DJ Bro-Rabb - The Butta Team, Kid "N' Play, Fresh 97.9 FM

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

No one throws a party in Durham like DJ/Mixshow DJ "DJ Bro-Rabb".

As member of The Butta Team, official Tour DJ for the legendary Kid "N' Play, and a Mix-show DJ on FRESH 97.9. Phillip "DJ Bro- Rabb aka Mr. Lawd Have Mercy' Bell, has been a driving force in the Durham nightlife for years, keeping the city lit with the best old school hip hop and R&B .

We caught up with DJ Bro-Rabb to chat about The World Famous Butta Team, Kid n Play, Dj's who impact the game, as well as what inspired him to chase the dream.

PRESSED: You currently reside in Durham, a city not necessarily known nationally for hip-hop. What's the local hip-hop scene like there and what's part do you play in that scene?

DJBR: Well, Durham has always had a Hip Hop Scene especially, with DJ’s and Mc’s. Durham has, always been a mecca for DJ’s!!! My crew The Butta Team, has always had our hands on talent from our area from producing music, DJ'ing for rappers, or playing their music on the radio.

PRESSED: Do you remember the first event you played at or put on when you realized that you were truly making a name for yourself?

DJBR: I started DJ'ing parties around 1991. I kinda remember the first party I ever did (laughs) . I remember everybody wanting to hear Doo Doo Brown all night. I was making a name for myself around the high schools in Durham during that time. Once I graduated high school in 1995, I was able to branch out into the clubs and that's when my name really started to buzz.

PRESSED: You are currently spinning on the mix show for Fresh 97.9 FM on the “Back in the Day Buffet Mix”. Tell us how you got started in radio.

DJBR: Actually, my first radio gig was back in 1997. My partner Mike Nice, (Butta Team) who is now my manager, started a mixshow on 90.7 FM located on the campus of North Carolina Central University (NCCU). The show was called, Straight From The Crate, we were on the air 10 years. Also, another partner of mine's named DJ Madd (Butta Team), had a mixshow on WXDU 88.7 FM, it was located on the campus of Duke University. He got me my own time slot over there, so I was on two different radio stations. I stopped doing radio back in 2006. In 2017, I returned back to radio on FRESH 97.9 FM. I'm loving it! (Laughs) I do the Back In The Day Buffet Mix, Mon - Fri at noon (EST) Listen live

PRESSED: Besides the obvious Grand Master Flash, DJ Kool Herc, & Jam Master Jay, in your opinion what other DJ’s impacted the game?

DJBR: Kid Capri, is a major influence in the game!! He made everybody step their club performance up. (Laughs) That dude is a BEAST! Jazzy Jeff, is also a major influence in the game. One of the best to EVER do it... I can name DJ’s for days, Grand Wizard Theodore, DJ Scratch, The Scratch Picklez, The Xcutioners, DJ Clue, Cash Money, DJ Spinderella, Cocca Chenelle, Jazzy Joyce, and countless others.

PRESSED: Let's fall all the way back to the beginning... For our readers who have never heard of DJ Bro-rabb, tell us who is DJ Bro-rabb and who or what inspired you to chase the dream?

DJBR: We would have to go wayyyyyy back to when I was little. My mom was a big time record buyer, I was always fascinated with her vinyl. {Laughs) Buying records was a big thing in our house growing up, we always had the latest records. Music was always a passion for me, it touches my soul & spirit. My obsession with DJing, started around 8 years old. My mom best friend son's were DJs, and I used to watch them practice. It's actually when I caught the DJ bug. (Laughs) Honestly, I never thought I could really do anything big in DJ'ing, but everybody was telling me I was “Special”. (Laughs) When I lost my job in 1997, I had to make this DJ thing work. So why not Go for it!

PRESSED: How did Kid "N' Play come into your life?

DJBR: The whole Kid “N” Play and DJ Bro-Rabb saga started around 2004, when Play was living in Durham at the time. My crew The Butta Team were working on a documentary called "Welcome 2 Durham". Play helped us film and narrated it. Play took a liking to us, he started hanging out with us, an from there I started doing mixes for him for his website Brand Newz. He also, was teaching a Hip Hop class at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), along with Producer 9th Wonder, and I was coming around helping out with that as well. All the things we were working on together, ultimately spilled into doing things for Kid “N” Play . Play used to always say, he was gonna let me DJ a show for them.Not thinking it was gonna really happen.... (Laughs) Then one day in 2015, he called and told me they needed me to fly out to Primm California, (just outside of Vegas) to rock a show with them. That one show turned into going on the "I Love The 90’s Tour" with them last year, and today we are still doing dates for the same tour. Play kept his word, I thank "God" for them..

PRESSED: Talk about The World Famous Butta Team.

DJBR: The World Famous Butta Team, is a crew of DJs that represented different areas of Durham. We also do music production, DJ for artist, we also did street promotions and worked records for labels. Basically, we are a self contained unit. My team partner, DJ Skaz Digga is Big Daddy Kane’s show DJ.

PRESSED: You shared the stage with hip hop & R&B legends such as, Rakim, KRS - One Raheem DeVaughan, Anthony Hamiliton, Big Daddy Kane, Talib, and other countless artists. What’s that feeling like and who’s on your wish list?

DJBR: Ahhh man!!! Its an honor to share the stage with all those artist. Opening the show DJing for them, it’s just an honor just to be on the ticket. (Laugh) I don’t have much of a wish list anymore, at least I can think of, off the top of my head.(Laughs) I've been around the corner a few times.

PRESSED: If you had the opportunity to go back, what would the new DJ Bro-rabb tell the old DJ Bro-rabb?

DJBR: I would tell the old Bro-Rabb to not play certain clubs or deal with certain promoters. (Laugh) I have a lot of things I would tell the old Bro-Rabb, but I’m not gonna get too deep into that.

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