Tampa's DJ Smallz hands the mic to active-duty military for new mixtape
Before Tampa’s DJ Smallz became a world-traveling turntablist, he was a military brat. Born on a base in Yokosuka, Japan, Smallz moved around a lot as a child.
Now 24, Smallz has an even stronger appreciation for our men and women in uniform. In August, he and rapper Paul Wall embarked on a USO tour to perform for troops stationed in Afghanistan.
“I saw that hip-hop was really a big influence out there,” said Smallz, who has a monthly deejaying gig at Club Skye in Ybor City. “Before those guys do anything, they listen to music — in their iPod, on their laptop. It gets them through their day out over there.” Many of the troops were amateur rappers eager to spit verses for Smallz and Wall. One mountainside base even had a makeshift recording studio.
The trip gave Smallz an idea: produce a hip-hop mixtape showcasing talented members of the military. The project, named Call of Duty as a nod to the popular video game, will feature 15 original songs selected by Smallz. So far there are a few hundred entries.
Applicants must be active-duty in one of the four military branches. To enter, record an original rap or R&B song and upload it to a site that will give it a URL, such as MySpace. Then go to djsmallz.com to submit your link. If your song is selected, you’ll be asked to provide a copy of your military I.D. and your commanding officer’s phone number. The contest ends Jan. 31.
For details, click here to check out Dalia Colon's story on DJ Smallz.