Kim Hu is a DJ from Pasadena, California, though she currently calls New York City her home. She goes by the moniker Hu Dat and is one of the best DJs emerging from the underground. Hu Dat is a shining example of the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Upon first glance, most people wouldn’t guess that she is one of the most sought-after Hip-Hop DJ’s in the New York scene. She was the first to be featured on our collaborative mix series with Half Moon BK, and she killed it. We caught up with Hu Dat to get hip to her wondrous come-up and everything else that’s in the future for the young talent.
Daily Chiefers: Hey, what’s up? How’s everything going with the whole Corona situation?
Hu Dat: I’m in Brooklyn, so I’ve just been posted inside, but I’m good.
DC: I bet it’s a little frustrating, having to cancel events and shit.
HD: Yeah, but everyone’s kind of on the same boat, so there’s not much you can do about it. I’m just making the most of it.
DC: I saw your SOB’s interview; I really fucked with that. I got to know you a bit more from that and some of your inspirations.
HD: Oh yeah, the one on YouTube. That one was really funny. I forgot about it, but people keep bringing it up.
DC: I had an artist I was working with a while ago from LA who was obsessed with TOKiMONSTA. I noticed you mentioned her a few times in the interview.
HD: She’s so underrated, but she’s amazing. She’s definitely a huge inspiration.
DC: Yeah, a lot of her shit is so impressive. That EarthGang collab is crazy too.
HD: Music has definitely been shifting. Culture’s so fast that these people (like TOKiMONSTA), I feel like they’re underrated now. The music scene is very Hip-Hop oriented.
DC: I feel like Pop is being redefined nowadays because what’s popular is primarily Hip-Hop. It’s cool to see artists exploring all the area in between genres. So, how’d you get started as a DJ?
HD: I started in college. It was never meant to be serious. I was just always playing music in my college room with friends, and then they were like, “Yo, your music selection is really fire. You should try being a DJ”. So I was like, “Okay, let me just fuck around”. And then I started playing at frat parties and like really ratchet college house parties and college clubs. I still loved trap music back in the day, I played RL Grime shit a lot, and was in a big EDM phase too. So I would mix EDM and Hip-Hop songs in my set. Then I moved to New York one year after graduating college.
DC: That’s fire! I got a chill as you were saying that, cause when I was in school like I really wasn’t fucking with like the whole social scene. Like I ended up in a frat but it wasn’t really for me at all. And I started just like the same exact thing where like even down to like the music, like from trap and EDM and, and house music and just like blending it all together. I feel like that experience just like teaches you to be such a better DJ with a focus of genre. Cause when you can just like mix all different types of shit together, it all of a sudden becomes so much easier.
HD: Exactly. It’s good to mix it up when you DJ, like you just can’t play like street hip hop or street EDM. Like sometimes it gets repetitive.
DC: I know you’ve had some crazy shows, especially this past year, I’ve just seen your name pop up everywhere with all different types of lineups. What do you think your favorite show experiences were?
HD: The most recent one was Chief Keef. Like that was just like a monumental show for me because that’s someone that is one of the most influential rappers to me and someone I’ve listened to for years. So just being on the same lineup on the same stage like, was really crazy to me. It was huge to get that show. I was so hyped, but like you never know, he does be canceling his shows last minute a lot.
DC: Yeah, he’s the epitome of not giving a fuck. I’m sure it must’ve felt up in the air until it happened.
HD: Yeah, exactly. I feel like he actually hates performing live. Once I saw him, I was like, “Oh shit, it’s gonna be lit”. He performed for almost an hour.
DC: That’s insane. Where was that at?
HD: Knockdown Center. So it was huge. And then another one that stands out, I opened for YNW Melly like right before he got locked up. He’s also one of my favorite artists.
DC: That’s crazy. Rockstar Payso opened at that show too, right? It seemed like both of you guys went crazy during your sets. I fuck with Payso heavy.
HD: Payso is lit I fuck with him too.
DC: When artists understand that it’s not just music that they have influence in, it’s culture as a whole, they seem to progress even more rapidly. I see your name on all different types of events and you seem very like interwoven into New York City culture. I was at the Teejayx6 pop-up shop you helped coordinate, that was dope. The line was out the door. You seem to be very influential in the city, in music, and beyond.
HD: Yeah, I just support everything. I also really love fashion, it’s so cool to see how many creatives are in New York. So it’s like whenever a fashion brand has like a pop-up shop and need me to DJ, I’m always down for that. I’ll support things that are just happening like really early on because that’s more fun for me. I’ll always support a new up-and-coming artist or a new upcoming band. I love doing that.
DC: I feel like that’s almost like a different type of A&R approach where you’re in tune with culture (in general) in the same way that regular A&R’s are in tune with music for the most part.
HD: Exactly, that’s why a lot of actually a lot of label A&Rs tap into me, they really trust my ear and they see I’m actually in the streets, it’s funny cause like they’re more in the office, focused on analytics and I’m more out there in the streets. So it’s like a different type of A&R for sure.
DC: Being from California and living in New York City right now, what do you think makes New York City and its music scene so special for you?
HD: You can really feel the hustle and the grind that everyone is going through. Everyone’s really hustling out here, which I really respect. Also, there are so many creatives. I mean, there’s creatives in LA too, but New York is just different. I love it. And they’re like cocky. They love to get in your face. They don’t bullshit. Like if your music sucks, the crowd is going to tell you it sucks. You know? That makes it one of the hardest places to perform at. It’s true, if you make it here, you can make it anywhere. I’ve had so many ups and downs in New York, but when I visit other states, I just see a difference. I’m so much more prepared to kill it anywhere now.
DC: That’s dope. That was a really good way of putting it. Even just walking in the city, you feel this flow of energy around you that’s not stopping even if you stopped.
HD: Right. Exactly. And they’ll even tell you to get out the way. You’re just always on the move.
DC: I’m really impressed by all the shit you’re doing. Watching you operate at such a high level just makes everything I’m working towards in the industry seem all the more attainable. You’re a big inspiration, and I’m sure you’ll be inspiring some of our readers out there too.
HD: There’s nothing stopping you, there are so many resources right now.
DC: For real. Thank you so much for your time and sharing your story. We’re really looking forward to collaborating more in the future.
HD: Thank you! And shout out to everybody at Daily Chiefers.