Friday, Mar 17 2006 | 10:32

Alain Macklovitch aka A-Trak was 13 when he scratched his first record. The year was 1995, the turntable was his father’s, and the mixer … well, he didn’t have a mixer yet. But that problem was remedied soon enough, when he used his freshly earned Bar Mitzvah money to buy himself a used Technics 1200 turntable and, you guessed it, a mixer.

Two years later the Montreal native was crowned DMC World Champion and invited to be an honorary member of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, the celebrated Bay Area crew led by DJ Q-Bert and Mixmaster Mike. When that crew disbanded, he and Miami’s DJ Craze joined forces as the front men of a new collective, the Allies. In the years that followed, A-Trak went on to win the 1999 & 2000 ITF World Championships, the 1999 Vestax World Extravaganza and the 2000 DMC Team Championships (with Craze). On top of being the youngest world champion, this made him the first DJ ever to win all three major titles (DMC, ITF and Vestax) and the first DJ to win five world championships. At the age of 18, Young Trizzle decided it was time to retire from battling.

In the turntablist scene, A-Trak established himself as ‘the DJ’s DJ’, building groundbreaking routines that managed to push the envelope technically while remaining appealing to the untrained ear. He developed a revolutionary notation system, which allowed him to write scores of scratch patterns and solos. And his DJ battle records quickly became cult favorites, used and abused in competitions around the globe. Meanwhile, with his broski Dave 1, he formed the indie hip hop label Audio Research, which built a steady reputation for putting out critically acclaimed vinyl releases.

From 1998 on, he toured constantly across the world, criss-crossing North America and Europe repeatedly, hitting Japan five times and Australia every summer. He has performed in such far reaches as mainland China, Iceland, South Africa and Hawaii. In the summer of 2004, Kanye West caught A-Trak performing at a record store in London and quickly invited him to become his DJ. They embarked on a 40-city North American tour, performing in front of sold-out 20.000 seat stadiums for two months, and then hit Europe and Japan. When Kanye came home to hit the lab, he reached out to Trizzy for some cuts on Common’s critically praised album “Be” as well as his sophomore opus “Late Registration”. They are currently on the road promoting this instant classic.

In March 2006, A-Trak is releasing the DVD “Sunglasses Is A Must” on Audio Research. This DVD is the long-awaited tell-all biopic about turntablism’s boy wonder.

01. Three 6 Mafia ft. Project Pat – Poppin My Collar remix (Sony)
Ladies and gentlemen, Project Pat is out of jail and his flow is as captivating as ever. He’s larger than life. This song was already bound to be a smash but this just brings it over the top.

02. J Dilla – Two Can Win (Stones Throw)
Do I really need to say anything? Dilla was the best that ever did it, and everything he touched sounded like no one else in the game.

03. GLC – Chi State of Mind (G.O.O.D./Sony)
OK so I produced this, but I really like this song, I swear!

04. Prince – Black Sweat (NPG)
Finally! The Purple One dusts off the old drum machine and shows Pharrell who he got his falsetto from.

05. Kardinal Offishall ft. Vybz Kartel – E.G.G. (-)
This beat is ridiculous. Kardi always knows how to carry a song, and I love figuring out what Vybz Kartel is actually saying. I could be lazy and just enjoy the intonation of his voice, but it’s worth the extra effort.

06. Nump ft. Federation & E-40 – Got Grapes (-)
Sure, “Tell Me When To Go” is the official hyphy anthem of the moment, but this is a banger and Nump is hilarious.

07. Lupe Fiasco – Kick, Push (1st & 15th / Atlantic)
Not since “Made You Look” has a song captured the essence of why we loved 90’s hip hop so much. And the skate storytelling just earns him extra credit. This dude is about to make his mark.

08. Chamillionaire ft. Krayzie Bone – Ridin’ Dirty (Universal)
I was kind of ambivalent about the Mixtape Messiah for a while but this song really won me over. Plus he’s singing really well on the hook! I love the beat, and obviously Krayzie Bone murders it, as always.

09. Bonde do Role – Melo do Tabaco (A-Trak remix) (Mad Decent)
This is Diplo’s Brazilian group, on his label. And this remix is my best attempt at a “Licensed To Ill” outtake.

10. Dilated Peoples – Back Again (Capitol)
I’ll forgive them for the generic “we’re back” theme. This joint is hot, and you gotta give it to them for staying so consistent.

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