Interview: Kartel Hitmen

The goodfellas of Kartel Hitmen rocks your nights at Mist Club in Bangsar every week with raw and bangin’ hip hop joints. Time to familiarize and get kiss up close to Lollipop and the Kartel Hitmen who hold it down: DJ T-Bone, DJ Cza, DJ Biggie and MC Syze. Ooo wee!

Who and what?
DJ T-Bone, Founder and CEO
DJ Cza, DJ and Producer
DJ Biggie, DJ and Producer
MC Syze, Hypeman and MC

How did you start doing what you do?
DJ T-Bone: As a kid I started off with the keyboards and a karaoke jockey at a Japanese club back in 1996. I’m pretty much a bedroom DJ. DJ Ken introduced me to DJ Face who was running a DJ school, Da Source at the time. Learned all the necessary technical skills and ended up as a first runner up for 1999 DMC Malaysia Finals then champed 2000 Ecler DJ Championship. Made my transition from a karaoke DJ to the club and got an offer to play at Spiral, a R&B Club and help build Playaz Universe with DJ Face.

DJ Cza: Been a fan of music since 1994 and was a band boy for quite sometime which I started off by playing drums and guitars. Medan, Indonesia was pretty much Indo’s very own rock city, so it was nothing odd for any kid to pick up an instrument back then. I was working as cashier for a skate shop in Camden town London in late 2001 and my mate was doing demos every other week so I gave it a try. Got my set of the standard SL-1200 with a 2-channel Numark and practiced on my own for a minute before I got back to KL and discovered Playaz Universe where I learned it academically.

DJ Biggie: As a kid growing up and watching too much MTV, I was always paying more attention to the guy behind the emcee. My mom saw my interest and plus I was getting into too much trouble, so it was either this or me heading the wrong direction! At the age of 16, I registered for lessons at the acclaimed Playaz Universe, graduated from their academy and never looked back since. It’s been 8 years since.

MC Syze: It was me going to Zouk back in the days to watch and observe Joe Flizzow, Poi, MC Fendi and Crazy Carleed do their thing. I thought to myself, I can do this too, and why not? As soon as DJ T-Bone started out at Maison, he hooked me up and I started blazin’ the mic and the crowd. Everybody loved me, especially the ladies, that’s for sure, cause I had my own style of hyping up the crowd. After that, the jobs started coming to me.

What does Kartel Hitmen mean to you?
DJ T-Bone: All the hard work has paid off, but even so it’s never enough. Kartel Hitmen is a platform for all aspiring DJs and Producers who are looking to bring their profile to the next level.

DJ Cza: I figured it was time to jump start the club game and Kartel Hitmen was an initiation. It has a lot to do with my directions as a DJ and a producer.

DJ Biggie: To me, Kartel Hitmen represents DJs, music production and also an event company that I am privileged to be a part of. Kartel Hitmen offers opportunities to emerging DJs that chance to make something of their talent. If you wanna be the best, Kartel Hitmen is where it’s at!

MC Syze: It means a lot cos they’re my family. Kartel Hitmen is my source of income, my focus point and this company allows me to pay my own bills and rent, you know what I mean. It’s everything to me.

How did you land a part in Kartel?
DJ T-Bone: This question doesn’t really apply to me since I own Kartel Hitmen.

DJ Cza: At the time my crew The Stylustiks was just appointed to represent Bumsquad DJz for Malaysia, I heard KL’s finest was putting together a collective and I wanted a piece of the pie. Met up with the rest and offered my contribution, so it started off from there. Shout out to Joe Flizzow for connecting the dots.

DJ Biggie: I vaguely remember I was spinning at a local club at the time I was independently making my way around. DJ T-Bone tapped my shoulder and from then on he took me under his wings and nurtured me. Check me out now!

MC Syze: As soon as I tried out MC-ing at Zouk, Joe Flizz told T-Bone that I had it, so there you go.

What makes you different from the rest?
DJ T-Bone: My style is defined by my ability to create a flow that no other DJs could duplicate.

DJ Cza: As a turntablist, I have my own style, even when other clubs are playing the same music, they might not have the same technique. Yes, you got to play them Top 40s, but at the end of the day DJing is an extension of your daily life, how you walk and talk has to reflect on how you DJ. That’s what makes it original.

DJ Biggie: Being a turntablist and mixing it up with my club sets. I have nothing to worry about other DJ or whatsoever! This is me, BIGGIE! I’ve always got tricks up my sleeves and the ladies seem to love ’em! (laughs)

MC Syze: I know a lot of MCs who say or claim that they can rock the crowd, but it just doesn’t happen that easily. It is standing in the DJ console facing the whole club and being the only one who’s speaking on the mic to being heard. Yo man, there is no room for error, you know what I’m sayin’. I guess I’m more of a stand out MC cause I know what I’m doing up there. A lot of MC’s think that it’s easy, but yo, don’t get it twisted man, cause it ain’t.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?
DJ T-Bone: When the needle jump.

