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Making a DJ mix in response to Donald Trump’s Presidency is elevated from quasi-political statement to ultimate artistic victory with DJ Trayze’s latest mix, “RESIST – A Mixtape.” Trayze, AKA Mount Rainier resident Matthew Alexander, is the reigning American Red Bull Thre3style DJ competition champion and a world finalist in the same competition. Thus, with his increased visibility, he felt it necessary to respond to the current state of the nation with a 60-minute mix that includes 45 tracks and 14 interludes encapsulating the history of the past half century of civil rights and anti-censorship protest in America.
Regarding the mix, Trayze notes: “Music itself, and especially hip-hop, has always been a voice for resistance, social justice, awareness, and protest… I want to keep the heat turned up on this movement in any way I can—whether that’s tweeting my senators and congressmen, or supporting real, free, independent journalism outlets and newspapers online, and sharing them widely, or sharing the music of the resistance. I also want this to be a true representation of myself, excellent and thoughtful music, awareness of the current state of things, and preparation for things to come.”
And there’s certainly representations of Trayze in this mix, with his fatherhood represented through Nas’ 2002 youth empowerment single “I Can,” to his populist revolutionary persona in A Tribe Called Quest’s recently released “We The People.” But Trayze’s voice isn’t the only one represented on the mix. There’s voices of everyone from outspoken screen stars Jesse Williams and America Ferrera, icons like Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and essential cuts from the likes of Lauryn Hill, Public Enemy, The Coup, Ice Cube, Anderson .Paak, and even go-go pioneers Junkyard Band, with their 1986 hit “The Word.”
In an era where many people to respond to tumultuous political times with timely protests, there’s something to be said for the execution and level of care taken by Trayze in this mixtape. As Trayze himself says, “It’s never too late to turn things around and keep on the path of positivity and peace! This is just the beginning!”