While listening to the limited edition of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, which features interviews with some of the legendary people he had worked with over the years like Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton, DJ and music afficianado, Merritt Reiland aka DJ Automatic (Shadyville/Vinyl Pushers DJ’s) got the idea to make mix tapes with established artists that let them tell the story behind their career, catalog and inspirations, interspersed with blends of their music chronologically, and the MixTale was born.
Multi-Grammy-winning Chicago native, Common, was a natural selection for this conceptual CD, not least of which because he’s one of Automatic’s favorite MC’s. Common is now a household name, not only because of his tremendous success in music and affliliation with some of the best to ever do it, but also because of his burgeoning acting career. This edition of MixTales, for there will be many, is entitled Theater of the Mind and will become available for download on August 24th. It’s a chronology, both spoken and musical, of the artist that is Common, in his own words, past to present and beyond.
A self-proclaimed music geek who avidly studies the credits of all the albums he buys, Automatic aims to educate. “The reason I chose Common for this project is that he is not only one of my favorite MC’s of all time,” says Automatic, “but he has an entire career of music behind him that young music lovers don’t necessarily know. They see him in movies and have heard his newer releases but have no idea that Common was one of the rawest MC’s throughout the 90’s. Although I have followed his career from jump, it was still an honor to sit down with him in person and let him take me on his personal journey.”
With an on-air career at several radio stations over the past few years, gigs across the nation and several eclectic mix tapes, including 2008’s MixTales featuring TI (2008) under his belt, DJ Automatic’s love of music is a given and he wants it made clear that his MixTales opportunities are open to artists of all genres. As he so eloquently puts it, “I am officially married to Hip Hop, but I cheat on her all the time.”