Biography of D.J.J
These are just a few words you would hear when you come across someone that is having a conversation about Auburn, California's empowering emcee named D.J.J. Originally called Dangerous Joker Joe, it became too much of a mouthful for some people, so they resorted to saying D.J.J instead of Dangerous Joker Joe, either way, it means the same thing in the end. Born Joseph Alfredo Torres on May 23, 1994, Joseph has grown to be an aspiring leader within the Auburn community. This is his story on how he made the transition from dreaming, to making his dreams a reality.
Originally born in Miami Beach, Florida, Joseph moved to California as a baby and began his life in Garden Valley, California where he spent his early years on his uncles property. From Garden Valley, he then moved up to Georgetown, California on his grandpas ranch where he spent a lot of his early childhood. After living on the ranch for awhile, it was time for the Torres family to make another move, which led them to move up to the beautiful foothills of Auburn, California. Auburn is where Joseph spent his middle childhood all the way up to his adulthood.
Before we get into the rise of D.J.J, we must first understand the struggles that Joseph had to go through to get to where he is at, which all started from when he was born. While Joseph was being born, he had struggles coming out, doctors resorted to every single measure they could think of, which in the end, it almost ended up killing him. As a young boy, Joseph developed a tumor in his brain which caused him to have seigers every now and then, which all effected his ability to crawl, walk, talk, everything. Eventually, the tumor went away, the seigers stopped, and Joseph was able to grow up like any other average child.
In his early childhood, Joseph was bullied a lot in school which sprouted a lot of anger issues, anxiety, insecurities, and depression within him. Joseph was heavily bullied during his fifth grade year, consistantly being made fun of, always getting tripped and pushed down, always rushing to and from class cause he was afraid of what would happen next. Joseph went to his friends and teachers, but no one would answer his plea for help, which led to his breaking point. There was one boy who was constantly picking on Joseph, and he chose to pick on Joseph on the wrong day. He tripped Joseph, causing him to fall to the ground and everyone else pointed and laughed at him. Joseph snapped, he got up, pinned the kid to the wall, swung and hit them in the jaw and broke it.
"Pulled back and swung, broke the kids jaw. The crowd was silent, they were all in awe". -D.J.J, "Where Do I Go Now?"
Joseph came to and felt bad for his actions, so he went to the office and explained to the principle what happened. The principle praised Joseph for his honesty which only caused him to get a citation, and the kid with the broken jaw got suspended. Joseph needed a way to get through his mental and emotional issues in a healthy way, that's when he got introduced to drawing at a young age. Speed forward to sixth grade, Joseph found that writing made up stories was therapeutic to him. Ever since then, Joseph found a new appreciation for writing.
Music is something that has been in Joseph's family for awhile. His grandmother and grandfather played in a jazz band together for quite some time. After a good run, the band eventually stopped playing, but Joseph's grandmother is still heavily involved in a jazz commitee. Even his uncles on his dads side of the family played music as well. So it seems pretty fair to say that music runs through his bloodline. But how did Joseph himself get involved with music?
Towards his teenage/adolescent years, Joseph listened to a different genre other than hip-hop. Before hip-hop came into the picture, Joseph listened to a lot of punk rock and heavy metal. He listened to bands such as Three Days Grace, Bullet For My Valentine, All That Remains, Papa Roach, As I Lay Dying, Breaking Benjamin, Killswitch Engage, the list goes on. Joseph even listened to a lot of old school rock & roll, listening to bands such as Bon Jovi, Metallica, AC/DC, The Scorpions, Aerosmith, Poison, you can tell he liked to drive his parents mad.
Joseph and a couple of his friends even had an idea to start their own band at one point, and they tried very hard to make it a success. One man was on guitar, another man was on drums, and Joseph was the vocalist, making him the songwriter of the band. Together this group was called J.A.T because each letter was the first initial of each band members name. Eventually, they decided to close the door on the band idea due to lack of band meetings and consistancy with keeping the idea alive, but Joseph still loved writing songs, so he kept putting the pen to paper.
One day while riding around in the car, Joseph heard a lot of hip-hop on the radio, but didn't really like the message the music was giving out, to him, a lot of it was dishonest lyrics with a negative meaning, until he heard Eminem's song "Mockingbird", then he realized that not all hip-hop is meaningless and negative. Later down the road, a close friend of Joseph's introduced him to a song by Richy Nix called "In My Head" and Joseph fell in love with it because of how much he identified with it. Eventually, Joseph came to a realization that if he could write his own hip-hop music with honest lyrics mixed in with a powerful message that is relatable and therapeutic, then his music could stand out differently from what you would normally hear on the radio. And that's when Joseph finally came to the decision to write his own hip-hop music.
"A budding Auburn hip-hop artist is taking the genre and turning it on its head." -Jaime Carrilo, Auburn Journal
Now came the time to come up with a stage name, but what? Joseph racked his brain trying to think of a name for himself, then he finally remembered that one of his sisters old friends thought he was really funny and gave him the nickname of "Joker Joe", he would of been fine with that name, but it needed more. One day, a friend of Joseph's invited him to come to his home and try out his new MMA game he bought, when Joseph got there he saw that his friend had already created a character for him with the name of "Dangerous Joe", right then and there, Joseph put two and two together and came up with the stage name "Dangerous Joker Joe", he liked it and stuck with it. But don't get it confused, Joseph isn't actually dangerous, the name is more of a tongue and cheeck type of thing.
