Terry Urban represents Cleveland hip-hop DJ crew the League. He can be heard on Z107.9 FM, Sirius Radio Channel 40, and at the Warehouse District's Cloud 9.
What music do you listen to that would surprise fans?
A lot of people just think I'm a hip-hop DJ. I listen to old punk rock like the Germs or even a little old country like Hank Williams or Crosby, Stills & Nash. I wish I could play variety like that in the club -- like mixing Thin Lizzy with N.W.A. Unfortunately, that never happens, because this city is so radio-driven, and there's not a lot of artistic thinking anymore. Although Mick Boogie and I have been trying to pull these kind of mixes monthly at Touch Supper Club, and it's working.
What hip-hop song was the first to really get a hook in you?
I memorized every word to Eric B and Rakim's Paid in Full. It was on this N.Y.C. hip-hop hits tape that I had gotten from a friend. I think I memorized every song on the tape, including Boogie Down Productions' "My Philosophy," which is the reason my life is so involved in hip-hop.
Is hip-hop better, worse, or just different nowadays?
Hip-hop is the same as it ever was. MCs bragging about what we don't have. B-boys still breaking. DJs still scratching records and graffiti artists still writing. The only problem is that hip-hop is so commercial now, and the industry is flooded with a bunch of [amateurs].
Who's the best rapper no one knows about?
Garbs Infinite is a great MC and producer. When he gets discovered, he will smash the hip-hop scene. He's got a great distinctive voice and a well-rounded vocabulary. He just needs to quit smoking.
What beat do you most wish you'd made?
Anything by Pharrell or Premier is up in my Top 10. I have to say the best beat ever is "PSA" by Jay-Z.
What's the best hip-hop remix?
It's a toss-up between Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones, Part 2" and A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario" remix.
What party track always works?
Rob Base's "It Takes Two" or maybe even "Ain't No Fun," by Snoop Dogg. Bell Biv Devoe's "Poison" is great too.
Visit www.TerryUrban.com to find out about his next party.