By Rebecca Bulnes
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If Kid Galahad met Nam June Paik in a scratch-off, he might merge to become someone like DJ ICUE. Of course the Kid would have to be a lover, not a fighter, and ol' Nam June might have to gear his visuals to the street rather than the museum. But if you're looking for some full-on video mixing that employs embeds and mashups, ICUE is your cat.
Okay, so the New York-born road dog wasn't the first South Beach head spinner to swing with the video clips (Tom Laroc probably was). And with the way people are bopping to the screenscape, he undoubtedly won't be the last. Yet even after just a couple of months' plying the visual twist on the DJ trade, ICUE is building up a rep that's as wide as the source material he uses to blow out a track.
Naturally there's a past to back it all up, and in ICUE's case, that past includes an A.E. degree from Full Sail in Orlando, as well as postproduction work on the VMAs and National Geographic's Locked Up Abroad, not to mention stints dubbing Cops into French and South Park into Portuguese. Mostly, though, it all began with the spin of the songs themselves, and for ICUE that largely meant hip-hop, but to be fair to the young gun, it was a tag somewhat wrongly applied. Sure, ICUE made his bones blasting Biggie and the like, yet even when he seemed tethered to the street, his mindset was nothing but open.
Which is basically where his format stands today, whether he's in the booth at Love Hate, Purdy Lounge, or The Bar, or on the floor of the South Beach Adidas store. Even back when he was standing at the Marlin or Zanzibar or Amendment XXI, ICUE peppered his fight songs with freestyle and rock, and during his wild nights at White Room and PS14, he never was averse to slipping in the odd indie.
Of all the genres ICUE applies, though, it's of P Funk and The Gap Band that he remains most fond, perhaps because their funk knows no boundaries. Yes, he'll still play Biggie anywhere (hey, it always works), and yes, there's always room for Jeezy or Wayne (can't argue with success). But now ICUE is more intent on tracking beyond any genre, hip-hop or otherwise, and with the aid of Serato's video mixer, he's now intent on tracking beyond sound as well.
DJ ICUE's current top five:
3. "Hero," Nas
4. "Universal Mind Control," Common
5. "Everyone Nose," N.E.R.D.