DJ Lady Tribe Behind the
1's and 2's
2/11/06 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview by Dante
Raised in Los Angeles,
Tribe was immersed in the culturally diverse mecca of
underground graffiti artists and muralists from a very
young age. It was there that the famed female graffiti
artist first picked up a mean streak at 13 and wrote her
name on a wall: realizing a passion and obsession that
would consume her life for the next 9 years.
she has surpassed all her initial dreams of being a known
LA graf artist, she continues the passion that began so
many years ago as one of the youngest, hottest female DJs
in the LA nightclub scene, DJ Lady Tribe is coming up the
ranks in this male dominated profession.
Lady Tribe took a break from her busy schedule to speak with
LatinRapper in this exclusive interview.
LatinRapper.com: Tell us
a bit about what you do.
I'm a graffiti artist, first and foremost, second I'm a DJ,
third I'm a model and whatever I cant get my hands into.
What are some of the pros and cons to being a DJ who
happens to model?
The pros, people say 'oh you get more work', the cons are that
they automatically think you can't DJ because of other girls
that look hot and donít do very well at the club, it makes you
look bad. I gotta look like a tomboy. But I take my DJing very
seriously, its not a little joke to me, I prove it through my
playing the music.
So do you dress like a tomboy now or do you dress up?
I dress up every day, thatís how I've always been except for
when I was 14, I was dressing like baggy clothes. I grew out
of that, I dress very feminine I guess, like every day. I only
have one pair of tennis shoes [laughs].
Youíre Mexican, Indian and Japanese, what was it like
growing up L.A. with that kind of mix?
Well when I was growing up, everyone could tell I looked more
Latin when I was younger, and then I was more on that scene
until I started DJing. I was in the Latin scene in LA but in
the national and world scene I was into the Asian scene. I
didn't really have any Asian friends, every type of scene you
can think of now
Coming up you earned your stripes as a graf artist, how
much of that plays a part in your life today?
Well being a graffiti artist taught me a lot about respect,
some people donít understand that. I know a lot of street
knowledge, the street life, I didnít grow up rich at all. I
grew up doing my thing, painting and racking and going to
jail, I think I'm a survivor I guess [laughs].
How did you get into graf work in the first place?
I was into tagging with my
friends and then going bombing and the writing buses, I
was from a bus crew RTDK, and then going bombing, I was a
crazy kid. I took it very seriously. I got raided three
times by the police, the anti-graffiti squad that did a
huge investigation on me, I had to stop so I wouldnít go
to jail for five years, I already went to jail a few times
for that. Thatís when I got into the next hip hop cycle,
element, I was a real hip hop fan and got into DJing. I
had my turntables for four years, but I got into them like
You went to jail a couple times?
A lot of times [laughs], my rap sheet is bigger than most
guys, I'd say. Most graffiti artists can relate. But you know,
not just tagging, you have to get the paint somehow.
At one point you were subject to a massive raid, how did
that come about?
Two big raids like that, the second one wasnít as big, the
first raid was a GHOST Team [Graffiti Habitual Offender
Suppression Team], they didnít know anything about me, they
threw my sister on the ground thinking she was me, blocked off
my street. They came at five in the morning at my parents
house. Second raid, the GHOST Team came with the CHP officers,
they actually came to help the CHP raid me since they already
had that same experience.
These GHOST team guys are really
undercover, so they look young. I wondered 'what the hell this
kids busting me for'. I've been there for other people's
raids, pretty scary too, but I wont get into that.
Where do you see graffiti 20 years from now?
Well people donít really know this about me, but I'm still
heavily, not bombing no more, but totally surrounded by
graffiti. I have a bunch of canvases up, a few crew members
staying here, painting, I still go to the meetings, I'm still
into it a lot. I paint legal walls as much as possible, I even
painted the Five Points out there in New York which was fun.
But my days as a bomber pretty much shut down. Or getting
deported, I'm an alien. Graffiti was around before rap was
around, so its always gonna be around. thatís why I love
graffiti. Graffiti artists are so addicting, its so real
compared to the entertainment industry.
Why is that?
If you're a bad DJ, like I started to be, they have the
realness as graffiti, but once you turn to the mainstream DJ,
it turns to entertainment, competition. There's competition in
graffiti too, but its almost the same thing. DJing, its about
getting your name known, getting credibility.
I understand that youíre a car enthusiast, is this true?
I'm a big time car enthusiast. Most girls would be modeling
for a car, my cars are all fixed up. I have a '72 Impala, I'm
in to lowriders of course, living in L.A. [laughs]. My lowrider was featured in Lowrider Magazine before I was even
on the cover, I've been featured with a one page spread then a
five page spread.
People think its easy for me because I'm a
model. I pretty much collect Lowrider and different magazines.
They never call me to ask me to model, they call me because
they want me to DJ or for my cars, and then I end up modeling
What other cars do you own?
I have a 2002 Escalade, I painted it pink with silver flakes,
Lamborghini doors on it. I have a pink Fendi interior, 27 inch
gator rims by Asanti, and a fully equipped eight TVs sound
system from Audiovox. I have a Mercedes CLK 430 convertible,
that one I'm gonna get a Gucci interior, right now it has 18
inch Ice Asantis, it has 5 TVs from Eagle Audio and full
system two 12 inches.
