BIG ONCE: The Redbull Champion

Big Once Wins Red Bull Thre3style National Finals

BIG ONCE is a competitor Chicago Hustles Magazine met back in ’06 at a dj competition called Cuts & Bruises.  Chicago Hustles Magazine is a big fan of turntablism and  he became one of my favorite djs off of skill set alone. His calm but focused demeanor was always of high impressiveness to me because he did his thing without making it look hard at all. The masters say true skill lies in effortlessness…Now for Big Once.

Congrats on winning the Red Bull Thre3style US Finals and would like to say it has been long overdue. 

Big Once Wins Red Bull Thre3style National Finals
Big Once Wins Red Bull Thre3style National Finals

Growing up who where the names that inspired you the most, when did djing become your passion? 

I got introduced to the art of DJing at a very young age, around 7 or 8. I have an older cousin who was a huge hip hop head, and he used to put me on to tons of West Coast gangsta rap. I completely fell in love with the music as soon as I heard it, and the scratching on these records just totally grabbed me right away. So my first influences were the DJs on these records, namely DJ Yella, Aladdin, Muggs, and DJ Quik.

As a turntablist in Chicago how do you feel about the skill sets of alot of local djs now? and why? 

I could talk for the next three weeks about this subject, but at the risk of sounding like the bitter old man on the block, I won’t go into it too much. Chicago has a few really good DJs and a lot of really shitty ones. Every dope Chicago DJ I know has DJed for at least 8 years, started on vinyl, knows what it means to dig for records, and has that inherent love and never-ending passion for DJing. They didn’t get Serato or Virtual DJ last year because they wanted to be up in the clubs and get girls. That said, shouts to the dope Chicago DJs for being great at what you do and inspiring me. You know who you are.

Repping Chicago is a big deal. How did you go about preparing for your set(s) for the battles? How do you pick your song selection, samples and cuts?

From the day they announced the Chicago Thre3style regional, I began pooling years of routines and remixes I had in my arsenal. I then asked my great friend, sensei, and best DJ on the planet Kid Cut Up to help me with putting together my regional set. We went through hours of material, trashed 99% of it, retooled the other 1%, came up with some new shit, and mashed it all together in a cohesive and interesting way to form that first set.

After I won, we took a few months off and Cut Up moved to LA. About 6 weeks before the US Finals, I began getting new routines together, videotaping them, and sending them to him to review. We’d talk about them, retool them again, and I’d re-edit everything 100 times before I got the end result. I can’t even count the hours we both put into these sets.

Now that the World Finals are here, I have Cut Up, DJ Vajra (2011 DMC World Champion), Pumpin Pete (1990 and 1991 DMC Chicago Champion), D-JR (2010 Red Bull Thre3style US Finals Runner-Up), Trentino (my DJ life partner and Thre3style Chicago Runner-Up) and DJ DeLa Chapelle (Kiss FM, 2Chainz tour DJ) all helping me out.  (HOLY SHIT!)

What has been the best remark made all night after your win, what was it like knowing you won out of all USA competitors, (that trophy is killer)

To be completely honest I haven’t even seen all the comments and remarks yet. I’m just so happy to have won for my family, the city of Chicago, and our good DJs here. The DJs that put in work deserve to have some shine pointed their way, and if I can help in achieving that, I’m honored. The entire experience of the US finals was so amazing, to even be on the same stage as Vajra, Goldenchyld, Deception, Dynamix, and the rest of the DJs was so humbling. Also meeting and getting props from legends like P-Trix and Snayk Eyez was unreal.

How has the reaction from Chicago been since returning with the win? Was it the reaction you expected?

A lot of my friends and DJ homies are geeked that I brought the title home, because they know how hard I work at this. To be totally honest though, I feel like the overall club and local DJ scenes here could care less. And that’s totally fine by me. This title will mean more to my career outside of Chicago than it ever will here.

Big Once Wins Red Bull Thre3style National Finals
Big Once Wins Red Bull Thre3style National Finals
Whens the next mix dropping from Big Once?

I’m putting out a collection of Thre3style Remixes the week after the World Finals, so right around Christmas time. I also will have monthly mixes running on the Friday Night DJ Series on Vocalo 89.5 FM here in Chicago, so follow Vocalo at and for the schedule.

When & where can Chicagoans who love turntablism check out Big Once? 

I’ve cleared my gig schedule for the last month to prepare for the World Finals, but peep my for the latest updates on where I’ll be both locally and nationwide.


When asked how BIG ONCE defined hustle his definition was that of a master (see intro)

“Work hard, care about your craft, and be a good person. Jeah.”-Big Once

Chicago Hustles Magazine would like to thank DJ Big Once for taking time out to speak with us as he is a busy busy man.

P.S. Readers.  My wife and I’s first words (ever speaking) where about how dope Big Once was in 07′ (at the Omega Watts Show Nov. 9TH 2007). True Story

Book, Hire & Pay this man here: