Jimi (Chopmaster J) Dright


Oral History Information

Jimi (Chopmaster J) Dright was surrounded by music growing up in Berkely, California. Sly Stone lived in his same fourplex, Tower of Power practiced in their garage and music promoter Herb Wong had a regular program on KJAZ that Jimmy never missed. He started playing drums at a young age and took lessons every chance he could, even attending music camp. As Hip Hop was developing, Jimmy was right there to add his own flavor to the emerging style and soon he met others involved with the same music like Shock G and Kenny-K Waters, forming Digital Underground and becoming the first West Coast Hip Hop group to be signed by an East Coast label. Along the way Jimi was given the name DSJ Chopmaster J for his skills on the turntable. In 1990 the group had the breakout hit “The Humpty Dance,” and is also known for launching the career of young rapper Tupac Shakur. Jimi became a sought after studio musician and has a long association with Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, where he continues to record and produce.