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Jim ‘Hip-Hop’ Hopkins

DJ-Portrait (English)

Name: Jim Hopkins
Born: January 23, 1965
Type of DJ: Club-DJ, Remixer
Active: since 1978
Photo Jim Hopkins

Edit by Jim ‘Hip-Hop’ Hopkins

Words: Jim Hopkins

Jim Hopkins began his music career in 1978. This was when Disco was gaining popularity and 12" dance versions of tracks were available only to working nightclub DJs. At this time, Jim was hanging out at a local discotech and was introduced to the DJ who was spinning records at the club. The DJ invited Jim into the DJ booth and showed him the process of mixing two records together to make new versions. Jim was facinated by the process but didn’t have two turntables and a mixer at home to accomplish the same effect. He did however have an extensive collection of Disco 45s and a tape deck with a quick pause button. Since he wasn’t a working DJ and could’nt have access to the extended 12" singles mixes, he decided to make his own extended versions by editing the 45 versions on his cassette deck. He was able to re-edit the tracks to make his own custom mixes that he would play for his friends. His friends were impressed by what he could do with a quick finger on the cassette deck pause button and encouraged him to continue making his own versions of tracks that they would play at their disco parties.

Within a couple of years, he convinced his father to buy him two turntables and a mixer for Christmas. By this time, 12" singles were becoming available to the public so he started collecting as many as he could get his hands on. He spent all his free time in his room practicing his mixing skills and landed a job at a local nightclub in 1981. Jim was still re-editing tracks on his cassette deck and would take them into the club to play while he was spinning. The bar patrons would come up to the booth when he played one of his custom mixes and ask where he got that version. The other club DJ’s seemed to like the re-edits as well and suggested that he check into doing mixes for Hot Tracks Remix Service. Jim contacted Hot Tracks and found out that he would need to buy a professional reel-to-reel deck to submit work to them. He went out and bought the deck, razor blades and tape and completed his first re-edit entitled Abadabadango by Kim Carnes. Jim submitted the re-edit to Hot Tracks remix service who then released it on one of their compilations. He continued working for them until 1989. He then started doing re-edits for Rhythm Stick Remix Service and continued working for them until 1991. Jim also did remixes and re-edits for other Remix Services as well as projects for independent labels. To date he has remixed/re-edited over 140 tracks.

His involvement with the early San Francisco rave scene, beginning in 1991, enabled him to DJ at some of the ground breaking rave parties such as Toon Town, Osmosis and Unleash The Queen.

Also, in 1991, he started Twitch Remix Service with two partners. In 1992, Jim helped form ZoeMagik Records with three partners and continued working with that label until 1993 while still doing Twitch Remix Service on the side. He then took over operations of Twitch Remix Service and decided to turn it into Twitch Recordings; a record label that would focus on releasing the wealth of local San Francisco talent as well as his own recordings.

In 1995, Jim was contacted by a company called MixMan to do a track for one of their CDRom projects. He was starting to hang out with DJ Dan and mentioned the project to him. They decided to work on a track which turned out to be Loose Caboose by The Electroliners; a track that sold 10,000 copies in the U.S. and was later licensed to XL Recordings in the U.K. for overseas distribution. The track has become a staple in the underground dance scene, has been licensed for various DJ mix CDs, and is still being played by DJs around the world.

The success of The Electroliners enabled Jim to produce remixes with DJ Dan for various labels that include XL Recordings, Nervous Records and Smile Communications.

As a DJ, Jim has been spinning records for 20 years and has played various styles of music including Underground Disco, Top 40 Dance, New Wave, Synth Pop, Modern Rock, Hi-NRG, Breakbeat and every style of House music. He has currently traveled to 48 cities throughout the United States to play his fusion of energetic dance music and spends most of his free time in the studio working on remixes for other labels as well as his own creations.


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