“When you’re young coming up in the DJ world, like the people you look up to, you never feel like you’re going to be in the same game as them. But recently, it’s been kind of weird because everyone I was looking up to, I’m now actually playing in the same game [with],” says James, who explains that a very big part of being a DJ is making sure your skill levels are up to par.
He cites DC’s DJ Alizay, the DJ that helped put rapper Wale on the hip-hop map, as his mentor and the one who continues to help him raise the bar. “He’s probably one of the best DJs I’ve ever heard mix in my life,” says James. “And every time I hear him mix, it’s like inspiration. To this day, I still go over his house and practice with him.”
James also credits Atlanta’s DJ Drama of Gangsta Grillz mixtape series fame (the two met four years ago while studying at Hampton) with offering him the best advice he’s heard ever. “He told me that after I took over the school, take over the city. After you take over the city, takeover the state. And those are the words that I live by since I met Drama.” James continues, “It made me have a goal to strive for.”