DJ Cut Killer does the stuff. For more than fifteen years, he has been the most emblematic DJ in French hip-hop, both in France and abroad, where he is the only French DJ (Franco-Moroccan, to be precise) whose name is now famous enough to be estimated as a pair by the greatest American DJs.
Precisely the ones he had learned the job with, just as DJ Clue, Funkmaster Flex and others did before him: carrying cases of vinyl records, observing how to handle a crowd with two arms of MKII, learning to listen the records and trying to understand the strength of a beat, a hook, an intro, o break…
Before that, Cut Killer was just a young Parisian who loved music. Mainly drums, be it in James Brown’s or Genesis’ records, there is always something worth the taking: the sense of the beat.
The DJ to-be is a teenager when the rap comes to France: first on the waves of Radio 7, then Radio Nova. The smugglers are DJ Dee Nasty or Sidney. Soon, Parisian parties became the equal of block-parties from the Bronx, and Cut Killer precisely lives two steps away from the Globo where the “Chez Roger boîte funk” parties are held. a cellar on the boulevards where every bit of the future pride of the rap in the hexagon (NTM, Mode 2, Assassin…) dances every Friday from dusk till dawn with Public Enemy, Biz Markie or, for one night, DJ Cash Money. This tutelary figure of American dee-jaying sets a spark in Cut Killer’s soul. He shall be DJ.
Just the time to break his back as a warehouseman while pursuing his studies to buy the decks, he becomes a frenzied activist of the emerging Parisian movement. He joins IZB, the first association to promote the hip-hop and organize concerts, puts down scratches on Original MC’s 1991 album, a record forgotten by everyone, including the DJ himself, but he quickly crosses the steps: his unforgettable performance as himself in a scene from the cult movie La Haine, DJ for MC Solaar’s concerts, scratcher on IAM member Akhenaton’s solo album, and a radio show on Radio Nova, just as his models Red Alert or Bobbito Garcia in New York.
In the middle of the 90’s, Cut Killer is already a respected and active DJ, and the presence of his name on a sleeve suffice to bring interest, and then success to his new business. He has the idea to adapt in France the concept that consolidated New Yorker hip-hop: mix tapes. He mixes the latest releases and the freestyles of the upgoing values of French rap, and sells the whole on tapes which become true Bibles for the aficionados. In New York, Kid Capri, DJ Clue, Ron G made their reputation like this; in Paris, Cut Killer becomes the boss. His dynamic mixes, his smartness to catch the best maxis before anyone, and his flair to find local rappers make his mix-tapes incontrovertible. The entire top brass of the second generation of French rap went through this: Sages Poètes de la Rue, Lunatic, 113 and many others…
The following step was to put on CD this concept of mixes and originals. The “Hip Hop Soul Party” series, composed of double mixed CDs, started in 1996 at MCA’s. From the second volume on, exclusive tracks begin to appear from Fabe, Busta Flex, among others, while a CD is dedicated to hip-hop and the other to R&B. As for the volume three, a CD is dedicated to international hip-hop, the other one to French hip-hop.
Always do the stuff: Cut Killer has the feeling that the time has come to realize the idea he had had with East, his rapper mate, tragically deceased: establish a label called Double H (for Hip-Hop). This label began as an association of DJs, to become a merchandising company and then a production label. In a few years, HH became one of the most influent independent labels on the market. When shifting from Universal to Small (Sony), the “Hip-Hop Soul Party” project became the “Cut Killer Show” with a first double CD published in 1997 (containing an outro by Jamel Debbouze), followed in 1998 by “Operation Freestyle”, a record fully dedicated to French underground. In 1999, Cut Killer and his associates produce: R&B 2000, the collective album Double H DJ Crew, but also highly respected artists such as Fabe, Doudou Masta or 113, who managed to make their album “Les Princes de la Ville” a platinum record and win two Victoires de la Musique (French music awards) in 2000. The Double H empire is still developing with a team of street marketing, a clothing line HH Wear, a publishing company, Eastory Editions, followed by another production and publishing label, Eastory Production. Besides, Cut Killer is booked by Chaos Prod agency, created by his brother Chakri.
Now, Cut Killer rules as master and commander on the growing market of urban music. The Hip-Hop Soul Party and Cut Killer Show series corner the top of the charts and the collection of gold and platinum records just grows bigger. He delegates R&B to his long time accomplice, DJ Abdel, West Coast music to the specialist DJ Cream, and gives it a try with the dancehall with Ragga Killa Show, before coming back to the French sound with 1 Son 2 Rue. Over the years, Cut Killer made or produced about twenty mixed albums which did all meet their public.
Fond of cinema, Cut Killer could not remain out this stuff, on that side of entertainment. Since his mix in La Haine, by the window, in which he played Edith Piaf and NTM on KRS One’s beat, and which initiated his legend, he could not wait to come back and work for the big screen. He thus signs several tracks on the OSTs of Zak Fishman’s Gamer, Fred Garson’s The Dancer, produced by Luc Besson, and Miguel Courtois’ Un Ange. He signs the complete score for Fabrice Genstal’s La Squale, with Herve Rakoto and Sofiane Le Cat’s. He then regularly puts some tracks on important movies: Les Frères Pétard, Le Raid (Djamel Bensallah), Trois Zéro (Fabien Onteniente), Peau d’Ange (Vincent Perez)…
In the middle of the decade, after all these (successful) tries, Cut Killer comes back to the fundamentals: dee-jaying. On the radio, after four years on Radio Nova, he joins Skyrock, where he is still today the last defender of true hip-hop, with a weekly show in which he presents on the waves (or on podcast) the nerve of global hip-hop evolution he is still an unmatched smuggler. His fame has long crossed French boundaries when he becomes the first French DJ booked in the USA through two prestigious collectives he joined: Funkmaster Flex’ DJ Big Dawg Pitbulls and 50 Cent’s Shadyville DJ’s.
The technique has changed, the vinyl records have been replaced by digital files stocked on MacBooks, but the art remains the same : handle the decks, ensure to put hand on the best novelties in real time and raise the dancers’ ecstasy to the climax. That is what Cut Killer does, with an unmatched versatility (he mixes the urban style, because it is his foundation, but he can also play rock, pop, reggae…), in every club of the planet. China, Europe, USA, Australia… he travels the world to bring the clubbers their share of good vibes. Cut Killer is easy everywhere, because his mastering comes over the barriers of language and geography. He can mix for pure genuine hip-hop fans in a club in Switzerland, and then play for huge masses discovering this culture in far East.
He is the incontrovertible DJ of people events such as the parties at the Festival de Cannes, the wedding parties of his friends Tony Parker and Eva Longoria or Luc Besson. But he is also the one visiting the clubs in France (and Europe) for the Shake Ton Booty show, filmed bye MTV, a mobile party with Cut mixing and China hosting, and some guests for hot parties offering the musical channel one of its greatest achievements.