Clouds, rain and some traffic. Another typical day in Portland, the City of Roses.
The Blazers have a game on this damp Saturday night at the Moda Center, the place they call home. Before I can head out to the arena, I get to speak to a man who calls Portland AND the Moda Center home.
That man is David Jackson, also known as DJ OG One.
Since 2008, DJ OG One has been the man behind the music for the Portland Trail Blazers. Every home game you can find him in full Blazers gear spinning the tunes for a packed house of rabid fans. As a sports writer who loves music, you can take my word on this…the man has skills. Covering this team I’ve been to almost every home game this season, so OG One is no stranger to me. After exchanging numbers and realizing we’re both originally from Southern California, I had to chop it up with this veteran in the game.
Enjoy a few key moments from my exclusive interview with DJ OG One of the Portland Trail Blazers.
JUSTUS ROGERS: So where exactly in California are you from? What was your upbringing like?
DJ OG ONE: Watts, California. It was gangs, drugs, all of that. It was a warzone. My dad was a musician, music was always around me. I started playing instruments around 5 years old. Earth, Wind & Fire was my favorite group. Marvin Gaye, The Ohio Players etc.
ROGERS: With that being said, what made you even want to DJ?
OG ONE: As soon as Hip-Hop hit the scene, I was locked in. I remember when I first saw a Hip-Hop DJ move a crowd, I knew this was it.
ROGERS: Now after witnessing that moment for the first time, how did you start DJing?
OG ONE: I was the guy in the hood that always had the music. Everybody came to me for music. I would borrow a lawn mower and cut people’s grass. I saved the money, got a summer job and bought my first turntables.
In 1988, OG One moved to Portland with his wife. He became active in the community, focusing on the youth. As he mentored, his DJ reputation reached new levels.
OG ONE: I would throw after school parties for kids in Portland, I opened for Run DMC and Naughty by Nature in ’95. I would do all the Jordan Brand parties.
He would go on to be featured twice on BET’s hit show Rap City before taking his current role with the Blazers. With all of the success, I had to find out what was pushing him to continue on the wheels of steel.
OG ONE: I want to use my DJing as a way to make a positive impact.