16th Annual Artist Survey: DJ Nu-Mark of Jurassic Five and TRDMRK | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, November 15th, 2019  

16th Annual Artist Survey: DJ Nu-Mark of Jurassic Five and TRDMRK

Nu-Mark on The Muppets, Stan Lee, His Carbon Footprint, and Kanye West at the White House

Mar 26, 2019 Web Exclusive
Bookmark and Share


For Under the Radar's 16th Annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to the last year, plus some fun personal questions. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2018 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. Here are some answers from DJ Nu-Mark.

Born in 1971 as Mark Potsic, Nu-Mark is a hip-hop DJ and producer. He is a member of Jurassic Five, who were active from 1991 to 2007 and reformed in 2013, and is the owner of Hot Plate Records. More currently he put out a 2018 single with Method Man, "Zodiac Killah." He and Method Man are also on the TBS celebrity rap battle series, Drop the Mic. He also recently released a self-titled EP with TRDMRK (a trio also featuring Slimkid3 and Austin Antoine).

For our annual Artist Survey we emailed the same set of questions to musicians about the midterm elections, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, Kanye West visiting the White House, the #MeToo movement a year later, mental health conditions in the music industry, whether or not they have Flossed, childhood birthday parties and vacations, which Muppets character they are most like, whether or not they are going to The Good Place after death, and much more.

Top 10 Albums of 2018

1. Katori Walker: IgnoranceIf we can take a minute to talk about how powerful the song "Ormoni" is, that would make my year! The video for that joint is especially powerful with little to no special effects. Just a kid from the hood with his mouth bleeding facing the camera spitting his heartfelt verse with his face on the ground!
2. J. Cole: KODI'm playing three of these joints in my DJ sets at the moment (KOD, ATM, and Kevin Heart). J is one of my favorites at the moment and it's no mistake that he's having such a successful career.
3. Sean Price & Illa Ghee: Metal DetectorsThat "The Bryan Song" goes hard! When I hear rusty grit like this, it gets me amped up. Always open to some Sean P because he's truthful in his approach.
4. Roc Marciano: RR2: The Bitter DoseI just like the way this cat connects his rhymes.  Seems to take his time with his delivery yet it's packed with punch.
5. Masta Ace & Marco Polo: A Breukelen StoryI've said before and I'll say it again there's very few MCs as consistent as Masta Ace. Marco Polo has become more and more respected as the years have peeled away and it's well deserved. It's fitting that these two made this knocker.
6. Evidence: Weather or NotVery rare when an artist can take a leave of absence and make sense of it all as Ev did with Dilated Peoples. I especially admire how Dilated is intact while Ev delivers an album that's meaningful to his core.
7. Meek Mill: ChampionshipsTo be honest that "To Be Free" joint just makes me feel comfort that MCs still take time with their rhymes. 
8. Travis Scott: AstroworldThat "Sicko Mode" goes hard in a club...it's just that simple. I admit, I have a little bit of bias because he made 7-inch singles for that release as well.... there I said it. Feed the DJ!
9. Anderson .Paak: OxnardWasn't into the record as much as his previous but his vocals cut through any track with a wonderful texture.
10. Apathy: The Widow's SonClassic sound by an underdog that should really get more props. A dope listen. Diggin the production by Pete Rock, Premier, and Buckwild.

What was the highlight of 2018 for either you personally or for the band? What was the low point? 

Zodiac Tracks is a series I created where I mix artists in their respective astrological sign using all vinyl. I did it for two years and ended [in 2018] with a song featuring Method Man (Wu-Tang Clan) called "Zodiac Killah." That was an amazing highlight to 2018 and probably my career!

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. midterm elections have played out? What do you think the results mean for the Democrats' chances of taking back the White House in 2020?

After the midterms I feel a bit better about the Dems taking back the office in 2020 but I'd feel much more relieved when a message comes out of the Democrats that isn't just "F" Donald Trump. We need a message that drives people to the polls assuring them that things will change for the positive.

