“I feel very comfortable saying that DJ 2rip is the hardest working deejay I know. Since he and I started playing and throwing parties together in 2007, he has gone from local act to someone who can pretty much write his own ticket anywhere in the DMV and many areas along the East Coast. As a promoter, you book 2rip because he is an extremely versatile deejay with a loyal fan base and always puts on a show. I’m really happy to see him working hard in the studio of late and am digging tracks he has put together so far. Music runs through his veins and his passion is evident as he inspires everyone around him.”
– LJ MTX, Peakhour Music/PhetHouse Records
Sure – with his raging crowds, manic arm waving and hyper leaping to bangin’ twisted beats – DJ 2rip looks like your typical legendary rafter-rattling party rocker. But hold on – true to Washington covert ops tradition he’s also a seasoned, dedicated and creative party thrower, and a producer whose tantalizing previews promise great things to come.
Long before Chad Bozzarelli ever imagined a life of cross-country touring, festivals and nightclubs, the Pittsburgh native threw a 15th birthday party so packed he hosted more memorable house parties at his parents’ home. “We kept running out of space so I moved my parties into fields,” Chad recalls. “I was doing all this underground stuff before I even understood what the underground music scene was like. I was just trying to have fun. Then it turns out there’s this rave scene!”
Chad learned to deejay practicing on friends’ turntables and playing out a lot. “I worked and saved up a long time until I was able to get my own equipment (from ProSound and Stage Lighting), right before I moved to college in 2000. By the time I reached college I was headlining shows right off the bat.”
After graduating from Penn State in 2004, Chad moved to DC where he promoted for and deejayed at legendary electronic dance music parties Buzz at Nation until the building closed in 2006 and Glow at Fur until 2009 when he left to focus on the emerging bass music (dubstep and drumstep) and electro scene. At Buzz and Glow he shared stages with edm icons such as Paul van Dyk, Benny Benassi, MSTRKRFT, and Bad Boy Bill.
Beyond the killer sets he’s known for at parties like Starscape, Big Dub Candy Mountain (PA), and Bass Nation at UHall, there’s more to his rave culture legacy than meets the eye. On a videoblog this second wave rave veteran says, “you had to have been there” to understand how exciting the early days were. He tries to “recreate the same experiences while putting our own twist on it.”
DC rave legend Scott Henry of Buzz says, “I respect and admire Chad’s motivation and dedication to keeping the rave scene alive in DC – and he’s a great deejay to boot! Just a really good guy.”
On Tap caught up with an energized, upbeat DJ 2rip fresh out of the water and just before taking over the decks at a recent Brightest Young Things Capitol Skyline Pool Party.
On Tap: How did you get into dance music?
DJ 2RIP: When I was 17 I went to a party with my sister and really got into the music. I was infatuated with what was going on in the deejay booth – deejay with two records and he’s pressing little knobs and moving things – what on earth is going on? I started meeting deejays and inviting them out to my field parties. They’d bring their equipment, play drum ‘n’ bass or whatever, so unintentionally I was basically throwing raves back then. (laughs)
OT: What were you spinning then and what was your deejay name?
2RIP: When I moved to Penn State I was known as a trance deejay. DJ 2rip became my moniker in 1999. I’d been spinning under my real name but when I got booked for a really large show at an abandoned warehouse in Pittsburgh called “Just Another Rave” or JAR. I was like, I need to do something different. At the time I was watching the movie “Boiler Room” with Giovanni Ribisi and Vin Diesel. “2 RIP” shows up on their boss’ license plate in a scene and my sister’s boyfriend says, why don’t you use that as your deejay name? I’m like, I’m just going to do it and I can change it later. My slot was from 6 to 7 in the morning. I didn’t think many people were going to be there, but I was still on a big lineup and wanted to have some fun and have a deejay name. That night I tore the roof off and everybody was chanting “2-rip! 2-rip!” at the end of the night. Here I am with this marketing opportunity where the next party I can play, people will remember 2rip’s performance, so I never changed it.
OT: How did you hook up with Buzz and Panorama Productions?
2RIP: After Nation shut down, I tried to do my own company, District Ignition, and basically we sort of ended up lumping in with Panorama to help host Glow and parties at Ultrabar. We were in charge of promotions. I was also a resident deejay for Glow. Then I started seeing this opportunity in bass music that no one else was really catching on to. We left in 2009 to do our own thing and started bringing the bass music genres to DC, along with Shawn Lucas who was also doing bass music and dubstep here. We were the only other ones producing events that were hosting artists like AC Slater, Hatiras, and Kill the Noise, before all these guys blew up. Dubstep was one of those things where either you loved it or you hated it. Before it had even broken into the mainstream, I was one of the first guys to ever drop dubstep in this area at the Steez Promo Spring and Fall Massives in 2009.
OT: How did you become a Steez Promo resident?
2RIP: They were observing the opening sets I was doing at Glow and Steve Gordon kind of got interested in what I was doing. He didn’t really know what to expect of me as a deejay. He put me on a two-hour opening set at the 2009 Spring Massive. When I was done he came up to me and said, man, I didn’t know you laid it down like that, and that was the segue into everything else that came about with Steez. I went from being a resident with Glow to, after a few months, being a resident with Steez.
OT: What do you find most gratifying about your work in the edm scene as a deejay, promoter and producer?
2RIP: It’s been a long journey. What I’ve always found most gratifying is that I have a platform where my ideas can be heard and my emotions felt across a broad spectrum. And I feel that I have inspired people to think outside the box. While it’s most gratifying, it still remains a challenge as I continue to expand my reach nationally.
DJ 2rip headlines the Charm City Music Festival Electronic Dance Tent on Saturday, September 15, 12 – 11 p.m. at Harbor East Waterfront: 1000 Wills St. Baltimore, MD; www.charmcitymusicfestival.com.
Check DJ 2rip music and videos at www.soundcloud.com/dj2rip and www.youtube.com/dj2rip. Follow DJ 2rip at www.facebook.com/thedj2rip.