Everybody in hip-hop knows who Big Tigger is and if he or she do not know, he or she have been sleeping under a rock for the past 15 years. Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan was the host way back when “Rap City: Tha Basement” brought us the hottest hip-hop artists who were relevant at the time. Tigger was and is a staple at BET (the only national African American cable network), hosting shows like BET’s number one music show “106 and Park,” “BET Style,” “BET Uncut,” and most recently the “BET Awards 2012 Post Show.” Tigger has also had a wealth of successes as a host and DJ in radio and syndication. He has deejayed at WPGC (95.5) in Washington, D.C. and 92 Q in Baltimore, Md., as well as, Power 105.1 (New York’s Hip-Hop & R&B Station) and now V103, “The People’s Station,” in Atlanta, Ga.
Being from B-More (Baltimore), I remembered how Tigger use to rock at WPGC and 92 Q. Working at two of the top radio stations in the region, man the brother use to pull out all the stops. I remembered one night I was listening to one of his mixes, and I kid you not. This kat was hitting so hard, I pulled my little blue, 1987 Toyota Camry to the side of the road, got out and started dancing my ass off, on the edge of the road. Lol!
I have had an affinity for Big Tigger since then, but the deal was sealed when the crew and I met him during Ne-Yo’s Malibu Red event in the “A” (Atlanta) last summer. You know sometimes people get a little fake when they are in the spotlight. However, you could tell this brother was genuine. He was not aware who we were, yet he still gave us the time of day. He was cool, real down-to-earth and just funny as hell. Moreover, that is why I gave Big Tigger the cover; not because he is Big Tigger (well, a little bit), but because at the end of the day he remains true to who he is, and he is not bad on the eyes. You know I cannot have no “mitch” on the cover.
Now, I had the opportunity to interview him personally and just to bullet-point without giving up all the details… I asked him to give me five things he would tell an artist to look out for if they are trying to get into the biz and he said, “Get a good lawyer/manager cuz these dudes is shady!” Now that is all five things right there. Lol! It is that real! My interpretation is that no matter what, at the end of the day it is about getting and keeping your business tight; nothing else matters. So it is true, some of these dude’s and chicks out here are wicked as hell. You gotta “keep ya game up!”
So during the interview, Big Tigger talked about the type of woman he likes; of course, we had to get that in for the ladies and those haters out there. He also talked about his passion and love for his work, his style of deejaying, his most memorable experience as a DJ, his favorite nightclubs and what he has got coming up for 2014.
Most people can explain explicitly what their love or passion is for why they do what they do. For example, a dancer could say “when I dance, I transcend into my state of euphoria.” What experience do you feel when you’re at the height of your game (artistry)?
Tigger: There’s no better feeling than when you are in the zone and whatever you say or play puts other people into their zone! Whether I am Deejaying or hosting, it is amazing to know whatever you do make an impact in someone’s daily life!
How would you describe your style of deejaying?
Tigger: In one word, flexible! I can spin at clubs, at NBA games, bah mitzvahs, on air, or at a wedding. I can mix old school hip hop and r&b, pop, EDM, trap music altogether and nobody will be mad at it. I can turn-up in the club, or keep it sexy!
So how’s the love life? What’s your type? What peaks your interest?
Tigger: Love life is awesome! A woman of class, intelligence, drive, goals, inner and outer beauty, and a humorous/silly side to her are all desired qualities in a woman. Love a woman who is flexible and able to turn-up in hood environments and also navigate at corporate events as well. Add in “lady in the street and a freak in the bed, ” and you have perfection!
If you were not getting paid to DJ or create music; would you still do it?
Tigger: I would. I have been deejaying since age 15! I do not get paid for my podcasts, but I love doing them. I have done 49 FREE podcasts (available on iTunes) in the last two years, and 2.9 million downloads later and I am still excited every time I drop a new one!
We know that sometimes entertainers create a persona that’s not their true self. What are the elements that make up who you are and is the persona and you as a person one within the same?
Tigger: I have been blessed to be very successful while just being myself. Big Tigger is the more outgoing side of me, but it is still the real me. I am kind of quiet when not out in public.
Was there ever a time when you doubted who you are or what you wanted before your current successes?
Tigger: I never doubted who I was. I still have doubts about the future from time to time about everything. It is human nature.
What is your most memorable experience while deejaying at nightclubs and events?
Tigger: I opened for Kid Capri at the NBA Players official ball when All-Star was in D.C. with Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Dr. J, and others in the building and I smashed! It was dope to have Magic Johnson come up to me and say “boy you was rocking!” Also, back in the days when No Limit was crazy, I Deejayed a homecoming party in Virginia State, and when I dropped “Make Me Say Uhhhhh” after about three other No Limit joints, the illest fight broke out cuz people got too damn hyped! They almost threw a dude from the 2nd floor!
Of all the acts you have worked with, who is the most enlightening as far as artistry is concerned?
Tigger: Haven’t Deejayed for many artists, but recorded, shot a video, and performed on tour with R. Kelly! Amazing to watch him work on four songs at one time!
Tell us about your upcoming projects?
Tigger: I am re-launching my website BigTigger.com and started my new foundation the Big Tigger Foundation! The Big Tigger Celebrity Classic began in June 2014, and this time it is in Atlanta, for its 10th year! I am the new official DJ of the Atlanta Hawks, and I have some other things in development, but can’t let that out yet!
What is your perception of the progression of dance and electronic music in North America? Where do you see it in the next five or 10 years?
Tigger: EDM is HUGE! I am good at it but wish I was exceptional at it… I see DJ’s spinning in front of 10,000 to 30,000 in stadiums and wish I could get down like that. If I applied myself, I could get to that level, but I am not passionate about it like Hip Hop & R&B! I think it is here to stay but will evolve as it already has with Trap-House, etc…
Remixes and nightclub appearances are the bread and butter for any DJ. Also, successful remixes help build a DJ’s status, provide more work and opportunities. Which of your projects would you say was the most successful (in overhaul experience), and what was the most important lesson learned from that project?
Tigger: I would say the five years I spent as DJ for the Washington Wizards! It gave me exposure to different groups of people and corporations! That exposure allowed me to spin for the Redskins, Maryland Terps, Kentucky Wildcats, Macy’s, and others. Corporate checks are awesome!
What are your top 7 party venues?
Tigger: In no specific order: Reign in Atlanta, Bamboo in Miami, Park in DC, Beamers/Prive in Dallas, LIV in Miami, Dream in Miami, and Rehab in Vegas.
If you could mentor any young man or woman out there wanting to get into the music business, what would you tell them?
Tigger: Get a good lawyer/manager cuz these dudes are shady!
Interview By Patrick Kelly | Twitter: @PrettyboyPK
Photo By: Insana Collins
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