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Yolo Rum Podcast Interview with Radio Bums Founder: DJ Chonz

WIGNZ talks with DJ Chonz about music, the radio industry, KS1075 and hustling. They also talk about Chonz new RadioBums DJ School and how Chonz started his own scholarship with CU Denver and supporting the community. Check out the interview on Yolo Rum Podcast player and more below.

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Producer Wignz and DJ Chonz Radio Bums Yolo Rum Podcast

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DJ Chonz Interview Transcription

WIGNZ:                Yolo Rum podcast, and normally when I do these podcasts I try to, especially have a guest on, I try to write some notes down, try to make sure I know what I’m going to bring up. But for this guest today, I didn’t even need that, man. We go back, way back, without even … We worked with each other, but we didn’t work with each other. We were on two different planets. I got with us today for the Yolo Rum podcast DJ Chonz. Welcome to the show, man.
DJ Chonz:            Thanks for having me. No show prep, dog, what’s really going on over here?
WIGNZ:                Dude, it’s-
DJ Chonz:            Come on.
WIGNZ:                You know, normally I’d say my memory is shit, and I don’t … I need to just [inaudible 00:00:44] my memory, but I was like for you, and how far back we go, I was like, “It should mean something special to you that I could actually remember everything that you’ve done.” Although, I did have a few questions. I was like, “What was your title? Oh, that’s right. That’s what your title was.”
DJ Chonz:            No titles, you’re going to freestyle today, and I like it, man.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, man.
DJ Chonz:            Do it.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, yeah. Our history goes way back. I have respect for you in so many areas, Chonz. There’s been the straight hustle as radio DJs, learning the system. I came in as an intern when you and Tony had already gained your hustle, understood the game, and to be able to sit across from you and say, “Hey man, I learned from you,” even though we’re on two different planets, I went to bed when you were just starting your night, you know what I mean?
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, yep.
WIGNZ:                You were going with the afternoon show on … I guess we could say the station’s name, you know?
DJ Chonz:            Absolutely, [crosstalk 00:01:34]. It’s part of the history back there.
WIGNZ:                It is. So when we were on KS107.5 I was an intern in the mornings and then a producer, and then I would drive the gigs as the van driver, and work with you then. Every time, Chonz, I’d come up to you and I’d be like, “Hey man,” I was like, “I got this new gig, bro. I got this new piece of technology you should use.” You go, “I already got it, bro.”
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, I mean I was definitely a techie guy, but now, you know, you progress and now I’m asking you questions. Hey, it’s a mutual respect right now. We’re learning from each other.
WIGNZ:                We are. I think that we wasted half of our interview mojo just catching up for the last hour, because you were given the tour here. Radio Bums, DJ School, congratulations on that.
DJ Chonz:            I appreciate that.
WIGNZ:                We’ll go into that here in a little bit, but I think you and I were just catching up for so long I was like, “We should have just been recording that conversation … well, parts of that conversation.”
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, it’s good. Sometimes you can’t put everything out there like that, but we wanted to get caught up on what’s going on. I’m happy that we got to catch up a little bit prior to the podcast. I’m sorry, listeners, that you don’t get to hear everything all uncut, but hey, there’s certain things that you have to be PC about.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, 100%. That’s one thing we talked about is never burning a bridge. We could talk about that bridge, maybe that bridge when we crossed it, gave us some frustrations, but you know, I think that’s the one thing that you and I, why our relationship, is as solid as it is, is because hey man, we focus on what matters, and you have to have those networking relationships, dude.
WIGNZ:                We’ve talked about … we’ve been networking since networking started, dude-
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, for real man. I was king of networking. I’ve been down to travel to network, to fly somewhere to network, on my own dime. I will go to DJ Conferences just to network, I would fly myself out to Los Angeles to intern and basically pay to intern for record companies, or our marketing companies, and just do whatever it takes to network.
WIGNZ:                Hustle.
DJ Chonz:            And that’s half the battle. For example, in the position that we are, that we’re hustling right now, you have to network, and that’s what you do, is work your network.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, and I think that networking has so many different meanings. I think today the thing that we got a leg on the younger generation is they think networking is I liked your post. I shared your post. I gave you five stars on Yelp. It’s like, no. It’s building that relationship to where … I got a 360 camera, so if you want to hire me, and you need 360 video, I’m available for hire.
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, he is.
WIGNZ:                But … Part of the hustle. But, I threw up online, I say, “Hey, I’m selling some Go Pros,” not a … Dude, I just wanted the Go Pros gone. I’m not trying to make money on it, and you hit me up, and you said, “Oh, I need some of those,” and then I said, “Well, I need an interview.” This works out.
DJ Chonz:            It was perfect, man. I was actually online that day. I was going to buy some Go Pros and I got tagged in the post, and I’m pretty … I was excited, and it worked out. You said you wanted to do … if I wanted to be on the podcast earlier, like I think it was that week, earlier-
WIGNZ:                Yeah, that same week, a few days before that.
DJ Chonz:            The same week, and it was just perfect. I was like, “Hey, I could get you drive down here and deliver them, too.”
WIGNZ:                Yep. It was set up and that’s what we did. It’s cool man. I got to see the whole set up here, the DJ School Radio Bums, DJ School. Nothing but respect, man. When you come in here, if you want to learn how to mix, I mean you need to go into a little more in depth, but there’s Mixing School, there’s ability to learn how to edit-
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, yeah.
WIGNZ:                [crosstalk 00:05:07] everything.
DJ Chonz:            It is everything. DJ Stacks and myself, we started the Radio Bums DJ School portion of the Radio Bums. Me and my friend, Hakeem, started Radio Bums in 1996. He founded, I’m the co-founder, originally, of Radio Bums. But we started the DJ School section I think about January. So what we do here is we teach the art of DJing, so the very fundamentals, we pride ourself in that. We could get most of our students mixing and playing it within six weeks. So, our youngest student right now is nine years old, and he knows how to blend, and he knows how to mix, and it’s pretty incredible to see kids get into it like that.
WIGNZ:                And you don’t know whose career you’re starting. For all you know, that could be the next big thing out there, and you’re like, “Hey, I was in,” and hopefully he’s networked with you so that when he makes it big-
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, hopefully I’m still networking with them if they make it big, though-
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            They’ll come back and give back to … You know, when you graduate from high school, and you’re out of high school for like five or 10 years, and then you go back, and you see your teachers-
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            And you’re like, “Hey, what’s going on?” And hopefully-
WIGNZ:                Thank you, and you value that teacher because you’re like, “Hey, I couldn’t have done this without you,”-
DJ Chonz:            Yeah.
WIGNZ:                And just so you know-
DJ Chonz:            So hopefully you know, especially in my career now, because I like to see the youth prosper. I’m not saying that I’m finished. I’m over 20+ years in the business, but hey, I got the shine. I’ve done a lot of cool things, you know what I mean? I watched films with Eminem, seeing 8 Mile together, you know? I opened up for Drake and Wayne at Red Rock, went on tour with Wu Tang, Maseo from De La Soul is one of my best friends. I had a great career, and it’s still going, but now I want to help the other youth at least experience it a little bit, you know what I mean?
WIGNZ:                Yeah. I think that’s great because I think that for you and I … When did you get started? What year did you get started?
DJ Chonz:            I started in 1993.
WIGNZ:                Oh, okay, so you’ve got a few years on me, bro. I think I was third grade or something.
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, I was about 15 then, so you do the math.
WIGNZ:                Don’t do the math, you don’t need to be doing that math.
DJ Chonz:            You just do the math.
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            It’s all right, I’m not ashamed. Before I used to be like you get ashamed because you’re getting older and stuff like that, but I’m not ashamed of that anymore because the youths right now, a lot of them, especially … they like to … there’s this age discrimination going on-
WIGNZ:                Ageism.
DJ Chonz:            Ageism, yeah.
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            That’s what it’s called, ageism. So they think that you’re irrelevant because you’re older. It’s like, “Nah man, I’m just seasoned, and I respect what you do, young one, and I want you to succeed, but you don’t have to knock on me because I’m still in the game doing what you’re doing.”
WIGNZ:                It’s like what you just said about the teacher. You want to go back to that teacher because when you’re in school, you’re not paying attention-
DJ Chonz:            Right.
WIGNZ:                But you kind of paid attention, and then you get back years later, and you’re all, “Well, hell. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without-“I still [inaudible 00:08:03] those teachers, and one of them passed away, but I remember he, Dorian De Long, he let me for a class project make a video. Everyone else had to write a paper or something, and I came up to him and I said, “Hey, what I,” because I was in this video editing class, I said, “Hey, what if I made a video about this paper that you want?” Dude, I got an A on it, but that set me on the course of hustling videos. I’m like, “What if I do that video for you, morning showcase, once I’ve [inaudible 00:08:29]. I’ll do that video for you-“
DJ Chonz:            He inspired you.
WIGNZ:                And you get me a job. So, you never know-
DJ Chonz:            He put you on a path. He put you on a path.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, so that’s what you’re doing right now and that’s just awesome.
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, that’s what we’re doing here. Yeah, we had a 15 year old. He got a residency at Roller City West, and he DJ’d there for a while. Then-
WIGNZ:                Yeah, dude.
DJ Chonz:            He also opened up for that Bhad Bhabie just recently with a rapper, King Tae. Another 16 year old rap artist, so he’s a 15 year old DJing and the rap artist is a 16 year old-
WIGNZ:                Wow.
DJ Chonz:            And they’re in front of 300 people, and he’s been DJing for about eight months. So these are the kind of things that were coming to fruition through the Radio DJ School.
WIGNZ:                Yeah. And I think you and I, for years, like you say, you started early and then you were on case with [Sim 5 00:09:10], I think … what year did you start KS?
DJ Chonz:            I started in 2001.
WIGNZ:                Okay, so you were there about five or six years before I started there. We had an amazing team, and I think now that everyone’s gone their separate directions, and everyone is doing their own thing now, some of us, maybe not necessarily through our own decisions, but whatever-
DJ Chonz:            That’s the nature of the beast.
