Diamanté Blackmon, AKA Carnage, knows how to crush a trap set. When he played Pompano Beach's Club Cinema last year, he was hauled out of the DJ booth by Broward Sheriff's officers because he performed for 45 minutes after closing time.
Still, he has positive memories of that show: "That's when I was like, Wow, this is, like, real real. I can do this with the big guys."
And to prove he belongs among the heavyweights, Carnage is racking up collabo tracks with lots of fellow "big guys" in 2015. He has dropped turn-up anthem "I Like Tuh" alongside iLoveMakonnen ("fucking biggest song of the year," he says) and worked with trap lord A$AP Ferg. Both singles will be featured on Carnage's upcoming debut album on Ultra Music.
Carnage's Papi Gordo & Friends
"I'm just doing what I'm good at," he laughs. "And that's making Carnage music. The album is a lot of Carnage-y type of songs, the best Carnage songs."
The DJ admits his brand of trap has become a more common, less underground genre while he's been working on the album. But he shrugs it off, because Carnage was never about trends.
"Trap went through a phase when it was hyped up, and now it's not as hype anymore. Now it's just there," he says. "Future house is the coolest thing right now. And then future house won't be as cool. There's just gonna be some other subgenre. So everything goes through its hype phase and then just dies off."
For Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week 2015, Carnage will celebrate with his Papi Gordo & Friends party at Miami's only megaclub where some dancers go topless, E11even. So we at New Times hit up the big guy to chat about making music with Makonnen, the current state of trap, and how to run game on half-naked ladies.
New Times: When is the first time in your life you thought, I can be a professional DJ?
Carnage: When I started getting paid for it. There was a demand for it and I got an agent. When I first started doing shows, I was getting $700 to $900 a show, and I was like, Oh, my god. My mind was blown.
What was it like working with Makonnen on "I Like Tuh"?
It was awesome. We’ve been friends for a couple of years. It was one of those things where it just finally got to happen. We finally made something.
What DJs are you watching?
All the DJs. Every DJ has its own purpose. Every song has its own purpose. I may not be playing a lot of their songs, but there’s a reason other people like it. I don’t look at things in a way where I’m like, “I don’t like this,” and then tell everyone not to like it. If I don’t like it, whatever. But if there’s thousands of people that like it, there must be something good about it, you know?
Have you been to E11even yet?
Oh, yeah, all the time. Have you been there?
A few times.
You love it.
What makes a good dancer?
She has to be hot. She has to look good and have a good body. She can’t be naggy. Like, you know those girls who get all over you and start kissing you and go, “Oh, you wanna dance?” I don’t want to hear you see that. I want to see if you can hold a conversation.
So what are some good tips on how to talk them?
Like if you're a nervous guy, you don't go up to them; they come to you. They sit down. She sits on your lap. She probably starts rubbing your hair and says, "What's your name?" So you say, "My name is Boss." And then she's like, "Oh, fuck," and you're like, 'Yeah, my name is Boss, because I'm a boss. Now break it down for Big Papi." That's how you're supposed to do it.
Since you’ve become successful as a DJ, what’s the coolest non-performance thing that you’ve been able to do?
For me, the coolest thing was these two girls started hysterically crying just because they met me. I thought that was kind of cool. I gave them a hug. It was weird.
Did they stop crying?
No, they just cried harder. Then later, they stopped.
In the video for “Bricks” with Migos, you’re holding a bear. Is that a real bear or CGI? I can’t tell.
It’s a real bear. His name is Smokey.
What was it like hanging out with that baby bear?
That bear was fucking gnawing on my arm so bad. He was biting. And if you notice, [in the video], there’s white stuff all over his mouth because I was feeding him milk. So it looks like a coked-out baby bear, but it’s really just milk. It was awesome. He was teething, so he did this weird thing where he sucks on your arm. We was trying to hold him and he made this sound. [Carnage mimics crazy bear noise.] So yeah.
What do you got planned for the rest of the year?
The album’s coming out in late spring. That’s all that you’re gonna hear is the album. The album. The album. I think I’m going to announce the name next week.
What sound are you going for with the album?
There isn’t anything I’m going for. I’m just doing what I’m good at. And that’s making Carnage music. People say that all the time. People are going to see. The album is a lot of Carnage-y type of songs, the best Carnage songs.
What do you think of the current state of trap music?
It’s just there, you know? It went through a section where it was hyped up and now it’s not as hype anymore. Now it’s just there. Kind of like Dubstep. Dubstep was kind of cool, then it was died off, now it’s kind of just there again. There’s still great trap music and there’s still great dubstep. But it’s just there.
Trap went through a phase when it was hyped up and now it's not as hype anymore. Now it's just there. Kind of like dubstep. It was kind of cool, then it died off, now it’s kind of just there again. There’s still great trap music and there’s still great dubstep. But it’s just there.
You’re saying it’s not as underground, and that it’s everywhere?
Yeah, exactly. Future house is the coolest thing right now. And then future house won't be as cool. There's just gonna be some other subgenre. So everything goes through its hype phase and then just dies off.
Do you have adapt? Or just keep doing your thing?
You definitely adapt. Great artists adapt. Those are the DJs that keep going on. Like Tiësto. He’s the king of the adaptation. He's 40-plus years old, fucking living the fucking life, and still coming out with great music, remixes, in all types of genres.
You have a very in-your-face musical style, but come off as pretty chill. What do you do when you’re just chilling and not doing music?
Naked in my bed, watching Netflix. Eating food. Hanging out with really hot girls. Just chilling.
What are some Netflix recommendations?
The Imitation Game was pretty good. I saw the new Aziz Ansari special at Madison Square Garden and it was not good at all. Disappointing, because I’m an Aziz Ansari fan.
I watched it last night and liked it. You didn’t like it?
I watched it last night too. I got bored after the first 30 minutes and just turned it off. He was definitely trying to do, like, preaching.
I get what you’re saying. It wasn’t as jokey and funny. It was a little different, but I liked it.
Yeah, it wasn’t funny. You’re white, right?
So it’s perfect for you guys.
What would you rather watch.
I’m waiting for Kevin Hart’s special. I’m a Kevin Hart fan.
Yeah, I like him in the movies. But not so much in the stand-up.
Yeah, it’s a lot of black jokes. Kind of like George Lopez. He’s a great stand-up, but only if you know Spanish, because he says a lot of his stuff in Spanish.
What’s your favorite thing about Miami?
The women. Oh, God, they’re best.
What are you most excited about for Miami Music Week?
I’m only going to be there for like, two days. I’m going to go and terrorize as many people’s sets as I can, hang out, and just kick it. You’re going to see my face everywhere in Miami. It’s going to be interesting. You’ll see. It’s going to be really fun.
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What are you the most proud of in your career?
Having one of the best fanbases in the dance industry.
Carnage’s Papi Gordo & Friends. With Nervo, Chuckie, Ape Drums, Andres Fresko, and Savi. 10 p.m. Friday, March 26, at E11even, 29 NE 11th Street, Miami; 305-305-6611; 11miami.com. Tickets cost $40 for women and $80 for men plus fees via 11miami.com.