KEXP Sunday Soul Host DJ Supreme La Rock on His Breakdancing Days, Crate Digging, and Seattle's Historic Soul Scene

Sound and Vision
Interview by Larry Mizell, Jr., Scripted by Emily Fox, Web Copy by Isaac Kaplan-Woolner

KEXP is welcoming a new, but to some familiar, name as the host of Sunday Soul. Supreme La Rock was once the host of KEXP’s hip hop show, now heard on Friday nights. Afternoon Show host Larry Mizeell, Jr. (who is also a former host of Street Sounds), reintroduced Supreme to KEXP audiences in an interview on his show last week.

Supreme La Rock is an internationally renowned DJ, a music scholar, and a mainstay of Seattle’s hip hop community. And he’s no stranger to KEXP. He used to DJ the station’s Sunday night hip hop show Street Sounds -- which you can hear these days Friday nights from 10-till-1.

Mizell said DJ Supreme La Rock is known worldwide for his “massive record collection and impeccable taste”. And Supreme said his roots as a record collector go way back to his days as a breakdancer.

“I never really set out to be a record collector. [...] I really set out to be a deejay. It's just something I was doing that I loved, that I never stopped doing, you know. And a lot of people don't know I started out as a b-boy as well, I started out as a dancer like early, early days, like ‘81, ‘82. And so I was always buying records to dance to. And then, you know, one day I came home and I still lived with my parents. I couldn't walk in my bedroom. I had so many records.”

Sourcing records from samples he heard on hip hop records became an obsession, which led him to genres and scenes he’d never considered or even known existed. Supreme notably began finding funk and soul records that came out of Seattle in the 60s, 70s, and 80s—which would become the basis for Seattle record label Light in The Attic’s iconic compilation series Wheedle’s Groove.

“There was an ill scene here in the 60s and 70s. I mean, like amazing musicians that never got to see the light of day. And I was like, the world needs to know about this. So I started compiling this and working on this project. And I brought it to Light in the Attic and they thought I was crazy. They were like, nobody wants to know. No one's interested in that. [...] And I remember I walked away from that meeting kind of salty, and maybe 30 minutes passed that my phone rang and it was them and they were like, let's try it. Let's listen to it, let's see what you're talking about. Let's try it.”

The success of the Wheedle's Groove compilation helped establish Light In The Attic’s reputation, and Supreme’s digging skills brought light and acclaim to a host of forgotten Seattle musicians.
Now that Supreme is bringing his lifelong archive of knowledge and soul to KEXP’s airwaves. Larry Mizell, Jr. asked him what we can expect to hear on Sunday Soul, which airs Sundays from 6-9 PM PT.

While Supreme has DJed all over the world, he said he always reps Seattle, so he picked out a selection of sample songs with ties to the region. Check them out below.

Patrinell Staten “Little Love Affair”


Tuxedo - “Do It”


The DangerFeel Newbies - “What Am I Here For”


Archie James Kavenaugh - “Take It Easy”


You can catch DJ Supreme La Roc on Sunday Soul each week from 6-9 PM PT on KEXP.

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