WIGNZ:                That’s the nature of the beast, but in that business it’s more likely to happen to everyone who goes on their own, or they lose their job. We stuck together for over 10 years. We were number one for 12+ years-
DJ Chonz:            We had a great team, you know. It’s-
WIGNZ:                All day long.
DJ Chonz:            I mean, it started from the program directors, to the music directors, to the on-air talent. Everyone was good at what they did.
WIGNZ:                Mm-hmm (affirmative).
DJ Chonz:            And that’s what led us to have great numbers and-
WIGNZ:                No ego.
DJ Chonz:            And be together, and no ego, and everyone just went there and did what they did good, and that’s how we were successful for so long. Also, we worked for a pretty awesome company that wasn’t really in the sense into a traditional radio company-
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            So they really didn’t understand the business of radio-
WIGNZ:                We were a small percent of what they did.
DJ Chonz:            They’re like, “What the hell? What’s that company doing over there? Are we making any money?”
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            But I think that’s why we stood around for a long time, also.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, but we did great things, man and it took us to the next level. I think every path that we were on then has gotten us to the path that we’re at now. So, it’s exciting to see you do what you’re doing and just to see what’s next. I think that … What is next for you? Are you just focused on this school, and then you just keep mixing and doing that grind on the side?
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, you know so I do the school, and then I still of course DJ. Yeah, just whatever’s next, you know? If there’s an opportunity for me to get back into radio, I’ll do that. It’s just … I really don’t try to force things. It’s crazy because when they laid me off this last time from the morning show, people … I didn’t announce it or anything like, “Hey,” I just went about my business just like the first time they laid me off. I just go about my business. It’s like … You know who worries more about what I’m going to do is my parents, and my mom is like, “Hey, are you going to get a job?” I’m like-
WIGNZ:                “You haven’t had a job yet. You should probably get one of those,” yeah.
DJ Chonz:            Like, “Are you going to get a job?” I’m like, “I have a job.”
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            “I work for … I’m an entrepreneur, mom.”
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            I’ve been working for myself, so people out there listening, you just gotta take notes, is that you have to build your own brand if you’re a part of a radio station or any kind of corporation. You just want to build your own brand for when it’s time for you and that company to sever paths that you’ll have your own brand that you can still build and have equity for that brand so you can still live off of that brand that you built. I always have to reassure my mom like, “Look, I don’t have a traditional nine to five where I get a steady paycheck at the radio station, but I have all of these other things and hustles-“
WIGNZ:                That you’ve built.
DJ Chonz:            That I built-
WIGNZ:                And knew what you were building.
DJ Chonz:            That I have income coming in, so, no mom, I do have a job. So-
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            You know, but “Go work for the city.” I say, “Well, if the city wants to give me a fat check to stop me doing all my passions, I’ll do that.” But for right now … plus, for my family I would do that, I have no problem just going off in the sunset and, “Hey, this was a good run,” if an opportunity came like that, and I enjoy doing it. But right now, it’s perfectly fine-
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            I make a living, I pay the bills, my family, my kids eat. They’re clothed, they get to go on trips. We’re happy.
WIGNZ:                My boy Phil, and the founder of Yolo Rum says it’s called, “Making yourself unemployable,” and not in a bad sense, but just the fact that you’ve hustled so long, you know what you can achieve and can’t achieve. And, you’re achieving it for yourself, so to put yourself in a position to where you’re making someone else money, or you’re making a business money, and your day … you’ve spent 160 hours a month making them money, and you’ve done it for years.
WIGNZ:                Before that, you were making yourself money, now you’re putting yourself in this position to be like, “What am I … I’m busting my butt to make you more money?” That’s not fair. So, there’s nothing but respect. I think that’s the one thing you and I have always had in common, it’s always been the hustle. Like I said earlier, I learned that from you and Tony. Here’s a funny, Tony V., we were at a concert, and this was right when I first started, and this is like my first concert, I’m there with you guys.
WIGNZ:                Tony goes … everyone is coming in that park, I think it was the Fillmore. Everyone is coming in the park at the Fillmore, and then he’s like, “Yo, I’m going to put a cone in here and stop every car and then see who’s going to pay me to park.” So he put a cone in the entrance, and he stopped them and he’d come up in his KS gear, and he’d be like, “$5.00,” and he made money. He would give it back to them after they parked. He’s like, “Oh, no. I was just playing with you.” But that’s the hustler’s mentality-
DJ Chonz:            Yeah.
WIGNZ:                So it’s joking, but it’s the hustler’s mentality is there’s always a way to make that money.
DJ Chonz:            There’s always a way to make that money. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. What we’re actually trying to teach here at the school is a trade. DJing, to me, is a trade like being an electrician, a barber, or whatever. Those are the kinds of things that are always in demand, and being a DJ has kind of been recession-proof, you know? Even when we go through recessions, people still need music for certain-
WIGNZ:                People still need a release to get out from that recession, yeah.
