If someone has ever gone to a show in New York City, chances are that they’ve run into DJ J-Ronin or Sav Killz at some point, even if they didn’t realize it. The deejaying and emceeing duo, who represent the All Elements collective that spans multiple continents, seem to never sleep.
Whether it’s performing at shows, hitting various spots around New York City to push their mixtapes to the public, or traveling the country and the world with fellow All Elements members such as Spit Supreme and DJ Snips, it’s obvious that they possess a serious work ethic. The work pays off in the form of solid mixtapes, with J-Ronin consistently releasing projects that feature some of the most reputable names in the New York hip hop scene. Although both Sav and Ronin have been working hard for quite a few years, they are showing no sign of slowing down, and the All Elements movement is only continuing to expand.
Influences: Sav Killz: Rakim [click to read], Gang Starr [click to read], Wu-Tang Clan [click to read], Nas. J-Ronin: "As far as deejaying and making mixtapes, definitely Tony Touch, DJ Doo Wop [click to read], DJ Clue, Kid Capri [click to read] and DJ Premier."
Where They Rep: J-Ronin: "I’m from Flatbush, born and raised. Sav moved out to the Stuy back in ’94 or ‘95. I lived in Spanish Harlem for two years, shout out to all my Uptown people, but I’m a Brooklyn boy. At the end of the day though, we still international. People in our crew are all over the world."
On How They Met: J-Ronin: "I met Sav through 9th Prince of Killarmy, that’s RZA’s [click to read] younger brother. I liked Sav’s music and he was a good dude, and I saw a lot of potential there."
On The New York Hip Hop Scene: Sav Killz: "I like the vibe going on right now. A lot of cats are coming with a lot of integrity and a whole new scene is about to break again." J-Ronin: "There’s a lot of variety coming out right now. You can have your gangsta rap, more conscious stuff, the fun Hip Hop, the more street stuff. And you can kind of see the new generation of the Wu-Tang and M.O.P.-type artists along with the types influenced by Public Enemy [click to read] and A Tribe Called Quest [click to read], etc. It’s just nice. My only thing is I want to see balance between everything. I don’t want to see just the party rappers and the real ignorant street rappers get the light."
On Having A Worldwide Movement: Sav Killz: "It’s always dope to be known outside of your home and worldwide. What we do is world famous, they like authentic stuff and keep tuning in to us." J-Ronin: "It’s definitely a beautiful thing. I’ve sent mixtapes everywhere from Kenya and Botswana to Japan, Germany, Colombia…all over the place. It’s crazy. I remember back in the day my mother said, 'Why don’t you get a real job?' Now my mom is asking 'Can I be the tour manager? Can I go too?' People are telling her they saw me and Sav on TV or things like that, and she notices us doing our thing."
Scratching The Surface: Sav Killz: "There’s going to be a lot of good things on that mixtape, and I’ve been working on that for the past few months. It’s coming out well and should be out in a couple weeks. There will be some ill collaborations and a lot of new stuff." J-Ronin: "A lot of in-house production, shout out to DJ Snips. Vast Aire [click to read] from Cannibal Ox is on there, Spit Supreme of All Elements, Homeboy Sandman [click to read], Planet Asia, a couple Gold Chain Military joints on there…it’s going to be an ill lineup. I’m hosting it."
Blue Lobsters?: J-Ronin: "Blue Lobsters are a sneaker put out by Nike SB and Concepts in Boston, and a mixtape came with the sneaker. A joint with Sav and Spit Supreme was on it. He’s on a Blue Lobster tape and meanwhile Sav can’t even eat lobsters. Ain’t that a bitch?"
On The “All Elements” Mixtape Series: J-Ronin: "I just dropped the Freestyle Files Vol. 1 mixtape. It’s a compilation of all the best freestyles from All Elements 1 through 10 as well as some of the artist takes I did with Poison Pen, Killah Priest [click to read] and Sav Killz. It’s crazy because it’s over 40 emcees I’ve worked with that have recorded at my crib and did those just for me. Everybody from Ill Bill [click to read] from La Coka Nostra to Smif N Wessun [click to read], Kidz In The Hall [click to read], Shabaam Sahdeeq…it’s real ill. A lot of cats were sleepin’ when I first came out, so now you can catch up on some of the ill freestyles you missed out on. I’m working on All Elements Vol. 11 hosted by Jadakiss [click to read] that will be dropping around the same time as Sav’s Scratching The Surface tape."
Advice For Those Trying To Make It In The Game: J-Ronin: "Stay focused, be humble, and try to have your foot in a little bit of everything. I focused on the underground but I’m branching out in different areas. Be creative and original. I try to make mixtapes that stand the test of time. I make gourmet mixtapes, not that fast food, microwave bullshit. I listen to classic mixtapes and try to compete with those and take it to that level of quality." Sav Killz: "Study your history and do your homework. Know the cats that came before you and the integrity they held." J-Ronin: "Right. Know your culture. Know from the beginnings in the Bronx until now. Work with a variety of artists and don’t be close-minded, but be true to yourself and who you are."
Photography by Robert Adam Mayer.