What are you usually playing when you drive around the
I'm playing 2pac, Kurupt, Cypress Hill of course, Psycho Realm
of course. Anything from Soul Assassins, I love Muggs' stuff.
I like listening to my boy, his name is Seven, me and him did
a song together, next week weíre gonna do the music video.
did an album with an Asian guy, its called How the West was
Won, now I'm doing something with Seven, I'm feeling their
[Latin] style a lot more, it sounds better if you listen to
it. This guy has been around a long time, he has distribution,
he does all his own beats and he raps too
So you rap or sing?
I get into other stuff too, I do a little. Its called sexy
vocal. I'm not a rapper, I just kind of like sexy vocals, like
I'm talking, thatís sexy [laughs], like that.
As far as the music goes, whatís your involvement with
I'm totally, as friends, those are my home girls. I promote
them, I'm down for them, everywhere in the nation, to be a
part of Murda Mamis, you have to be an influential lady in hip
hop. Actress, rapper, host, a woman thatís very active in hip
hop and influential. From my graffiti is how I got in, Lazy K
and I did mixtapes together, we're working on part 2 of our
stuff. Everywhere I go I call El or Lazy K, I've chilled with
everyone: Mami Chula, Chantelle, Lazy K, Remy Ma.
the west coast, I travel a lot. Last year I traveled, I did 13
dub shows, and 25 Hot Import shows, only two were in L.A.! So
you could imagine, I was on the road every weekend. I got to
meet everyone from the crew in different cities. Also from my
tagging crew too.
Where do you usually DJ for those who want to see you
In L.A. I'm locking down some dates, I do a lot of private
parties. I did the Spider Club Friday, Hollywood bourgie
events [laughs], I get to do all night instead of a one hour
set. I control the clock from the time it opens. They have to
go to my website, I'm trying to lock in different dates and
see where I'm gonna be at next.
You were actually born in Hong Kong, have you ever returned
to DJ there or anywhere else outside of the U.S?
No, I was supposed to go to Taiwan last week. I'm kinda naÔve
too, I couldnít go out the country. I've been to London,
Germany, Indonesia. I ripped out two pages from my passport
'cause it had a bunch of blank pages, I couldnít go [because
of the removed pages]. I felt so bad, it was the Chinese new
So you're not a US citizen?
No I'm not, because of my felony its hard to become one. I
just got off probation. They told me to not even try because
if I try they are gonna look up my record.
If you get deported, where will they send you?
Hong Kong. Which is weird..
You don't have any relatives there?
No, my mom's Japanese, they just met there and had me there.
You'd be stuck there by yourself?
You mentioned going to Indonesia, which has a large Muslim
population. Were you asked to tone down your outfit and not
wear revealing clothes?
Actually they wanted me in a cute getup. Only one time they
told me to dress down, Numark, 'cause it was all businesses. I
was in a suit. It was cool because I got these new HT
Most men would consider you sexy, how do you define
Confidence, thatís the number one thing in sexiness, no girl
is sexy thatís shy or insecure, I'm very confident. Another
thing is how you dress. You donít have to dress totally crazy
to be sexy, but you could wear some little sweatsuit and have
some cute little earrings and accessories and makeup and look
sexy. And sexy is also ambition for me, someone that doesnít
know what the hell to do is lame.
If youíre taking a break from DJing a gig, how should a guy
Oh man, donít give me your demo [laughs]Ö I guess, would you
like a drink or something, thatís nice. The guys not a
That doesnít seem too hard.
I'm not very mean, as long as they come correct at the right
time. Donít when I'm on the turntables 'cause I'm
concentrating on the crowd. A lot of times, I just want to sit
there. Bored is the best time to approach me. I donít know,
seems like guys donít approach me like lets hang out, its more
like check out my demo, I get more of those then lets hang
Your looks intimidate men?
Maybe, I think that could be it, or they can tell that I'm
into my work, and thatís probably how to get to me, but thatís
really the opposite.
Any last thoughts?
One thing is to check out my show, ďLA OndaĒ on LATV, I'm the
host, Tuesdays at 11 and I just started doing. I'm a regular
on musicplustv.com, I'm straight live interviewing people.
Thatís hot, right there you can look at it live, its free and
watch some cool underground or old school videos. My show is
from 6-7 to see when I'm on live, I just talk s**t 'cause itís
the internet, its my hour so its pretty fun.
I'm gonna be in a movie called Platinum Illusions with Noel G
and all the guys you ever see in movies, all the Latinos you
Noel Gugliemi, Chino XL, Lil Rob are in that movie.
Lil Rob! That was my part, I'm the DJ in the club scene,
thatís when Lil Rob comes in , everyone does their
performances, I just have to DJ and host. That was my part, it
was a two day shoot, 12 hours a day, I did a mixtape for them.
I have a DVD coming out, mixtape DVD and a mixtape thatís
already being printed right now.
I'm the official DJ of the Dub Car Show for 2006, definitely
see me at all those shows. And the tour starts in LA, Pitbull,
Mike Jones, Busta Rhymes, Paul Wall, I'm the DJ between all
the acts, pretty cool. I did it for two years but I couldnít
go that much because I was on the other tour first, but this
year I dropped the other tour and focusing on this tour.
Saturday night I'd be at one show, and the next day I'd be at
a show across the country. February 19th at the Dub Show!
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