Adam Boskey, ne DJ Bozak, has been perfecting his art of moving butts in clubs and radio stations around Champaign-Urbana for as long as he has summoned the courage. From humble beginnings torturing turntables and mixers in his parents’ basement, onto the dimly lit stages of the C-U nightlife circuit, and further, into the limelight on the national stage — DJ Bozak has indeed been one of C-U’s premier table turners.
“I knew for sure I wanted to be a part of DJ culture after seeing what DJ Premier was doing with it,” Boskey says. “An issue of Rap Pages magazine in 1996 pretty much cemented things.”
And now, with nearly 2000-plus gigs tucked neatly under his belt, Bozak is preparing one last feast of funk, hip-hop and soul blends to leave Champaign moving their feet, as he and DJ Samantha Elise — one of C-U’s up and coming House DJs — make their way to San Francisco.
There’s a lot to pack, of course, including the seemingly endless horde of stacked records that line Bozak’s apartment. But beyond his vinyl rarities, the C-U music community came to know Bozak at different times.
In 1997, you may have seen Bozak with DJ Instinct (ne Ricky Biddle), rocking their first gig at what was then Gypsy, which later became Mike ‘N Molly’s. Soon after, it would have been his second and third place finishes in the DJ competitions at Matt Harsh’s “Bring the Paign” hip-hop competitions.
Or perhaps you heard his through your speakers; Bozak inherited the throne of C-U’s original weekend hip-hop show, Needle Drops: first teaming with DJ Jaybird, then DJ Unicron, then DJ Spinnerty.
“At first, I wasn’t really into mixing,” Boskey says. “But, with time, my interest in DJ battles turned into it, and I really started to hone my blending.”
Or maybe you caught him on mixtapes: Chillmatic, Sketches in Sound, or OM Hip-Hop Mixtape Battle.
Or, perhaps, you caught him tag-teaming with some of C-U’s best, or opening for some of the out-of-town legends we had visiting, all under the halogen halos of various nightclubs, scratching his way into your eardrums. At times, working five weekly residencies, Bozak proved hard to miss.
“It was hectic sometimes, but it was worth it…I really got a chance to get my name out there, with something besides battles,” Boskey says
if you couldn’t find him at any of the aforementioned spots, you could have him at Exile on Main Street, plugging rare releases to customers and offering up good conversation about nearly anything from sneakers to hockey.
If somehow you managed to miss him, this is your last chance. DJ Bozak pays his well-blended farewell to C-U on July 31 at 8 p.m., Head to Boltini in downtown Champaign; Bozak will also release his new mixtape Sketches in Sound 2 ($10).
“I think it had gone through at least 14 different stages before this final one,” says Boskey. “I would start on it, make small changes, and start over again. It took about six months, working on it everyday, to get this final product.”
It’s time for California to see, once again, what C-U DJs are all about.
Get ‘em, Bozak.