My name is Noah. I also go by DJ EDEL I’m from Oakland, born and raised, and my mix is going to be based off downtown Oakland because that’s pretty much where I used to be during my high school days.
I chose this neighborhood because…every day after school downtown Oakland or Chinatown was the kickit spot. So every day after school, we try to take the bus down there or just walk anywhere downtown. It didn’t have to be anything we had to do. So then when we started doing parties, when I hit sophomore year, um, it just made sense to do stuff there. And back then a lot of empty buildings or warehouses, people would rent them out to do parties. And then we would just find these these closed down spots to try to get the number or the owner to look at the address. And then, yeah, we would book these venues that weren’t real venues and then do some parties in there, which is pretty crazy.
We didn’t have a name for them, but we just call them Steady because that’s what our collective was called, and that’s what we started. We never had a name for any party because they all pretty much happened organically too. So we just kept calling them Steady. And then, actually, the people that came to our parties called ‘em Steady because we didn’t have a name at first and everyone called us Steady. And then we did Steady One, Part Two, Part Three and so forth.
So a lot of people my age or who went to our parties would say it was like the golden age of SoundCloud rap. So definitely a lot of, uh, the 2016 mumble rap. You know, the Little Uzi, Kodak, 21 Savage, Lil Yachty. So that was definitely like the prime of our music. I could say that for a lot of people like we all look back at that time and say, that was a great time for music. So yeah, we’re going to be based off 2016, 2017…mumblerap.
So crowd surfing? Um, you know me, I am pretty much the smallest out of my group or close to the smallest. So it just seemed pretty fitting for my friends. They started just throwing me up. So when we started doing the Steady parties, it would get pretty crazy and you could say turnt up. And then my friends, knowing I’m the smallest, they’re like “Just Jump! Just Jump!”. And then the very first time I did it was at Part Three in West Oakland. So then, you have this friend who is always like ”Try That”. He just said, “Do it” I’m like, OK, I’ll do it. So then a lot of people came and I’m surprised they actually caught me. And then I stage dove…and I was up for a few minutes… that was the craziest thing that I probably did in high school. And then the funny part is…my partner Marvin. He’s also is in Steady with me, he did it, right after I did it. He jumps and the crowd’s there. And so they had him up for a minute. But then they ended up just dropping him because everyone was already tired after me. I guess they just gave up on him.
Downtown has changed a lot. You know, gentrification, all these new businesses, a lot of new bars opening up, too. But like I said before, a lot of these places were like old buildings or closed down buildings, and we would rent venues that weren’t real venues. So definitely nightlife has gotten better in Oakland, but I wouldn’t say that’s better for Oakland. As a city, I don’t know if it benefits, but yeah, it’s changed a lot. Downtown looks very nice, but that can also be good or bad, too. I feel like even though it’s gotten nice, I still see the same kind of people I love. I still love Chinatown and I can still walk around and do the same things.
The music has changed since then.
Covid has definitely affected Chinatown. I would say, you don’t see a lot of old folks around there anymore, even because of the other, the Asian hate stuff going on too. But then, I used to go to Lincoln all the time to go play basketball. But now it looks pretty dead, but there’s still people out there.
Downtown was a kickit spot for people my age back then. So I think our events would play more younger, hyphy stuff. But now I feel like the new bars are tailored to a new crowd, like more House, some Hip Hop, but not a lot.
Oakland has a big influence on my music choices because I’m adopted. So I wasn’t really hearing a lot of the music that my friends were hearing when they were younger. So then once I started going to school, I started making new friends and my friends are really the people that showed me the music that I like today. Being from Oakland it’s so diverse, and then I was able to find my music taste.
Shout out steady. We’ve been doing this for four or five years now, five years. So yeah, we’re going to keep rocking. We’re going to keep doing parties. Uh, yeah, that’s it.
(This interview has been edited for clarity)
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