Ronald K. Keys Jr. aka DJ Swamp is an American hip hopDJ, turntablist, producer and vocalist. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. He currently resides in Los Angeles, United States. In 1996, he won the title of US DMC Champion, his first year entering the tournament. Currently he is touring with the band Ministry. Swamp toured with Beck for four years and later broke away into a solo career with his release "Never is Now" in 2001. Alternative Press gave "Never is Now" an 8/10 rating.
His follow-up, a drum 'n' bass EP, Instruments of Torture, was recorded with Jack Dangers of Meat Beat Manifesto. Vinyl Disciple produced several music videos, including four 3D music videos. The music video for "The Leaders will Follow" is the first music video to incorporate 3D video scratching.[not in citation given] His music video for "Rock Rollin'" features Dave England of Jackass fame.
DJ Swamp has produced several DJ tools that are considered standards, including "skip-proof" records, which have the same sample repeated over and over so that if the needle is bumped it will land in the same sample.
After winning the 1996 US DMC Championships, Swamp found himself still driving a street sweeper for a living in Ohio. He was making calls looking for gigs and a chance to break into the music scene full-time when he heard Beck was going to be in town. He formulated a plan to pose as a reporter and slip in a demo of him mixing and scratchingBeck's tracks. He waited for Beck all day but never got to meet him. He did, however, give his demo tape to Beck's publicist. A few weeks later Beck called Swamp and he joined the tour as Beck's DJ. The two toured together for four years.
Career with Ministry
From 2016 - 2018 DJ Swamp toured as a member of the band Ministry.
After years of touring with Beck, DJ Swamp released his first album, "Never is Now", which was supported by the successful single "Worship the Robots." The song featured Simple Text voice Fred as the rapper. The text application vocals were chopped up and manipulated to make it more like rap than just spoken text. Also on the album was "Disintegrator" which was featured in the movie "Orgazmo" and appeared on the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
Swamp has built a loyal following around the world appearing in festivals, rock shows, hip-hop shows and even raves. His stage performance consists of him Mixing, Scratching, Magic Tricks and even Emceeing. Crowds are often overwhelmed by his stage presence, heavy bass sound, crowd interaction and give-a-ways.
In 1996 DJ Swamp formed Decadent Records, which allowed him to distribute his scratch tools vinyl and digital releases. Under this label he invented several DJ tools that are considered standards, including his infamous "skip-proof scratch tool" records which have the same sample repeated over and over in a straight line so that if the needle is bumped it will land on the same sample. A technique that has been copied by most battle breaks and scratch records and are a staple in many turntablist sets.