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, even it’s $100.00, $150.00, depending on your skill level, or who you are, or name recognition-wise, but being a DJ, you allow yourself to have at least some supplemental income even if you’re not doing it full-time professionally.
WIGNZ:                Is there a website? How do they get in contact with you?
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, radiobumsdjs.com.
WIGNZ:                Okay.
DJ Chonz:            Radiobums, with an S.
WIGNZ:                Learn how to hustle, because that’s all you can do. I mean, you’ll probably learn how to mix there obviously, but you can actually learn how to hustle and learn how it is to do your business [inaudible 00:15:09] because I like I said, that’s all DJing is.
DJ Chonz:            Yeah.
WIGNZ:                It’s like you’re making those connections with that bar, that local concert, what have you, that local DJ on the scene that might blow up, that might remember you. You just never know. I think we talked about that never burning those bridges. You and I … and I didn’t know this, and I know you said you went to Skyview after that, but you went to Thornton High School at one point, is that right?
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, I went to Thornton High School for two years.
WIGNZ:                Okay. So then you went to Skyview right after that.
DJ Chonz:            I went to Skyview first, so I went to Mapleton Public District actually my whole life, so I went to Western Hills Elementary, John [Dooey 00:15:45] Junior High, then went to Skyview for two years. So, all same district-
WIGNZ:                Okay.
DJ Chonz:            And then my last two years, because I was getting in trouble and getting into the gang banging kind of thing, I left to Thornton High School to finish off my wrestling career, my collegiate wrestling career. I graduated from Thornton High School.
WIGNZ:                I did as well. So, I’d like to think … and I guess I never realized that you went to Thornton, too, but part of me is like maybe we’re the most successful people to graduate Thornton. I’m not trying to like … I’m just saying at least in the local-
DJ Chonz:            I think Cathy went there, didn’t she go to Thornton?
WIGNZ:                No, she went [Whore 00:16:20] High. She went to Horizon.
DJ Chonz:            Oh, she went to Horizon.
WIGNZ:                She went to Horizon, so I think that you and I are probably the most … Again, I’m not saying that to blow our own horn, I’m just saying that because I think that-
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, you don’t know-
WIGNZ:                There’s something to that.
DJ Chonz:            You didn’t know that I was there because you didn’t see my picture on the wall.
WIGNZ:                For the Wrestling Hall of Fame or what?
DJ Chonz:            I was supposed to be up there, bro. They kind of jived me out of that.
WIGNZ:                Oh, why?
DJ Chonz:            I don’t know, maybe I missed pictures that day.
WIGNZ:                Oh, that’s terrible, dude.
DJ Chonz:            I don’t know what happened, so I go back there and I show them my kids like, “I’m supposed to be right there in that year,” look on the wall, “Hey, that’s me right there.”
WIGNZ:                We just need to take a picture and go in there and just throw you up on there, man.
DJ Chonz:            You seen my daughter-
WIGNZ:                Yeah, your daughter [crosstalk 00:17:02].
DJ Chonz:            The cool thing about being an entrepreneur, guys out there, is that when your kids don’t have school, they get to hang with you and chill out and talk on the podcast-
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            And they get a girl up in the Radio DJ School, huh?
Yazmine:              Yeah.
WIGNZ:                Yeah. Are you going to be a DJ when you grow up?
Yazmine:              [inaudible 00:17:19]
WIGNZ:                She’s shaking her head yeah.
DJ Chonz:            Well they can … shaking your head, you gotta talk, too, to the microphone.
WIGNZ:                Talk into the mic.
Yazmine:              Okay.
DJ Chonz:            Okay, all right. Are you going to sit here with the conversation, or are you going to let me finish the conversation?
Yazmine:              I’m going to see you.
DJ Chonz:            Okay, well that was great. Thanks for talking and [inaudible 00:17:38]. That’s my daughter, Yazmine, ladies and gentlemen. She is five years old, and she is awesome.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, well dude, you and Tony V … fatherhood is key, because I think that you’ve got to respect the hustle, but respect the fact that you guys are part of your kids’ life. Tony V’s son went off and killed in Basketball Division One player, and I think he’s playing in Europe now, or he was talking about that, and then you, Yazmine, man, she’s all grown up now, and I remember when you just had her. It’s crazy to watch that next level of entrepreneurship to parenthood, you know?
DJ Chonz:            What’d you say?
Yazmine:              I love you, dad.
WIGNZ:                Oh.
DJ Chonz:            I love you, too. Yeah, I mean I love being a dad. I love every part of it. She grew up in the studio with me, so when we first had her, I just had to pre-record … [inaudible 00:18:24] mixes on the radio-
Yazmine:              Yes.
DJ Chonz:            And so she was in her little playground kind of thing, in her carrying case, and my dog was there. We’d all be in the studio, and I’d be recording for like an hour. So she kind of grew up in the studio. You know when … You’re about to have a baby, right?
WIGNZ:                Yeah, July.
