So this is Jon Hawkins. Born in Tokyo, lived in D.C. Can now be found behind DJ booths of varying size and locations in Maine’s hippest (and biggest) city, Portland. He’s well-known for his musical expertise at WRED 95.9 FM, the local hip hop station, where he does a damn, hot remix at noon and the Drive at 5, and scenesters know they can see him funking the beat downtown at Bubba’s Sulky Lounge. You can also catch him on Sirius Satellite Radio Hip Hop Nation 40, Monday Nights at midnight and Mainiacs can look forward to May, when he’ll be kicking it at Asylum on Saturday nights. Aside from that full plate, he’s a vegetarian, can often be seen at a sushi bar and is a hardcore film buff (just ask him about Scorsese). In case you need it spelled out for you: the guy’s got it going on.
We thought it’d be cool if we asked him a bunch of random questions to see what he’d come up with. Read on and just try to decode his mystery.
14K: First record you ever scratched? Describe the sound.
DJ JON: Wow, that takes me back. Let’s see… “Change Le Beat” by Fab Five Freddy. At the end of that record there’s the original AHHHHH this STUFF is REALLLLY FRESHHHHH!! sound that is every scratching DJs favorite sound to use. Every DJ in the 80s wanted to scratch that. My copy is warn thru!! But, That’s the big one. There have been little sounds on classic rock records and funk records that I used, but that’s the one that sticks out.
14K: If you weren’t a DJ, what would your occupation be?
DJ JON: See that’s a hard question, because I am a DJ. I’m so DJ-centric. If that’s a word. I believe everything is tied into my life as a DJ. Music, Movies, Politics, Acting, and even living as a human being. I apologize because I can’t conject on that.
14K: How would you describe the current state of the hip hop community in Portland and outside of Maine?
DJ JON: The Hip Hop community in Maine is strong. There are things that go on in Portland that just don’t go on outside of the state. But, if you are a resident or a native of the Portland area, you know that there are things that are totally unique. Like coffee brandy, or the strange isolation that happens only here. And these subtleties are transformed in the Hip Hop that comes from here.
14K: What’s the craziest/sexiest/nastiest thing you’ve ever seen while behind the DJ booth?
DJ JON: Ok, now you’re asking about the party. I have seen extreme violence. I have also seen many naked women. But, most importantly, I have seen people having a good time because of what I was doing with the music.
14K: If you had the chance to be with one starlet for an evening, who would it be and what would you do?
DJ JON: I would keep living my life as I am now. Last year Snoop Dogg passed me his blunt at a club during his CD release party and I simply said, “I don’t smoke no more.” And everyone gives me flack for that, but it’s just something I gave up to better my life.
14K: What do you see as the biggest difference between Facebook and MySpace? Do you have a preference between the two?
DJ JON: Yes. Facebook is about real people and friends for now. I have like under 100 friends so far on Facebook and I am very protective of it. Myspace I have like 4,000 friends of which I know personally about 200.
14K: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
DJ JON: Nothing. But I hope they are impressed with what I do with what they already know.
14K: Name your most favorite guilty pleasure.
DJ JON: Cheesy 80s R&B. I love it, sorry.
14K: Are you behind any political candidate thus far? If so, who & why?
DJ JON: Obama. But it feels like we have to vote for Hillary in these next elections to draw him out a little more.
14K: What Web sites/blogs do you check daily, if any?
DJ JON: $ecret$
14K: What will absolutely always bring a smile to your face?
DJ JON: When a really good song becomes a hit record.
14K: If you suddenly came into $10 million, what would you do?
DJ JON: I have a long straw. I reach across the room and I drink your milkshake. I DRINK IT UP!
14K: Name five famous people who you see as being a positive influence in our culture.
DJ JON: Hard to answer that because positive is such a grey area.. and so is our culture. But if there was a gun to my head, Kenny Dope, Dr. Roxanne Shante, The Jungle Brothers, DJ Premier and me!
14K: Any advice for Mz. Spears?
DJ JON: None, but I appreciate learning about how strange life can be if you’re a pop star.