DJ Cza: When the power tripped and when the crowd ain’t moving.

DJ Biggie: Having my (ex) girlfriend go up to another ex-girlfriend and start throwing punches at her for flirting with me. “It’s about to be a girl fight! ” (laughs) Is that embarrassing enough?

MC Syze: Sometimes the DJs don’t tell you that they gonna cut the music for me to make an announcement about the night, or maybe to make a couple of shout outs to the VIPs in the house. It’s times like this that you’re really being tested. When I first started out, I used to MC for DJ Goldfish and his sets are pretty choppy and quick, so I guess I’ve fumbled before, but I’m quick to get back cos that’s what it’s all about. There’s no room for panic attacks or nervous breakdowns. When the DJ cuts the music, it’s the MC’s time to shine.

Who do you look up to?
DJ T-Bone: DJ Q-bert, Mix Master Mike, DJ Premier, DJ Z Trip, DJ Shadow, DJ Krush and not forgetting the local DJs- Jakeman, DJ Face, DJ Ken, Jungle Jerry, DJ Gabriel and DJ Groovedoctor.

DJ Cza: There are too many DJs! I got to give it up for the real- DJ Premier, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Q-bert, DJ Craze and Malaysia’s very own DJ Fuzz, DJ Uno, DJ T-Bone and RJ Funk. These DJs have help me build my career.

DJ Biggie: I could start now and end tomorrow cos there’s too many to list down but my personal faveourites would be DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Craze , The Bloody Beetroots and Diplo .

MC Syze: People like The Notorious BIG, 2Pac, Jay-Z, Nas, Rick Ross, Big-L, Mobb Deep, Kanye West, Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem, Lil’ Wayne, Redman and Methodman. There ain’t no stopping.

What does Michael Jackson mean to you?
DJ T-Bone: He is the King, a definition of a Legend, what more can I say?

DJ Cza: I’m a fan like any other and although he has departed, I still can’t let go. May you rest in peace, King.

DJ Biggie: Well, we all miss him, but he’s gone. On the bright side, we still have his music!

MC Syze: I grew up listening to his music, he’s a great artist, a superb singer, and of course he is a great and impactful trendsetter.

Besides music, what are your other passions?
DJ T-Bone: Science was another passion of mine, but making music and everything that comes along with it was way more fun, never looked back since.

DJ Cza: DJing and music are the only thing I could think of, but I like painting a lot or any sort of mixed media illustration. Went to college and majored in graphic design, got my bachelor’s degree in 2004, fun times.

DJ Biggie: I love to cook! MC Syze is a great cook. He taught me a few recipes, killa ones I must say!

MC Syze: I have a passion for kids. My dad’s a pastor, and he runs a home for the marginalised society. So you know, I help a lot when it comes to the home.

What do you like most about Mist Club?
DJ T-Bone: Mist is definitely the place to be on a Friday night. Lollipop has the best DJs and MCs holding it down on a weekly basis.

DJ Cza: Mist Club is the spot to be on a Friday night, never a dull moment and every week we hold it down. Shout out to Bone and Biggie, without them, I don’t think the club’s potential is maximized. There are more and more international DJs coming for our Fridays and it’s nice to know we have helped build the crowd over at Mist.

DJ Biggie: The girls! (laughs) It’s also the best nightspot to be on a Friday night! Booty shakin’, bottles poppin’, what more can I say? Hitmen baby, we in ya area!

MC Syze: The many sweet and pretty faces of different girls, that’s what makes me goin’, you know what I mean. We doing this for the ladies.

What are your best memories so far about spinning at Mist Club?
DJ T-Bone: My recent birthday with Bum Squad DJz’s very own CriscoKidd. Shout out to YZ International for hookin’ it up.

DJ Cza: When we did a segment of MJ’s tribute. The impact that took effect and the expression on the crowd’s face was priceless.

DJ Biggie: T-Bone dancing on the stage with a bottle of champagne in his hands during his birthday party! (laughs) That is by far the funniest ish I’ve seen!

MC Syze: When we as a Kartel Hitmen, crew, packing up the club, making it look like a sardine tin. That’s how we do.

Finish this sentence: If I were a girl…
DJ T-Bone: I’ll be a nun.

DJ Cza: I’ll come to Mist Club on Fridays and check the Kartel Hitmen for holdin’ it down, especially the one they called DJ Cza.

DJ Biggie: I’d date your boyfriend and walk naked around every day

MC Syze: I’d only party where the Kartel Hitmen do their stuff.

Kick it with Kartel Hitmen at Mist Club on Fridays. Hit up to find out more. Alternatively, you can peep them at too. Kartello Hello!