DJ Chonz:            So, I’m going to give you some little advice, all right? People are like, “Be quiet. The baby’s sleeping. Be quiet.” Don’t get in that routine, bro, of this. Make sure you have music playing, it’s not full blast or anything like that, but when she comes home, don’t be afraid to have the music at like half volume.
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            They don’t get … you have to be so quiet.
WIGNZ:                I wonder do you want her, or him in my case, “Hey, didn’t you want him to be in to that music vibe, man, nod their head?” My boy, he’s doing his own thing, but he just mixed an open for RJD2, right?
DJ Chonz:            Yeah.
WIGNZ:                He said, and I went to college with him and I remember him saying, “My mom would just put me on the washer and dryer and I would nod my head to the beat of the dryer.” So, music has such an impact on the development of kids and just everything that they’re doing, you know?
DJ Chonz:            I’m just saying this in a sense … I know you’re an early bird, I don’t know if your wife’s an early bird, but if you want your child to sleep in and things like that, just play music pretty loud. I played it pretty loud, and it don’t phase them.
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            So you don’t have to worry about, “Oh, be quiet. The baby’s sleeping.” You don’t have to worry about that. Trust me, take my advice-
WIGNZ:                All right.
DJ Chonz:            Play the music, be loud, talk loud-
WIGNZ:                I’m going to play this podcast, blare it up, you know?
DJ Chonz:            And you know … actually, there’s some cool lullabies, hip hop lullabies-
WIGNZ:                I’ve seen that. I’ve downloaded them.
DJ Chonz:            They’re cool. They’re dope. You’ve got to get them.
WIGNZ:                We’ve got Belly Budz. There’s Belly Budz that … this shows our age as we’re all talking about kids and babies, but there’s Belly Budz that you can actually put headphones on to the baby onto the belly of the girl, and they can hear the music playing.
DJ Chonz:            Do it, man.
WIGNZ:                But I got those lullabies.
DJ Chonz:            I’ve got them, bro. I play them.
WIGNZ:                All right, so let’s get back into what you’ve accomplished, because not only are you a phenomenal DJ and you’ve opened for the best of the talents out there, but you have a scholarship that was named after you, right?
DJ Chonz:            Yes.
WIGNZ:                How did that come to be? What is that exactly?
DJ Chonz:            I went back to school about four or five years ago. I have one more class to get my graduate certificate at public relations. I took it last year, and what happened is there was so much going on, I thought I was going to finish my last class, but it didn’t happen because I was just doing too much with the morning show going on, and doing the DJ School.
DJ Chonz:            I ended up taking an incomplete, but about four years ago, I went back to school and I met these people that were at CU star in a summer music industry program for high school students to come in and see if they liked what college was going to be about, and they wanted me to be a part of it.
DJ Chonz:            It so happened that I was on campus at the same time, and they wanted me to actually just give speeches and presentations and pay me for that. But I decided, I was like, “Yeah, that sounds cool and I could get a quick couple hundred bucks to teach,” and I was like, “I’m not into it. I want to be more involved.” I said, “How about we work together as a partnership?”
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            So that’s what happened is we worked together in a partnership, and I said, “I want to give a scholarship out in my name,” so that’s what happened.
WIGNZ:                God, [inaudible 00:21:39] again, you’re just thinking of the community and everyone that’s out there and trying to make a difference for them.
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, it’s like keep your money. Actually, give that money to a student to attend your program.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, and what was the scholarship called?
DJ Chonz:            It’s called The DJ Chonz Scholarship. For the last five years I’ve been giving scholarships to CU Denver, but recently about two months ago, I just started a non-profit because I was in the giving mode, and people started donating to the DJ Chonz thing, but I didn’t have a non-profit, so when you want to donate to a non-profit, and you don’t have a 501C3, there’s really not … I really can’t give you a good tax write off or anything like that. Sometimes companies will match it if you have a 501C3, so recently I started a whole non-profit. It’s the DJ Chonz Foundation.
WIGNZ:                Wow.
DJ Chonz:            It’s non-profit. We’re going to launch it in October, but we’re doing all of the behind the scenes work route right now, but we have all the financial paperwork, we’re officially a 501C3 DJ Chonz Foundation. Now we’re going to start working with different organizations, not such as just CU Denver, we’re going to work with SOS Outreach, which is they help youth that come from the inner city go up to experience the mountains, snowboard-
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            And kind of these things, and some of the funds are going to go there. Also, have you heard of Youth on Record?
WIGNZ:                No.
DJ Chonz:            Youth on Record is pretty cool. They let people come and learn music, bands, they actually are going to have a podcast teaching kind of thing going on there-
WIGNZ:                That’s awesome.
DJ Chonz:            So, it’s a pretty good organization. I’m teaming up with that organization and, of course, the Radio Bums DJ School. So, the DJ Chonz Foundation will be giving scholarships to these three different organizations … actually before, that you can go and contribute to kids just doing positive things.
