Photo: Adam Degross
Last Thursday, Los Angeles’ hip-hop community came through to The Berrics to celebrate the release of Germ’s debut album, Germ Has A Deathwish. Skaters and fans alike rolled up to the skate park beginning at 6 p.m. and heard sets from DJs such as Cam Girl, All The Smoke, and Crystal Meth. Known as the man behind the decks for $UICIDEBOY$, Crystal Meth’s production and DJ prowess extends beyond his relationship with the New Orleans duo — he’s also Germ’s tour DJ, too, and he’s been making quite a name for himself in the hip-hop community.
We got the opportunity to speak to Crystal Meth — who picked his DJ name after receiving the nickname in middle school — to find out what it’s like in his world, working with Germ and $UICIDEBOY$, and what he’s into when he doesn’t have his head in the hip-hop game. Check out the interview and photos from the release party below courtesy of Ethan Lopez.
Can you tell me a bit about your relationship with Germ ahead of his release party? What brought you two together creatively?
I met Germ in 2016 through Fat Nick and Don Krez when we stayed at their place for the summer. We always went out ’cause we hated spending days inside looking at our phones. We would hang out in downtown and just find some shit to do. Nowadays Germ is one of my best friends and we work on music sometimes, but mostly he’s like a big brother. I’m his tour DJ and I try to keep him on track of things because I believe he can be the next big thing this year.
Growing up, which artists influenced you to produce the kind of music you make and DJ today?
Growing up, I listened to all different types of genres. I would say Kanye West’s production really inspired me to listen to more hip-hop/rap music. Producing, on the other hand, was all because of the artist Shlohmo. I would always listen to his music in school and always wondered how was this possible. So I had a friend who made beats teach me a lil something on production. I’ve been working on producing since I was 13 but recently been taking it more seriously.
Tell me a fun tour story on the road with $UICIDEBOY$.
A story on the road with the boy$. Well, one time we all wake up at this bus stop in the middle of nowhere France, turned out that our bus had broke down and we weren’t able to continue to our next show. We were in a town with a population of 7,000 so we were sort of sketched out. Me and the crew sort of walked around the city to see if we can find weed or something. We ended up staying in this town for two days and spent most of our time at McDonald’s because of the free WiFi and cold water.
After scrolling through your Twitter feed, I learned that you love to live-tweet soccer games. Is that one of your biggest hobbies outside of music? Are you a soccer player?
When I was 5, I played soccer until I was 12 it was really big in my family. I’ve been an Arsenal fan since I was 5 years old so I’m a Gunner ’til I die, I still play as a hobby but I don’t be in no type of competitions cause ya boy out of shape. I enjoy the sport because of the support and the history behind the clubs. One of the most entertaining sports ever. If I’m not listening or making music, I’m definitely watching soccer games and highlights.
Is there another style of music outside of hip-hop/beats that you’d like to try making or exploring? What are some of your other favorite genres outside your signature sound?
I really enjoy house music, lo-fi, vaporware. When producing I don’t try to stick to one sound because I like to go off my mood; one day I can make a trap beat and the next I can make soothing elevator music. I try to make everything just because I don’t want to put myself in a box.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the internet lately?
Funniest thing on the internet lately? Brother Nature videos with the animals.
What should we expect to see from you in 2019?
2019 looking busy. I’m going on tour with Germ and Gnar in April. Gonna release some new music with a bunch of artist like $B , Germ , Ramirez, Shakewell, ETC. New music, new merch, the whole 10 yards. Just gonna work on my sound and figuring out the next step.