"There was a time when the scene in Baltimore was almost too real," he tells Spinner. "The city itself was in shambles, with crime, drugs, murder and AIDS rampant in the late '80s. The entire city was extremely poor -- blue collar at best. I was a young DJ working my way up in the local ranks and actually being friends with these local DJ street heroes who had the creativity and the entrepreneurial instincts to ignite a local phenomenon. Watching that as a young kid and hearing local records blowing up in the nightclubs -- and also DJing alongside DJ Equalizer and DJ Class at 12 years old -- was just too exciting for me."
LaCrate is now running his Milkcrate label and handling the DJ duties for Lily Allen's live shows. "Lily and I met through my buddy Seb Chew - - a good pal and big shot A&R man in London," he explains. "Mark Ronson and I have been DJing at his famous YoYo parties for a few years and Lily is a part of the YoYo crew, so we all hung out quite before I even knew Lily was a singer. She grew up on UK rave and hip-hop. We all loved the same music. When she heard my mix B-more Gutter Music mix CD, she really took a liking to B-more club music. From there, we remixed her single 'Smile' with a quite rugged hard hitting club banger which she loved and we started touring together. The audiences all were up for what we all were doing and it was just a natural evolution. Her show at Roseland was just retarded -- 3,000 kids going berzerk."
Meanwhile, LaCrate's local New York-based YoYo parties have been making noise from Coast to Coast with rugged Baltimore-styled tunes, celebrity sightings and overall mayhem. "YoYo NYC is a party that brings back the fun that NYC clubs used to be all about -- before bottle service, VIP, and champagne," he says. "It's the highest quality house party you'll ever go to -- with NYC's best soundsystem, lights, in NYC's most eccentric club. But we don't stop there. YoYo NYC then feature the best of the best in live and major talent of all genres from Lily Allen, Swizz Beatz, Jack Penate, Rakim, Cool Kids, Busy P, Estelle, Kid Cudi, Daniel Merriweather, Verb, Jim Jones, Debonair Samir, Dirt Nasty .... and this was our first 10 parties."
While LaCrate has made a name for himself as an infamous party-rocker, he'll take some time away from the decks in 2008 to focus his other ventures. "I will be focusing more on artist driven projects, major label remix's, B-more Gutter Music Part 2, my 'Gutterland' CD, Gutter Vinyl, and the reincarnation of Young MC," he says.
Download: Lily Allen, 'Smile' (Gutter Pt. 2 Mix) (MP3)
Aaron LaCrate, 'Spinner RPM Exclusive Mix'
Big Daddy Kane, 'Set it off'
Ultramagnetic Mcs, 'Housing Things'
2 Live Crew, 'Throw That D'
Dj Equalizer, 'Sounds of Silence'
Todd Terry, 'Back to the Beat'
VIM, 'Maggies Last Party'
Aaron LaCrate & Debonair Samir ft Young MC, 'Know How Theme'
Aaron LaCrate & Debonair Samir ft Masta Ace, 'Jeep Ase Gutter'
Trillville, 'Neva Eva' (Gutter Club Crasher Remix)
Aaron LaCrate, 'Ya Bad LaCrate'
Luke, 'Get it Get it'
Dizzee Rascal, 'P---yhole' (Gutter Remix)
Siloutte, 'Chicken Box' (LaCrate Edit)
Dave the Barber, 'Caddy The Don, XO, Block Hugga East Side of B-more'
Verb ft DHz, 'Down the Hill'
Verb, 'Get Um Verb'
Verb, 'Stick Up'
Eazy E, 'Boys in the Hood'
Barrington Levy, 'Broader than Broadway'
Barry White, 'Im Gonna Love You'
Beastie Boys, 'What Comes Around'
Styles P., 'I Get High'
Dave the Barber, 'I Be the Block'
Mobb Deep, 'Eye for an Eye'
Geto Boys, 'Damn it Feels Good'
Black Sheep, 'Pass the 40'
Tel Aviv Outro.....
More Aaron LaCrate: