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DJ Cheapshot
Kool Moe Dee

SpyTech Records

Ideal Records


Since "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun" was not originally released as a single back in 1989, it did not receive the remix treatment that other songs of that era were given. This oversight was corrected with the release of the Beastie Boys Video Anthology (2000) which featured five "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun" remixes including the DJ Cheapshot mix. If you are not familiar with DJ Cheapshot, a quick read through his biography will enlighten you to the fact that his work on the Dust Brothers' Ideal Records label and also on his own SpyTech Record label are worth picking up.

Colton "DJ Cheapshot" Fisher founded SpyTech Records in 1999. This was not his attempt at running an independent label; Fisher started out in 1996 with the now defunct Rocketship Records. Colton is a firm believer in getting his hands into a bunch of different cookie-jars - for example, he was the urban music director at KUCI 88.9 FM in Irvine, CA as well as the host of the premier radio show "The Next Level." Furthermore, he also co-hosted "Friday Night Flavas" on the Los Angeles' Power 106 FM. It was at this point that he did a remix of Beastie Boys' "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun." Perhaps what he is best known for though is his work with Styles of Beyond.

Colton was not only Styles of Beyond's DJ but also their producer who helped them to get noticed and later signed to the Dust Brothers label - Ideal Records. With DJ Cheapshot's beats, the group broke out of the stereotypical West Coast sounds and created a voice of their own. At the time, several magazines including URB, Blaze, and Spin jumped on the SOB bandwagon and the group quickly became press darlings. When asked how he initially hooked up with SOB DJ Cheapshot responded with: "It started in 1994. I met Tak through a mutual friend who was on my football team and one day he came over my place and started rapping over my 4-track beats. We made three or four songs in my living room...you could even hear my parents in the background. It's hilarious now, but back then they were dope songs. We started doing talent shows and stuff, but then in 1995 I had to go away to college. It was real hard to hook up with Tak for a while, so he linked up with Vin Skully and Ryu. They started recording a demo and it was like the dopest music I had ever heard. I started getting jealous, so I let school slide a little bit and tried my damnedest to make it happen. Just in time for the album I submitted 'Easy back it up'. And that's how it all started."

Having already gained the attention of both the Dust Brothers and also the Beastie Boys, it seems pretty redundant to state that DJ Cheapshot's sound is that of cutting edge hip-hop. When asked about his feelings of the current state of rap he replied, "I hate most of it, but like a tiny bit of it. The mainstream is just so flooded with junk it makes me reach for the Pepto Bismol! At the same time, the more crap there is, the more I appreciate the good stuff. It also makes me work harder at trying to conquer the world with my music." Colton has not conquered the world yet, but with several projects in the works and many new releases slated for his label, it may not be long before he achieves his goal.

Matt Dike DJ Hurricane