DJ Trouble Enuff


Brilliant hip-hop artist and entertainer DJ Trouble Enuff taps into a strong vibe to create an original blend of reggae music with an emotional twist. It's little wonder why his new radio single ‘Just Give Us Our (Freedom)’ is racing up the charts.

Bremerton, Washington resident DJ Trouble Enuff is an excellent example of an artist that elegantly leverages his originality and compositional skills to the service of modern entertainment. His new single ‘Just Give Us Our (Freedom)’ demonstrates passionate musical stylings that are sure to appeal to mainstream audiences. This artist with a performance flair has the right look and the right attitude to become a proper reggae-magnet and audiences around the world are beginning to acknowledge the fact that a new creative force has arisen. Where will he take it from here? One critic wrote of his award-winning work: ‘A lamentatious reggae retaliation for the problem of mistreatment - 'Just Give Us Our (Freedom)' is the perfect soundtrack to the now commonly race-motivated traffic stop or other civil indignity.’ We suspect this artist will navigate the future on his own terms, given his obvious passion and musical skills. Independent reporter Alexis Adams recently caught up with DJ Trouble Enuff to discuss his music and the interesting path by which he came to it.

ALEXIS: Let's just get this out in the open- What is the craziest thing that has happened to you in your music career?
DJ Trouble Enuff: The craziest thing that has happened to me would probably be when I turned down a profitable music contract offer. Earlier in my music career while in the military I was offered unlimited studio time, money and other perks. While stationed in San Diego, CA I networked with several local studio & music producers. However, in order to secure the contract that was offered, I had to present myself in a certain way and rap the way they wanted me to. The commercialization of hip-hop/rap has brought increased revenue to the genre. However, the benefit of being successful at that time came with a price. That price for me would be the requirement to change my style. The suggested style involved degrading women or saying other stuff that I may not have been proud of later. Rap's original intent, was to protest social & economic issues in our communities. Consequently I decided not to accept that contract offer and thus continue with my current message. At that point in my career, I would make a conscious effort to raise awareness regardless if I made money or not. Now let me make one thing clear, I am in no way knocking someone else's style of rap. Because at the end of the day, it is hard out here to put food on the table and provide for family. However, the style of rap that I mentioned was just not for me. At that time, I was struggling financially consequently it took all of my willpower not to sign that contract. I learned early that money is not everything. I am blessed to have received a second opportunity. And fortunately, that opportunity does not involve compromising my beliefs. I feel that it is important for me to be a leader in the fight against social and economic injustices. Furthermore I believe that I have a moral and civic responsibility to raise awareness.

ALEXIS: Your song ’Just Give Us Our (Freedom)’ is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
DJ Trouble Enuff: My initial thoughts were that this is an amazing accomplishment for me and my team. Although we have had success in the past with another single entitled “Troubled Times And Troubled Ways”, it was still a surreal moment in that this amazing experience was happening again.

ALEXIS: What was the inspiration behind your radio single?
DJ Trouble Enuff: Our single “Just Give Us Our Freedom” encourages all people to stand up for their rights regardless of race, color, sexual orientation or any other background for that matter. Effective change cannot happen unless we as people take action and let our voices be heard. We wanted to use the music platform to raise awareness to some of the social & economic concerns in the United States and around the world such as the catastrophic mistreatment of blacks as it relates to the police and routine traffic stops in the U.S. Results of a CNN health study conducted in December 2016 illustrate that blacks are 3 times more likely to die due to police use of force. And we all know that, “numbers don’t lie" but, people sure as hell do.

ALEXIS: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
DJ Trouble Enuff: I concur that art often arises as a result of difficult experiences. Consequently I can point to where I was raised as being the most defining experience in my life. I can definitely say that coming from humble beginnings has served as the fuel or catalyst for my desire to create music. I know that many people have come from humble beginnings as well. Consequently what makes my experience any different? The city of East St. Louis, Il where I was raised as kid makes my experience different because it is a city unlike others. Although there have been NFL football players, rappers and other successful people hailing from East. Louis, Illinois, it was still a ruff place to grow up. We all know that success can happen for anyone with drive and determination however the odds are just stacked against those from my city. Olympic goal medal winner and East St. Louis native Vice Jackie Joyner Kersee showed us all that drive and determination that I am referring to. Jackie who is now retired was an American track and field athlete, "who ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the heptathlon as well as long jump. She would win three gold medals, one silver and two bronze Olympic medals in those two events at four different Olympic games". Jackie and others serve as an Illustration that East St. Louis (my childhood city) is full of promise and ambition. However, much like other forgotten economically disadvantaged cities, it is a ruff place to grow up and subsequently make a better life for yourself, family or both. In one of our songs which is entitled troubled times & troubled ways we refer to East St. Louis as the “university of adversity”. And as a kid that is exactly what it was. As a young teen, I had to literally fight for my life everday. Unfortunately, my childhood city still today has poverty and extreme violence which has led to terrible environmental conditions. Coming from the ruff streets of East St. Louis has taught me some of life's lessons, brought out the creative side of me and thus motivated me to create music.

