Originally from Philly, DJ 3rd Degree moved to Woodland Hills, CA in 1978 after his mother passed. From the 70’s sounds (Mom) to the Stones and Doors (Dad), music has always been in his life.
Listening to early 80’s LA radio stations (KLOS FM, KROQ FM) and watching MTV really drew DJ 3rdDegree into the music world. A self-taught DJ, he began remixing songs in 1983, submitting them personally to KROQ DJ icon Richard Blade. After high school, a job as a Tower Records clerk in El Toro led to complete immersion in record store culture. Within a year, he became the singles buyer for Tower Records, El Toro. Exposed to the record business, he met with buyers and record distributors. During this same period, he was big into dancing, having been taught how to break and pop by Todd Non-Stop Campbell of the L.A. Breakers. Frequenting many of the late 80’s hip-hop spots (The Palace, United Nations, etc.) he danced against such icons as The Soul Brothers.
In 1990, friends asked 3rd Degree to move back to LA to form a rap group and start writing rhymes. First he said no, then, he embraced it and went on to write/create many songs over the years. In 1996, he started his first radio show—The Coast to Coast Hip Hop Show—at L.A. Valley College. In 1998, he was asked to take the show to the Internet as a video/audio show, one of the first of its kind.
In 2000, rock/rap group Super Dank Brothers asked him to join them. With his rhyme partner M Da Pharaoh, they created an album of songs & performed at LA hot spots such as The Key Club, The Roxy, Troubadour, Whiskey A Go Go and Viper Room. This band lasted about 5-years. At the same time, he was also asked to DJ for a soul rap group called Strange Fruit. Both bands created great music!
In 2013 his rhyme partner, now going by Yums Jones, asked him to help create new music. They made a mix tape as The Los Angeles Classics (The L.A.C.), using the amazing production of J Dilla (James Yancey). They gave the single ‘Turn Up The Microwave’ to a friend, Nasty Nes, for his industry advice and music opinion. Nes liked it and asked them to allow him to take it to college radio thru www.rapattacklives.com. With success, they then took several other songs thru Rap Attack to college rap radio, resulting in two #1 singles, one to #3 and another to #5 on the charts.
From the success of the L.A.C. project, DJ 3rd Degree was asked by DJ Legacy (Atlanta), to join him and some friends and bring his Coast to Coast Hip Hop Show back to the world on www.endangeredspeciez.tv. Encouraged by positive feedback from friends & colleagues, 3rd Degree obliged—the rest is history!
Today, 3rd Degree happily hosts The Coast to Coast Hip Hop Show on ScratchVision Radio (DJ Scratch). He is the DJ/Producer for the Seattle-based group The High Children. He is part of the Rap Attack DJ crew. Always looking to help out new and established artists bring their vision of music to the world, he writes a review column called ‘DJ 3rd Degree’s Fire Pick of the Week’ for rapattacklives.com.
In addition, he does radio edits for artists looking to bring their songs to radio.