D.J.J has grown and improved so much as of late that he is being identified in his community as a leader who is making a difference with his work with music. But D.J.J is more involved in his community outside of music. Alongside Auburn Hip Hop Congress, Joseph volunteers at many different community functions, events, and shows inside and outside of Auburn. D.J.J has one main goal, to be recognized in his community as a leader who did everything within his power to make a difference. I guess you can say that he is close to achieving that goal.
The best way to explain D.J.J's music is that it's prevelant, relatable, powerful, motivational, inspirational, and empowering with a message of hope. Joseph's experience with bullying inspired him to touch on the topic in his music and go to different schools to speak about his experience and share his music that touches on his experience and his feelings on the topic itself. By putting himself out in the open, D.J.J has gained the respect of his peers, other artists he admires, and community organizations in and out of Auburn. With every song that D.J.J creates, he always gives a piece of him to the fans.
In a lot of cases, the only way to really enjoy an artist's music is if you can relate and connect with what they're saying in their songs cause of the experiences that they're speaking about in their songs. That is exactly what D.J.J aims to do with each song he puts together. Putting himself out in the battlefield and making himself vulnerable is how D.J.J has gained the love and respect of many people inside and outside of his hometown of Auburn. A lot of people look up to D.J.J because he stays true to himself, he's honest in his music, and he's always aiming to do the best he can to make his dreams a reality.
"Dangerous Joker Joe's hip-hop message is one of hope". Jaime Carrillo, Auburn Journal
D.J.J has taken his message and brought it with him to the stage. When come to a show, and you see that D.J.J is on the bill, you have every reason to believe that it will be a good show. With D.J.J, you can expect a goofy stage presence with terrible jokes to try to get you to laugh, lots of high energy, and a whole lot of crowd engagement. Fans who have seen D.J.J live before have described his stage presence as him just hanging loose and being himself, confident, intense, honest, personable, or enthusiastic. If you don't believe them, just come out and see for yourself.
While working with Auburn Hip Hop Congress, an organization D.J.J has been involved with since May of 2011, D.J.J has gotten the opportunity to perform and be a part of many incredible shows and events such as; the Celebrate Outloud Festival, Open Mic Mondays, the Gold Country Fair, the Hip Hop Awareness Festival, the Sustainability Awareness Festival, Some Kind of Earth Day Festival, Big Day of Giving, Vans Warped Tour, Rock the School Bells, Neo Fest, and more. These shows and events have taken D.J.J to places such as Roseville, Rocklin, Sacramento, San Francisco, Grass Valley, Nevada City, and of course, Auburn. D.J.J has gotten to open up for some respectable names in the hip-hop scene such as; Random Abiladeze, One Be Lo of Binary Star, Sapient of the Sandpeople, David Dalla G, and more. He's also gotten to share the stage with local favorites like J Ross Parrelli, J*Ras of SouLifted, Nel'Sun, Odapt, Wrecluse and J Mar of the Golden Gloves, At Ease and Douglas Webster of In Affect Productions, Charlie Muscle, Hennessy and Dirk Dig of the Kali Boyz, Augustus ThElephant or known now as Pharrow, ZFG Promotions, Light Skinned Creole, Guti B, Tribe of Levi, Element Brass Band, and many, many more.
Along with opening and sharing the stage with these artists, a lot of these artist admire and respect D.J.J for what he does with his music. They all see the hard work and dedication he puts in and a lot of them have mentored him along the way as well. Through their tips and advise, D.J.J absorbed it like a sponge and applied it to what he does. From learning how to produce, mix and master, and record, to learning how to market and brand himself as an artist, to improving his stage presence, to putting his own show together, D.J.J has learned a lot and presents his professionalism very well.
D.J.J has even taken these skills he's aquired to help other people who are interested in learning in the field of music. He put together a six song demo with young artist Ryan Arnel, also known as The Truth, and has even done a few shows with him as well. He's even been involved in a few workshops at schools explaing how writing is a therapeutic outlet and can really help you get through the worst times of your life. It's fair to say that D.J.J isn't just a musician, but he is also a teacher and a mentor as well.
"I'm gonna be the change, I will make a difference. And I'll take that to my grave, you can't tell me any different". -D.J.J
In conclusion, since February of 2011, D.J.J has put in a lot of hardwork to get himself heard. He's put together and handed out multiple demo cd's, put out his first mixtape titled "Feeling Lost" in October of 2014, released his debut EP "Therapeutic Mindset" in mid October of 2015 that he completely produced himself, and has been busy ever since. He is currently working on his newest mixtape titled "Expressing Myself" set to be released in either the Spring or Summer of 2016, and has almost completed all of the production for his first full length album set to be released sometime in 2017. The best part about this whole thing, is that D.J.J is doing this completely independently and on his own, meaning he gets to do it his way and on his own terms and gets to put it out how he wants to without trying to satisfy anyone else but him. D.J.J has come a very long way, but he can only go even further from here.
"D.J.J is prime example of what you could be, and then what you can become". -Joshua Keefover
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