ALEXIS: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician?
DJ Trouble Enuff: My first love would be working as a DJ. I have worked in nightclubs, weddings and other venues as a DJ and MC. Secondly I have a strong love for poetry. I have written, produced & performed several poetry/spoken word and rap songs. I love the spontaneity & creativity associated with writing and performing poetry. Finally, I also love to write and produce songs for other artist as well. However, I would still characterize myself as an artist, not a musician because I am engaged primarily in the activity associated with creating the art.


ALEXIS: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
DJ Trouble Enuff: I love collaborating with other artists. My experience working with local artists in the Washington state area on this project was nothing short of outstanding. Again, like last time we all clicked immediately. On this project I worked again with a local DJ and producer by the name of DJ SIO. He made the instrumental and sung the chorus for our awarding winning song. Once the chorus was created, that opened the dooor for conversation which brought out other ideas. Shout out to DJ SIO for his participation on this track. I also worked with a local Reggae artist by the name of Clive Stewart. I heard some of his music online. The minute I heard Clive's voice, I knew he would be great for this particular track. From day one Clive was a willing participant and did a fabulous job on this track. Consequently, I would like to send a shout out to him as well.

ALEXIS: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
DJ Trouble Enuff: Yes. I have a cousin that played guitar in the warm-up band for George Clinton's Parliment Funkadelic a long time ago. My nephew Andrew (NuNu) Clay Jr. is a Midwest rap sensation and has worked with artist such as Juvenile and Quiwan formerly of rapper Nelly's St. Lunatics crew. I also have two brothers and a cousin that are DJ's. My brothers Andrew & Gilbert and my cousin Lavelle Clay are all DJ’s. They all have music collections that would be admired by most. Finally, my big brother Andrew (Soul) Clay provided the initial music inspiration for us all. His extensive music collection was the focus at parties. He also knew popular radio station DJs and others in the local music platform. Shout out to my big brother the P-Funk master of the turn tables. For those that are not familiar with P-Funk, it is the "repertoire and performers associated with George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic collective and distinctive style of funk music they performed".

ALEXIS: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
DJ Trouble Enuff: The interaction with people who have been following my music journey has been and continues to be very rewarding. The people are really the reason I do what I do. It is the people who have touched my heart. And the majority of those people have been very encouraging. Some have given me feedback with regard to my songs, while others have offered encouragement or important advice. I really would like to thank all of the people who have written me, sent an email, messaged me or called me. It has also been extremely rewarding as well to be able to use the music platform to express some of my deepest concerns. Freedom of expression is of course “the fundamental human right which underpins most other rights and allows them to flourish”. Freedom of expression is essential as well to the continued message of economic and social progress. Finally I would say that the most challenging part of being an artist is occasionally being misunderstood with regard to the message I am trying to convey.

ALEXIS: Who are your role models in music?
DJ Trouble Enuff: Public Enemy, George Clinton, Kendrick Lamar, KRS-One, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Beyonce, Nelly and Run-DMC. I have been inspired in some way by all of the artist listed. Public enemy provided me with inspiration, and courage to say what I want to say. While, I just loved to listen to the funk master George Clinton.In my opinion Kendrick Lamar and Lupe Fiasco are terrfic young artist. The others listed I just enjoy listening to their music, inspired by the work they are doing in community or other things.

ALEXIS: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
DJ Trouble Enuff: My best and most memorable performance was in Vancouver, Canada. While, in the U.S. Navy one of my ships made a port visit to Vancouver Canada. Myself and two more of my shipmates performed at one of the night clubs there. The crowd was really excited and I could tell they appreciated our performance.

ALEXIS: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
DJ Trouble Enuff: At one point in your music career, you will have to trust someone. Therefore, take neworking very seriously. However, when networking ensure that you establish meaningful contacts with good people and reputable businesses. Network with people that are highly recommended. You will find that it is extremely important to deal good people you can trust right off the bat. The reason being, time is of essence and extremely important. Consequently don't let anyone waist it.Finally and most importantly, don’t let family, friends, age or anything else for that matter stop you from reaching your creative goals.

ALEXIS: What's next for you as an artist? Is there an album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
DJ Trouble Enuff: I just completed a music video for our award winning song “Troubled Times And Troubled Ways”. That video is currently available for viewing on Youtube. Also I am in the process of completing another music video for our other award winning song entitled “Just Give Us Our Freedom”. Shortly after that I will finish up my debut album. I am excited about this album for various reasons. For one I got the opportunity to work with some talented artists and producers. Secondly I put my heart and soul into this album, so I am definitely ready to showcase it. Finally there is a lot of material on there that deals with raising awareness to social and economic concerns. However, the album does not focus entirely on that topic. There are spoken word pieces, a love song, reggae, gospel rap and hip hop as well. I wanted show my versatility on this album. I feel like people will really get to know me, by listening. The album is scheduled to hit the stores early in 2018.

ALEXIS: Can't wait to hear everything! Thank you for sharing more about your life with me. I wish you continued success in the future.