DJ White Lie has come out of the north to rebirth hip hop – forget gangsta rap / male cliches, White Lie and her largely female accomplices are taking the power back and doing it in style. This Saturday they’re putting on “If I Ruled the World – An Ode to Hip Hop“, a hip hop night to end all hip hop nights. Who is she, why is she, and what does she want from us? Read on. I give you, White Lie: The Interview!
indieBerlin: Where are you from?
White Lie: I’m from Sweden. That cold, grey place up north that’s good to have your roots in, but awfully boring to live in.
I was bored out of my mind in Gothenburg
indieBerlin: Why did you come to Berlin?
White Lie: Because I was bored out of my mind in Gothenburg. I basically closed my eyes and picked a new place to live in on the map. “Berlin, perhaps?” I had never been here before, and had zero friends or connections. Everyone told me that I have to speak German first but that just pulled me further away from language studies in a true, teenage “don’t tell me what to do”way. That was 2 years ago.
indieBerlin: Why did you stay in Berlin?
White Lie: At this point everything else feels boring (how many times can I squeeze variations of being bored into this interview?). But if I would move I would probably pop over to Paris. Apparently I am a fan of language barriers and north Europe…
Hiphop has soul. Hiphop has funk. Hiphop has jazz. Hiphop has poetry
indieBerlin: Why hip hop? Why DJing?
White Lie: Because hiphop has soul. Hiphop has funk. Hiphop has lyrics. Hiphop has jazz. Hiphop has poetry. All of that is lacking in electronic music, basically.
The whole hiphop scene is so easy to make fun of. Especially when it comes to that whole gangsta rap-thing that I ‘m really not a fan of. But at the same time it’s a scene that it’s easy to have fun IN. The type of music that I’m playing and the musical landscape, the DJ’s and musicians I play with, it’s connecting people. It’s a house party feeling every time.
Why? Some dudes told me I couldn’t
I started to DJ because:
1. All the DJ’s I saw were male
2. All the DJ’s I heard (at that point) were playing electronic music which I didn’t understand or like
3. Some dudes told me I couldn’t
4. All of the above pissed me off and as we all know anger is the best fuel!
A year in I got obsessed and here we are…
indieBerlin: How did you find the people who you’re sharing the night with this Saturday?
White Lie: These people are folks I met in the hiphop scene this last year. I wanted to celebrate that and put something together where they all could meet each other as well. It feels like such a family affair!
I select “fair trade hiphop”, very pretentious that way
indieBerlin: What do you think about the state of hip hop in Berlin? Is there a strong scene?
White Lie: There is not a strong scene, but there is one! The scene is unfortunately a lot about bass, trap, grime and that type of pure shit though. I’m a bit more old school I guess. I select “fair trade hiphop”, very pretentious that way… But my point is, don’t give up! The hiphop scene is definitely growing! There’s more than Drake out there.
Side track: follow Golden Mint Productions on Facebook to find those events. Hehe.
Sometimes I curate a female DJ’s only nights. It really pisses guys off!
indieBerlin: Female hip hop DJ – is that unusual? How does it come across? What kind of reactions do you get?
White Lie: Nah I don’t think it is unusual in general. Female DJ’s / artists / musicians / performers / you name it do exist everywhere. We just don’t get the same opportunities, so we’re harder to find.
But speaking about feminism within the music scene: sometimes I curate a Female DJ’s Only night. It really pisses guys off! Last time two dudes thought they weren’t ALLOWED INTO THE PARTY. I was like “yes, we made it!” Apparenly this is how one keeps idiots away. Men’s egos are so fragile it cracks me up every day.
But I am also in a lot of fights online on a daily basis, and 90 percent of all meetings I take with men in the music industry ends up with them trying to get into my pants. That’s the really dark side of it. Ask any girl.
indieBerlin: How did you choose the venue for Saturday?
White Lie: I love the guys running it, plus it is such an amazing place.
indieBerlin: Who’s playing live and what do they do?
White Lie: They rap! Black Prez, LAB, Ms.Chemist and Berlin legend Abba Lang are on it. I can’t wait.
indieBerlin: Does it really start at 8pm or is that just a vicious lie?
White Lie: We’re 11 acts all together. So we will try to start as early as possible. First live show at 10! Truth! DJ’s before that!
indieBerlin: I hear you’re, you know, raffling some tickets?
White Lie: I mean this event is basically for free, 3-5 euros at the door. But I am adorable enough to raffle a couple of guest list spots through indieberlin! First grabs!
indieBerlin: What else would you like to tell people?
White Lie: Wedding
Win free entry to If I Ruled the World – An Ode to Hip Hop this Saturday – write to win at indieberlin.de or leave a comment below.
Noel Maurice interviewed DJ White Lie from Golden Mint Productions
All photos by Danilo Sierra
Saturday 22.10 | Starts 8pm | Gerichtstrasse 23 | 13347 Wedding, Berlin
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.