Two members of the New Orleans Uptown area have combined their talents and formed a new trademark-worthy group who are releasing an eponymous album later this month. Paco Troxclair and Ze11a are now a duo called The DJ, whose focus is the music played at block parties from the ’99 and 2000s of New Orleans.
The two natives have collaborated frequently in the past but The DJ is their first collaborative album. Paco Troxclair hails from the 3rd Ward and earned major local recognition from his 2017 single, “Duffy.” The song and its video have gained over 30,000 views on YouTube. Paco’s love for his city could be felt on his solo album Where We From, where his song “Duffy” first appeared alongside co-producer Ze11a. In 2017, Ze11a solidified his reputation as one of New Orleans most acclaimed producers with his album 4What4U, which features Anderson.Paak and Mannie Fresh. In 2018, his work was nominated for Best Hip-Hop Album at the Best of the Beat Awards presented by OffBeat.
Today (September 4), Offbeat.com is premiering the debut music video from The DJ, for the song “Cut Up.” The video was shot two separate locations, a downtown second line and a house located in the 17th ward. The idea of the video was to make mainstream music in New Orleans more prevalent in the industry. The DJ wanted to give the world an “unpolished version of what we come from; we could’ve done many things but we want people to know the unglamorous side of New Orleans. It’s beautiful.” The video was shot, directed, and edited by Benjamin Simmons of Breathe Video.
Of “Cut Up,” Ze11a says “Music is the lifeblood of the city and of the block party (The DJ). The call and response in the song is derived from bounce music and block parties. I would go to DJs and hear Cash Money Records, Big Boy Records and Take Fo Records music, and since this was the driving force behind the party, this is what I wanted to reproduce in my own way for our album. ‘Cut Up’ represents the evolved sound from the 1990s New Orleans music scene which is why I call it the New New Orleans sound.”
According to Paco, “In The DJ I wanted to talk about all the things that are experienced in New Orleans growing up; the poverty, how much we want to get fly and show off our outfits, the partying, and the violence.” The city is often only shown as an amazing tourist spot, but luckily we have the DJ who will shed light on the way people find love, light and joy in the midst of the chaos. The song will be featured on their joint album which releases on September 17, 2019.