanta, New Orleans, Nashville, St. Louis, Little Rock and everywhere in-between.
In 2006, DJ Spanish Fly was presented the Pioneer of Memphis Hip-Hop award by the UMAA (Unified Memphis Artist Association) and he's still getting props from Three Six Mafia, Project Pat, Eight Ball & MJG, Ska Face Al Kapone, Yo Gotti, Jazzy Pha, and a host of other great artists, past and present. Still making tracks and broadcasting, D.J. Spanish Fly recently flew out to Los Angeles, California to Hyptnotize Mansion and featured on the history making Oscar Academy Award winning group 3-6 Mafia's new album (LAST 2 WALK) along with DJ UNK, UGK, CHAMILLIONAIRE, LIL' JON, AKON, PROJECT PAT, LIL WYTE, GOOD CHARLOTTE, LYFE JENNINGS, EIGHTBALL & MJG, AL KAPONE, FRAYSER BOY, YUNG D, SUPERPOWER, CHROME and others. THE ALBUM WILL BE RELEASED WORLDWIDE (TUESDAY JUNE 24th 2008).
Fly's new EP will be out (SUMMER /FALL 2008). Also You can still listen to Fly's radio show live to this date keepin' it buck (Mon - Wed) from 12 midnight till 6 in the mornings and (Sat - Sun) from 6 in the mornings till 12 noon on KXHT Hot 107.1 FM (www.hot1071.com) and click on the hot live button. To this date Fly is still featuring on mixtapes, songs, and rockin' private parties and clubs everywhere. And you can see him in action each and every sunday nite in the heart of Memphis at CLUB SENSE'S for OL' SKOOL SUNDAY'S (MEMPHIS, TENN).
"Never give up on what you love doing. Long suffering brings on a huge reward. and if your job is doing something you love doing even for free, don't forget to thank GOD because it's a true blessing." - DJ Spanish Fly 2006