Written by Imani Wj Wright
Rolling Loud. Have you heard of it?
'That’s the festival right?' Yes. 'The one that Travis Scott, Wu-Tang, and Lil Baby have performed in?' Yes. 'The biggest Hip-Hop festival in America?' Yes.
Well, that guy in the photo above is DJ Five Venoms- and he is the official DJ of Rolling Loud. This isn't some brand new gig for him either. He's also the host of Rolling Loud radio, on Sirius XM. The guy's track record and accomplishments can attest to his abilities on the turntables. But, that's not what we're here to discuss today (eh, maybe a little). He's recently released a track titled, Laughing to the Bank, which features Hip-Hop artists, BabyBoySlimee, and Pressure Dommer. Slimee and Dommer give genuine uptempo performances here. I must've listened to this piece at least 10 times the first day I was put on to it. Come on. It's catchy, it's fun, it has just the right amount of vocal confidence... at the very least, it adds some pep to your step!
But- with several artists and producers integrated in the creative process, one may think that heads are prone to clash during the piece's maturation.
Venoms told SwanoDown:
"When sending out records, sending out beats.. or artists who have songs ready for me- sometimes the content isn't something I'm feeling, or the content may not be what they want. So it's trying to find that happy-medium... Some dudes may be on more street stuff, or some may be on more knowledge things than what I might be on. Seeing that I'm putting my name on a song that we're both working on and I'm [curating], we have to come to a happy-medium where they're happy, and I'm happy with the message. I want all my music to have a good message, be uplifting, and supportive."
Being such a premiere DJ, and dealing with the success that he's already accrued, it can be easy to develop a sense of complacency in that realm. Why try something new or spend time in another sector? That answer is simple, Venoms is an artist, and a hungry one... Drive and character doesn't leave you, if it's undeniably entrenched.
"I felt [complacency], but I never took action on it. DJing is a tough business to be in. There's tons of competition, you go through a lot of hassles, dealing with multiple people on different levels- from promoters, to club owners, to the actual patrons. And then the same thing with music. Everyone has their taste of music. You're dealing with everyone too- producers, management... Especially on my end. I'm an artist, but I'm working with other artists. So, everything I'm doing is dealing with other artists. It's not like I'm going and rapping on my own beats. So I have to deal with everyone from producers, producers' managers, artists' managers... So everyone has their own way of doing things and making a process that works for everybody." Venoms stated.
"Is it a headache? Yes. Waiting for beats, sending out beats and waiting for songs to come back is like a big struggle. Just staying on artists, just hitting them up. 'Hey did you get in the studio yet? Hey did you get a chance to listen to that beat yet?' It's like a priority thing also. My priority is obviously my own music. There priority is their own music." He added.
Venoms wanted to clarify that sometimes the curating process is smooth, and there are artists who may send a song back in the morning, just hours after receiving the instrumental the night before. Referring to the original subject of complacency, Venoms asserted: "Does [the process] deter me? Yes. It's like damn, it's difficult. It's easier for me to play music in a club, play music at a festival, but, I wanted to build, I wanted to get out of a comfort zone too. And, it just seemed like the next step to: putting out my own music, playing my own music at a club, people enjoying my music that I'm creating and putting out." His humility is quite evident while conversing with him. Not only does Venoms refer to his desired personal gain, he makes is clear that he wants to showcase artists who deserve a platform in his eyes. "Showcasing [those artists] as well is a part of it."
"Nothing worth anything comes easy. And you have to fight through that. That's how you can tell the people who are really about it versus the people who really aren't. The first hard thing that pops up, they say 'Ah, this isn't for me.' But the ones who really want and are really about it, they're going to work all through that." Another comment that bespeaks Venom's drive.
Venoms' tenacity, artistry, and equanimity have lead him to his position today, and will continue to not just evolve- but inspire.
Listen to Laughing to the Bank by DJ Five Venoms: