Oral History Information
Keith Shocklee is a pioneering DJ who began performing at the local youth center on Long Island in 1974, only a year after Hip Hop was established. Keith gives credit to the radio disc jockeys he heard growing up as they would often give rhythming chase phrases as they introduced the next record, frequently talking over the intro of the song. Keith imitated those phrases and added his own feel whenever he would provide music for parties and local gatherings. Keith, who is also known as Wizard K-Jee, was an original member of Public Enemy, which was formed in 1985 along with Chuck D and Flavor Flav. Their debut album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show, showcased their unique style, which was highlighted by political messages such as poverty and racism. Their second album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, featured Keith’s knowledge of breakbeats and sound effects. Keith has also produced a number of very successful records including “Fight the Power” (heard in the Spike Lee movie Do The Right Thing) and “Bring the Noise” (heard in the movie Less Than Zero). After Public Enemy’s first album was released Keith helped create their production company, Bomb Squad, which produced Ice Cube’s first solo album and opened the door for many opportunities. Working with a host of artists such as LL Cool J and Janet Jackson, Keith decided to establish Spectrum City Records in 2021 to help encourage young performers.