WIGNZ:                Good for you, Chonz. I think it goes back to what you worried about what your mom and dad said where they, even the listeners and our fans … because you and I, we each have a decent following, a pretty good following even to this day. I know you do the same. Even though we might not be on air, our goal is still entertain and interact with that audience. I think that them looking at us and being like, “Oh no, they’re not on radio. What happened to them?” I think you’re a testament to what we do where it’s like, “Nah, on to the next chapter. That didn’t work, so let’s do this next part of what we can do with what we’ve learned.”
DJ Chonz:            Well there’s one thing, with radio, yes, you’re on someone’s car or whatever every day, right? You’re doing something with that. But the thing about the social media game is that you’re always on.
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            You know what I mean? So, before when they say, “This is your last show, Wiggins. You’re done. You don’t get to say goodbye even though you’ve got a big goodbye going away party,” remember?
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            None of us is like, “I never got to say goodbye on the radio ever.”
WIGNZ:                Well, I was thinking about … You know what’s so funny is I was thinking about if people that even know, or I was even cool with … I remember one guy came up to me and he was like an audio production guy. He was nice, though, but he came up and he said, “Hey, if there’s anything that I can do for you, let me know.” I was like, “Do for me? I don’t even know your name, bro.” I was like, “I respect that,” but I was like at the same time, “While I don’t know your name, you don’t know what I do.” I was like, “There’s a reason why I’m leaving here.” That was the one thing that I am grateful for. I kind of left on my own merits
DJ Chonz:            That’s great.
WIGNZ:                To where I was like-
DJ Chonz:            Awesome.
WIGNZ:                “You know what? Here’s an opportunity. I’m going to take it.” Did it become what I envisioned? No, but you know I think there’s a difference between not meeting your goal and failing, and meeting your goal and just not accomplishing what you thought it was going to be.
DJ Chonz:            Well, you know what’s great? Is that you got a party, you got balloons. You got all these cool things. You gotta say goodbye. Who’s leaving? You’ve got every character of Larry’s voice go on the air and say goodbye to Wignz.
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            You know what I got? I got the HR lady walking me out-
WIGNZ:                Twice.
DJ Chonz:            Twice. So the second time that I went back to work at the company … so you see my backpack right here. It’s a black backpack. Everyone’s like, “Oh, welcome back,” blah, blah, blah. I was like, “Yeah, cool.” “This is your new big office,” and I was like, “Yeah, cool.” “If you want to hang stuff up, you can do whatever you want.” I was like, I said, “You see this backpack right here?”
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            “This is all I’m bringing with me-“
WIGNZ:                Ever.
DJ Chonz:            So when it’s time-
WIGNZ:                I’m ready.
DJ Chonz:            For me to get walked out the door again-
WIGNZ:                Just throw it on.
DJ Chonz:            All you gotta do is just get this little backpack, and we’re just going to be just fine.
WIGNZ:                Yep. Now awkwardness of taking down the posters.
DJ Chonz:            No posters, no family pictures. No going back for anything. So the second time I got laid off, I was … we were walking down the hall, and the HR lady is like … she was all sad that I was getting let go again.
WIGNZ:                Again. She’s all, “Dang. We keep going through this.”
DJ Chonz:            She was like, “Is there anything that I can do for you?” I said, “Yeah, go find me a job.”
WIGNZ:                She’s like, “I’ll get right on that. Let me see what I can do.”
DJ Chonz:            “Oh, I don’t know what you do.” [crosstalk 00:26:42] job.
WIGNZ:                To be honest with you, I was like you can not fire me. That would be good.
DJ Chonz:            Anything I can do? Yeah. Don’t fire me.
WIGNZ:                Oh, man. You know it’s funny, dude, because we’re sitting here, we’re doing this podcast, you and I have been friends and known each other for over a decade and talked about doing things for over a decade, and it took over a decade before we actually sat down and we’re like shooting the shit.
DJ Chonz:            It took me to get some Go Pros.
WIGNZ:                There needed to be some kind of exchange of goods.
DJ Chonz:            Some kind of transaction.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, some kind of hustling before it could actually work. But dude, I’m excited because we started talking and all the things we’re doing here … I think we’re on the same path, just different sides of the road. I mean, you’ve talked about being able to possibly teach here at Radio Bums DJ School, and maybe show people how to do a podcast-
DJ Chonz:            That’d be great.
WIGNZ:                As long as-
DJ Chonz:            They’re asking about it.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, as long as it doesn’t put me out of work. I don’t want HR walking me to the door being like, “You can’t do podcasts anymore.”
DJ Chonz:            We don’t have that big of a department. No HR. You’re going to get 1099s, so don’t worry about it.
WIGNZ:                Actually, you’re going to pay us to teach you. That’s how that works.
DJ Chonz:            You’re going to do your own taxes, there’s no health benefits.
WIGNZ:                You pay for your own gas.
DJ Chonz:            Pay for your own gas. What we do is 50/50.
WIGNZ:                You know, we have a Keurig though. You can make yourself one cup of coffee, though-
DJ Chonz:            [crosstalk 00:28:05] we got a coffee machine, we got a hot dog machine.
WIGNZ:                The Red Bull. You had me at the Red Bull fridge.
DJ Chonz:            Free Red Bull. Shot out to Red Bull. They hook it up for us.
WIGNZ:                See? That’s what I was going to ask you. I was like I know you’re not paying for those. Red Bulls are too damn expensive for you to be having a fully stocked fridge.
DJ Chonz:            I’ve got plenty underneath the … I don’t really partake in the Red Bull thing. They know that, but like you, people like be wired up. So I’ve got plenty for you.
WIGNZ:                You’ve got the networking with Red Bull now. See, that’s all I need. Let’s do a Red Bull podcast.
DJ Chonz:            I do got relationships with Red Bull, so maybe that might be down the line.
WIGNZ:                You never know. You never know. Well, I mean one of my things was Yolo Rum’s always been kind of what I’ve been focused on, so that’s why … The hardest part, I think, and you tell me … jump in and tell me what you think about leaving radio or … not necessarily leaving, but not doing it every day, is you have fun with this. This, to me, sitting with you and laughing is … and don’t get me wrong, I like doing it with the celebrities, and with [inaudible 00:29:01], or I talked about who … that stuff’s cool.
WIGNZ:                You’ve experienced that. But to shoot the shit and just laugh and have a regular conversation with your boy, that, and talking to people and having them entertained by what we’re saying, I miss that. It’s not necessarily that I miss the job … I guess that is the job, so maybe I do miss the job, but that’s the element I miss, is just being able to have fun. There’s just that element.
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, I guess I miss that a little bit, too. The interviews are kind of whatever. I’m more of a … this is where age gets involved, I’m more of an old school head. So I get more geeked up over old artists, or artists that I grew up listening to-
WIGNZ:                Straight up.
DJ Chonz:            Watching on television-
WIGNZ:                There’re no nerves when a new artist comes in and you’re just shooting the shit with a new-
DJ Chonz:            I’m just like, “Hey, just give me the show prep.”
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            When’s this guy’s single come out?
WIGNZ:                What was the last thing he did? Well, give me a social media network.
DJ Chonz:            Is this the first time you’ve been in Denver?
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            Oh, so what are you going to do? What do you think about the ladies in Denver?
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            All the common questions.
WIGNZ:                What do you think about legalized marijuana? You like?
DJ Chonz:            What you gonna partake in tonight? You know? So it’s all the simple questions like that, but when it comes to … For example, when I interviewed Ice Cube, and I was cool, because it was the time when he was going to put out the NWA movie, and he was producing it. There was a big controversy about why Eazy E’s son was not playing Eazy E.
WIGNZ:                I remember that.
DJ Chonz:            And no one-
WIGNZ:                Because Cube’s son was playing Cube and all that.
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, so no one was asking that question. Somehow I just threw that question and I was like, “What’s up with Little Eazy? What, homie can’t act?” So I did it in a slang version kind of question, like street version-
WIGNZ:                Relatable.
DJ Chonz:            Yeah. That I slid in there like nonchalantly, that it wasn’t offending him-
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            And he answered the question. It was like, wow. Then next time you know, Power 105.1 in New York City, they chopped up my interview and they’re playing my interview on the air. Everyone … it was so-
WIGNZ:                Are you hiring?
DJ Chonz:            I was like, damn. Cool things like that, I miss. But you know, what … Like, we have these outlets now that everyone … If you want to go on your SnapChat, Instagram Live or whatever, this is our own reality and TV show and we make it whatever we want to make it.
WIGNZ:                Exactly. No, and I think that’s why I enjoy this podcast because I mean I love Larry and Cathy. Without them I wouldn’t be who I am or what I am, and that show helped me develop Wignz as a … Dude, it’s funny because if someone … if I’m at a bar or restaurant and someone says Wignz … I was somewhere with my wife a year ago or so, and someone came up to the table and said, “Jared,” it was the waitress. They were all, “Jared,” I was all, “Oh shit. You know me by my real name.” I was like who is this person before I turn around. I was like, “Is this going to be bad?” It’s a girl’s voice, is this going to be bad? I was like, “Huh? Oh. All right, you’re pregnant. Someone else’s baby. We never dated or anything-“
DJ Chonz:            You [crosstalk 00:32:00] in trouble.
WIGNZ:                Wignz, and I got recognized somewhere and went to go pick up a package literally at Walgreens a week ago, and she looks at my ID and she goes … she’s kind of hesitant, and looking at my ID as if I was buying some liquor or something, you know? I was just picking up a package. She’s like looking at it, and she goes and gets the package and comes back, and then I go, “Oh, thank you.” She’s all, “All are Wignz?” There’s something that’s cool to that, you know what I mean? Because … and it’s not like an ego-stroking thing, it’s just cool to be like, “Hey man, I’m just some kid from Thornton that has a name, and you don’t know me, but you know my voice.” I was like … that was cool to have that kind of recognition.
DJ Chonz:            It is. I actually get really humbled by it. Sometimes I get embarrassed. I don’t know, it’s just my personality. So now more often I introduce myself as Mario-
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            Because I try to stay low key.
WIGNZ:                Keep it personal.
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, keep it personal. I just … because when I say Chonz, it’s a whole story that has to come around with it. Like, “Oh, you’re on the radio,” and even when I’m not on the radio, people still think I’m on the radio. “Man, I listen to you every day in the morning.” I’m like-
WIGNZ:                Liar.
DJ Chonz:            Yeah, so sometimes I’m like, do I tell them or do I not tell them.
WIGNZ:                Yeah.
DJ Chonz:            So, sometimes if I have time I’ll say, “No, I’m not on the radio.” “Oh, what’s happening?” And then I’ll tell them. Sometimes I’m basically like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” just to keep the conversation going.
WIGNZ:                Oh no, it’s always a conversation that goes to that. Like when I see somebody, “Oh, you Wignz? What happened to Larry and Cathy and where are they at?” It’s like, “You’re talking to me man. I don’t need to go into what they’re doing. They’re doing their own thing.” And I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just like we’re still family, we’re still friends. It’s the same thing like I could hit you up a year after we’ve talked and say, “Hey, man. You wanna do a podcast? Oh hey, I’ve got some Go Pros for you,” it’s the same thing with them. If they need something, they call. But at some point you have to branch out on your own and not live under that umbrella if it’s the morning show, if it’s KS107.5 and say, “Hey, I’m my own person. I can do my own thing.”
DJ Chonz:            It is. I mean I was a sidekick for many years. I mean, I was a sidekick to Lucas, I was a sidekick to Joanna Gonzalez, I was a sidekick to Gina Le Fuentes, a sidekick to Slim, a sidekick to Tony. So, I was a co-host.
WIGNZ:                You know my world, man.
DJ Chonz:            I was a co-host to all these different people before I got my own shot to be my own individual radio personality on the radio. I totally get what you’re saying, bro.
WIGNZ:                And you don’t knock it because you’re just excited to be able to have that recognition.
DJ Chonz:            It’s just whenever you get that opportunity, you make the best of it.
WIGNZ:                You have to.
DJ Chonz:            So right now, we’re going to make the best of it.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, we’re going to make this podcast the best listened to yet. You know what I mean?
DJ Chonz:            I hope so, man. Sponsor it. Put a hundred on it.
WIGNZ:                Hey man, I’ll throw your logo on there, you give me a teaching job, we’ll be good [crosstalk 00:34:48]-
DJ Chonz:            Your teaching job’s based on commission.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, oh shit.
DJ Chonz:            If we don’t [crosstalk 00:34:52] those classes, you don’t get paid. It’s not salary, dog.
WIGNZ:                Oh, man.
DJ Chonz:            No 401K here.
WIGNZ:                None of that shit, dude.
DJ Chonz:            No.
WIGNZ:                None of that. Dude, I’m like “401K, what is that? I thought it was just a retirement plan.” I was like, “Well, I didn’t plan on retiring. [inaudible 00:35:11], oh shit.” All those things. Then when you have a kid, I’m like, “Oh, shit. [inaudible 00:35:16] retirement plan. I need a 401K-“
DJ Chonz:            Oh yeah.
WIGNZ:                All those things kind of [crosstalk 00:35:18].
DJ Chonz:            It gets real, real quick.
WIGNZ:                It gets real, real quick. Dude, Chonz, I love this, man. I know that you’re going to start your own podcast here soon.
DJ Chonz:            Real soon.
WIGNZ:                I’ll teach you in your class-
DJ Chonz:            Teach me.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, in a class how to do that. But I appreciate it, man.
DJ Chonz:            Thank you.
WIGNZ:                It’s cool to … this literally is like my fourth or fifth episode of the Yolo Rum podcast, and I’m excited because I’ve done this for a minute, but I never got to talk to you. We never got to hang. We always bullshitted around, “Hey, I got this idea. I got that idea.” Or, “Hey, let’s work together.” But I feel that both of us are crossing paths now and hopefully we’ll figure out what happens. But, nothing but respect to you, dude.
DJ Chonz:            Mad love, bro. I look forward to hearing this episode, and more episodes of your podcast.
WIGNZ:                Yeah, yeah. Sponsored by Radio Bums DJ School. One more time, the website. All that information. Where can they find you?
DJ Chonz:            Website is radiobumsdjs.com, that’s Radio Bums with an S, and DJs with an S. So, radiobumsdjs.com. We’re on all social media @radiobumsdjschools, Facebook and Instagram. We’re not using Twitter, I don’t know why. 720-309-4895. 720-309-4895 to get in contact with us. Come learn some DJ skills, or some audio production-
WIGNZ:                Or a podcast.
DJ Chonz:            Or a podcast from Wignz coming real soon, once he gives me the curriculum.
WIGNZ:                Oh, shit. I’ve got to build a curriculum? [inaudible 00:36:43]
DJ Chonz:            Go do a curriculum and we’ll make it happen for you. But I appreciate it, bro. Thanks for having me on.

The views and opinions expressed in “Yolo Rum Podcast” are those of Producer WIGNZ and/or the guests, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Yolo Rum LLC.

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