King of Tribes is a troupe of urban San Diego DJs who spin the sounds of hip-hop and reggae. They include Dash Eye, Rashi, Kofi, Unite, and MC Tefsa and can regularly be found at Bar Dynamite, Blind Melon's, and the Morena Club. I spoke with DJ Rashi.
TRICKIEST PROBLEM DURING GIGS?
"In the San Diego reggae scene, there are many people who like roots reggae and the old standby, dancefloor -- feel-good foundation tunes -- while at the same time there is a large contingency that wants to hear the latest, hottest tracks coming out of Jamaica and other parts of the world. The trick is trying to keep the dance movin'. Oh, yeah...and vampires. Those can be tricky, too!"
LIST OF EQUIPMENT?
"Two turntables. Preferably Technics 1200s, although we've been toying with the Numark TTX1 digital joints for more remixing options. Headphones, a microphone, modified 7" slip mats, Shure M44-7's with a fixed slant for the massive rewinds.. . ."
TOP-FIVE MOST REQUESTED SONGS?
1. "Bam Bam" by Sister Nancy. "Do you have that one song that goes 'whatta bom bom!?'"
2. "No, No, No" by Dawn Penn. "Do you have that one song that goes 'No, no, no...you don't love me...?'"
3. "Murder She Wrote" by Chaka Demus & Pliers
4. Anything by Barrington Levy
5. Anything by Sizzla
TOP-FIVE DESERT ISLAND CDs?
1. Lover's Rock, Sade. "Pure love."
2. Free Jah's Cure, Jah Cure. "Pure conscious."
3. The Low End Theory, A Tribe Called Quest. "Most of us in the crew were raised on hip-hop. This album is foundational."
4. Love & War (mixed by Dash Eye). "Big tunes. Big sound!"
5. Super Jump-Up (mixed by Unite). "120 bpm."
"We showed up on a Friday night downtown to play at a place called Caesar's Cafe. They had a Greek Wedding/Metropolis--style mural on the wall and a busted sound-system. I got about three records into the opening set when the manager turned the lights on and said the night was over...someone had failed to arrange for security."
"Any dance where a major artist comes through. Live, impromptu singer/DJ sets are the wickedest -- not to mention they give you dance/club street-cred."
BRUSH WITH THE FAMOUS?
"Great, name-dropping time. The following have been seen at a Tribe of Kings dance: Mikey Dread, Jr. Reid, Yami Bolo, Martin Campbell, Tim McGraw (yeah, the country singer), and the Chargers and Raiders have been known to represent. Eek-A-Mouse put on such a forgettable 'performance' one night at Bar Dynamite that the entire crew quit playing his records for about three years. That ban has since been lifted."