Home Trending On my radar: Jazzy Jeffs cultural highlights

On my radar: Jazzy Jeffs cultural highlights

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The DJ and producer on Jay-Zs new album, the Philadelphia 76ers and the great taste of blue crab

Born in West Philadelphia, DJ Jazzy Jeff has been spinning records since he was 10. The skills he developed in his familys basement soon became the basis for hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. As well as winning DMC Championship and American Music awards, he was the first hip-hop artist (together with Will Smith) to win the first best rap performance Grammy for Parents Just Dont Understand (1988). The groups second Grammy was earned for Summertime, peaking at No 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since then, his work has featured in Boyz n the Hood (1991), Strange Days (1995) and Jersey Girl (2004). Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff will make their first UK live performance at Livewire festival on 27 August.

1 | Documentary

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

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Shep Gordon: Hes kind of like a modern-day Forrest Gump. Photograph: Dogwoof

This is about Shep Gordons life as a talent manager, the things he accomplished and the people he managed, from Michael Douglas to Sylvester Stallone. Its one of the most special documentaries Ive ever seen definitely a must watch. As a character, hes very funny, with a distinctive laugh. He talks about the passion of business, which isnt something a lot of people in the entertainment industry do, so that really stuck out. Hes kind of like a modern-day Forrest Gump: hes done so many different things, youre left trying to figure out how this can be one persons life.

2 | Music

Jay Z: 4:44

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Jay Z: You realise that someone has made a great body of work, not of a bunch of songs. Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP

I am absolutely in love with Jay Zs latest album. Hes the first artist of our time to have made an adult hip-hop album. Its very bold and daring, making music thats not specifically for the club not everything has to be for the club. What I like most about it is that I dont have a favourite song I like them all. You can almost feel that this album was made to be presented as a whole and not split up.

3 | Podcast

Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty

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Chris Lighty: Mogul took a delicate situation and handled it very carefully. Photograph: Joe Kohen/Getty Images

[Music industry executive] Chris Lighty was a friend of mine, who unfortunately took his own life. This podcast delves into some of the trials and tribulations that the music industry can put on you, the stresses, and how some people cant handle those stresses. I felt it took a very delicate situation and handled it very carefully. They go through his life and his journey, how he got started, the different people he represented and the emotional connections he had with a lot of his artists. I didnt know many people who didnt like Chris Lighty; he was just a generally good guy. When he took his own life it was a shock to everybody.

4 | Food

The Crab Claw Restaurant, St Michaels, Maryland

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The Crab Claw Restaurant in St Michaels, Maryland: Im that much of a fan, I break up blue crabs with my hands. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Im a massive blue crab fan and in the summer I have crabs once or twice a week. Theyre pretty much from the area that I live in, from Philadelphia to Virginia. I dont use the hammers Ill just break them with my hands. When I went down to St Michaels with my wife to celebrate our anniversary, we stumbled across this restaurant right beside the water. We were the only ones in there, but it was absolutely amazing. Its a two-hour drive from my house, but if they tell me they have big crabs there Ill get in my car and drive to get them.

5 | TV

The Defiant Ones, HBO

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An incredible journey: Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Photograph: HBO

This four-part documentary looks at [Interscope Records co-founder] Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre, their past, how they met and what theyve done. Jimmy was learning how to be an audio engineer and realised he was a producer, while Dr Dre was making iconic records. I really enjoyed seeing how they came to sell Beats to Apple for $3bn with an incredible journey behind them. Dre and I are around the same age, so its like looking in the mirror I had a personal connection. Hes pretty much hip-hops first billionaire and we never thought one of us could get to that level, so you really have a lot of appreciation for what hes done.

6 | Sport

Philadelphia 76ers

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Resurgent: Alex Poythress of the 76ers dunks the ball in a game against LA Lakers last month. Photograph: Jack Arent/NBAE/Getty Images

I am a massive Philadelphia fan, being from there, and Im incredibly excited about the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team. We have been very, very bad over the past few years and its really hard when youre passionate about your team. But I see a light at the end of the tunnel as I think we have probably the best young and talented team in basketball [at the moment]. There was a point when Id go to every game and even purchased a streaming device so I could watch them when I was on tour. I didnt use my season ticket much when they were losing, so Im excited to go back to some games with the outlook being so bright.

7 | Art

Justin Bua

Justin Buas art is similar to Ernie Barness, who did iconic Marvin Gaye artwork with very exaggerated figures. Bua does a lot of hip-hop artwork and I got a piece from him called The DJ which I thought was incredible. The structure of it and the exaggeration almosts tells a story about DJ culture. The colours are very vibrant and rich. When I look at this picture I see myself.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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