By Julia Nelson
Senior SMAD major Thomas Robertson, one of the three hosts of the hip hop show Play It By Ear, was chosen as DJ of the Month this March. Learn about the man, the myth, the legend of DJ Tom Foolery below.
Q: Do you have a cohost?
A: I have two cohosts – Samuel Rettig and Keith Scofield. We’re roommates and we’ve lived together all four years. Sam’s DJ name is DJ Mr. Take All Your Money. He walked in on the first day and the DJ that was there before us, we were talking to him and he asked what our DJ names were. Sam was like "I haven’t thought about it." And he looked at him and was just like “you're DJ Mr. Take All Your Money.” He was like “alright, that’s the one.” Keith’s is DJ BK which stands for Brother Keith. My DJ name is DJ Tom Foolery, also my former rapper name when I used to spit bars.
Q: Tell me about your previous life as a rapper.
A: Uhh, in high school a couple of my friends rapped and liked to record a lot of stuff but I wasn’t really as good in the studio, like writing rhymes. It would feel a little forced. So I just like to free style at parties and stuff. Also riding around in my mini van, free styling a little bit, was always fun.
Play It By Ear is a hip hop show, and that’s probably my biggest passion. Just listening to music, specifically hip hop. I love it. I got into it in high school, really, starting off just listening obviously. It was never a huge part of my life, but it was always fun to just get together with some friends and free style a little bit.
Q: What’s the dynamic of your show like?
A: We are very … loose. Obviously it’s a hip hop show so we’re playing music most of the time, but in between every few tracks we’ll get on the mics and sometimes just go off on random tangents. We’re just very off the cuff. Not necessarily taking it very seriously. That’s honestly why I think people like the show.
Q: Now that you’ve become a news editor for The Breeze, I heard you’re going to become a host for The Breeze On Air next year on WXJM.
A: I’m excited. Hip hop is one of my biggest passions so I love doing that, but I also do a hockey podcast for a separate thing unrelated to JMU. That is also really gotten me interested in doing radio and talking on air, so I’m really excited to bring that to news. Combining those two interests is something that I’m really looking forward to.
Are you going to stay on your hip hop show?
Absolutely. No doubt. The Breeze on Air is on Tuesday nights and Play It By Ear is Fridays, 8 – 10.
xX Long live college radio Xx