4B is the unattainable and lunatic DJ hailing from New Jersey. Taking his early influences and passion for the music, Bobby McKeon has propelled himself into stardom. If you know, you know. 4B is easily one of the most entertaining acts to see at any occasion. Known for his unpredictability in his performances, we caught up with the producer to see what he’s been up to.
From DJ’ing and being the “Mashup” guy early on in your career to creating your own original music, how were you able to elevate your talent in such a short span of time?
“I think it all comes down to how much work you’re putting in. I always stress to the younger guys that as soon as you finish one thing, that just frees up time to start on the next thing. If you spend all that time working on one thing you won’t be able to work on the next thing. I think it was just me working as much as possible, and harder than anyone else. -4B“
Your name has been floating around for years but now it seems like you’ve skyrocketed into one of the more entertaining acts to see. What is your goal in mind when you get on that stage whether it’s a club filled with 100 people or main stage at a festival?
“I know a lot of people are seeing me for not the first time, so I want them to leave every show going like, “damn, that was something,” you know? I need to leave some type of imprint on every show. -4B“
Do you have any rituals or words of motivation that you repeat to yourself before playing a set?
“Mmm, it’s kind of like clockwork now, you know? The first few months I was nervous but now it’s like waking up and brushing your teeth hahaha -4B“
One of the many reasons you blew up was you igniting that blend of jersey club & trap music, what were your influences at the beginning of your career that made you strive in this direction musically?
“It was kind of around the time when festival trap took off. I was still producing way before then, but with festival trap, people were basically taking big house records and making trap remixes. At the time I was producing regular jersey club, and I always loved house, so I was like, oh wow, what if I take big house records and I fill them with jersey club? That’s when I did that remix of “Tremor” with Stevie G. I was doing all those things, and once I went from there I was like, okay how do I make that original? I wanted that festival club sound as an original. So, that’s how that ended up happening. It was really natural. -4B“
Fresh off the release of “Drown”, the track really allowed us to hear you expand on your sound. Is there a story behind that song?
“Yeah! That song’s three years old. My friend found the singer on Instagram randomly, and then I ended up meeting her in Atlanta and she was showing me all these projects and she played this one vocal for me and I was like, wow this is amazing. I ended up working with her, and there are so many different versions of that song.
I was in the studio one day, and I was just playing these songs for [DJ] Snake and he was like, “bro these songs gotta come out!” And I was like I know! We were just dealing with a lot of label problems and all this other stuff. Then one day I just decided I was going to drop it next week. That’s literally how it happened. I decided I was gonna drop it that next week and I just dropped it. The feedback has been literally amazing. -4B“
Nobody was expecting that. Everyone does the R&B remixes and no one really hears jersey club take that melodic side.
“Also, I feel like everyone is trying to make a Chainsmokers hit, or a Marshmello hit. There’s these guys that are putting out hard music and just trying to drop a pop song and I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to make sure that people could still hear my sound in a crossover, so I think I was able to do that. It has that jersey club vibe but it’s also melodic with vocals. I have so many other songs that are like that too. This was me trying to see if this works, and my fans really reacted to it. I’m pumped now, this was like the oldest of those songs that I have. -4B“
So you’re kind of just easing everyone into it?
“Yeah, I have a lot of songs that are like “Drown” but a lot better. -4B“
Do you think musically jersey club as a genre still has room for innovation?
“Absolutely. There’s so much to gain from it. The whole thing that’s great about jersey club is that it’s a raw genre. It’s meant to be raw. It’s meant to be not fully mastered. This is a genre that was being played on shitty car speakers. That raw element of the genre is so important. It’s not a fine-tuned thing, so I think in that way it can evolve but still have those raw elements that other genres can’t have.
I think like in new-age hip-hop, the best ones are the SoundCloud records where they just throw a limiter on and the bass is just like BRRAHHH. That shit is dope because it’s raw! Jersey club has that feeling. –4B“
Your tastes are all over the place and a good testimony to that is MACA Music. Can you explain the foundation for it and how that label was created?
“Basically, we were in my mom’s garage, and I was with a few of my homies from Jersey. Nobody was doing anything in Jersey. Not that nobody was doing anything, but you always saw people fighting and nobody was working together and my idea of it was, let me bring my friends together where one would do creative design stuff, and another all about fashion stuff, and another super creative person. I had another friend that was producing and mixing and mastering and engineering, and I was like I’m gonna put all of this together and start a brand in Jersey with my friends. That’s the goal. Everyone has a job but if you are able to have a job with your own friends that’s awesome. That’s what I wanted to create a brand from Jersey that will put on what we want to put on. -4B“
You’ve been in the game for a while now but let’s shift gears to touring. Here on the Overload Tour with Kayzo, what are your pros and cons of touring?
“Pros.. It’s amazing that I get to play in front of all these fans that I haven’t gotten to play in front of yet in small cities. Middle America, all over the country, you know?
Cons … it’s a long tour. It’s a lot of shows, you know? It’s my fourth straight day? I don’t even know, I’m lost. ALSO, you can’t really poop on the bus. -4B“
With that said, what are the two things you MUST take with you when you’re on the road, aside from the obvious?
“… Is headphones too obvious?
Netflix. That’s big. A lot of times the WiFi is trash and I have shit downloaded on Netflix. That’s important. The other thing would probably be Hennessy. I need to drink. –4B“
Leading on from that, everyone’s got funny/weird tour stories. Any memorable moments you’ve encountered since you started playing shows and traveling?
“True story, one time I DJ’ed with a snake in my bag. I always had snakes growing up. I’m pretty sure my little brother let one out. He didn’t close the tank and it escaped from the tank. I lost it for like two weeks. I thought it was gone. I was DJ’ing at a school in Jersey during the day, a Saturday, in 2009? I was DJ’ing during the day and setting up my equipment and all of a sudden one of the wires moved. I move the wire and there’s my snake! It was black and I was like … oh my god I have a snake in my backpack. It was just a baby, but it hadn’t had food or water in two weeks and it was just in my bag of wires. I had to DJ this party for three hours and then I had to shoot to a club right after, so I DJ the party and then I go to the club, and I brought the snake into the club. I wasn’t about to leave it in the car, I brought him in the club and left it in my bag next to me in the booth. I DJ’ed two parties with a snake in my bag, true story. –4B“
Did he come out alive?
“Yeah! I think I renamed him after that. I named him Twitch because he was super sketched out after that. I’d try to pick him up and he’d be like yo…chill. He survived though. He didn’t eat, he was half shedding and I didn’t think he’d make it but he did. -4B“
To end things on a lighter note, you’ve been flexing that jump shot of yours. If you were in the NBA what position would you play?
“Hahaha oh Point guard forsure –4B“
Have any other DJs been talking smack or have you played anyone 1on1?
“ACRAZE from Florida, he keeps talking trash saying he wants to play me. But he doesn’t want the sauce. My manager has a new assistant, and he said he’s going to put down money that he wants to play me. He’s also very confused. I don’t lose. I would just tackle him. I won’t let him win. When money’s involved? No, he’s just confused.
We’re talking about a streetball game, there are no rules. He’s going to lose. He plays tennis too, so he’s losing in this game without a doubt. Charlie from ACRAZE, he’s got a few inches on me and I see him playing every now and then, but I think he plays on a baby hoop haha. Same thing goes for him. Wherever, whenever. I’m out of shape, I’m fat and tired, but he’ll get crossed out and possibly dunked out. –4B“
“Nah. I used a little bit of hops back in the day, but ya man’s old now with bad knees and a bad back. I did high jump in high school and I kept working out and got a hernia and all that. But now we’re taking it from the free-throw line. -4B“