Despite compelling testimony from Christine Blasey Ford and sexual assault allegations from other women, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in a Supreme Court Justice and many Republican women didn't believe Ford's story. What does this tell you about the general state of the #MeToo movement in 2018? 

Always more work to be done. Very sad state of affairs in my opinion. We'll get there but it doesn't make me feel that the #MeToo movement isn't effective, in my heart of hearts it makes me feel like more acts are being brought to light and more people will be held accountable.  Politics is BS and is a dirty business, this is why this specific incident is leaving such a bad taste in most peoples' mouths.

A year after the #MeToo movement, do you feel things have gotten better or worse in terms of issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and misogyny in the music industry?

Hard to say. I feel like technology has brought more cases to light. Not sure if they've gotten better or worse as it pertains to the amount of cases. My gut tells me that there has been a steady flow of sexual harassment throughout history but the strength of social media, Internet, and camera coverage has made this matter transparent. It's in front of the world now. It's time to make the punishment potent.

Be honest, did you Floss in 2018? (Meaning the dance craze, not the dental care.)

I flossed more than normal because I got Invisalign. I hate that f'n dance. I usually look for my slingshot when I see a kid doing it. Gets under my skin.

Which Muppets character are you most like and why?

You know I made two beats for The Muppets this year? I'm on a show called Drop the Mic with Method Man and Hailey Baldwin as the DJ. I created the music they walked out too. The Muppets rap battled each other and I showed them my DJ/All kids toy set and they were flippin' out! I'm most like Beaker because when I'm in a moment of excitement I can never get the words outthey usually end up coming out in sound effects "Meep meep meep meep."

Are you less of a fan of Kanye West now that he's visited the White House and has in other ways supported President Trump?

You know I was the first person to put Kanye West on a record? I signed an artist out of Chicago named Grav in '96 to a label called Correct Records. Kanye produced the majority of that album and I was the A&R and college promo manager for the project. I'll always have that experience in the back of my mind. I spent many hours in the studio with Kanye. All that said, he might need to seek some psychiatric evaluation. It's disappointing to say the least. I hope he gets help. None of it makes sense to me at the moment.

Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit tragically took his own life this year. What should be done to improve mental health conditions for musicians?

Not familiar with him or the group. I couldn't begin to explain why anyone would take their own life. That's their personal obstacle.

In 2018 there were more dire predictions about climate change and we witnessed some of its likely effects firsthand with various deadly storms and forest fires. What should touring musicians be doing to better offset their carbon footprint? How bad do you think it needs to get for governments and corporations to take stronger actions to fight climate change?

I'm driving a 100% emission-free vehicle due to the size of my carbon footprint. Cycling ain't a bad move either if you can dodge the aggressive traffic in LA/NYpretty dicey. To answer your question, it's simply going to take a natural catastrophe that affects lives for the current administration to raise an eyebrow and perhaps put plan to action. Unfortunately, at that stage it will most likely be too late.

Are you ready for artificial intelligence and a more automated future? Some predict that it may come sooner than we think and will lead to massive job losses.

On the road, yes. The massive amount of human error in traffic drives me insane living in Los Angeles. People brake for no reason etc. On a whole I'm not so sure I'm ready. I'm all about efficiency and precision when it comes to manufacturing. Maybe deadlines and quality control will step up? Really a tough call for me. Human error is a factor in all this but more homeless folks will drive our existence to the bottom. Cuts both ways.

What's your favorite birthday party memory from childhood?

Had a surprise birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's at the height of the '80s video game craze.  All my friends showed up and I played Defender and Donkey Kong till my eyeballs fell out my skull.

What was your favorite family vacation as a kid? What was your least favorite?

My family never got down like that. Wish I had one.

What's been your most surreal experience in the music industry?

