DJ Flipout hands over the keys to Canada's music scene for size?sessions — mix #002
For our second edition of size?sessions Canada, we’re linking up with Vancouver’s very own DJ Flipout. Known around the globe as Canada’s Hip Hop Ambassador; Flipout's larger-than-life legacy is cemented through his works as a DJ, Radio Host, B-Boy, Record Label owner, MC, published author, as well as a long-time sneakerhead.
Because we’re dealing with an icon… it’s only right that we’ve given Flipout complete creative control for size?sessions #002. We know that whether he plays Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk, Soul, or even Rock, it will be a thoroughly thought-out set; curated by countless years of music collection, summer selections and eclectic experiences.
So, sit back, and be prepared to hit rewind...a few times, no doubt.
Listen to the live mix while you read the interview below!
Welcome to size?sessions! Please introduce yourself, what’s your size?
"My name is Flipout, I’m a lifelong DJ, vinyl collector and music nerd. My shoe size is 9.5/10."
What were some factors that influenced the musical style you’re known for?
"I’m from Vancouver, Canada. I discovered DJing and Hip Hop in the late 80s, as a young teen. Before that I was influenced by AM radio, classic rock radio, video shows and my older brother’s cassette tapes. I gravitated towards the Beatles and Steve Miller Band. But then I discovered 2 Live Crew, Public Enemy and Run DMC and my mind was opened to a whole new journey that continues to this day!"
You have many titles associated with your name: DJ, B-Boy, Producer, Radio Host, MC and most recently, Author. If you could add one thing to that long list of titles, what would it be?
"I’m also an actor. I enjoy the craft immensely and have done a handful of professional gigs but have consistently taken scene study class for the past 15 years or so."
Acting gigs aren’t your only foray into television/film – you’re also the official host of the Red Bull 3Style World DJ Championships. Tell us more about this unique competition series, how long you’ve been involved in the event, and one of your fondest memories from ‘the road.’
"I've been involved with the 3Style since the inception, as a contestant (and runner up) in the first 'prototype' around 2007. The first 3 years of the event were local, and I was the host of each of them. In 2010 the event went global! I put my name in the hat to be the host of the World Finals in my hometown of Vancouver in 2011 and from then on, I hosted 9 out of the following world final weeks.
In 2017, 3Style set up a world tour of the national qualifiers spanning South America, Asia, Africa, and a month-long bus tour of Europe. That bus tour holds some of my fondest memories, including ordering 100 orders of nuggets from McDonalds late night for the team! But my overall best experience of doing the full world tours is meeting every single competitor and building a personal relationship with most of them, which I still hold to this day! It’s a cool bond because I’m the only person on the stage with them before and after they perform, and I’m always looking out to help if anything goes awry and just there for moral support as well."
Over the past decade, we’ve noticed your gravitation to all 7” 45rpm record sets (the little records, for those less familiar). So much in fact, that you started your own record label ‘Flip N Jay’ Records with your long-time counterpart and DJ, Jay Swing. Tell us what has you setting your 12” records and Serato DJ software aside for 7” vinyl. Is it rarity? Sound quality? Easier to transport? Reviving the excitement of the dig?
"It’s the excitement of the dig, definitely! But it’s also a refined dig, so that I’m not overwhelmed by looking in ALL the record bins. I like the aspect of being a 'specialist' in the format. I’m so in tune with Serato and other evolving technology that I think I was missing the tactile aspect of collecting music. And the story of 45s is that historically, some songs were only found on THAT format which made those records special, and to this day, there are still loads of songs that don’t exist on the internet and only on a 7” record, and they need to be heard AND preserved! And yes, EASY TO TRANSPORT."
Speaking of rarity, you and fellow DJ Jay Swing recently published a book, Elements, based off a series of 'zines you released in the late ‘90s - early ‘00s. Tell us more about that project and how it all came together.
"We had done this sort of passion project in 1995/1996 of publishing a rap music magazine because we were incredibly immersed in the music! We were doing radio shows, promoting events, opening for touring artists, and we were excited to share our perspective because we just loved it so much! So, we put out 8 issues and over the past 25 years people would mention it here and there and because those 2 years in hip hop were so incredibly prolific and ground-breaking, the content in the magazines held up!
Almost everything we covered at that time is now considered classic. So, we wanted to preserve that once and for all in a beautiful hard cover book with our long-time, original artistic collaborator, DEDOS, featuring works that he had been working on too. "
Over the span of your career, you’ve been fortunate enough to interview some of Hip Hop’s Greats, both for Elements Magazine and various radio shows. Who was your most memorable interview with, and why? If you could have one ‘do-over,’ who would it be?
"Biggest do-over interview would have to be Jay-Z. I did a phoner with him just before his first album “Reasonable Doubt” dropped. The transcribed original interview is actually in the Elements book, but there are soooooo many missed opportunities in that interview that it’s kind of cringy looking at it now. BUT I knew nothing about him! It was his first album! "
Prince, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder. You can only invite one of them over to your place for dinner to talk music and life. Who is it, and what’s on the menu?
"Prince. We eat pancakes."
Your music knowledge is known to run deep. Like… real deep. What is one random musical fact that you feel is important, but very few know?
"Howard Stern was the first person to play Biz Markie’s 'Just A Friend' lol."
Before we wrap up: What's your go-to pair of sneakers, and what do you like about them?
"Yeezy 700 Wave Runners! I’ve worn them almost every day for the past 3 years… they’re incredibly comfortable and they go with everything! I’ve gone through 2 pairs. Also, in rotation with the  Mauves (rain boot) and Salts."
Keep it locked to our blog, socials and emails for plenty more size?sessions to come!