Since he was a young boy, DJ Triple Crown would select records to play in the household from his record-collecting father’s impressive collection. However, he always seemed to gravitate towards the colorfully decorated reggae records. “I felt like a boss being a kid and looking at these Rastas smoking ice cream cone-sized spliffs. Then you'd put the record on and the drums and bass rocked the whole house,” he says.
[jump] Eventually starting his own collection, which included ordering records from Jamaica, he decided to learn DJing to share his catalog. This quickly led to putting out mixtapes, remixes and playing dancehall parties. In 2005, he linked with the founders of the Blessed Coast Sound collective and has since been an integral member. He’s also been working hard under his production alias Yungg Trip, which delves into more tropical and experimental bounce sounds. We chat with Triple Crown about Blessed Coast Sound, his other alias, and the evolution of reggae in the club scene. He DJs alongside performer Bobby Hustle this Sunday, Jan. 18, for Dub Mission at Elbo Room.
When did Blessed Coast Sound start?
Blessed Coast Sound started ten years ago by Ryan I who was with Q-Mastah Sound, and Lionize who was with Bigga Happiness Sound. They've been friends since childhood and always had a dream of building up their own DJ crew. I linked with Ryan-I about a year after Blessed Coast started while he was going to college in Washington State. We began ordering records wholesale and throwing parties together and before to long I was asked to become an official member of the crew.
You guys have been known to throw your long-running weekly Wild Out Wednesdays. What has been the craziest scene there yet?
Wild Out Wednesday has been our weekly party for the past six years in Bellingham, Washington, and our crowd goes hard! I'd have to say the night was at it's craziest right around when Miley Cyrus started going twerk crazy. It was an uncontrollable phenomenon; it got to a point where we'd drop a Bob Marley song and girls would be climbing on stage trying to “bruck out.”
How do you guys find artists to add to the Blessed Coast Sound collective?
Most of the time we find a song or project from a newer artist that we really like and we reach out to them for some exclusive material or to big them up and let them know we like the music. A lot of times artists will want to do a few shows or recording on the West Coast and hit us up to help facilitate things like that for them.
What characteristics are essential to become a member ?
You pretty much have to have love for all types of music, be able to rock a party with all types of music, and be able to make a proper spirulina smoothie.
How have you seen the evolution of the reggae sound in the club scene?
In the past five years or so I've seen reggae shoot out into all sorts of directions and spill into all sorts of other genres and sub genres. I feel like it's now acceptable for any type of dance music to borrow something from reggae. As far as reggae itself, it's probably been the best time for reggae music in the past twenty years. So many new artists are coming out with huge records that are getting played during prime time DJ sets unlike years ago when you would only hear one drop at the early part of the night or at the very end.
Tell us about your other alias, Yungg Trip. What made you go with a different name for production?
Yungg Trip came about because I wanted a platform that I could be as creative as I wanted to produce music. Putting out music under DJ Triple Crown was extremely limiting because people expected reggae, dancehall, or a hip-hop remix from me. But really I listen to and like making new sounding and experimental music and often times it doesn't translate over to our established Blessed Coast fans.
What was it like being featured on Diplo and Friends this past year?
We've obviously looked up to Diplo as a musical tastemaker for a while so it was an honor. So far we've had a Blessed Coast remix featured and a Yungg Trip single featured. It gained us instant street cred on social media and people started checking for more of my music and giving it some play.
How did you connect with Bobby Hustle, the artist you are currently on tour with?
We linked with Bobby Hustle form us both being in the same music scene in Seattle. When he first stared recording and performing we all noticed that he had a genuine spark. Before long he was coming out with all sorts of really good music and popping up all over the world, so we decided to just make the link official and started doing shows and mix tapes together.
What's most important when performing sound system style with someone?
Really it’s all about having a good onstage chemistry and creating the maximum amount of energy for the crowd. If that area of the performance is set, than the rest organically falls into place.
Lastly, what kind of vibes can we expect at Elbo Room Sunday?
Expect to hear a Blessed Coast show packed with hits, dub plates, and exclusives mixed with reggae remixes from my crew Loud City and some new Yungg Trip tunes. We've got a big bad stage show for Bobby Hustle's segment that will feature some live remixes and flips on classic riddims.