Recording Method Man in my studio. Actually, playing him the beat and him saying "Oh, I'm fucking with this beat Nu" was more surreal than the session but the session was a trip because he knocked his verse out in basically one take.

When you die, do you think you're going to the Good Place or the Bad Place?

I'm going to the next place. Reincarnating into the next being, both good and bad and different.

Tell us about your first job. Also, what's been your most disastrous job interview or business meeting?

I worked at Carvel Ice Cream. I was a house party DJ at the time as well. Both were my first jobs. House parties would require huge Cerwin Vega speakers, lunky amps and a minimum of seven crates of records. Yeah, not everyone was a DJ at that time. Wasn't as glamorous.

Beloved chef, travel TV host, and music fan Anthony Bourdain died this year. If you could have appeared on his Parts Unknown show, which city or country would you most have wanted to travel to with him?

Tokyo! I've been there many times and it's never enough time spent. Best records in the world.  It's definitely the per diem buster destination. It's a bit like New York and Disneyland collided and birthed a new world. Would have been cool to experience this with Anthony and compare it to the plethora of music store destinations!

Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee also passed away this year. Which of his characters (Spider-Man, Hulk, X-Men, etc.) meant the most to you/did you most identify with?

I collected comics as a kid and I was always drawn to X-Men. Love the idea of a team with powers. I've always embraced the idea of someone passing the baton to the next person because they know that their teammate can handle the task better.

If you were Nancy Pelosi, what would you do with the Democratic control of the House over the next two years?

I honestly can't answer this one.

Where do you stand on social media in 2018, is it uniting humanity or ruining the world? And which platform do you find most useful and which one do you think is doing the most harm?

I personally think Facebook is workif it were to burn right now I would be relieved. I'm digging Instagram because I can post my vision and bounce. I don't want the homework of staying consistent (yet I do). I want to post when I have something fun or compelling to share. I don't always have that. Socials are helping with marketing our products but Facebook needs to stop hiding fans that we've earned from us by making us buy adsthat's just nasty.

If you were to have a hip-hop side-project, what would your rapper name be?

My name would be Handle Bars.

This year The Doctor in Doctor Who was played by a woman for the first time in the show's 55-year history. Which other established character would you like to see switch genders?

Our president (but not Hillary), I liked Oceans 13! Might be funny to see Steve Carell's character in The Office change to female actor...not sure who...someone clutsy? I might be reachin' on this one?

What turns you off the most on a first date? And what's the most disastrous date you've ever been on?

Someone who can't listen. Makes me think there's nothing left in the date. I once was really attracted to a girl I met in France. I got a text from her saying she's in town and she's close by and if I could pick her up from the train station near my neighborhood. I picked her up, she sat in the car and it was literally a woman with the same exact first and last name but a different woman entirely who I knew from waaaaaaay back as a business friend who I guess wanted something more from me. I was nowhere near attracted to her and couldn't believe that these two women had the same exact name. Oh and fun fact, they didn't have a typical name but they were identical names and I had to play nice for an hour or so then said I had to go to a studio session or feed a cat that I don't own or buy coal for my BBQ grill or something? Good times.

Did you ever sneak out of the house as a teenager? If so, to do what and did you get caught?

Nah, didn't need to. I had a hands-off mom who just wanted to know where I was. Super chill.  That said, I stayed out longer than I was supposed to and watched The Exorcist when it first came out and I was 10 years old. I had to walk home in the dark four blocks from my best friend's house and was completely shook! Slept on the couch for two months solid.

What do you most hope planet Earth and humanity will be like in 100 years? What do you most fear life will really be like in a century?

Would love for us to get back to being kind to each other and showing compassion just because it feels right. Biggest fear would be the hunger of money destroying our planet. Oil dependency and the blatant ignorant behavior around climate change has me on edge as we speak. Would love to see us healthy as whole with affordable or free healthcare!

www.djnu-mark.com

Support Under the Radar on Patreon.



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.